Crossing the T’s: On Ummah Shehu’s Arewa 24 Interview

The hottest topic in Kannywood’s media last week is Aminu Sharif Momoh’s Interview with actress Ummah Shehu on Arewa24’s Kundin Kannywood. Kundin Kannywood is a weekly program by the Hausa channel which is being hosted by actor Aminu Sharif every Wednesday. Momoh, who is infamous for putting Kannywood actors and actresses on the hot seat and ask some really tricky but unnecessary questions,asked the actress the name of the woman that breastfed prophet Muhammad (SAW). She tried to dodge the question by telling him not to do this to her but Momoh insisted anyway. Her response obviously showed that she didn’t know the name of the woman, which caused a media frenzy,and why not? These are the basic things we’ve been taught since primary one in Islamiyya,so it is expected of every Muslim to know them.

As usual people on social media reacted with mixed emotions; while some people believe that his question is still valid and on point because things like this will help keep the actress and her colleagues on their toes; others (including me) think it’s irrelevant, unnecessary and completely out of context. I mean Ummah Shehu isn’t famous because she’s some kind of an Islamic Scholar, memorized the Qur’an or Hadith. She’s famous because she’s an actress. That’s her field and that’s why she’s been invited for the interview. So, it’s only fair and of course, professional if he limits his questions there.

In Her Defence:

Not knowing the name of the woman that breastfed the prophet (SAW) isn’t the same thing as not knowing the seven obligations of ablution. It is equally not the same as not been able to recite Suratu Fatiha. Similarly the question apparently caught Ummah off guard which could happen to any of us especially while on air. You’ll find out that you know it but when you have the pressure of answering a question quickly with camera on you or a live audience listening in, it can be much more challenging and can fluster even the most confident people. And if Momoh did it intentional just to ambush her, as some people believe, I’d only say he has exposed the entire Kannywood industry as I’m sure there are many like her and I look forward to watching his Live Chat with Bello Muhammad Bello.

In his Defense:

It’s hard to blame him on mistakes like this because he is an actor not a journalist. Secondly, he was probably being honest and trying to appease his viewers because we all want to hear the off-screen lives of our favourite actors and questions like that, if asked rightly, are what make interviews enjoyable.

Arewa24’s insensitivity:

After all that has happened, Arewa24 did another video, clearly stating how their YouTube visitors increased after the video went viral. Like seriously? Someone’s reputation is on the line because of your employee’s mistake and you can’t even apologize? I find this utterly insensitive. They were trying to say that both parties benefitted because her Instagram followership also increased by 4.7 percent. I am still trying to understand how that will help reduce the number of insults she gets daily which forced her to protect her Instagram account some days ago. How about Arewa24 help us find the percentage of those that unfollowed her and that of her fans that felt disappointed with this monumental embarrassment.

What I think:

Whatever way you look at it, it was an embarrassing episode for Ummah Shehu and I think Arewa24 should apologize to her. I also think she should have told Momoh -straightforward that she will not answer the question or any other one on religion. On the other hand, had Momoh not insisted, we would hardly notice. However I don’t need to remind Ummah Shehu to go and find out the name of the woman that breastfed the prophet and more, because I’m sure hundreds of people have told her by now. Though I need to remind Momoh to rethink his methods, read more on Journalism, perhaps even get a certificate on it and revisit its ethics. Some of his questions are really unnecessary. For instance, I watched an episode of Kundin Kannywood where he asked another actress about the stand of Islam on a wig (she wears). And if it interest him, I have reached a very fine and competent journalist about this and I found out ( by coincidence though) that this journalist is a follower of his program and he told me that not only his interview with Shehu, there are lapses in his approach and he needs to differentiate between two scenarios: while he’s on a movie set and while hosting an interview.

Hafsah Lalo is a writer hailed from Jos, Plateau State. Currently a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. You can follow her on twitter: @Grtsunnist

Crossing the T’s: On Rahama Sadau’s Feud with Ali Nuhu

The entertainment industry is construed to be synonymous with scandals. Everything an actor does will not go amiss by the public eye and a small mistake committed by them might turn out to be a disaster on their careers. Scandals on the side cannot be entirely condemned because there are as many benefits as there are disadvantages. For this reason, some of these actors do it intentionally for the publicity stunts while others do it unintentional.

No one does controversies in Kannywood better than Rahama Sadau these days. Few days ago, I’ve written about Kannywood actresses in this column where I mentioned how scandals and controversies catapulted the actress to the pinnacle of her career. And she’s involved in another one again, when on Saturday, Ali Nuhu’s ‘boys’ showered the actress with abuses on their Instagram pages accusing her of betraying Ali Nuhu despite the fact that he’s her mentor and has been with her right from the pit of her career.

Rumours has been going around that the actress is lately not in good terms with Ali Nuhu because he didn’t cast her in FKD’s next hit movie, Abota. When I turned to Sadau for comment, she told me that this is all a baseless rumour that’s been spread across by mischievous elements just to tarnish her image. She seemed so surprise that I would even care to ask her about it even though I know her loyalty has always been with him. “Come on, Hafsat you too believe in these kinds of rumors? There’s nothing like not in good terms with Ali Nuhu. How is that even possible? Ahh!”

She told me that she equally know about it that day after a colleague called and told her to log on Instagram and see what’s going on. She described it as a planned attack on her person by people who are not happy with her successes.

We could still recall that Sadau is still not officially back on stage which could be a reason she’s not been casted in the film or simply because she doesn’t have a role to play in it. Somebody like Ali Nuhu casting Rahma in a film while there’s a ban on her would bring more shame and disrespect to the industry; which is already infamous for lacking strong authoritative bodies.

Hafsah Lalo is a writer hailed from Jos, Plateau State. She is Currently a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. You can follow her on twitter: @Grtsunnist

Crossing the T’s: On Road to Stardom, Being at the Top and Staying There.

Whenever we find ourselves in the midst of people we have the same movie taste with, we like to talk about movies, our favorite actors, why we love them as well as compare them with our friends’ favorites too, in many fronts. Amongst Kannywood viewers, we talk about whose stardom will make whose stardom wanes, etc For instance, many people believe that if Ahmad S. Nuhu were alive Adam Zango will not be this famous because S. Nuhu might have completely over shadowed him.

Talking about the female actors, we had Zainab Indomie in the past few years as a household name for Kannywood fans. The actress managed to steal the hearts of the audience with her performances which were groundbreaking in delivery, her impeccable looks, charm, and her ability to express any kind of emotion. She featured in movies that would probably never be forgotten such as Ga duhu ga Haske. We all adored her and enjoyed watching her display her talents…

Until Nafisa Abdullahi made a grand entrance into the world of stardom immediately after featuring in FKD’s Sai watarana. Bold, passionate and master of her emotions; no living Kannywood actress has astonished the viewers over the past six years as much as Nafisa Abdullah. Her path to stardom was also the beginning of the end for Zainab Indomie. It’s not as if we couldn’t have more than one star at the same time. We could, there has always been Jamila Nagudu, though that’s a story for another day because she is the female version of Ali Nuhu. All other actresses will come and go while she undebatably remain the overall best actress in Kannywood.

Aside from Jamila Nagudu, there will always be another actress who would top the list, and at a point in time, Nafisa Abdullahi was on top of that list. She could display the perfect combination of intellect, strength, vulnerability and even ‘badassing’. As a die hard fan of Zainab Indomie, I always say it’s because of Nafisa that we hardly see the face of our star on the screen then because she features in virtually every hit movie then.

Nobody gets to the top and stay there forever. The sizzling siren made her debut and and within a year, she had already made a mark. If you tell me that Rahma Sadau defined her career not with exceptional performances but with scandals, media presence, breaking barriers etc etc, I wouldn’t argue with you.

Talking about media presence, it is arguably the biggest tool actors use to make sure they stay at the top. Rahama for example knows the importance of media, how it operates and how to interact with people especially her fans. She knows what it takes to be a star, how to get to the top and stay there. She’s simply a master of the game. She came to the industry with an unprecedented uniqueness which is the number one thing that drew the attention of audience to her, including those that are ashamed of being called Kannywood fans. She carries herself the way her Nollywood, Bollywood and even Hollywood counterparts do. She have managers run her affairs from on set, she reads, watch movies and TV shows, she tweets more for example, about Big Brother Nigeria, football, etc alongside her fans and all those little things people relate to, is what brings media influence. If you ask me to pick five best actresses in Kannywood based on on performance, I will definitely not pick Rahama but if you just ask me to pick top five without being specific, don’t be surprised if you find her name as number one on my list.

It’s important to point out that, especially how she’s been busy on twitter recently, Hadiza Gabon epitomizes good acting and media presence. People actually relates to how tolerable she is on twitter and fans interact with her more easily.

That brings me to my main discussion. New talent has been discovered by Ali Nuhu -who is infamous for transforming even those not born with acting talents into the best actors. This new talent is Maryam Yahya, who started with an FKD movie which is a surer path to stardom than any other path in the industry.So, there were discussions, projections already by Kannywood followers that soon she’ll be a force in the industry and that Sadau’s fans are beginning to see her as a threat.

This is really surprising. And although these kinds of premature predictions and knee-jerk reactions are bound to happen, it is hard not to be amazed. We’ve only seen Maryam Yahaya mostly on video songs so far and you can see she has done really well for herself as very few actresses don’t get intimated acting alongside Ali Nuhu. She doesn’t get overshadowed and you could feel her presence in the songs.

As discussed, the road to stardom is a long and hard one. Do we really think Maryam is a ‘giant killer’? That remain to be seen. As for beating any other actress or particularly Rahma Sadau, it’s worth to remember she came into Kannywood while Sadau has already gone international, already featured in Nollywood films, lunched and dined in Beverly Hills with Akon, met some Bollywood producers in India, talked with Priyanka and Davido on twitter. She will definitely not stay at the top forever, her stardom will also wane just like other top talents before her, perhaps sooner than we expected but career wise, she’s currently the most improved and most focused in the industry. Maryam Yahaya will not push her away, but if she is determined who knows.

Hafsah Lalo is a writer hailed from Jos, Plateau State. She is Currently a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. You can follow her on twitter: @Grtsunnist

Crossing the T’s – On Rahama Meeting Priyanka Chopra 

Hero worship is something almost everyone does especially in this era of social media,  where we can directly connect and interact with our idols on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. 

We all have that one person we aspire to be like or hope to meet someday. That person could be a footballer, an actor, a musician, a professional athlete or a space scientist. Naturally, we will be so much interested in their lives that we avidly follow and read every news about them because we believe they have made it in a worldview and we are enthralled by it. For instance, one could rightly say that Sadau has taken Priyanka as a huge inspiration which makes her tirelessly chase her dreams and by extension, a standout amongst  her fellow actresses.

Anyone who knows Rahama Sadau knows that she’s a diehard supporter of Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra. Anyone who ever followed her on any of her media pages knows that too and the similarities in their screen characters are unmistakable. Sadau is popularly known as as Priya among her friends and colleagues while some of her fans call her Kannywood’s Priyanka Chopra. In fact we could all recall that at a point in time, Rahama Sadau wrote ‘PC Maniac’ on her Twitter bio.

It’s no longer news that Sadau recently got a superb response from her role model after mentioning her on Twitter. The response has gotten a lot of media attention especially because it’s a common knowledge that Sadau has been a Priyanka Chopra fanatic for as long as we know her. This reminded me of something that Sadau said on the set of Mati da Lado and that’s what prompted writing this piece.

Somewhere in May 2014 on the set of Mati da Lado, we were sitting down inside Sadau’s car when a lot of her fans came and surrounded the car hoping to get a glimpse of the famous actress. The door of the car was slightly ajar because we needed some fresh air but they were blocking it. Rahama was jokingly complaining about not liking the way people are looking at her, others asking her to pose for them and all. Producer Tahir I Tahir was there so he told her that it’s all because of her fame, that someone who isn’t famous won’t get that kind of attention.

She smiled and shook her head knowing his statement can’t be truer. She replied him saying “I also have an idol whom I admire very much. Whenever I’m opportune to see her, no matter the security, I will find my way and go close to her so I can touch her.” Tahir I Tahir seemed surprised and asked her who is that her idol and she told him it’s Priyanka Chopra.

I have always known that meeting Priyanka Chopra is one of Rahama Sadau’s ultimate life goals. She has bonded with friends from different countries over the love of their favorite celebrity. I could vividly recall one that called her from Indonesia in my presence and they talked as though they’ve been friends for ages. When I saw the Chopra’s response to her, I was extremely happy for her though I can’t imagine her happiness at the moment. 

I’m sure she will be overwhelmed by different kinds of emotions from disbelief to ecstasy to obsession. Now that it has began from Twitter, who knows whether Sadau will soon be called for an auditioning this time in New Delhi.

Hafsah Lalo is a writer hailed from Jos, Plateau State. She is Currently a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. You can follow her on twitter: @Grtsunnist

Crossing the T’s: Relationships 

No matter how hard celebrities try to keep their romance low key, they would always be under public scrutiny. While we don’t have the paparazzi to follow their every move in  Kannywood and Nigeria in general, there are gossip columns that bring these stories to the media. Why celebs shy away from  questions concerning their love lives even in an interview isn’t a mystery, understandable even. But I do believe that everything comes with a price and that of being famous is sacrificing one’s own privacy.

It isn’t any different in Kannywood. Some actresses are trying to keep their relationships under the wraps, others don’t really care. 

Actress Halima Atete, once in an interview
with Kannywoodscene, revealed that she is not one of those actors that hide their relationships. She even went further and mentioned his name. It’s no news that Maryam Booth dated Adam for quite sometime a long time ago. However, few people know that Rahma Sadau had a fling with Kannywood Heartthrob, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, and another one before joining the industry with Director Kamal S Alkali, one could have said that she’s one of those that manage to mask their romance.

Nafisa’s love life has always been the one the media’s focused on. Lots of people would be surprised to learn that Fati Washa also had a fling with Adam A Zango or that Ibrahim Shehu dated Hadiza Gabon and Jamila Nagudu before Nafi Abdullahi. Apparently, the age difference doesn’t mean anything to him as each of the three of them is at least, three years his senior.

Like any other relationship, these relationships may or may not work out. Although some of them  materialize into marriages, like that of TY Shaba and Samira Ahmad (albeit not for long) among others. Others just fizzle out with time- Adams Zango and Nafi Abdullahi’s long-term relationship is a prime example.

After the break ups or the divorce, the actors as well as the actresses have to deal with bizarre questions from the public and interviewers. Being constantly asked about your relationship status can be frustrating, but it’s simply part of the package of being a celebrity. 




Hafsah Lalo is a writer hailed from Jos, Plateau State. She is Currently a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. You can follow her on twitter: @Grtsunnist