Rahama Sadau: Expelled Kannywood Actress hugs the limelight effortlessly

Rahama Sadau

Rahama Sadau

Before last Sunday, Rahama Ibrahim Sadau could best be described as an emerging Kannywood actress enjoying a speedy ride to stardom.

Although she is famous among fans who watch Kannywood movies quite all right, but her star status and popularity soared beyond Kannywood following the news of her expulsion as an actor during the week from the Kannywood industry by the leadership of the Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN).

Kannywood is the name used to describe the Kano-based Hausa language movie industry and MOPPAN is the professional association for motion picture practitioners who work in that vibrant industry.

Rahama was in the news throughout last week and she is still trending, as news of her expulsion went viral soon after it broke and was all over the social media. Local and international print and electronic media gave the news of her expulsion from Kannywood ample time and space.

Her offence? Rahama, who is currently on vacation in India, featured in a music video of a singer, ClassiQ.

The video was for the song, titled, ‘I Love You’ and the leadership of the MOPPAN found some of her portrayals in the video indecent, offensive and distasteful.

MOPPAN maintained that the ‘hugging and cuddling’ in the video violated the association’s code of ethics known to all Hausa movie practitioners.

They argued that such a portrayal was ‘immoral’ and also has potential to corrupt people’s value; hence they issued a statement expelling her from the industry.

Part of the statement signed by its secretary, Salisu Mohammed, read: “Sequel to the recent meeting in which a resolution reached by all guilds and associations under the unified body of MOPPA, that Rahama Sadau has been expelled from the Hausa indigenous film industry, popularly known as Kannnywood.

“This is as a result of her recent immoral appearance in a certain video song where she appeared in series of visuals (video and pictorial) hugging and cuddling the music artist, ClassiQ, in his newly released video.”

Reactions for and against the decision to ban the delectable actress poured in from home and abroad immediately the statement went viral on social media.

While some fans of the popular actress criticised her role in the video, others expressed shock at her expulsion, describing the action as ‘mere hypocrisy.’

They even alleged that MOPPAN was biased in its action as some other prominent male Kannywood actors have “played roles where they kissed and cuddled their female sparing partners without sanction.”

But in a swift reply, ostensibly to douse the tension generated by her expulsion, which most of her fans said was “done in bad faith,” Rahama apologised for her role in the music video.

In a widely circulated letter she personally signed, Rahama thanked her fans for their show of concern and unwavering support since her expulsion was announced, but explained that her involvement in the romantic music video was just “a job” she was engaged to do and therefore “innocuous touching with other people in my line of work is inevitable.”

However, the actress apologised to all those she may have “offended in any way, shape or form” and all those she may have caused any anxiety by featuring in the video.

She also stated that she could not have intentionally played her role in the music video to hurt anyone or institution.

“I have lines I would never cross and indeed I live and stand by the tenets-action are judged according to intentions. The outcome of the events that have taken place has come as a surprise to us all.

“I may have fallen short of some people’s expectations, but it was never my intention. I make no excuses for my actions and I take full responsibility,” she said, even as she implored her teeming fans to be more tolerant and forgiving and to cease “all the senseless abuse, name-calling and backbiting.”

No doubt, Rahama’s terse response to her expulsion calmed the nerves of her numerous fans and sympathizers, who had already started calling for the heads of the leadership of MOPPAN for expelling their star for only performing her role as an actress.

Even a prominent member of Kannywood was quoted to have applauded Rahama’s mature handling of the situation, hinting that the expulsion might be reversed “since Rahama has shown a reasonable level of remorse.”

Born and raised in Kaduna 23 years ago, Rahama, who studied Business Administration and Management at Kaduna Polytechnic, joined Kannywood three years ago as lead actress in a movie, Gani Ga Wane, with the indubitable Ali Nuhu in male lead role.

Said to be humble, reserved and unpretentiously friendly, Rahama, a huge fan of the Bollywood actress, Priyinka Chopra, rode on the back of the success of the movie to grab so many lead roles.

Often referred to as Priyinka by members of her huge fan base, and also called ‘Queen of Kannywood,’ Rahama, who speaks Hindi fluently, is presently the toast of most Kannywood movie producers.

They have found the recipient of a number of industry awards, including the 2014 and 2015 City People Entertainment Award for Best Actress (Kannywood) a very a good centre to hang a story on.

Star of critically-acclaimed Kannywood movies, such as Jinin Jikina, Halwa, Dogon Zamani, Garbati and Halacci, Rahama is on the list of the very few Kannywood actors/actresses that have had a break in the vibrant Nigeria Nollywood industry.

She has featured in some television and Nollywood productions, including a role in Super Story series, Sons of the Caliphate (a television soap) and The Light Will Come.

She has also ventured into film production and recently hinted that she looked forward to playing a long game in the movie and also look to a time in the history of filmmaking in Nigeria when there would be a sustained collaboration between Nollywood and Kannywood on one hand, and the Nigerian motion picture industry and other developed film industries.

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