Faty Ladan is the winner of this year's Best of Nollywood Award (BON Award) for Best Hausa Film Actress. Faty speaks about her budding career, challenges and many more.
Weekend Magazine: Tell us a little about yourself?
Faty Ladan: My name is Faty Ladan. I was born in Kaduna town. I grew up there. I had both my primary and secondary school education in Kaduna. Precisely, I finished my secondary school in 2006, and then I proceeded to do a Diploma in Computer Science. It was after my diploma that I ventured into film acting.
What was the attraction for you to join the Kannywood?
Two decades ago when people see a Hausa film actress she is considered a wayward. Unfortunately, it is a stereotype that has remained till today. As a young girl, I used to watch Hausa movies, and any time actresses were shown, people will start saying negative things about them. This negative impression from people towards Hausa film actresses made me to join Kannywood, because I want to prove them wrong. I am not saying that there are no bad persons in the Hausa film industry, but I want to change people's bad impression towards Kannywood film stars, especially the actresses.
Second, I realize that many people are watching Hausa movies more than ever before. I, therefore, see it as an avenue to educate, entertain and inform people. That was how Hausa film acting attracted me into the Kannywood fold. Even then I had to discuss with my family, who gave me the go ahead. You may also wish to know that before I participate in any film the producer or director has to meet my family and discuss with them, if they give me the permission then I will act.
Do you have someone you look up to in the Hausa film industry?
Laughs... That's true. You know everything in life has its own cause. It cannot be possible to do anything in life, certainly not Hausa film acting, without a godfather who will guide, teach and give you confidence. In that sense, my mentor in Hausa film industry is Ali Nuhu, I owe him much. It is Ali Nuhu's film 'Adamsy' that made me popular in Hausa film industry, it is his film that earned me a lot of fans and hat fetched me the Best Hausa Film Actress which was awarded to me during the Best of Nollywood Awards (BON Awards) in Lagos.
How many films have you starred in so far?
They are so many that I can't give a precise number. I can remember some effortlessly, but for others I have to sit down and think.
Can you name some, and possibly the one you like most and why?
I have starred in films such as 'Jamilun Jiddan', 'Zumuncin Zamani', 'Adamsy', 'Talatu', 'Ga Ni Ga Ka', 'Balaraba,' among others. I also produced and starred in 'Zagon Kasa'. Out of the films I have starred in, the one I love most is 'Adamsy'. I love the film based on the story line, dialogues, suspense and the actions. Another reason why I love 'Adamsy' is because I was given the lead role. In the film, I was virtually in all the scenes and I enjoyed the film.
Some months back there was a rumour making the rounds that you fought with Aminu Saira and Co. allegedly for not featuring you in their film. Tell us the truth.
I also heard the rumour over and over again and from so many people. Some have called me to confirm the truth or otherwise about the story. The truth of the matter is that it was only the figment of the imagination of those peddling the rumour around. I don't have any issues with Aminu Saira and Co. It is very common for people to come up with such stories just to blackmail you or cause disaffection between you and others. This way they will turn you into the black sheep of the Hausa film industry. Contrary to what is being bandied around, Aminu Saira was the first person to put me in his film named 'Balaraba'. Let me also use this opportunity to say that not seeing me in Aminu Saira's films doesn't mean I have problem with him. Aminu Saira is one person who will not call you, if the story's role doesn't fit you and I respect him for that. I will like people to know that you cannot possess all the talents available in the film industry. In any case what will the same people say about Aminu Saira's 'Jamilun Jiddan' which I recently starred in?
How did it feel like when you took part in your first movie?
It went well. This is so because, before my first movie, I did many rehearsals with my mentor Ali Nuhu. He is the one who put me on track as far as acting is concerned. During my first movie, many were surprised that I didn't panic or give the director tough time. Aminu Saira's comments after the film were also encouraging. I felt motivated and I will never forget it.
What are the challenges you are facing in your acting career?
One thing about being popular is that it has its own advantages and downsides. There is no person in this world that will raise his hands up and say he didn't face challenges in his lifetime, one way or the other. In fact, there is one popular saying that "You will not be successful, if you cannot overcome your challenges." And just as Rome was not built in a day, so is life with me. I have faced many challenges and am still facing them. There were times that I will come across people I don't know but instead of exchanging greetings they will start insulting me, calling me names. But I told myself that if I can endure it, it will certainly come to pass. Today, I am grateful to Almighty Allah that I have overcome all that. I am forging ahead in life and progressing by the grace of the Almighty. One lesson I have learned is the fact that you cannot stop people from talking about you, and you must not allow their views to weigh you down and stop you from achieving the goals you set for yourself.
Any particular incident you will want to share?
Yes. Something happened to me, which I will never forget, even though it is not a memorable experience. A Hausa magazine once published a libelous story about my person. Perhaps, in their thinking, by publishing the story they will bring my career to an end. But they didn't succeed. Contrary to their expectation, God intervened. And instead of tarnishing my image, the story ended up opening windows of opportunity for me. It (the story) gave my career the needed impetus to grow. In short, the story failed to make me unpopular.
What did the magazine publish about you?
I will rather not mention it, because I have since put it behind me. Let's just allow the sleeping dog lie.
But readers will want to know what happened between you and the magazine.
It is very confusing. I say this because the editor who supervised the publishing of the said story is like a brother to me. My mother knows him very well, because he used to come to our house and even bring his children along to spend the weekend with us. But still I am not surprised because the enemy has not particular looks through which they can be identified. I leave everything to the Master of the Day of Judgment.
Let's talk about achievements.
Achievements can come in various form, seen or unseen, but I can say that I have achieved so many things as a result of my acting career. It will interest you to note that I received a prestigious award just three months into my career. The African Youth Society from South Africa recognized me with the "African Society Youth Merit Award." I received the award alongside Sani Danja, Yakubu Mohammed, Rabilu Musa (Ibro), and Ali Nuhu. Indeed, today I am an ambassador for a leading telecommunication outfit courtesy of my acting career. Recently also I received the prestigious BON Award for the Best Hausa Film Actress 2012.
How about marriage?
That's my dream. Very soon by God's willing I will get married. I have somebody and we understand ourselves. He cares for me.
What do you want to say to your fans?
I love them, for without them I wouldn't have come this far. I am very grateful to know that they are by my side.