On Thursday, June 16, 2016, ENCOMIUM Weekly visited Nollywood actress, Halima Abubakar in her Maryland, Lagos residence where she granted us an exclusive interview on a number of issues, including her stance on marriage, life at 31, her new book, among others.
On Sunday, June 12, 2016, you clocked 31. How does that feel?
I give glory to God. We grow daily and I believe I was already a year older since the beginning of this year. I have already been acting it, living it and taking decisions that are meant for that age. Being 31 is not a joke. I am already going far, and before you know it, I will be 40.
So, the years are running by and the birthday that’s just coming so fast is absolutely incredible. It’s a privileged to come this far and definitely, very lucky to add another year to my age.
What’s the significance of the new age?
To be able to see each day is a blessing no one can reverse. So, I will use this year and any other year to love and be loved.
How was the day celebrated?
I prayed and laughed like a child. I was expecting a little celebration, but I got a funny one instead. But I didn’t allow that to stop my happiness. This is my third birthday during Ramadan fasting and in three years. Actually, on the day, I was made a chief judge at Lagos fashion awards, The Most Beautiful Girl in Lagos. So, being a chief judge on my birthday was enough celebration for me.
What has actually changed in Halima Abubakar’s life between last year and now?
I am more matured and tolerant. I have also witnessed growth in every aspect of my life. But I don’t have money today, I believe I will surely have tomorrow. We’re appealing to President Muhammdu Buhari to release money into circulation now that the budget has been signed into law so that movies can sell.
What’s happening to your record label, not much has been heard about it?
I have sold so many movies, I am waiting for my returns. When I make returns about my investment on the movies, it’s then I can have enough money to run my record label. I can’t break a bank to run it. We need money to do that. But we have already shot videos, we also have books coming out.
So, I have a lot of things under Mode House. Ideally, we cannot sign any new artiste now. I also wrote a novel for children which I wanted to bring out on my birthday but the printing has not been completed. Very soon, I believe that will be done.
But it’s like you told us about the book when we had a chat with you sometime in 2015?
That book I told you about is my autobiography. This one I am talking about is a novel for kids. The book will be sold in schools. It’s going to be inducted into the libraries, it’s going to be sold in the bookshops. It’s a literary material.
Can you tell us the titled of the book and a little about it?
The title is still under wraps, but I am going to launch it and show it to the press. The price is going to be N500 for a copy. It’s not expensive. It’s something everybody would want to have. It may even sell out on the day of the launching. But it’s a book with a lot of drawings and each drawing has a story. It’s like a tale by moonlight but in a book form.
It’s very interesting because I drew all the animals and other things that were needed to make the book. It’s original, not copied from anywhere.
Your movie, The Bully was released sometime in January this year…
(Cuts in) Yes, it’s out in January and was watched by some people. The two other movies people are waiting to see now are, How I was raped and Hard way to freedom.
What’s the response like concerning The Bully?
The Bully is not a commercial movie. So, it will take a lot of time for people to watch it because it’s going round the schools. It’s an educational movie. I didn’t do it for commercial purpose just like I said.
That means it has not gone to the cinema?
No, it’s going to come to the cinema later. The cinema gave me a date in September but I can’t wait till September for the students to watch it. Now, it’s going round schools.
In Lagos state or where?
Not just Lagos but also Kano state. We’re doing Port Harcourt next. So, it’s like a tour.
How do you now recoup your investment on the movie?
So far, the places I have been to, they donated. It’s not like those schools or pupils who just want to watch movies for free because it’s about bullying. No, even the students we featured in the movie didn’t do it for free.
It’s like you’re the first person to do that kind of thing in the industry, how does that feel?
Yes, I am the first person to do that. I am glad. I may not be as rich as others but at least, I have accomplished a lot.
Financially, how rich is Halima now?
No money now, don’t let’s lie (laughs). We all need money, no doubt about that.
What’s your assessment of Buhari’s one year in office?
This is one of the most incredible years of my life as an adult. I have not been complaining. When I complain, then there is a problem. I really complained in the past one year. As a young chief executive officer (CEO), it has been incredibly hard. And for a young lady who has a lot of responsibilities, massive responsibilities for that matter, you will agree with me it can’t be that easy.
Buhari please, make things happen for us so that other people can eat. As for me, I can eat. But then, will I say I won’t give another person food?
Let’s be realistic about it. Buhari should stop saying he understands how we feel. He doesn’t understand how we feel at all. No one can understand how you feel more than yourself. There’re so many people who go home hungry, and they don’t know what they will eat the following day. But he keeps flying up and down and keeps saying he understands how we feel. The change we voted for, where is it? We need Nigeria stabilized.
Recently, there was a post that you said you’re not interested in marriage any longer. Why did you concluded on that?
Yes, because marriage has been overrated. It’s unnecessarily over rated. It’s just too much of headache with how things are now. Even ordinary relationship is a huge burden, huge headache and heartbreaking, let alone marriage. When you can’t stand each other as boyfriend and girlfriend, how would you live together under the same roof when you get married?
People need to know themselves seriously. When I say seriously, I mean spiritually before getting married. People only know themselves physically, not spiritually, so they end up getting bored with each other. And they will say they don’t want to get divorce because of what society would say after investing so much on the marriage.
They stay in that marriage and later it may become very irritating and they start fighting. Before they know it, everything becomes violent. You hear people say all sorts of things. You’re the one who allowed people to get to you and start telling you you’re getting old. You’re the one allowing them to convince you that you’re getting old, you need to get married. Everyone will surely get old. Who won’t get old? So, when people say I am getting old, get married, I would tell them that’s the only thing they know. People carry marriage like a flag.
That means it’s the way people put it that makes it irritating to you?
Yes, it’s very irritating. When you’re not my father nor my mother and you’re more concerned than them. So people should face their problems. They also have a lot of problems in their lives. Why are they poke nosing into my life and trying to make me take a drastic decision I may regret tomorrow.
So you know if you push me to get married and I end up probably not loving my husband the way I am meant to love him. I’m not saying Nigerians are the cause but who is the fault? Everybody would be like “I don’t know why they cannot keep marriage as if they as individuals have kept their marriages. Marriage these days is like a glass that needs to be threaded with care and a lot of attention. It’s like a school, you need to study very well. My parents have been married for about 39 years. So when people say things they don’t know about me, I just look at them and laugh. I really don’t need to say anything. Out of the fact that I am fighting and creating awareness for domestic violence and some other things add up either frustration or anger or pity for the woman who is late, some people come on my page and start insulting me because of my personal decision or choice. I don’t know how it affects anyone.
Does that mean Halima is really not going to get married?
No, people should only try to be nice about marriage to make me interested in it. Don’t tell me actresses don’t stay in marriage. Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva have been married for long and they’re still in the marriage. nothing happened to their union.
Omotola and her husband have been married for long, they’re still very much together. She got married at a young age which is good. What I am trying to say is that going into marriage needs a lot, you don’t just go into it. My elder sister got married at 26 and she’s doing fine in the marriage with her husband.
Now, tell me why won’t I want a family like that? But these days, people are just too much into social media, that’s why marriages are crashing. Marriage these days is not based on happiness and genuine love. Let me ask, who is that poor person that has married a billionaire son? So, why won’t marriage crash when it’s not based on happiness and genuine love?
But does it mean there is no man in your life at the moment?
At this time of my life, I am no longer interested in talking about anything. If there is or there’s none, that’s my problem. It’s nobody’s business. I have done that in the past. I have invested a lot emotionally, talking about my relationship.
So, I am no longer interested in talking about my relationship. I am tired of talking. Let’s rest that case. Even on my wedding day, if I decide to marry, eventually, nobody is invited.