Little framed actress, Halima Abubakar, no doubt, has cut the picture of a controversial figure for herself in the movie industry. But this has not slowed down her progress. Away from tales about the illness she battled with some months back, following a surgery to remove fibroid, Halima explains to WOLE ADEPOJU how patronage from rich men helps women in the movie industry to live bigger than their male counterparts. She also speaks about her foray into acting and why she’s still single. Excerpts:
What actually was your mission when you came into the industry?
I just felt Liz Benson and I have a close resemblance and when I told my mum, she said it was not very much but maybe a little. All the while she did not know I had acting at the back of my mind, but basically I just wanted to express myself. I thought it was going to be a temporary thing and I never knew it would get to this level – shooting and being a producer. Of course, it was not easy getting to where I am today because I had to cross so many bridges. At a time, I had to leave for about four, five years because there were too many negative people trying to pull you down while you were trying to help them in your mind. But God will always prevail. So, I’m grateful to God.
I am a woman, too, and at some point in time, people have said things about me and how I make money. So, I will not bring them down. For me, of course, I have been lucky, too. This is just the truth. I have been lucky to have dated may be one or two people who are comfortable and were generous to me
Actresses tend to make it bigger than their male colleagues. What do you think is responsible for this situation?
Number one, destinies are different. Number two, of course, they are women, they get favour and number three, I wouldn’t say they are more hard working, but they are more competitive. Men are not competitive among themselves. I don’t see Dangote trying to compete with the President of our country because they are on different lanes. Basically, as I said, some ladies get help, favour and some are from privileged backgrounds and as such, they come with their money. I’m not going to put them down because some are hardworking and I am just going to say we all have priorities. Women making it faster than men; it’s how life is really. If you get somebody who helps you once in a while, you will not refuse it. Let’s be realistic. And women are the weaker sex, like they say. So, they tend to have more support than the men. I am not going to bring them down, because if I see support, I’m going to take it, too, but I need to be sure that support comes with no strings attached and, of course, I would use it to help others too, not just myself. I am not going to put anybody down, I am a woman, too, and at some point in time, people have said things about me and how I make money. So, I will not bring them down. For me, of course, I have been lucky, too. This is just the truth. I have been lucky to have dated may be one or two people who are comfortable and were generous to me. I saved the money and that was how I was able to produce my first movie, in the first place. There is no lie about it. I was in a relationship with somebody who was comfortable, who had means to make me not to act anymore, but because I wanted to act, that is why he supported that. That is my own story, I don’t know about others. I did not come out to say I must drive Range Rover, I must drive this or that because in my life, I believe everything comes with time and I don’t push it if it does not come. Cars are things that do not have value. You don’t even sell them the way you buy them. So, I don’t have that strength to go dirty and do crazy things in order to buy Range Rover and at the end of the day, I want to sell that car. I sell it 80 per cent lower.
You seem to be very comfortable with your status as a single lady?
What is the essence of marriage? To multiply, to have kid and a companion. I am from a Muslim background and I am even meant to have been married, probably when I was 16, 17, 18 not to talk of now when I’m 30 something and still single. I am single now; I broke up with my ex. I am not in a hurry to start jumping into any other relationship because, number one, it’s not easy to be in a relationship, because when you do, people you don’t know from every angle suddenly have gossips about you. They suddenly call this person you are dating if they have means of communicating with him and tell him all these lies and I am like why don’t you ask me instead of listening and acting on these things, but then it’s too late because you people are fighting and I don’t have the strength of fighting and coming back, and like that, all over. Instead of that, why don’t you respect each other and give each other breathing space and if it’s meant to be, you people will come together with better understanding? But the problem we have in relationships generally is lack of trust. You can tell somebody ‘I love you,’ you can show the person and the person will not believe it because they will be like, are you acting? That is number one. They always think I am acting when I am in a relationship, but why would I be acting with emotions? So, it takes a strong person to want to be with you and forget every other person. I have experienced love and I had fun experiencing it, but it was not meant to be; that is why we broke up. It’s really not easy to date when you are in the limelight because of all you go through. There are lots of people who know you and they don’t just want you to grow. So, one has to be careful. Basically, I just believe marriage is not a do or die affair. When it comes, it comes and if it does not come, it means you are not meant to get married. It’s worse when you are in the limelight. I mean when you put on a ring on social media, they say Halima is engaged; when you put it off, they say the relationship is broken. Sometimes I wonder if I can’t have my peace, post whatever I like without anyone saying something. People are just too much in a haste to ship you off, but they are not even going through good marriage. So, why should I pretend and stay in a relationship that is abusive rather than channel my energy in to what is productive? Marriage is not something anybody should push somebody into because these days, people are not just ready to get married, that is what I feel. The men are not ready, the women are not ready because the divorce rate, if you check, is so high. So, I don’t want to get married and get divorced. I would rather wait for mine and get a good one.