When stars begin to rise you notice it early in the midst of every other activity. Any talented personality that will end up a star always notices that feeling early in life and begins to passionately nurture it. The movie industry in Nigeria popularly called Nollywood, is one of the biggest in the world (only behind Hollywood and Bollywood). A major sub-sector in Nollywood is the Kannywood industry, the biggest Hausa language movie industry in the world. Kannywood’s growth to reckoning is premised on individual performances of superstars whose ability to brilliantly interpret roles brought a lot fans to the industry. One of such superstars is Rahama Sadau, the most dynamic Kannywood actress whose phenomenal talent has seen her navigate from Kannywood to Nollywood successfully.
Who is Rahama Sadau?
Rahama Ibrahim Sadau was born on the 7th of December 1993, in Kaduna, Nigeria. She is a multi-talented actress, model, movie producer, makeup artist and entrepreneur. Rahama uses her personality to advocate for better living conditions for the less privileged in the society, including fight against harmful cultural practices such as child marriage in Northern Nigeria. This is not surprising as she escaped getting married at the age of 13, thanks to her mother who cared about the future of young girls, including her daughters. The unbelievable love and care she received from her mother contributed immensely in developing her talent and spurring her into stardom in the acting world. This was because her mother wanted her to achieve what she wanted to be in life, though her parents didn’t initially flow with the idea of their daughter becoming an actress. Rahama speaks Hausa, Hindi, and English language fluently.
Rahama grew up in Kaduna where she lived with her parents and four other siblings. She had her primary and secondary education in Kaduna. She attended Kaduna Polytechnic where she studied Business Administration. Rahama began early in life to desire to be an actress. She was into some form of entertainment while she was attending primary and secondary school, attending dance classes but dreaming of moving into the acting world. She continued to follow her dream and as they say “the rest is history”.
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Rahama was fortunate to have started early in life to think of pursuing a career as an actress so she was always on the lookout for any available platform to actualize that goal. She got her chance in 2013 when she met Ali Nuhu, one of the biggest names in Kannywood, who introduced her to the acting profession. Despite the fact that her parents did not really like the idea of their daughter going into the movie industry, Rahama went on to star in the movie called Gani Ga Wane. That move turned out to be the major boost which began her story to the top of the Kannywood industry.
Since then, Rahama has grown in fame, becoming a household name in the movie industry in Nigeria. She has starred in numerous Kannywood and Nollywood movies, among which are Rariya, Rumana, and Sons of the Caliphate. The actress, who yearns to play lead roles in interesting movies, made her stage debut in English movies in March 2018 when she starred in ‘The Lion and the Jewel’. While describing her first experience with stage drama, she said in an interview with TheCable Lifestyle: “At first I was very nervous being that this was my very first outing. I initially saw stage drama as very difficult but from my experience, it’s very powerful, it has brought out my hidden talents. It’s so amazing.” Rahama is really a rare talent that knows how to achieve the best in whatever she does in the entertainment world.
Among her numerous Hausa language movies which you should look for and watch are Gani Ga Wane, Jinin Jikina, Halwa, Sirrin Da Ke Raina, Ana Wata Ga Wata, Aljannar Duniya, Dogon Zamani, Sabuwar Sangaya, Dakai Zan Gana, Halacci, Minnal, Dalilin So, Suma Mata Ne, Chasing Hanifa, Banganta Ba, Sallamar So, Garbati, Mallakamin Dukiyarki, Ni Da Qawata and Dan Sarkin Agadez. Some of her very interesting English language movies and television series are The Light Will Come, Super Story (Soap Opera), and Sons of the Caliphate (Soap Opera).
Rahama’s impressive performance in Kannywood has received recognition in form of awards from various bodies. She won the Best New Actress in 2014 from the City People Awards. She also won Best Actress in two other awards in 2014. They are the Bidbits awards, and Arewa Films Awards. Rahama won the Best Actress in Afro Hollywood Awards, as well as Best African Actress at the 2015 African Film Awards. She also received a major recognition as the Face of Kannywood at the 2016 City People Entertainment Awards.
Rahama identifies three personalities as her sources of inspiration and encouragement to soar higher in the entertainment world. They are Genevieve Nnaji, Tiwa Sawage, and Bollywood actress, Priyanka Chopra who also features in Hollywood movies. Many of her fans and friends that know about Rahama’s obsession with Indian movies call her Priyanka. She said she learnt Hindi by watching lots of Bollywood movies. That’s an intelligent way to learn a new language.
Rahama expresses her talent in other forms too. In addition to being an actress, she is also a producer. She has her own production company called Sadau Pictures, which she has used to fund and produce several films, including Rariry and Dan Iya.
Rahama is among the very few Nigerian actresses who want to use their personality to achieve positive goals in the society and leave a legacy for younger ones to follow. In 2016, she launched her own charity organization called Ray of Hope. This is an avenue she hopes to use to help women and young girls achieve their potentials. Before that, she participated in various charity events, including Cancer day Walk in 2015.
Rahama’s career has witnessed ups and downs. She has been associated with two major scandals which hit her personality hard but she managed to overcome them and move on with her life. Her conflict with the Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria, otherwise known as MOPPAN, is one of her most memorable scandals. It happened in 2015 when her career was at an early stage. She was reported to have had an altercation with Adam Zango, a well-known Kannywood actor and producer, which resulted in her six-month suspension by MOPPAN. The actress had alleged that Zango harassed her and pressured her into being intimate with him. Rahama later apologized for her explosive reaction that led to her suspension. She says that the incident is now part of her past and that she and Adam are now good friends.
The next major scandal occurred in 2016 involving Rahama and MOPPAN again. What happened this time was that Rahama starred in a music video with a Jos-based rapper, ClassiQ, where the two were seen hugging and smiling at each other. MOPPAN saw the video as inappropriate and expelled Rahama from the industry altogether. The association argued that the “hugging and cuddling” in the video was in violation of the code of ethics known to all Hausa movie practitioners. She apologized a year later by handing over an apology letter to MOPPAN over the incident. Kannywood has been under fire from conservative Muslim clerics who accuse it of corrupting people’s values, probably why MOPPAN decided to be stricter in sanitizing the industry.
Rahama’s crisis with MOPPAN prompted her to consider trying out her talent in the Nollywood industry and that was also a breakthrough for her. In October 2016 she was reported to have featured in a movie series on EbonyLife TV and on 15th October 2016, she confirmed on her twitter account that she had been invited to Hollywood by Akon and Jeta Amata. Rahama is among the very few actresses that have recorded success in Kannywood and Nollywood movie industries.
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Child Marriage Nightmare
Child marriage is a nightmare for many young girls in Northern Nigeria and this is one of the issues Rahama is using her personality as a movie star to fight against. She nearly experienced this nightmare too but her mother saved her from falling in. Here is what Rahama said in an interview with Broadway TV: “Regarding the girl child education and early marriage, it is a universal problem. We have a lot of that issue in the north. Some of us, artists from the north, have been fighting, making awareness about these things though it is a very sensitive issue, because whenever you touch the early child marriage thing, religion will definitely come in.
“I also went through the same thing. There was a time I almost got married at the age of 13. So many things happened. You should expect that especially from where I am coming from. It’s like a norm for a girl to get married at a very early age. It’s becoming normal and usual. For me, I will always be grateful for my mom. She always wants us to achieve what we want to in life.”
Rahama is in the category of very few Nigerians with phenomenal talents that have kept the country’s movie industry ever increasing in brand image. Her personality is inspirational and many young Nigerians especially young girls from Northern Nigeria look up to her as a model in striving to achieve their dreams of excelling in their chosen career. Coming from a part of Nigeria where women are rarely given a chance to pursue a career in professions that expose them to the world, Rahama is really a treasure to empowerment of the girl-child in the country.