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Rahama Sadau: Kannywood star actress not new to controversies

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It is beginning to look as though it is one year, one controversy for star Kannywood actress Rahama Ibrahim Sadau. No year passes without a bashing or controversy that is linked to the actress who has featured in a couple of Nollywood movies, including Don Omope’s Tatu, and who is famous among fans who watch Kannywood movies.

Flash back to 2016 and 2017. Rahama trended globally and her popularity soared following the news of her expulsion as an actor from the Hausa film industry popularly known as Kannywood by the leadership of the Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN). The news of Rahama’s expulsion by MOPPAN, the professional association for motion picture practitioners who work in that vibrant sector of the Nigerian audio-visual industry, went viral soon after it broke and was all over the social media.

MOPPAN said it ordered Rahama’s expulsion because the leadership found some of her portrayals in a musical video she featured in indecent, offensive and distasteful. The music video was for a song by a pop artiste ClassiQ titled I Love You. MOPPAN maintained in the widely circulated expulsion order 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.

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Reactions for and against, but mostly against, greeted the decision by MOPPAN to ban the delectable actress who revealed that she was shocked at the manner the issue was given ample time and space by local and international print and electronic 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.”

But to douse the tension that the news of her expulsion generated, Rahama swiftly issued a terse statement where she apologised for her role in the music video even as she 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 the line of work was inevitable.

She also stated that she could not have intentionally played her role in the music video to hurt anyone or institution. However, Rahama apologised and took full responsibility for her actions.

No doubt, Rahama’s terse response to her expulsion calmed the nerves of her numerous fans and sympathisers, 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. The ban placed on her was later lifted by MOPPAN in 2018. The group noted that the actress showed a reasonable level of remorse, hence the decision to lift the ban.

Months after, Internet buzzed and it was Rahama in the news again. This time, she fell on the wrong side of some religious fanatics who frowned at her decision to operate a ‘shisha lounge’ as part of a restaurant and entertainment hang out called Sadauz Home, which the actress launched in her home state Kaduna.

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Those who took on her on social media queried the fact that she set up a shisha smoking lounge to promote immorality.

“How can such a decent lady as Rahama open such a lounge that will encourage smokers to sit and smoke and buy others things that go hand in hand with smoking shish. She must be stopped,” a fellow who described himself as a fan said on Instagram.

The bashing reportedly stopped after the actress ordered the conversion of the lounge to an eating area. If the bashing she received for setting up the lounge was deafening, the bashing she recently received for sharing pictures on social media, one of which revealed her back and parts of her body, was much more deafening; social media quacked. The pictures, particularly the one with an open back, generated a heated debate. Many fans, mostly those of northern extraction lashed out at the actress. They felt that the picture was offensive to the conservative Northern Nigerian society and that as a Muslim, a religion that the actress professes, Rahama ought not to be found wearing such an indecent dress.

An Islamic group had reportedly petitioned the Police in Kaduna to investigate a blasphemous comment on the Holy Prophet Mohammed, which the pictures Rahama shared ignited.

Disturbed by the debate that continued for days, Rahama who described the pictures she shared as “harmless” deleted the pictures and apologised for whatever may have ignited the debate. Part of her reaction to some of the negative and hurtful comments made about her the pictures she shared read: “I am with all sense of sincerity, dissociating myself from such derogatory and hurtful words. Those who know me and or follow me know that I am not the type that reacts to anything or embrace advices from social media moral police. But my Prophet and religion is where I draw the line.”

Although the heat that the debate generated seem to have fizzled out, fans are hoping that they would not have to return to social media soon for another debate around and about their beloved actress. Born and raised in Kaduna, Rahama joined Kannywood a couple of years ago debuting as lead actress in Gani Ga Wane, featuring Ali Nuhu in male lead role.

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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.

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

Star of critically-acclaimed Kannywood movies, such as Jinin Jikina, Halwa, Dogon Zamani, Garbati and Halacci, Rahama who studied Human Resource Management at the Eastern Mediterranean University of Cyprus is on the list of the very few Kannywood actors/actresses that have had a break in the vibrant Nigeria Nollywood industry.

She has also featured in some television and Nollywood productions, including a role in Super Story television series, Sons of the Caliphate and The Light Will Come (movie). She has also ventured into film production and recently signed Mati A Zazzau as producer under her production company Sadau Movies.

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