Most of us heard about the Kannywood actress who was banned last month. Her name is Rahama Sadau and she’s gone almost overnight from an actress with fans in the Northern region of Nigeria, to a young woman with champions across Nigeria and the world. It is not often you see people collectively rooting for a woman who was mostly unknown to the vast majority of Nigerians and her tale is truly heartwarming.
What we really love about this woman is that she is not just content to bask in her newfound limelight, but she is also gearing up to be a voice for women actresses in the north. In an interview with Nseobong Okon-Ekong of ThisDay, a Nigerian daily, she was passionate about the need for stronger female representation in Kannywood. Talking about the restrictions which women in Kannywood face, she said:
“This restriction affects the kind of script, the roles you take and the way you act those roles. You definitely have lines that you can’t even think of crossing. I can’t act nude or wear bikinis. The highest I can do is leave my hair open. I can’t wear a tank top. There are so many rules. They don’t have to write these rules for you. You just know that those things are not allowed in the north. There are other restrictions about touching an actor of the opposite sex. Even if it is in the script, even if we are playing father and daughter, it’s not allowed.”
I am a feminist.
Rahama Sadau talked about different things during the interview, but this was what really warmed our hearts. She shared her desire to fight for the rights of women in Kannywood. Her indignation was not just limited to the restrictions placed on women, but also touched on the unequal pay. “For example, you pay a man N100 in Kannywood but a woman gets 20 per cent of that. Why?”
Her question is one which women across the globe are still asking. It is sad that in 2016, women in most parts of the world are still fighting for equal pay. Rahama understands that perhaps this is one of the most restricting limitations placed on women and said that she wanted to be “in the forefront of a campaign for women in Kannywood.”
Rahama Sadau wants to be a voice.
And her so-called ban has given her the perfect platform for that. As a result of the ban, she got a role in the EbonyLife TV produced series, ‘Sons of the Caliphate’ and has received several requests to work on different projects, including one from Akon, an international star.
The 23 year old seems to be handling fame rather well and is very cognizant of her roots and what is expected of her. Nevertheless, she is aware that she is a role model and is determined to help other women gain the freedom to be who they are.