Popularly known as Nazir in the TV series titled “Dadin Kowa”, Ahmed Bello is a remarkable Kannywood actor and choreographer. In this interview, he sheds light on his rise to stardom, challenges and godfatherism in Kannywood and sundry matters.
How did you enter into the movie industry?
Ahmed Bello: Initially, I didn’t want to be involved in any acting career. I wanted to join politics, because I was looking for a job with the Customs Service then. Since I didn’t get it, then I tried joining the DSS. I was searching everywhere just to look for something to do. I was born as a stage actor, because I was one of the child actors in National Festival of Arts and Culture, since 1996. I was not in the movie industry fully by then, until I started choreography. So fortunately for me, Alhaji Aminu Gudu, a Hausa film producer, invited me to choreograph in one of his movies ” Miraj”. He featured Ali Nuhu and Balaraba. That was the very first time I started choreography in Kannywood.
How many movies have you featured in so far?
Ahmed Bello: I featured in many Hausa and English movies. Some of them are “Kusufi”, ” Shawagi”, “Buri”, ” Tururi”. In FKD Productions, I have “Mansoor”. I have featured in many movies that I cannot even remember. In the English category, there is ” In Search of the King”, “The Right Choice”, where Eyinna, Nancy Isime, Sola Sobowale, Segun Arinze and many fine actors of note were featured.
Looking back and seeing where you are right now, would you say you are happy with yourself?
Ahmed Bello: I am very happy, extremely happy because I am settled, though not married. I am settled in the sense that I have something doing. I am living good. I am helping my family. Financially, I will say I am okay, alhamdulillah, because almost all my colleagues and my friends, those I went to school together with, anybody that sees me will say Ahmed you are not looking bad.
What is your view on godftherism in Kannywood?
Ahmed Bello: Only those with godfathers get involved in many movies. This is not supposed to be so. We have to look at it the other way round. If you’re a good actor, you’re talented, whether you have godfather or not, you’re supposed to get involved in many movies. For you as a producer to say I have to get somebody to stand for me before you can feature me in your movie shows how bad the industry has become. It will definitely tarnish the image of your production. It will also tarnish the image of the industry itself. Before you even go for an audition, most filmmakers have already selected their cast, which is not supposed to be so. You called for that auditioning, so that people will discover their hidden talents from some other people, but if you know you are using that as a publicity stunt, then that’s bullshit.
What’s your opinion on piracy in the movie industry?
Ahmed Bello: As we all know, piracy is something that has really touched the industry —- the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba movies in Nigeria generally, because as a producer, you use your money to produce a movie, somebody will just lay hands on that movie, record it and starts selling without knowing what you wen through, you were under the sun, you were under the rain. They never knew how you suffered to get that home video ready for the viewers. What they know is to copy, record it and start selling, which is similar to armed robbery. You have been suffering from the time you were young up to old age. You gathered your money. Someone will come with a gun, harass you and carry everything you have. Piracy is the same as armed robbery.