Starting out two decades ago as an actor, and eventually branching out to becoming a producer and director, movie star Ali Nuhu soon became the best-known actor in Kannywood. The Hausa movie industry proved to be limiting, and he broke into the English-speaking Nigerian movie industry called Nollywood. There, he made his mark via excellent performances, and carefully chosen roles that saw his star shine even brighter. Today, he straddles both Hausa and English film industries in Nigeria. Apart from his showbiz side, another aspect to the award-winning actor’s life for which he is known, is his family.
Daily Trust Saturday recently had a chat with the actor, and he shared how he met his wife, Maimuna, on the set of the now-classic Hausa movie, ‘Wasila’. “I was working on set, in the year 2000 when I saw her walk into the house we were shooting in, and I jokingly said to my colleagues Ishaq Sidi Ishaq and Hajara Usman, that I have seen my wife-to-be. One thing led to another, and we got talking. We had an understanding, and two days later I asked the producer of the movie, Yakubu Lere, who is her relative, that I would like to meet her again. He arranged a meeting, and we clicked immediately.”
Asked how he made his family life work, seeing how hectic a showbiz career can be, Nuhu said: “Whatever you do, make sure you are conscious of its repercussion, especially on your family. Also, try to balance between work and family.” He also said one should make his family so comfortable, and maintain a healthy bond, so they will be free to open up at all times, on any issue. He also said trust is important, “And always being there for each other, no matter the situation.”
Nuhu also listed some elements which he says are vital ingredients for a healthy relationship with one’s family, showbiz career or not. “Be straightforward. Show love and affection to your wife and kids. Make your children become so comfortable that they regard you as their best friend, and do not dictate to them when it comes to career choice. Also study them carefully and advise them on what you feel they have a genuine interest in,” he said.
The rate of divorce in Northern Nigeria, according to Nuhu, is due to the fact that many men are not willing to take care of their responsibilities. “And some consider women to be objects of pleasure only. The care, concern and affection, which even Islamically is one of the conditions under which you are allowed to take a wife, is ignored,” he told Daily Trust Saturday. “Understanding and tolerance are important between a couple, and shouldn’t always be about beauty and material things,” he said.
Nuhu also said his wife has been a major support system for him, even before they got married. “She understands the profession I am into very well, and that helps her relate with what she sees me do onscreen. She has financed 3 Hausa movies, namely ‘Madubin Dubawa’, ‘Son Mai So’ and ‘Janjani’,” he revealed.
“With my busy schedules, I’m always out of town. But I make out time to be with my family, and take care of all my responsibilities as a husband and father,” Nuhu said, adding: “Sometimes we go on family vacations, to spend quality time with each other, simply to make up for the time I am away at work.”
Nuhus’s favourite part of being a dad? “When I’m able to make out time to go drop or pick them from school. I enjoy the bond I share with my children so much,” he smiled, adding: “They’re great kids.”