Hauwa A. Bello, popularly known as Hauwa Editor has been in the Hausa filmmaking business for over two decades. In this interview, the producer, singer, and actress talks about the newly formed Kannywood Women Association of Nigeria (K-WAN) of which she is chairperson, among other issues. Excerpts:
Weekend Magazine: Is it true that you have formed a new association in Kannywood?
Hauwa Editor: Yes. Kannywood Women Association of Nigeria (K-WAN), of which I serve as maiden chairperson is presently in being registered.
WM: What ignited the need for such an association in the industry, specifically for women?
Editor: As women in the film making industry, we have come to realize that we have missed a lot of opportunities that could have propelled us to the highest peak of our profession if we had the chance to explore them. Moreover, it is no longer news that the women in Kannywood have limited rights, and we feel that it is high time we protect those rights effectively. Twelve women in the industry came together and agreed to form K-WAN to promote and protect women in the industry.
We have realized that, individually we have no capacity to pursue our goals, but as an association we will be able to pursue what is ours. It is apparent that women are left on their own to scout for opportunities and privileges in the industry.
WM: Does this mean other existing associations have failed women in Kannywood?
Editor: Not really. What we are saying is, we want the women in the industry to be able to explore more opportunities. If you investigate you will find out that some of us are actually members of some of the associations running the affairs of the industry. No matter what is done, it cannot be compared to how effective it will be with women in the industry at the helm of affairs. We want to explore all avenues in terms of securing good business deals for members, as well as enlightenment and the protection of the rights of our members.
Perhaps the reason why most Kannywood associations fail to have absolute control over their members is their inability to protect their interest. How can you have control over your members whom you have failed to adequately promote and protect?
WM: How do you intend to solve the issue of squabbles among members, especially on social media?
Editor: It is true that most of the crisis involving Kannywood members involves women. We intend to bring these women, and all women in the Hausa film industry, under one umbrella. The association will serve as their contact point to explore opportunities to improve their earning as artists, as well as promote and protect their interests. We intend to build their capacity on how to effectively manage their fame as celebrities. In this way, a lot of disagreements that lead to social media fights will be controlled.
WM: Are you not concerned that this new association will be seen as a rival to the existing ones?
Editor: Of course, many will look at it that way, but the truth is that we want the best for ourselves as women in the film making industry, hence the creation of the association.
However, we are not rivals to any association in Kannywood, in as much as their main motive is to ensure the positive development of the industry. Now tell me, how would you react to the fact that makeup artists and costume designers in the industry are all men?
WM: Why did you choose editing when you can be an actress?
Editor: Actually, many people don’t know that I was an actress, singer and director. I still direct movies and also act, but editing is what I am known for. I always tell my female colleagues who want to join the industry that the film making industry is very vast and there are a lot of opportunities, not only in acting.
How would you describe your experience in a male-dominated profession?
Editor: It’s normal to face one or two challenges in whatever you do, but it takes a strong zeal for one to manage them effectively. I was prepared to face challenges and also to manage them. Patience is also important.