Rukayya Ahmad Aliyu, popularly known as Rukky Alim is a Kannywood actress who has taken her game a notch higher by acting in some of Nollywood’s best movies like Gwarama, Sanda, Haram and others. In this interview with Daily Trust Saturday, the Jalingo born actress shared how she started her career, and some of her plans. Excerpt:
How did you start your acting career?
My name is Rukayya Ahmad Aliyu, but I am popularly known as Rukky Alim in Kannywood. I am from Jalingo LGA of Taraba State.
I came to Kano to stay with my sister. And while in Kano, you know Kano is the heart of the industry, I have a friend who was already in the industry. After seeing how and what she was doing on educating and enlightening people, I developed interest, and I told her my interest. She advised me to ask for permission, and said she will link me up with people in the industry. I asked, and I was lucky my parents accepted the idea, and just advised me to always do what is right. That was how I got into the industry.
I then approached actor Garzali Miko and I told him what I wanted. It was during lockdown, and all activities in the industry were on hold. When the lockdown was partially lifted, he called and cast me in his movie, ‘Kaddarata’. Since then, all I can say is so far so good. I thank God for the success I have recorded so far.
Was ‘Kaddarata’ your first movie?
Yes. That was my first movie. I acted alongside Garzali Miko, who doubles as the Executive Producer of the movie.
But you were popular in music videos that people know you more in music videos
No. I started with movies, but you know during the lockdown; people watched videos online very well. And people knew me more that time. That is why they thought I started with music video.
Can you share with us some of your movies?
They are not that much. But the hit among them are: In da ranka, Inda rai, Gwarama by Abubakar Bashir Maishadda, Haram and Sanda. People started talking about me from my role in Haram, which is a web series attracting a lot of views.
Which of your movies would you consider the best if you were to chose one?
To be frank with you, in all the movies and series I’ve acted so far, I played major roles in them. So, I can’t choose one. I love them all, and I love the roles I played in all.
The reviews and reactions I get from fans are amazing. In fact, considering the reactions I got, I will not be fair if I chose all of them as my best. But perhaps my fans will select one for me.
You easily came into limelight and become the talk of the town in such a short time, what’s the secret?
(Laugh). I don’t know. I am new definitely, but I played major roles in some big and highly budgeted movies. I can’t say the reason, perhaps it is my destiny because I am not better than others. But one thing is for sure, I always put in my best with all dedication in what ever I am doing. Perhaps that is one of the factors.
Among the music videos you featured in, do you have a favourite?
Yes, in this category, I have one: ‘Ba zan yi butulci ba’ by Garzali Miko.
And why do you like it most?
I just like it. I don’t know why, but I live the song deep inside my heart and I always watch the video at my leisure time.
How did you get the name Alim?
It’s our family name. It is not a nickname.
People came into the industry with different ambitions, what’s yours?
As far as I am concerned, I can only thank God. I came into the industry unknown, but I am now popular and very well known in northern Nigeria, and other Hausa speaking countries. What else do I need? I can say with all sincerity that I have achieved all I want to achieve. I will continue pushing as far as I remain in the industry, but I don’t have any specific thing I want to achieve, except perhaps to continue living with people peacefully and harmoniously.
Don’t you plan to become a producer or director in the future?
I don’t have that plan, and I don’t think I will go into that aspect of film making. But I don’t know what the future holds for me. I just pray and hope for the best.
Can you act in Nollywood movies?
Yes. I can act in Nollywood movies, but I will have to see the story line first. I can only act in a movie that will not in any way affect me negatively. There are movies now that have both Kannywood and Nollywood stars.
What do you think is the reason why Nollywood movies do better than Kannywood movies?
They are two different industries, with two different target audiences. So, there are differences between the two.
You acted in Haram and Sanda: two popular movies that are based on hooliganism, do you like acting in such category of movies?
I act in all categories. My first movie was ‘Kaddarata’ which is a pure love story. Even in dabanci films, there are love stories. And you know as an actress, you should not be choosy. A good actor should be able to interpret any role he/she is given very well. The ability to be versatile is what makes you a good actor.
In Haram, I acted as one of the spies in one gang group, while in Sanda I am doctor.
But in Sanda, it seems like you are in love with Sanda so much that you brought him to your house?
I am not in love with him. I am married to a police officer. If you remember, he helped me in Season 1, so when I saw him injured, I took him to my house to treat him and that was all. I just wanted to pay him back.
And it was a good scene because my husband as a police officer was looking for him, and he accidentally meets him in his house.
Do you have any message to your colleagues?
I call on all of us to be more united and respectful to each other, especially to our senior colleagues. With unity, development will be more visible. The way things are going now, and with the level of development and budget our producers are putting in our movies, I see Kannywood competing with global movie industries soon. We have good actors and all it takes to move to that level. It is just a matter of time.
What about message to your fans?
I love them all. They mean a lot to me. I am seeing their love and care messages. I can’t reply them all on social media, but I truly appreciate them and I promise I’ll keep entertaining them. I will not disappoint them.
Isiyaku Muhammed is a researcher, blogger and a Press Association, London certified Multimedia journalist.