Fati Muhammad Yola, a beautiful and successful Kannywood actress, tells ALIYU ASKIRA in this interview that she has always resisted the temptation to have any amorous relationship with any of her male colleagues in the industry. She also says she is now ready for marriage even though she is choosy.
Some people see me as a stubborn person, but the issue is if you respect yourself I will respect you; if you are ready for trouble I will face you squarely. You cannot look down on me simply because I am a woman.
You are very attractive, yet you are single; do you have a particular type of man that you are waiting for?
Let me thank you, if what you said is from the bottom of your heart, even though I am aware of my beauty. As for why I am still single, if you read my interview with you some years back I did say that I am ready anytime from now to settle down because, thank God, I have virtually achieved most of what one will want to achieve in life.
Is it true that not every man that comes to you actually wants to marry you?
That is true, I said that because the fact that I am eager to marry does not mean I am cheap, I have my taste, and as a woman once I accept that you are the one I love I will endeavour to stay no matter what, love supercedes every other thing.
Despite your acting skills and beauty producers prefer to give you only supporting roles; why is it so?
Once the pay is okay by me, I can play any role, lead or supporting, and at times supporting roles are more challenging. But having said that, I want to add that in terms of acting I have proved my worth and that is why I always act most of the time for two – Empire, a company jointly owned by Sani Danja and Yakubu Mohammed, they are based in Abuja. I am a grown up actress, if I so desire I can be a producer and give myself any role I want; so I am not complaining.
You have maintained a trouble-free career in Kannywood; nobody has ever heard anything about your love life in the industry, yet some said you are arrogant. What do you have to say to this?
Well, if you are waiting to hear that Fati Yola is in relationship with Mr. A or X in Kannywood, it will not happen. Take my closeness to Sani Danja and Yakubu for example, I feel free with them, but honestly they are like my brothers. In fact, I am very close to all their wives, and secondly, I always mind my business. I am not here for love, I am here to build a career and I have succeeded in doing that. All I am looking forward to now is to settle down like some of my close friends – Mansura Isa and Fati K.K.
What is your ultimate ambition in life?
Well, I am financially comfortable, I can wear what I want to wear, eat what I want, sleep in luxury and drive a car of my choice. My only remaining target is to settle down and have children; I am fully mature now, and I’m endowed with all that a woman desires to make her attractive.
But some people believe you are arrogant; according to them, one will think twice before approaching you for marriage so that the person will not be embarrassed. What’s your reaction to that?
If you are not my class or if you are coming to try, then forget it. I am not arrogant, but I am always ready to face trouble if it comes my way. I don’t take insults, respect me and I will respect you. In my place, we respect seniors that respect themselves, period. Female actresses are not cheap or wayward; most of what people see us doing in films is not real, and we are only educating society; that is the essence of acting, to interpret imagination. Well, these days some films go beyond the ordinary, but it’s because producers produce films that will please the audience, though there is a need for caution so that we will not go the way of others.
Okay, are into any relationship, I mean are you amorously involved with any man?
I have admirers all over the place, but like I said I want a relationship that will blossom into marriage. Some may come to you because of what they have heard or because of your beautiful body, but honestly I have passed that stage. I want to settle down and if possible stay in Kaduna, Abuja or Kano, but well God knows better. Anywhere my husband comes from I will follow him once he is not taking me to Sambisa Forest (laughter). You see, no matter how rich a woman is, she needs a man as a pillar. God created us to marry and multiply.
What has been your saddest moment in Kannywood?
You would not belief it if I said none; life generally is full of ups and downs especially if one is a lady and pretty for that matter, but with prayers and caution I am yet to fall into trouble. Let me give you an example, if you approach me and say Fati, I want to be your friend and I say thank you, then you push further, but if you don’t see my brake lights, won’t you get the message and mind your business? Or if you insist and I openly reject you, is that stubbornness? I have many things that I can mention, but basically God has been kind to me.
The gold necklace, rings and the rest you are wearing can intimidate whoever that may want to approach you. Is it to show that you are not cheap?
If that is the way whoever wants to approach me will think, then honestly I am not available. Let me give you an idea of the type of guy I want, if you see me pretending that all I am wearing are just fashion that women normally wear, just toast me. But be confident, be transparent, don’t lie, don’t deceive, and then above all make sure you are tall handsome, no potbelly, strong and friendly. You have to be presentable, not the type that one will search in a crowd. But if you know also that the lady you are approaching is not the ‘I will manage type,’ why waste your time? God created kings and queens, presidents and messengers, so don’t come if you are not my type.
Where are you based now?
I shuttle between Abuja, Kaduna and Kano, but I live here in Kano, though most of my time I spend travelling. I am into buying and selling of software, I intent to open up a big place when I get married so that I can reduce my frequent travels. My next trip will be to China and India; I have been to Saudi severally for Hajj, I have visited Dubai, Malaysia, Lagos, Senegal and Niger; I like travelling, but quote me if I settle down, of course, my man can handle some of these for me.
Who are your role models?
If you mean in Kannywood, well, they are Sani, Danja, Yakubu Mohammed, Ali Nuhu, Adamu Zango, Late Wanke-Wanke. As for ladies – Nafisa Abdullahi, Jamila Nagudu, Zainab Indomie, Halima Atete Rahama, Sadau Rahama, Hassan Hadiza Gabon. The list is endless, the industry is growing and we have many good actors and actresses.
Finally, what do you have to tell your admirers?
Let them pray for us; let them drop the notion that if we actresses get married we don’t stay. This is a bad notion in all sectors of life – marriages do break, it’s not only here.