Isa Alolo has achieved fame in Kannywood as a producer, director, makeup artist and comical actor.
In this interview with PREMIUM TIMES HAUSA, he reveals how he combines his numerous skills to thrill fans of the Hausa movie industry. He also reveals why he is named ‘Sheikh’ in the industry.
PT: Sheikh refers to a prominent Islamic cleric. Were you a cleric before joining Kannywood?
Sheikh: Not really. I am just a normal practicing Muslim, but because I try to achieve perfection in everything I do from my childhood, gradually people started calling me Sheikh. That is the meaning of Sheikh even to those who use it in Islam. It is because they have attained a level of Islamic knowledge, that is why they are called sheikh.
PT: So how do you feel being called Sheikh before your real name Isa Alolo?
Sheikh: I feel like an “Iron Man”. I like it, that because I am good that is why I am called that. I feel fulfilled.
PT: How did you get into the movie industry?
Sheikh: I have always wanted to be in it since childhood, just like any other actor will say. In my own case I started as a make-up artist and gradually got to where I am now.
PT: Where are you now?
Sheikh: I am an actor, a producer and a director.
PT: Are you not overwhelmed combining all these at the same time?
Sheikh: Not really. I concentrate more on directing movies now. Meanwhile, as a producer, I produce films not as much as I direct and I feature in movies not as I direct. Directing is what I do most now.
PT: What about make-up?
Sheikh: No, I don’t do that. I get involved though just once in a while.
PT: How many films have you directed so far?
Sheikh: Well, I have lost count but I am sure they are over 100 movies.
PT: Which is the most difficult film that you have directed?
Sheikh: ‘KIJE KYA GANI’ that is the name of the film. I can never forget that film in my life. It was a film I had high expectation on but it turned out to be a flop. I paraded great actors like Adam Zango, Falalu Dorayi, Naburaska, Nafeesat Abdullahi and others, but all was a disappointment.
I travelled out of Kano for the first time because of that film, I spent lot of money because of that film and at the end I recorded a loss. In fact I almost quit Kannywood because of the stress and unfortunate things that happened during the making of the film, disappointment, failures and many others.
PT: What then made you to continue after that unfortunate event?
Sheikh: My faith. I believe that was how destiny wanted it to happen. So I put that aside and moved on.
PT: Which film was your most daring?
Sheikh: ‘UWAR GULMA’. Wow! Uwar Gulma was a super compensation. The actors in that film included Ali Nuhu, Yakubu Mohammed, Hauwa Waraka, Halima Ateteh and others. That film sold well, won awards, in fact it was my dearest and I cannot forget that film. I love it. Alhamdulillah.
PT: You like to feature as a comical actor in films, why?
Sheikh: I am hilarious, I like to make people around me happy. Let me tell you that anywhere I am happiness will be there, so I took it to the screen. I love to see people happy.
PT: Are you married?
Sheikh: No I am not. But I am working seriously to get married. If I must say it , my first search engine will be on Kannywood. I will love to marry from Kannywood and I hope to fulfill my dream.
PT: What other thing will you want to add?
Sheikh: I want to use this opportunity to applaud PREMIUM TIMES and PREMIUM TIMES HAUSA for giving Kannywood a platform. Premium Times is one respected newspapers in Nigeria, and you always reckon with us and tell the world what we do. We thank you.