The name Bello Muhammad Bello is synonymous to modern Hausa movie production. BMB as he is popularly called, Bello has proven to be a strong pillar to contend with in the Hausa movie industry.
Bello Muhammad Bello was Born in Jos Plateau State,He has an early contact with Europe in his quest for livelihood, he could have stayed there in search of the proverbial greener pasture; but his love for Nigeria and the development of the Hausa movie industry made him to return to Nigeria.
BELOW IS THE EXCERPT FROM A THROWBACK INTERVIEW WITH BELLO MUHAMMAD BELLO:
Weekend Magazine: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
BMB: My name is Bello Muhammad Bello, known in the Hausa movie industry as BMB, I am a film producer, director, actor, editor and script writer. I was born, raised and groomed in Jos Plateau State; I attended Islamiyya primary school from there I went to Government Secondary School Riom. After my secondary school, I travelled to Germany, from there I went to Belgium to earn a living. But when the news of Hausa movie industry filtered out to us in Europe, I felt that there is a need for me to come back and see where I can fit in to give my contribution in uplifting the industry and the Hausa language in particular. Therefore, I came back, went to the University of Jos where I took a diploma in Mass Communication. I went back again for another diploma in marketing, and after that in 2005 I decided to go back for a degree in Economics. During my study, I attended some courses in movie production. I went to Berlin in Germany and London. After that, I then ventured into the movie industry fully with the expertise and experienced I gathered during the short courses I have attended.
With your educational background you could have joined either the banking sector or any other financial institution. Why did you opt for the Hausa movie industry?
Having a dream or a passion for a particular item is something and striving to actualize or attain those dreams is another thing entirely different. I have the passion of becoming someone people will look up to in a community and I have realized that politics is not meant for me, so I count that out. At an early age, I have come to realize that being in the movie industry will really help me in actualizing my dream of having a role to play in making other people’s lives better.
In the process of becoming a force to reckon with in the Hausa movie industry, what are the challenges that you faced?
Well! The challenges are enormous; in the first place I experienced difficulties in convincing my parents. They felt that there are better avenues worth exploring than the movie industry. Also, they believed that with my educational background, I deserved more than the movie industry can offer. It really took me time to explain to them that life is all about destiny, if my prosperity in life lies within the core of movie industry, then so be it and if it lies elsewhere it is obvious I will make a U-turn towards it one day. With prayers and much explanations, I was able to get their consent at last, they came to realize that, as an adult my decisions are meant to be examine and approved.
You could have joined Nollywood. Why Kannywood?
I am from the North, and I strongly believe that the Northern movie industry needs my contribution more than the Nollywood. If I should concentrate more on Nollywood, then I am not doing anything good to Kannywood. It was assumed that Nollywood has gone far in terms of sophistication and glamour while we were seen as lagging behind even though we are older than them. My vision is to see a Hausa movie industry that will compete with any other movie industry in the world, and Kannywood is my home I will remain in and salvage it with my people. It is not as if I am condemning Nollywood, no, all what I am saying is that, Kannywood needs me now more than ever. Similar, I can also take roles from Nollywood so far they do not contradict my traditional and religious provision.
There was this recent attempt at harmonizing the two movie industries. Do you subscribe to that idea?
I will only subscribe to the idea when there is a good motive for doing that, to me market parameter is not enough yardsticks to convince me. The truth here is, if the motive behind the harmonization is clear and good, I am good to go.
When you came into the industry on what capacity did you start?
I started as a director in a movie called ‘Rai’, then came ‘Uwar Miji’, ‘Saki Uku’, just name them.
You came and met an industry with an already established module and you want to change it. Don’t you think it is going to be a very hard task for you to accomplish?
You see in this life, people are not as conservative as we were made to believe. The world is changing, so also the people; and as a trained professional I was taught never to reject a positive change. The people are yearning for better, qualitative and entertaining movies and this is what we intend to give them. Therefore, whatever you do, try to have something of your own. In another word we should all be more creative and innovative; that is all what the people want.
One major issue that has been drawing the industry backward is piracy. How do you think this can be resolved?
Go around and ask everyone in the industry, I am sure you are going to get the same responses. Piracy is actually giving us sleepless night, to add salt to injury; governments seem to care less on it. Don’t forget in northern Nigeria, the Hausa movie industry is the largest employer of youths second to government. Should these youths be pushed out of business, what would the government do? I want to use this opportunity to urge government at all levels to look into piracy and come up with a measure that will reduce it if not to eradicate it completely.
Are you married?
No, but I will soon be.
Are you into a relationship?
Yes I am.
Is she too in the movie industry?
Not really. You will soon get to know her (laugh)