Halima Abubakar is one outstanding Nollywood fashionista. With a closet of over 400 shoes, the star actress talks on career and fashion in an interview with Ademola Olonilua, See excerpts
You are known for your love for revealing clothes…
That was in the past. I was a young girl experimenting with fashion and I stopped when I got tired. I did not change my style because of anybody. I wasn’t doing anything extraordinary; it was just a short dress or bum shorts. When you look at my age at that time, it was a normal thing that a teenager does. I grew out of it but in movies, I wear skimpy clothes sometimes. I don’t wear them off set any more. I need to be responsible to my fans and my family. My parents do not like me wearing short things. My mother says if I want to wear such, I should cover my hair. She says if I want to wear miniskirt, I should cover my hair but it cannot be covered in every movie. The funny thing is that at home, I do not wear skimpy dresses. I don’t know how people were able to single me out of the crowd. I was just a teenager having fun.
Do you see yourself as a trendsetter or you follow trends?
I am definitely a trendsetter. I’m eccentric and weird in my style. Sometimes, I don’t get it right but I am happy with the result. I’m always glad that I’m not copying anyone. In fact people copy me. When I started colour blocking, it was just for the fun of it and not because I did not know that I should not have more than three colours on my outfit.
So, you started the colour blocking trend?
Yes and people were criticising me but shortly after, they started doing the same thing. At a point, I outgrew that phase. I just believe people judge too much.
Do the tattoos on your body have any special significance?
Most of them do but they are for personal reasons. I did the one on my chest about twelve years ago. I was young when I did all that. I have had a tattoo for about twelve years but I am amazed that people are just noticing it. I have always had tattoos and I love them because I like arts. You start with one and before you know it, you have several others on your body. One of my tattoos is my date of birth in Arabic.
Do you think your style contradicts your religion?
It contradicts my person. People tend to misunderstand me a lot. Most people I have encountered in my life do not know me but they judge me based on my outward appearance. When they get to know the real me, they are shocked. People are quick to judge and assume. I believe people should actually be patient enough to know me before they begin to judge me. Some people say I am not as bad as I am being portrayed. I am not a bad girl. I pray five times a day even though my Muslim brothers and sisters don’t believe I do. They come on my instagram page and rant. When they should be focusing on how to move Nigeria forward, they come on my instagram page and begin to bash me. I am human, so I react sometimes but most times, my fans reply them.
Do you bleach your skin?
I had a burn and it is still healing. I had an accident about two years ago when I was cooking and hot palm oil splashed on my legs, laps and part of my hand. I used ‘ori’ (shea butter) for the other parts but for some parts, I would need to bleach it out. I have not even started the procedure and people are saying that I am bleaching already. People might not believe me but it is the truth. Even when I have a new ring, I cannot show it off because people tend to just see my hands and conclude that I bleach. They can keep talking but they don’t know what I went through. I was nursing the injuries for over two months and I did not leave my house.
What is your fashion weakness?
It is definitely shoes. When I was growing up, I did not have so many shoes. Now that I am grown, I think I overdo it because I have a room full of shoes in my house and my friends call it the shoe boutique. I have over 400 pairs of shoes and my mother has warned me against buying anymore because most of them still have their labels on them. I give them out a lot to my fans.
Are there disadvantages being a curvy lady?
For me, it has a lot of disadvantages because people think I am fat because my bum is big. I am a small lady but because I am curvy, I look short. It could be so annoying when someone says I should lose weight because I am fat. When someone’s stomach is big, there are reasons for it. I have ulcer but they conclude that I eat too much.
What would you say has been your biggest fashion error?
I wore a lot of shining clothes back in the days. I think I overdid it and I had about seven different colours of those shining clothes. When I like something, I think I tend to go over-board with it. I recently fell in love with yoga pants and I bought them in all colours.