What you need to know:
- If I can have a story and when you watch it, you will feel I am talking about you, then I have done my job.
- We also embrace diversity in our team and we focus on stories that bring us together.
- There is the stereotypes that we have to create conflict and then establish togetherness, but all the stories I create have a little bit of Rashid in them, a little bit of my wife, family, and colleagues.
In the realm of media and film production, few names shine as brightly as Rashid Abdalla's. The veteran journalist, who is also the director at Jiffy Pictures, is a true maestro in these spaces.
Together with his wife, Lulu Hassan, Rashid runs a production house which has so far produced captivating telenovelas such as Maria, Zora and Aziza which have captured the hearts of viewers and also earned the production house numerous prestigious awards.
Rashid Abdalla shares his vision below, emphasising that he is on a mission to create a legacy that's not about being remembered, but about making an enduring impact.
He believes that striving for greatness means striving to put out your very best, letting your work speak volumes and earning titles through the admiration of those you serve.
1. The media landscape in Kenya can be quite difficult to navigate. What fuels you, and how do you select your collaborators?
My driving forces are hard work, patience, prayers, and the invaluable input of the right people, and my wife is my most critical advisor. I'm grateful that we function as a cohesive team, not just among the cast and crew but also among the concept creators and writers. Our collective aim is to ensure that the story speaks for itself, eliminating the need for excessive promotion. We focus on crafting narratives that resonate with Kenyan audiences.
Our approach is a blend. We work with exceptionally talented actors who serve as role models to countless Kenyans. By collaborating with these individuals, we aim to inspire and uplift many more. Some stories require emotional depth, while others demand realism, prompting us to engage both seasoned veterans and emerging talents. We believe that nurturing the next generation of performers is crucial. We are committed to creating a platform where talent can flourish and shine.
2. From where does your passion for creativity come?
I use films to pass a message that many people would want to convey, but lack the opportunity or platform to do so.
If I can have a story and when you watch it, you will feel I am talking about you, then I have done my job. We also embrace diversity in our team and we focus on stories that bring us together. There is the stereotypes that we have to create conflict and then establish togetherness, but all the stories I create have a little bit of Rashid in them, a little bit of my wife, family, and colleagues. I interact with so many people in my line of duty and that is how I get my story lines – by talking to them.
3. How has your life and perspective changed, from when you started until now?
We now have a lot of platforms on which to share and distribute the content we create unlike when we started, and that means the industry is growing and the audience is beginning to appreciate local content.
4. How do you balance between being a news anchor and a film producer?
Whenever I am not on air, I am creating stories. I spend most of my free time creating content. I spend many sleepless nights trying to get the right hook, or the right twist to a story. I work hard and then when people are enjoying the shows, I stand back and thank God. Sometimes I go home late but my children would never go to school without coming to say good morning.
5. There have been allegations made against you regarding the casting process in your films. How do you ensure a fair and ethical casting process in your projects, and what steps have you taken to address any concerns that have arisen in this regard?
I’ll say this. I have been in the field of journalism and news production, and sometimes you will hear people say things like, this one slept with this one to get a certain role. These allegations are sometimes made by fellow actors whose aim is to gain attention. While I advocate for ethical reporting, I do not advocate for silencing any voices. At the end of the day, I know my truth.
Sometimes it's good if the doubters would reach out to the cast to find out how true that was. Let's assume I have done five series, and the cast that was my main on that series, works with me on the next show. If I took advantage of her, would she keep quiet?
I know myself better. I am a human being and I am not perfect. I make errors but writing such stories that have no evidence is wrong. Now, I have two new films, Zari and Ka-siri and I am just giving you two weeks and you will see what will be written.