You just won an award at the 2016 City People Entertainment Awards, what does this award mean to you?
A lot! It means a whole lot. I was actually surprised about the award.
What would you say that you’ve done within Kannywood to have deserved this?
Well, I will first of all say that finally, my hard work paid off because I am a very hard-working person and a dedicated person. Although I was surprised for winning this award because I wasn’t expecting it,however it wasn’t a big surprise because I have been working hard and hard work always definitely get rewarded at the end of the day.
With this kind of prestigious award, do you think Kannywood is finally getting it’s due recognition in the Nigerian film industry?
Yes I think so. It is getting recognised which is why we could be included in this kind of award. In fact I would say Kannywood is now everywhere.
What’s your major challenge as a Kannywood actress?
My main challenge is trying to break from Kannywood into Nollywood. That is the challenge. I want to be able to juggle between the two industries because I believe that I am a Nigerian actress, not a Kannywood actress. Although, I must say that Kannywood is a foundation for me to start. Kannywood is my root, but then I am a Nigerian actress. A true actress is not boxed into a certain area, a true actress is versatile. So, crossing fully into Nollywood and being accepted as a Nigerian actress, instead of being referred to as a Kannywood actress has been a challenge. I just want to beable to act the two together. But I’m gradually overcoming that.
How did you get into acting?
I had always been a big fan of actors. When I was in secondary school, I joined this drama group entertaining our mates in Secondary school. So being an actress wasn’t something that hadn’t been a part of me. I had been dreaming to be an actress, and I am now.
Who is your mentor in the industry?
Ali Nuhu is my mentor. He is my brother and everything. He is the one that introduced me to Kannywood and everywhere. I am where I am today beecause of Ali Nuhu. If not for Ali Nuhu, I wouldn’t be here.
What are you aiming towards career-wise?
I want to be an international actress, apart from being a Nigerian actress. I just don’t want to be this actress that whenever it is mentioned anywhere in the world that she is an actress, what will come to mind of people is she belongs to a particular part. I just want to be a world actress, an international actress. So I have this dream of becoming an international actress.
You want to crossover, but a lot of your colleagues seem to complain about the religious and traditional restraint of acting in Kannywood, with that in mind, do you think crossing over will be possible at all?
Honestly, it feels a bit bad. It makes me feel a little bit bad, but you know, you can’t just crossover because of religion and tradition; what you can just do is to be careful in order not to offend the society. You just have to be very careful, especially in my own case that I’m determined to fully cross over. I will be having this challenges of different culture and tradition from Nollywood and Kannywood. So like I said, you just have to be careful.
Now, that you want to fully cross over to Nollywood, don’t you think the ‘offensive’ style of the industry will rub off on you; like the dress sense and all which might infuriate many?
I won’t express too much to attract the fury of the Northerners. I am an ambassador of my northern society and wherever you find yourself, you must represent yourself in worthy manner. Just as we are here now, everyone that sees us at this event will know that we are from the north.
But that’s because you are still in Kannywood, is that not so?
(Laughs) Even if it is still in Nollywood, there are certain things that you just have to be careful about because you are representing your people and you have to protect their interests and their culture.
I know you are still growing, but what would you consider as the climax of your career so far?
There have been a lot. Like you said, I am still growing. I’m just grateful for every moment. Every moment has been a high point. I just had one with this award. So I would say, Alhamdulillahi, Masha Allah.
You saw a lot of jaw-dropping dressing among Nollywood actresses here, for instance when Kiki Omeli was going to claim her award, she causes a stir because of her bum-short which had her derriere wiggling, what was going through your mind?
Yeah, I saw a lot of Nollywood actresses and their dressing and I was like huh? I mean, we don’t dress like this in the north. You know, I can’t walk like that, I just can’t!
What’s your advice to them, do you condemn that or would you say that it’s a free world?
No, no, no! I’m not complaining. It’s their life! Everyone has their lives to live. I’m not complaining at all. They should just do what they want; what they like. So it’s a free world, yes.
Anyone you would like to work with in Nollywood?
Yes, so many people. I have worked with so many already. I have worked Majid Michel, that’s Ghallywood. I have worked with Mercy Johnson, Eniola Badmus, OC Ukeje, Deyemi Okanlawon and a few others I can’t remember now. I’m aiming to work with many more.
What determines your fashion style; I mean you are all covered up, yet you look attractive and fashionable?
Thank you. I just wear what suits me best. What makes me comfortable. That’s just what determines my dress sense.
I’m aware that once you are married, you will not be able to act again, how true is that?
Yes, yes it’s true! But in my own case, I’d say no because there are politicians that are working mothers. Same, there are journalists and broadcasters that are working mothers. Are they not all media people, so what happens to we actresses? Why? That’s my own challenge I’m posing. why? So in my own case, I say no!
When you go against the norm, don’t you think the society that you are will frown at you, or despise you?
They might. I know they might.
So when that time comes what are you going to do?
Hmm, I don’t know. Honestly I really don’t know.
Are you going to vacate Kannywood?
No, no, no! I won’t do that. I can’t quit acting for marriage.
What if your husband does not want to accept that you continue acting while married to him?
Whoever sees me now and say he wants to marry me, has definitely seen what I do. So, we need to decide whether he can bear me doing this as his wife or not. That’s it. Marriage cannot stop me.
Have you ever been criticised based on being an actress?
Yes. I have been criticised especially for the way I dressed as an actress.
Oh, you are dressed this way and someone still thinks it’s not appropriate?
Yes, yes because they believe we are meant to cover everything totally. Also I have been criticised for the things I do on TV and for the collaborations with Nollywood stars of course. That’s my main challenge, because I am the first Kannywood actress to cross over to Nollywood.
Finally, tell me briefly about your family background?
My families are all northerners. My dad is from Kaduna state while my mum is from Gombe state. The only difference between my parents and other parents is that my parents don’t care what career you choose as long as you are protective of your background and tradition. They allow you follow your dream. My parents don’t believe in a world of strictness because they believe strictness leads a child to become a bad person.