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How I joined Kannywood – Raihan Qamshi

Kannywood actress, producer and singer Raihan Imam Ahmad popularly known as Raihan Qamshi has been one of the few lucky artists to combine many aspects…

Kannywood actress, producer and singer Raihan Imam Ahmad popularly known as Raihan Qamshi has been one of the few lucky artists to combine many aspects of the entertainment acts without much ado. This artist has been behind several hit songs and films in the Hausa filmmaking industry and in this interview, she talks about her sojourn in the industry, among other issues.

Please tell us about yourself?

My name is Raiha Imam Ahmad, but my colleagues and fans call me Raiha Qamshi. Qamshi is the translation of my name which is Arabic and it means scent in Hausa language. To cap it all, I am obsessed with perfumes. I was born and brought up in Kano State, and I did all my Islamic and conventional studies in Kano State as well.

How did you venture into the entertainment industry?

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I grew up in an environment where filmmaking reigns. I have been part of film making since childhood. Though I love actors and actresses, my heart is with singing. However, when the opportunity came, I started composing and singing songs just for my own listening pleasure. I will spend money to do a song and I will be playing it at home just to please myself. I didn’t release those songs to the public. When people began to notice my involvement with the industry, they started asking me to join the industry as an actress.

However, my reply to their request was always, ‘I am not interested’. Moreover, people used to take me as an actress because I am always with people who are involved in the Hausa filmmaking industry. I hid why I didn’t want to act, but the truth was that I was so shy to act before the public.

Raihan Qamshi

So, how did you get into acting?

The pressure on me to join the industry became so much that I couldn’t resist any longer. I later decided to give it a try, so I finally agreed to join and that was how I became an actress.

Can you tell us your first film?

Actually, I can’t remember the name now because it has been long and I have so many films to my credit. I acted in films like ‘Mugun Miji’, ‘Kaine Sanadi’, ‘Kawata kishiyata’, ‘So da Hawaye’, ‘Saura Kiris’, among many others that I played the lead role.

Did you face any challenge from home?

Honestly, it is very difficult not to face any challenge when one decides to join the filmmaking industry and my case is not an exception. I have a sister who had started acting, her name is Amina Imam. During her days as an actress, I used to follow her to film locations. However, she didn’t take her acting career as seriously as she should because she was more interested in her business and as such, she didn’t last in the industry.

So, when I announced my decision to join the industry, my parents said no. My family sat me down and lectured me on what they wanted me to do with my life. They wanted me to get married and I made them understand that my being an actress will not prevent me from getting married and my being not in the industry will not make me get married because the issue of marriage is a will of God and when it is your time, then it is your time.

I had several discussions with them and at the end of it all, they gave their consent coupled with advice on what I should do and what I shouldn’t do. Perhaps my sister’s short voyage in the industry hadn’t been welcomed, that is my thought and I may be wrong. However, that was how I started acting in the Hausa entertainment industry.

What happened to your passion for songs?

I still have the passion to sing, but I need to get other things in place before going back to my heartfelt passion. I love singing and I strongly believe that one day, people will get to listen to my album.

What would you say are your successes as an actress?

I have a lot of success stories that time wouldn’t allow me to list all of them here. As an actress, there are many things that one can’t even say in public but they are things that have changed one’s life for the better. Being an actress came with a lot of privileges and favours; the roles I played have earned me recognition among members of the public. I can only thank God for making me take the decision to join the industry.

What are your dreams?

I have a lot of dreams. Let me use this opportunity to tell my fans that I have completed arrangements to formally launch my production firm, though I have been producing some films but on a low level. I have plans to become one of the leading film producers in Kannywood. I have plans to start a YouTube TV where films that I produce would be airing. My films will also be aired in most of the Hausa satellite TV channels.

What advice would you give to your colleagues in the industry?

They should always have good intentions in whatever they do. They should understand that whether formally confirmed or not, they are ambassadors of the rich Hausa cultures and as such, they should conduct themselves with respect, honour and integrity. They should also bear in mind that they are professionals and they have a profession to protect irrespective of where they come from.

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