Umar Sani Labaran, Popularly known as Umar Gombe, is a remarkable Kannywood actor, director and a producer who has starred in over a one hundred movies and a number of television and comedy shows. In this interview, he talks about the growth in Kannywood and his transition as a producer, and more.
Daily Trust: Why did you choose acting as a career?
Umar Gombe: I love acting. I am proud of what I do as an actor, and I believe I can change the narratives. So I am not just an actor because I’m an actor, I am an actor because I love what I am doing, I love to see myself acting, I love to see myself sending a messages and I will love to see myself changing a lot of narratives.
Daily Trust: If you were not an actor, what career paths would you have chosen?
Umar Gombe: If I was not an actor, I could have been a model yes, or I could work with an NGO because even now, if time permits me I may still work with an NGO because I feel there are a lots of things that need to be done, there are lots of communities that needs me, that needs us, so if I was not an actor, definitely I will work with an NGO.
Daily Trust: Would you say they have been an improvement in Kannywood movies?
Umar Gombe: From scripting to screen, there is a lot of improvement our stories, the costumes we use, the equipment we use, even the acting techniques, if you follow Kannywood you can agree with me. we are growing and we are growing towards creating the new Kannywood where our contents can go to the world.
Daily Trust: What can you say about “Milkmaid” that was nominated for Oscar’s award?
Umar Gombe: I am proud of the first Oscar’s nomination, Nigerian contents being Oscar’s nomination is originally our story I am proud of the development because the lead actor is ours and it’s a Northern story. So, we are going there, God willing the new Nollywood is here to stay.
Daily Trust: From an actor you became a producer, how does it feel?
Umar Gombe: Graduating from an actor to a producer is not an easy task though it was a bit tough. I want to do it the right way and I have a lot of plans in the pipeline. And I really want to give back to the society, to support people, most especially women so I have a lots of plans, I have a lots of projects in the pipeline.
Daily Trust: Can you tell us about your projects with CANON?
Umar Gombe: My project with Canon is my baby, it’s a project I am so proud of, bringing a brand like Canon to the north means a lot to me because we shoot with Canon, even now you guys are recording with Canon. What delayed the project was the pandemic, we want to bring the whole of Canon to Kano, because one of the problems we have in this industry is the quality of production and with Canon, you know they have one of the best gadgets when it comes to cinematography and filmmaking.
Daily Trust: How do you feel about Daily Trust having a TV?
Umar Gombe: I cannot wait to collaborate with Daily Trust, Daily Trust has been there for Kannywood since the creation of Kannywood. For Daily Trust coming into having a TV is one thing I can’t wait for.