Amina Yola popularly known as Meenat Yola has been one of the wave-making artists in Kannywood. With a miltary father, she spent her early years in Nigeria’s south-west, Oyo before reocating up north. Although she is relatively new in the industry, Amina has curved a nitche for her self as a versitile actress and has several movies to her credit. In this interview, she talks about movingmaking business and many more.
Weekend Magazine: How did you get into moviemaking?
Meenat Yola: Even though I grew up not in the south I was in constant touch with the north and I have been following the Hausa movie industry. I became so attached to the industry to the extent that I began to norture feelings of being an actress from afar off.
However, when we returned to the north I got introduced to the industry through a friend who happens to be close to it. With her conections, I got introduced into Kannywood as an actress.
WM: Can you remember your first movie?
Meenat: My first movie was called ‘Wani Lokaci,’ it was directed by Ibrahim Bala. I will never forget that movie as it was the step that brought me to where I am today in the industry.
WM: Tell us how it went being your first time?
Meenat: Well, I was so committed to being an actress and therefore didn’t find it so difficult to adopt. However, I wouldn’t say It was an easy ride all through. The bottom line was I was expected to do something good and I did. That was what mattered.
WM: How many movies have you featured in?
Meenat: Actually, they are many. Some are already in the market while some are still in progress and are yet to be released. Some of the movies are ‘Wani Kauli,’ ‘Gidan Kitso,’ ‘Samun Duniya,’ ‘Matar Bahaushe,’ ‘Tuggu’ and many more. To be honest with you I can’t tell you the number of movies I have featured in so far, but they are many.
WM: Which of the movies is your favourite?
Meenat: I love all the movies that I have featured in. Let me make it clear here, even if I appeared in a single scene in a movie, I still love that movie. Moreover, if I should choose from all the movies, I would say the movie ‘Tuggu’ is my favourite because it was the first movie that I played a lead role in and it was my shot to fame if I must confess.
WM: How would you compare yourself now to then when you were not in the movie industry?
Meenat: My life has positively changed. Kannywood is indeed a place where you gain a lot of experience as a human being. It is a place where you meet all shades of people and believe me, you learn a lot more than what was taught in the four walls of a school’s classroom.
WM: What was your impression of the industry before you joined?
Meenat: It is apparent that, there are a lot of differences between the way I perceived the industry to be and the way I found it when I joined. I have heard a lot of stories about the industry – the good, the bad and the ugly. But when I finally joined, I found out that most of the stories were just what they were, stories. I came to find out that, the industry is full of people with clean hearts who are also accomodating.
The big names in the industry never see themselves as superior to you who came newly into the industry. They treat you equal to themselves. They become your friend within a short period of your meeting them. They are ever willing to put you through.
WM: Now that you have made it into Kannywood, would you say you are fulfilled?
Meenat: Yes to an extent I can say that, but my dream is to become an internationally acclaimed actress. I want to have no limit to positively impacting on people’s lives as an actress.
WM: Apart from acting, what else to you do?
Meenat: Although I have ventured into the movie industry as a profession, I am also into textile business, which I supply to people. It is a small distributing outlet which I have been managing for a while now.
WM: Please share with us a memorable moment as an actress?
Meenat: The day I was told that I had been chosen to be the lead character in the movie ‘Tuggu.’ It was like a dream, because there were many actresses whom I felt were more qualified than me. But I was chosen to play that role. That day will forever remain the most memorable day in my career.