Zainab Abdullahi, known in the entertainment Industry as Zainab Indomie, is one of the most prolific actresses the industry has ever produced. However, the actress went under professionally for years; only to return with vigour. In this interview the actress talks about her return to Kannywood, among other issues.
Tell us a little about Zainab?
I was born on January 15th 1990 in Abuja and I was also raised in Abuja where I did most of my conventional studies. My father is from Adamawa while my mother is Fulani from Kaltungo in Gombe State. I have a diploma from the Bayero University Kano (BUK).
Later in life, I ventured into Kannywood through a very good friend of mine Adam A. Zango. I was lucky to start with a lead role and fortunately for me, the film was a blockbuster. My first film ‘Garinmu Da Zafi’ was the film that set the stage for me as an actress in Kannywood.
However, I got the stage name Indomie due to my love for the noodle and not that I have advertised for the company. I love noodles and friends like to mock me for that. That was how I got the stage name Zainab Indomie.
Is it true that your mother is from Sudan?
I have heard several references to that but I have never said my mother is from Sudan. As I said earlier, she is a Fulani woman from Kaltungo in Gombe State, though my maternal grandmother is said to be from Mali, so you can see I have nothing to do with Sudan as speculated by some people.
Did you face any resistance from either your parents or friends when you joined the industry?
Actually, I joined Kannywood when awareness of the industry’s activities was so low, but I was able to convince my mother and she gave her blessings and prayed for my success in my chosen career. That was how I got started and it has been blessing upon blessings ever since.
How was it on your first set?
My first day as an actress really proved to many that I was born an actress. It was my best day and I had done all that it takes for the scenes to be checked and marked as excellent. I was also elated by the fact that I was doing what I really wanted to do.
I can recall that when the script said I had to cry, my colleagues were suggesting that water should be used as tears but I insisted that I will cry to get real tears and I did. Therefore, from my first film, I became a star sought after by producers and I’m glad to tell you that today, I have uncountable films to my credit, to the extent that I have lost count.
People thought that you had dumped the industry for good. Can you tell us why you staged a return to the industry?
I never left the industry per say, I have always been around. My absence from the screen doesn’t mean I dumped Kannywood, I just stepped aside to give upcoming actresses a chance to give their contribution to the industry’s development.
However, too much appearance in films doesn’t help an artist, it may even drive your fans away because they will get bored.
What are the new films you did after your return?
I did films like ‘Asin da Asin’, ‘Alaka’, ‘Tarko’, ‘Bakon Yanayi’, ‘Ajali’, ‘Fauwaz’, among others.
Some of these films are TV series as well; I must confess that on my return, I met a well-developed industry with the usual friendly and accommodative personalities. I have never given anybody the room to pick offences with me and so when I returned, we just picked up from where we stopped.
I have no grudges with any of my colleagues and as such, I got all the support I needed as an actress.
Do you select scripts?
The truth is, the script selects an artist not the other way round. It is apparent that every writer has in mind the personality that will play the role he had created in his story, therefore, it is the script that selects the artists. Moreover, it is not in the artist’s discretion to select a script unless the script failed to fulfill the industry’s set standard.
Can you play any role given to you?
As an actress, I would say yes, because an artist’s ability to play any role is what qualifies him or her to be an artist. However, there are certain things that one has to consider in taking roles in films, taking into consideration the socio-cultural setting of the industry’s domain.
If you are to choose from all your films, which one would you choose?
There are many of them honestly, but if you insist, I would say I chose ‘Adon Gari’, there are also films like ‘Wali Jam’, ‘Ga Duhu Da Haske’ and many others.
People still believe there’s something going on between you and Adam A Zango, is that true?
I have said it many times; Adam was my Ex ten years ago, brother and my boss at the same time. He was my boss before being my ex, and he has been my boss till date. We are the best colleagues so far; he introduced me to the industry and we have come a very long way as colleagues. Though he was my Ex, he is still my boss whom I respect so much in the industry.
Is Zainab Indomie married or in any serious relationship?
I am not married but I have the intention of getting married soon.
Is your guy from the industry?
Actually, I can’t say he is directly from the industry, but when it is time for all to know about him, you will surely know.
Do you intend to become a producer later?
I am an actress and for now I want to remain as an actress. The issue of becoming a producer later isn’t for me to decide.