Sarah Aloysius is one of Kannywood’s non-Hausa actresses.
She started her acting career at the age of five, developed herself through drama groups in the church and school until she made her debut in the ‘Sabon-salo’ drama series where she carved a niche for herself as Stephanie. In this interview, she shares her experience in the Hausa film industry and more. Excerpts:
Weekend Magazine: How did you start acting?
Sarah Aloysius: I started acting on stage when I was five years old. All my life I was hoping to go far. As a child I was very happy doing that because it’s what I love. I acted in church, school and everywhere basically. When I saw an advert years ago from Arewa24 seeking new actors for the then new Dadin Kowa ‘Sabon-salo,’ I auditioned and with the help of God I was selected for the role of Stephanie.
My parents supported my dream but no one really saw me coming this far. No one ever thought I had the dream of being on screen. That was my little secret.
WM: What does your role in ‘Sabon-salo’ entail?
Aloysius: I play the role of Stephanie, madam Gloria’s daughter and Nasir Dan malam’s girlfriend. Stephanie is a young, obedient Christian girl who fell madly In love with a poor Muslim man to the extent that she compromised her loyalty to her parents in favour of her relationship with Dan mallam. This was despite the parents’ choice of a rich Christian husband.
WM: How has your career influenced your relationship with others?
Aloysius: It has not been easy, because at this point in time you get to meet people with different intentions towards you. Generally, in life you get to meet people who have good intentions towards you and those that don’t actually have you at heart. It’s worse in our profession. I relate with them the best way I can, keeping in mind that humility is key to success.
WM: What is it like acting in Kannywood and on Arewa 24?
Aloysius: Acting is same everywhere, depending on the nature of the movie or show. In this case there is a slight difference between Dadin Kowa and Kannywood movies. Dadin Kowa is a soap opera while all the films I acted in Kannywood are feature films. So the level of commitment is definitely going to differ.
WM: What is your experience like as a non-Hausa in a Hausa movie industry?
Aloysius: The watchword always remains goal and determination. Once you know the goal you want to achieve and you are determined to put your all, there is no limitation. Not tribe, religion or colour.
I know what brought me to Arewa24 and the movie industry. There have been challenges, rough roads, and many exciting moments, considering the fact that I’m doing what I love most. But not religion related challenges though. I’m a Christian from the North-eastern part of Nigeria. I grew up living amongst people of different religious and tribal backgrounds. Learning what I can from them has been exciting. My religion teaches me to love, respect and live in peace with people, irrespective of their ethnicity or religion, and thankfully enough Arewa24 gave me the platform to promote that. There has been no form of discrimination whatsoever.
I find it exciting supporting Muslims during the fasting period and I love the fact that they reciprocate. The truth is, even if nothing else will bring us together, when it comes to entertainment there is no barrier. Entertainment breaks all tribal and religious sentiments.
No Muslim asked God to be created as a Muslim, and so also no Christian asked to be created as a Christian. This should serve as a reminder to us all to live in peace and harmony. Together we can break all barriers. Being humans we definitely need each other in one way or the other.
WM: Given the role you play as Stephanie who falls madly in love with a Muslim, can Sarah in reality fall for a man irrespective of his cultural or religious background?
Aloysius: Yes, why not? Christianity has conditions governing this issue and so also Islam. As long as it’s love, religion or ethnicity should not be a barrier.
WM: Where do you see yourself in the near future?
Aloysius: I see myself acting, making great movies and grooming young talents.