Samirah Ahmad is a Kannywood actor and one-time African Youth Model award-winner. In this interview, she talks about her absence from screen, among other issues. Excerpts:
Weekend Magazine: You have been absent from the screen for some time now. What have you been up to?
Samirah Ahmad: No, I am still part of Kannywood and will always be proud of that.
People may not be seeing me on screen, but that does not mean I quit the industry.
I have ventured into film production, and because I love doing things according to standard, I give it my whole attention and that is why I have not been featuring in films lately.
WM: There is this notion that artists in the Hausa movie industry are assigned roles based on who they are in real life. What is your response to this?
Samirah: Not at all.
This notion usually affects us ladies in the industry.
People tend to categorize us based on roles we play in movies.
We are educators. If we want to portray the ills in the society, such as corruption, definitely we would need to show a corrupt person’s character.
But that doesn’t mean the actor is a corrupt individual in real life.
The same applies to other characters portrayed by different actors. It is high time the public understands this.
WM: Have you, at any point in time, regretted being an actor?
Samirah: Actually, no.
In fact, I am proud being an actor because it has accorded me the opportunity to address various societal issues through films which ordinarily, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity.
WM: How would you describe yourself?
Samirah: I’m a Kannywood actor, a film producer, model, humanitarian and also an interior decorator.
I was born on September 24 in Nassarawa Local Government Area of Kano State.
I attended Giginyu Special Primary School and later proceeded to Government Girl’s Secondary School, Jogana, in Kano.
After completing my secondary school, I proceeded to Federal College of Education Kano where I obtained a diploma certificate in accounting and auditing.
I acted for a while before venturing into humanitarian activities and interior decoration.
I have also worked with various organizations and institutions such as defence headquarters, among others.
In addition, I have featured in and produced programmes and films on television and in the Hausa filmmaking industry known as Kannywood.
To God be the glory, I have already carved a niche for myself in cinema television.
WM: How did you become an actor?
Samirah: I have a close friend, Mansurah Isah, a very good Hausa movie actor.
We were very close to the extent that we were always together even at movie locations.
So that was how I got acquainted with the rudiments of movie making.
I saw an avenue to educate and entertain the general public, all at the same time.
I was with my friend for quite a long time and the thought of joining the industry did not occur to me until much later, towards the end of her career.
If I remember correctly, the appeal came to me two months to her wedding.
So I confronted Mansurah with my decision and she told me plainly that I should get my parents’ consent first, which I did without much stress being that they understood what the industry entails and had taken a cue from my friend’s success story and how she got married to a fellow artist.
That was how I started.
WM: What was your first experience on set like?
Samirah: Since I had always been a passive member of the industry because of my friend and mentor, Mansurah Isah, it was smooth sailing.
It was a movie titled ‘Dandali’ where I was lead actor, produced by Two Effects Production Company.
I worked with almost all the major production companies in the industry.
I can authoritatively state here that I have featured in more than 300 movies and played the role of lead actor in most.
They include ‘Sai Na Dawo’, ‘Garin Dadi’, ‘Bissalam’, and ‘Na Mamajo’.
WM: You are also into humanitarian activities. Can you share on that?
Samirah: The film industry has given me so much to be grateful for.
My business has been a success and I felt there is need for me to show my gratitude by assisting others attain their dreams.
That is why I have been helping the less privileged for over a decade now.
I sponsored over a hundred students to study in various institutions.
I have also undertaken projects like providing boreholes in girls secondary schools in Jogana, among others.
I was also opportune to have championed a programmes that provides food and basic materials to ease hardship in various communities across Kano State and its neighbouring states.
I am also a brand ambassador for Mudatex, Afnan Furnitures, National Open University of Nigeria and Abaya and Accessories.