Safiyya Yusuf is a Kannywood actor who rose to stardom with her role in the popular TV show, ‘Kwana Casa’in’, aired weekly on Arewa 24. A viewers’ favourite, she was removed from the role without prior notice. In this interview with Weekend Magazine, she clears the air on this among other issues. Excerpts:
Weekend Magazine: How would you describe your role in ‘Kwana Casa’in’?
Safiyya Yusuf: In ‘Kwana Casa’in’ I played the role of a girl who studies hard to become a medical doctor.
Her mum has a serious leg injury, so she wants to become a doctor and take care of her and also help others.
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Meanwhile, her father doesn’t want her to study, but rather, get married so he can make money from the union.
WM: Directing is a male dominated part of the film making business and you’re talking of becoming a director. What is the update on that?
Safiyya: I don’t have much to say in this regard for now. I just know I want to be a film producer and director.
I am simply waiting for the right time. Everything comes with time.
I love directing and I am sure when the time comes it will happen.
WM: Do you see yourself acting in Nollywood movies?
Safiyya: Yes, I would certainly love to, although there are some scenes that I can’t act, like wearing very short costumes.
I know as a Muslim I have to respect certain rules. But I will definitely act in Nollywood if given the opportunity.
I love their movies and, with time, I know I will be there.
WM: After being replaced in ‘Kwana Casa’in’, many viewers complained about your absence. How did you respond to this development?
Safiyya: I feel good and bad at the same time. The reason why I feel good is the way people commented and said they didn’t like the new Safara’u.
I am not saying I don’t like the new Safara’u, but I feel good the way people are talking about me and how they miss me and my acting.
In the meantime, I feel bad because I didn’t have the chance to act then. A lot of things took place and there were some misunderstandings, but what has happened has happened.
WM: There are a lot of misconceptions as to the reason why you were replaced. Can you shed some light?
Safiyya: I was replaced because I was very ill when they were shooting.
They had started shooting and I was not on ground due to the illness and they had no option than to replace me at that very time.
That was the actual reason.
WM: What are you up to currently?
Safiyya: I came back from Kaduna a few days ago where I was working on another project; ‘Kaddarar So’.
It is also a TV show, so my fans should expect the best of their Safara’u in another outing soon.
WM: Does that mean you have preference for TV series?
Safiyya: I don’t feature in TV shows only. However, I love acting in series more than movies.
WM: What do you miss about ‘Kwana Casa’in’?
Safiyya: I miss shooting with the cast and crew.
I miss many things about it, including working with the director and producers.
WM: If you’re called back, would you jump at the opportunity?
Safiyya: They have already replaced me with another actor and it will cost them a lot to call me back.
But again, seriously, even if they do, I will not go back since they could not wait for me when I was sick.
They were in a hurry and had to cast another person in my place.
WM: There was this nude video scandal concerning you which generated a lot of debate. How did you react to that?
Safiyya: I reacted by keeping my mouth shut. I didn’t say anything on social media.
What came to my mind was that it was a sign that I would be very successful in the future.
Allah knows what is good or bad for me and knows my destiny.
I was disturbed, but I never let anyone on social media know my feelings. I only prayed to Allah about it.
WM: How did your acting career begin?
Safiyya: I think I can say it was accidental. I never planned to be an actor.
It was like a miracle because I never had the intention of acting in my life.
‘Kwana Casa’in’ was my first movie. When they called for audition, my friend Maryam Malumfashi, who wanted to act, asked me to accompany her.
She asked me to be her partner in the audition because she felt she would be at ease with me by her side.
Surprisingly she did not get a role, but I did. That was how it all started and here I am today.
WM: What do you plan to achieve in the industry?
Safiyya: I am fully in the industry and will like to achieve a lot. I plan to become a producer and director in the future, not only in Kannywood, but also in Nollywood.
WM: Who are your role models in Kannywood?
Safiyya: Among the females, my best actor, the one I love sincerely with all my heart, is Rahama Sadau, then Hadiza Gabon.
Among the men is Ali Nuhu, then Yakubu Mohammed, and then Sani Danja.