Story from Saleh INUWA, Kano
Because of her desire to pursue a career in Kannywood, 26-year-old Amina Mohammed, a Cameroonian had to abandon her country and her parents, though both her parents are late, and travelled to Nigeria by road through Portharcourt and later to Kaduna State where she first stayed in a hotel for two months.
“When I came to Nigeria, I cannot even speak Hausa though I am Fulani from Cameroon, I can only speak English, French and my Language Fulani.
“I read up to a secondary school level and intend to further my education in Nigeria but my main aim is to be a first-class actress. So far I featured, in five hit films namely Bayan Rai Soyyaya Shakuwa Basaga Gidan Yari Babbangida and Amal in which I played the lead role.”
Amina Mohammed came to Nigeria not only to seek a career in Kannywood but to see Adam A. Zango whom she admired a lot and can do anything because of him. One day when she was exploring how to see Zango in Kaduna she ran into a guy who saw Zango’s picture as her screen saver, he then asked her if she admired Zango then she told him that she came to Nigeria two months ago with the sole purpose of seeing Adam A. Zango, the guy then took her straight to Adamu Zango’s Office in Kaduna.
Two big guys in the industry later moved her out of the hotel she was staying in Kaduna and rented a flat for her and one other female actress, later she started learning the Hausa Language. When she was able to speak the language fairly Adam A. Zango started featuring her in his films so far she featured in five successful films, and she is now into many other projects that Zango is handling.
“Financially I am okay. If I need money I will always go to Adam A. Zango or Habu Sarki who is my manager godfather and boyfriend in the industry, he manages my affairs the pay I have been receiving is good in fact I just returned from Cameroon where I have travelled to see my family, I am only 26-years-old”.
EXCERPTS OF THE INTERVIEW
Neptune Prime: Amina, is it true that you are a Fulani from Cameroon and that you came to Nigeria just to see Adam A. Zango?
Amina: Long pause, well partially you are correct. I am a 26-year-old Fulani Muslim from Cameroon and I came to Nigeria purposely to pursue a career in the Kannywood industry. As for Adam Zango well honestly I admire him a lot, his dancing and acting skills are fantastic as a person and he is also handsome. After watching several of his films I decided to leave Cameroon to come here and meet him and explore the possibility of acting. I came to Nigeria through Portharcourt, Lagos, and later Kaduna where I had to stay in a hotel for two months before I met Zango.
NP: How did you meet him?
Amina: Well when I was trying to locate him or get somebody who will link me up with him. I met a guy who happened to be one of Zango’s boys, he saw Zango’s picture on my phone screen he then asked me if I liked Zango, and then I told him my story and that’s how he helped me to meet him.
NP: Then what happened next?
Amina: Like I said I was then staying in a hotel which I was the one paying, but later Zango and Habu Sarki rented an apartment for me and one other lady, I am now comfortable and enjoying myself in Nigeria.
NP: You speak good English, and you are also young, why can’t you further your education before acting or combine the two?
Amina: Well, it is true, I have my A levels, and my result is good, but age is still on my side. Let me act, make good money, become popular, then the school can follow. I like the freedom of travelling when I like eating whatever I like, wearing my own kind of dress, generally, I like freedom, but as a Muslim, I have limitations for any amount I cannot act in Nollywood. Watch their films you see a man on top of a woman pretending to be making love to her in an uncompromising position or kissing her or hugging her openly I can’t stand that for any amount.
NP: But even in Kannywood these days, you people wear transparent clothes on stage dance erotically, sing and in some cases you see men wearing earrings or having irresponsible hairstyles?
Amina: Well, I am just an actress, and I have accepted to do what I am doing. I can, sing, dance and wear tight outfits but I am only interpreting the role, when I am not on stage I am as decent as any Muslim lady.
NP: You came to Nigeria to pursue an acting career, first you stayed alone in a hotel for two months alone, later you met Zango who along with Habu Sarki rented a place for you to live, what are their terms?
Amina: Well, you will not believe when I tell you that no strings were attached. But the truth is I am in love with Habu Sarki, he is my godfather, manager, boyfriend and all that, so as you can see I am committed to him and him alone. I don’t know what God plans for me in future, but right now that is all I can say.
NP: Adam Zango like marrying young beautiful girls, including actresses, he had a romance with Nafisa Abdullahi, Zainab Indomie, Maryam Booth, and his third wife is an actress, if he proposes to you because you are beautiful will you marry him?
Amina: Look, I admire Adamu A. Zango with passion. Before I met any other person I came to Nigeria because watching Zango inspired me to pursue a career in Kannywood. I will be more than willing to marry within Kannywood. Adamu has assisted in accommodating me, he is helping me to build a career and I even met his family and his wives are kind to me. He has never asked me to zip down for him or to marry him, or even to date him, he is my boss.
NP: Do you have a boyfriend?
Amina: Yes, I am in a serious relationship with Habu Sarki, we are lovers. Apart from him, I don’t have any other boyfriend either here or in Cameroon.
NP: Why did your parents allow you to act at this tender age of 26 years?
Amina: Well before I came to Nigeria I was staying in Cameroon with my grandmother both my father and mother are late, and my grandmother did not object to my coming here. I am happy here I like Nigeria and the people here are very receptive.
NP: Can you die because of love?
Amina: Yes, I can if I love you and you have a kidney problem, I can donate mine even if I am living on one to save your life. You also asked me whether I have female friends in Kannywood honestly I don’t have one, but I admire Fati Ladan a lot, though she is married I prefer to mind my business so that I will not create unnecessary enemies in the industry. If I am broke I go to Adam Zango or Habu Sarki for money and they have never let me down. The pay I get from films is also okay for me, all the things people are saying about Kannywood that a lot of things here are bad are not true. At least I did not encounter any? Sex for role, lesbianism and stuff like drugs, it’s not part of the industry or maybe because I am only eight years old here, but I am happy here.
NP: Tell us the initial challenges you faced?
Amina: Well, when I started my Hausa was not fluent, I was always nervous before the camera and interpreting my script too gave me a lot of challenges. Like Amal that I played the lead role, I went through hell but with prayers and the understanding of the director, I have improved tremendously.