Best known for her groundbreaking role in the hit movie, Sa’in’sa, Kannywood actress, Ummah Shehu, remains one of the most sought after actresses in Northern Nigeria.
In this exclusive Interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the actress who is popularly called Ummah Sa’in’Sa, sheds light on several issues ranging from Adam Zango’s purported exit from Kannywood, to lesbianism in the movie world.
PT: Kannywood has been plagued by a myriad of issues lately. Do you think it is healthy for your industry?
Ummah: As a stakeholder in Kannywood, I feel we need to always abide by the rules of the game. We must always be guided by certain rules as actors and as good citizens with good upbringing. We have no option other than to accept and respect it at all cost. We have senior colleagues who are like our fathers and mentors in the Industry. These are the people we must always learn from and seek advice from whenever we are unsure of actions especially if it concerns the industry ethics.
PT: Are there any lessons to be learnt from Rahama Sadau’s episode?
Ummah: What happened to Rahama Sadau should serve as a lesson for all of us. We need to be more careful in what we do in the industry as players and ambassadors of the region. We should try not to be carried away by who we are and what we have become. And no, Kannywood is not crashing, but growing stronger by the day.
PT: How about Adam Zango’s decision to quit Kannywood?
Ummah: Adam Zango cannot try that now. Many of us are looking up to him for inspiration. If it warrants that I lead a protest against his decision, I will. This is because he is my mentor and I also starred alongside him in my first blockbuster movie, Sa’in’sa. The role earned me the best upcoming actress in Kannywood title at the City People magazine awards in 2015. Zango virtually taught me the rudiments of acting and also helped me hone my craft as an actress.
PT: Which other actors do you look up to in the industry?
Ummah: Ali Nuhu is another father and mentor who we cherish and look up to. I think the responsibility of making us understand our career and the tenets of our profession also rests on them. I am also inspired by the likes of Yakubu Mohammed, Tijjani Asase and Falau Dorayi.
PT: What are some of the issues confronting Kannywood?
Ummah: Let me tell you something, we do not agree with one another in Kannywood. Everybody wants to live as an Island. We actually lack unity and do not trust ourselves. Until we all agree that we are working for a common cause, we will keep making the same mistakes every now and then.
PT: Do you think Lesbianism is rife in Kannywood?
Ummah: I have never been involved in the act neither have I ever come across any lesbians in Kannywood. However tales and rumours of lesbian abound in Kannywood. In fact some of my colleagues are rumoured to be lesbians but I am not aware of them.
PT: Some of your colleagues are believed patronize herbalists for success charms. Are you one of them?
Ummah: Even though I cannot speak for others because everybody has his own personal life, I will never go to any herbalist to help me succeed in my career. I must confess that my friends who are not in the industry once introduced me to herbalists, but I never tried it a second time. I only depend on my God to succeed in my career.
PT: What are aspirations as an actress?
Ummah: I am working seriously to become a film producer someday. In fact, that is my next line of action. But for now it is my dream to become a superstar actress. I am yet to attain the level I want be to in Kannywood. But to be sincere with you as soon as I get to that level I will surely resign and train younger actors.
PT: And what is that level?
Ummah: To become a household name in Kannywood.
PT: Who is your closest friend in the Kannywood?
Ummah: Nobody. I am just a good girl who is good friends with everyone.