Fati Isah Asirka has been in Kannywood for about eight years, and she is one of the popular faces in the industry. In this interview with ALIYU ASKIRA in Kano, she speaks about some of the issues affecting Kannywood and her experience as an actress.
I am half-Cameroonian and half-Nigerian. After my secondary school education at Federal Government Girls College, Bakori, and Government Girls’ Secondary School, Monguno, Borno state, I proceeded to the Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, for a diploma programme. I am yet to clock 30.
My journey into Kannywood
When I made up my mind to be an actress as a full time career, I approached one Aminu Bala and Sani Sule Katsina, the executive chairman of Rite Time Multimedia, Kano. The two of them assisted me and that was how my acting career started. I am also into one form of business or the other. If a lady wants to join Kannywood and proves to be desperate that she wants to make it over night or make cheap money, of course, producers and directors will take advantage of this and insist that she must zip down for them for her to realise her dreams.
In everything, there is a price, especially if one is a lady and beautiful for that matter. The simple fact is it is the way one is presenting herself before people or the society that she will be treated. Some ladies will go to offices of directors in a dress that nobody can resist them. In this case, we don’t blame those that will insist to have a bite of such ladies. As for me, I cannot remember the first time I made my N1 million because I was in business supplying banks, Kannywood stakeholders and Customs. I was selling wares like shoes, bags, jewellery, and the rest of them before joining Kannywood. So, nobody will look at me and ask me to compromise my body before featuring in a film.
Films I’ve featured in
Well, I can mention films like Hindon Kauye and Hassana da Hussaina. But the film that really made me was Hindu produced by Adam A. Zango. That film gave me a very tough time, because we spent about three weeks in one remote village in Niger state. Despite all the challenges, the producers and director of the film insisted on getting exactly what they wanted; they wanted the film to be successful and to be a matured one. Also, to make things more complex for me, I featured in the film as one of Adam Zango’s three wives.
My relationship with Zango
I should be spared of trouble because Zango is not even in a relationship with me. He is happily married. Also, the ultimate ambition of any grown up lady is to get a decent man to marry. So, I only featured in Zango’s film as his third wife based on the script of the film. However, I am already into a serious relationship.
Why I’m not yet married
Marriage comes to a woman like a mirage. You said it earlier in this interview that the society looks at us as people that are wayward and this, at times, makes it difficult for us to settle down. But acting is a decent profession like journalism, law practice, contract and being a doctor. In spite of what is happening in other professions, people prefer to make our lives their business, forgetting that worse things are happening in the universities and other tertiary institutions; but we are the ones always in the eyes of the public. Anyway, that is the price we have to pay, life is like a mirror, when you look at it, you see your exact picture, but you will insist to see the pictures of others. That is why some talented actors and actresses are not interested in joining Kannywood. There was this story of a monkey that goes to the stream to drink a water, when he saw his picture down inside the water, she laughed and said people are saying she is ugly, but the picture she is seeing in the water is uglier than her not knowing that it was her own picture. This is what the society should know.
My friend’s wedding paved the way for me
My coming into Kannywood was like a miracle. Even though before the Boko Haram crisis I was residing in Maiduguri, and I used to sell costume to actors and actresses in Kano. One day, my friend who was already engaged to get married was to feature in a film, but later, her fiancé stopped her, but the film had to continue. So, the producer of the film used my picture in the film’s poster because my friend and I look very much alike and that’s how I ended up as an actress.
My saddest moment
In fact, my saddest moment was when a Kano Keke Napep rider called me a prostitute. My friends and I were about to cross Zoo Road to Tradessy’s studio for a photograph when one Keke Napep Rider nearly hit us and when we complained to him, he looked us and said ‘look at these Ashawo (Karuwai).” He said are you not Hausa film actresses? He said as far as he was concerned we cheap and can be classified or called prostitutes. Since then, whenever I remember the incident, I will pain me. However, despite this insult, I will not abandon acting because I have already made a mark.