Mansurah Isah, one of the old-time Kannywood actresses, is a mother of four. She was recently appointed alongside other famous actors and actresses as ambassadors of National Open University of Nigeria. Mansurah now runs an NGO called TODAY LIFE FOUNDATION in order to help orphans and the less-privilaged. In this interview with ALIYU ASKIRA, Mansurah talks about her NGO, perssion and future plans.
You are always moving from one place to another of recent, fuelling speculations that your marriage to Sani Danja has finally crashed, what is the true position of this allegation?
I am not surprised because 10 years ago, when we decided to get married after a successful courtship, some people around us predicted that the marriage will not last more than one week. I am still married to my husband Sani Musa Danja. God has blessed us with four children, about my movement that people are complaining about, it is because I have set up an NGO called TODAY LIFE FOUNDATION to help the poor and also give foodstuff and clothes to children in orphanage homes.
After the Maryam Hiyana sex scandal broke out during the Shekarau Administration, your husband Sani Musa Danja relocated to Abuja. Why are you always in Kano these days?
I and my husband are both from Kano. We have our family houses also in Kano. However, when I set up my NGO, I discovered that we have lots of poor people in Kano than in Abuja. Also, there are some of them that I personally know when I was growing up. So I feel it will give me the greatest pleasure now to go to hospitals in Kano and psychiatric homes including Borstal Homes to help abandoned children. Honestly, I cry when we visit such centers. I often come across beautiful babies abandoned by their parents.
What is the truth about some accusations that it is because you are now broke that is why you decided set up and NGO to make money for yourself?
I am not worried by this accusation because the society is full of bad people. I used to help people without even mentioning it in the media.
I discovered that the rate of poor people in the society is increasing so I asked my husband to allow me to revive my NGO so that I can solicit for money from well-to-do Nigerians, including private Individuals and Government organizations, so that we can use the proceed to help the poor.
Fortunately, through our activities in the media, we were invited by Hajiya Mariya Dangote, the mother of Aliko Dangote. She also donated foodstuffs to us to help her distribute them to where we can identify poor people. And even on our own, whenever we get money, we use it to pay school fees for children of the poor.
I used to see in the social media people criticizing me of publicizing my activities, they argued that this is against Islam, but if organizations gave us food or money to distribute or to run our activities, if we did not put it in the media for them to see, how will they know that we did not divert the money to our personal use?
Could you share with us your experience since you started running this NGO?
Honestly, if you are in a healthy condition, even if you don’t have a Kobo on you, you should pray hard and thank God. There was a center we visited in Kano, do you know what, most of the people we met there are people that are suffering from certain illness that one cannot explain. If they want to eat, you have to drop the food for them on the ground on a plate or floor so that they can use their mouth to eat. Virtually no part of their body is functioning.
In orphanage homes like the one in Nassarawa, they are used to me that whenever they see me, they will start shouting Aunty Mansurah is here!, they know me and know most of us that used to go there to assist them, there was a time also, that we partner with the wife of Kebbi State governor to assist her NGO to distribute food materials in Kabbi State including scholarship programmes, so generally, I am happy in fact recently, I was among those appointed by National Open University as their ambassador, I am also processing to join the University to further my education, all in all I want to put it on record that my husband is one of the best things that ever happened to me, I don’t know who among us will die first but whatever is the case, both of us are working hard so that the future of our children will not be threatened by poverty.
In the end, what do you want to be remembered for?
Thank God I am a Muslim, and I am extremely religious and a happy married woman that want to make full use of her marriage to serve as an example to orders, people are accusing us, we female members of Kannywood that we don’t make successes of our marriages, here is Mansurah Isah who got married to Sani Musa Danja 10years ago and blessed with four children in fact, our marriage is growing from strength to strength, you also asked me whether I am involve in politics, the answer is yes because I am the first female Kannywood star that campaigned hard for Late President Yar’adua when he was contesting for the President since then, other members of Kannywood have being identified with one politician or another. If politicians come to us tomorrow and ask us to market him to win elections, we will definitely do that because this is not against the ethics of our religion. I also want to live long to see my children grow and became useful members of the society.
Already, my children are into acting and we are also doing our best to give them the best education we can afford, myself and my husband were also honored with traditional titles from many communities across the North.