Bilkisu Shema, a Fulani beauty, can be the toast of any producer or director to be featured as a lead actress in any film to attract good returns and fame. In this brief interview with ALIYU ASKIRA, she says she relocated to Kano to stay with her guardian after her father who hitherto lived in Lagos died. She also speaks on how her mother, a Fulani from Yola in Adamawa state, had opted to stay back in Lagos and eventually remarried in Lagos. Bilkisu also opens up to ASKIRA about her challenges, sex-for-role palaver and why she almost quit acting.
You are now one of the actresses working in Baba Karami’s company, and we are aware that there are several allegations against Baba Karami whose real name is Abdullahi Sani Abdullahi. One of the allegations is that he hardly features a lady in his film without being asking for what he can get from the lady. Have you experienced such yet?
Well, before joining Kannywood, I had heard about all sorts of dirty allegations against producers and directors. When eventually I decided to join Kannywood, I didn’t know anybody in the industry; so, my brother introduced me to Baba Karami who engaged me and featured me in one of his films entitled Aikin Duhu. That was my first film and since then I have been getting offers from different directors and producers.
What is the film, Aikin Duhu, about’?
It was about me meeting one guy in a Keke Napep; he asked for my number and I refused to give it to him because I thought he had nothing to offer, only for me to discover later that he is extremely rich and I regretted it so much.
Before now you only watched Kannywood actors and actresses from a distance, but now that you are part of them, how did you feel?
I feel marvellous that today I can sit side by side with Ali Nuhu, Adam A. Zango, and Sadiq Sani Sadiq. It’s like a dream come to me, but honestly since I am now about three years in the industry I have also become a star, and I am finding it difficult to move freely in town because of my thousands of fans. Some want to see me, some want to have my number, while others including my female fans are interested in having me as their friend or to take photographs with.
There are actresses that are not as beautiful as you are – you are tall, slim, and pretty, yet you didn’t penetrate the industry fast enough. How do you react to this?
I heard people accusing me that I am arrogant, but the truth is that I will never zip down for any amount. Some ladies are in Kannywood only to hustle, and so they can do anything to secure roles in big films. I am not like that and I will never do that! Instead of me to sleep with a director or producer for him to feature me in his film I better quit the industry. My womanhood is my pride and it will remain so until I get married.
Which state do you hail from?
My father is from Kano; that means I am an indigene of Kano state. My mother is Fulani from Yola, in Adamawa state; I was brought up by a responsible family. By the way, all the things people hear that take place in Kannywood are not true, the industry is very decent and one can be proud to belong to it. If you are new and you start getting series of roles alongside senior Kannywood stakeholders, people will start to make all sorts of allegations. However, all in all I am happy with what is happening in Kannywood and the sky is my limit.