Samira Rukayya Saje, 26, a graduate of Kaduna Polytechnic, tells ALIYU ASKIRA in this interview that she has proved to the world that Kannywood actresses are not as cheap as they are portrayed. She also reveals why producers want her to feature in their films.
How did you emerge as Stroke Ambassador?
Well, they saw my profile on the internet and approached me and later appointed me. But some people said it was because of my beauty and intelligent interviews in the media as well as how nature has been kind to me. God created me tall, beautiful and endowed with all the qualities that any woman will want to possess. Above all, I always pray hard to God to open doors of success for me.
What are the benefits attached to the appointment as Stroke Ambassador?
Well, like I told you earlier there are no strings attached to the appointment. Here, we are dealing with mature people and a decent association; whenever we go on visits, they take responsibility for our feeding, accommodation, transport, and others, but when they signed me initially they paid me the sum of N1.5 million.
So, what is next on your agenda? I learnt that certain politicians in Kaduna have approached you to use your pictures on their campaign wrappers and other commercials, have you sealed the deal?
No, not yet. I was told that they asked other ladies that were nominated for the contract to grant interviews to some national dailies, to test their intelligence and exposure. Already, as for me, some media houses have had exclusive interviews with me. So, I don’t have problems in that respect; somebody close to me has submitted my pictures and profile to them and I am waiting for their final decision.
You are cute and yet friendly; why are you not into modelling as well?
Thank you for the compliment; as for acting I am honestly happy to be here. So far, I have featured in successful films such as Farin Wata Azeemah, Harda Mjina Makira, Kukan Karshe and a host of others. As for educational qualifications, I am a graduate of banking and finance from Kaduna Polytechnic; I am 26 years old; I also attended Victory International School, Jalingo and Global Computers. I am Fulani by tribe; I joined Kannywood through the popular Jos-based actor, Tijjani Faraga, who is a friend to my uncle. They attended University of Jos together.
Let me tell you my experience about modelling; some time ago, one modelling company approached me and wanted to sign me for a job, and apart from the pictures of me that they would take in hundreds they offered to pay me handsomely, but that I would pose for them in indecent scenes – meaning pictures that will expose my body. They said they would use that only for their private collections which I turned down. My reason is that as a Muslim who still single if the pictures leak to the press what will I do, or they may even blackmail me to say if I do not sleep with them they will leak my nude pictures. That’s why I am not into modelling.
Why do you think actresses and successful ladies are not always successful in marriage?
Let me tell you; honestly, some people marry us because of their desire to have us and later end the marriage. All they want is to brag that I marry so, so and so star actresses while others would come to you and try to have an affair with you and when you turn them down they will pretend to be serious and come up with a marriage proposal. However, once the marriage is contracted and they get what they wanted, they will start creating unnecessary problems so that the marriage will not last. To be honest, every woman wants her marriage to be successful.
How about the way actors or actresses dress? Some male actors even use ear rings while the female ones, even while on stage, sport tight- fitting dresses that make them look cheap and wayward.
If you are into this business there are some things that some people will hate to see you do. Some of the ways we dress are based on the script and the thinking of the director; you either reject it or take it and then the issue of we female actresses using films to sell or advertise ourselves for commercial purposes. The issue is, for me, when I was about to join the industry my parents knowing who I am blessed me and advised me to remember that I am a woman, still single and a Muslim and the world will judge me with what I do so. I have no problems; after all when we go shooting films we go in groups while sometimes we shoot openly in the streets. So, how does one misbehave?
As for taking drugs or other stimulants, count me out. I only eat good food and drink water. Another issue is that these days when the level of education even in the North has risen and people have become more civilised, wearing trousers is no longer an issue. Most homes, Hausa homes, female children wear trousers and shirts, it’s nothing new, everything is in the mind. Remember also that for you to entertain and create awareness, you have to wear what will make the message easily felt.
Is it true that some producers ask actresses for sex before giving them roles?
Well, it has never happened to me; even the boyfriends I have are casual ones. I am still testing the seriousness of my casual boyfriends, so that I will decide which one to marry. I can marry a poor man; this is because you can marry a poor man and God can bless two of you to become rich. We have issues with quack actors and actresses that do all sorts of things, so I am appealing to some of us to fear God and stop portraying us in bad light. As for my children, I will allow my children to take to acting if their father will not object to it.
Since you are in Kannywood to be popular and make money, can you hug and kiss in films?
Well, the truth is that this is Kannywood, not Nollywood, Bollywood or Hollywood. So, as a Hausa Fulani and a Muslim I can’t kiss or hug on stage. In fact, in my school, if you don’t know me I will never advertise myself as an actress, but some students come to me and ask if I am Samira Saje. To that I will laugh and say yes. Those who are watching us should wish us well for there are temptations in every profession and the world is a global village. You also asked how I will be staying in hotels. Well, if I travel to a place where I have relations, I stay with them. However, staying in hotels is okay by me.
Looking at you, one will see a mature, robust and ripe beauty that is ready for the modern world. Actually, there is nothing to suggest that you are only 26 years of age; are you sure the environment is kind to you?
I thank you, ‘Larry King.’ I know what you mean and where you are coming from. I am 26 years of age and fully mature, and I am also beautiful like you keep on emphasising, but believe me I am as innocent and as holy as holy water. My appearance should not deceive you; ask my colleagues.