Aisha Umar Muhammad: New pearl of Kannywood steps up

There are some acting talents who come into the industry and take so long to get into reckoning. They would comb the streets for audition notices, grab the jobs, but their efforts never get to hit the kind of notes that would warm them into the hearts of the movie crowd.

Yet, there are others who come in and within a twinkle, become the darling of the movie crowd. Enter the delectable actress and Chemistry undergraduate of the Kano State University of Science and Technology, Aisha Umar Muhammad, who in less than two years of her incursion into the screen acting vocation has warmed herself into the hearts of the movie crowd in the Kano-based movie industry, called Kannywood.

Born to a father from Adamawa State and a mother from Kano, Aisha was born and raised in Kano. She also had her primary, secondary and now tertiary education in Kano, a reason the soft-spoken and unpretentiously friendly new pearl of the Kannywood industry described herself simply as ‘a full-blown Kano girl.’

Described by close friends as humble, easy-going and focused, Aisha didn’t venture into screen acting for want of nothing to do; she was already well occupied studying as a science student.

So, if she were not in the laboratory, she would be in the library or at home studying to make sure she finishes well as a final year student. However, she revealed that as much as she tried to concentrate on studies, something from inside, which she said might be her long held interest and passion for acting, urged her to give screen acting a try.

As a child, Aisha loved to sing and act. She was inspired by the great acting stuff that some of her favourite Indian and veteran Kannywood actors displayed on screen. And the interest grew as she watched them.

Even when she mentioned to a few friends that she may likely end up an actress, she thought it was one of those early career choices and dreams that would vanish with time. But as time passed, she found herself hugging that dream.

“It has been my dream to be an actress for ages. I grew up with that dream and nursed it until the opportunity to feature in a movie presented itself.

“And when I got the offer, I grabbed it, because for me, it was something of a dream come true,” she revealed. Star of acclaimed movies, such as Mashi, Zullumi, Mijin Aro and Bakin Alkalami, Aisha started her career in Kannywood playing lead and supporting roles.

Informed industry observers would agree that it is a rare feat for a new comer to be trusted with lead or supporting roles. But Aisha showed stuff in her earlier works, such as Tafaru Ta Kare and a few others and today, she has emerged for most producers and directors, a good centre to hang a story on.

She played lead in Mashi and Zullumi and has continued to grab lead roles. “A lot of people tell me that I am really lucky to be getting good roles, even though I have not stayed long, and they think it is a positive signs that the sky is my limit.

“Well, I think it is the favour of God and I thank God for what he has done for me and would still do. “I also thank all the directors and fellow actors that I have worked with. They have been very supportive and have encouraged me all the way,” she said.

Unlike other Kannywood actresses who have tales to tell about parental objection, Aisha revealed that her parents never objected to her decision to combine acting with schooling.

She, however, hinted that they expressed fear that her involvement in the movies might distract her from successfully completing her studies. “They expressed fears that I may dump studies for acting, and think I may be distracted, but I assured them that I will complete my studies and that acting will not stand in the way.

“I assured them that I would work out a schedule, so that one will not suffer for the other. I mean, I love acting, but schooling is equally as important. Once they got that assurance, they gave me their blessing and they have been very supportive,” she said.

Aisha looks forward to playing a long game in the movie industry and to some mainstream acting in Nollywood, as long as the roles she would be given to interpret would not “contradict her cultural and religious beliefs and values.”

Her other career ambition is to deploy her talent in promoting the Hausa/Fulani custom and tradition. “Acting and movies are vital tools for effecting positive change. Allah helping me, I intend to use my talent as an actress and may be as a producer in future to affect so many lives,” she surmised.

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