Following her passion for acting, budding actress, Aisha Ibrahim has featured in many movies including ‘Ogbon Inu’ and ‘Kulusoni’. Also, leaving her comfort zone as an actress to take a shot at production, the Lagos State University graduate of Theatre Arts has produced a movie of her own entitled ‘Emotions’. She revealed in this interview the reason she became a producer among other issues.
BY ADETUTU ADESOJI
It is believed that people venture into acting for fame and money, is this same with you?
For me, it is my passion for the craft that drives me. I wanted to act right from my childhood and as a child I wasn’t thinking of money or fame, all I wanted was to do something that I love.
How and when did you know you wanted to be an actress?
That was in 2006 at the University of Ibadan when I was doing a diploma course in Theatre Arts. It was then I realized that I had something to offer and wanted to showcase my talent so I decided to major in acting. There were so many courses to study under Theatre Arts but I chose acting because I knew that was what I wanted to do. After studying Theatre Arts at diploma level at the University of Ibadan I went ahead to get a Bachelor’s degree at the Lagos State University. Dr Sola Fosudo and Yemi Amodu were among my trainers.
What movie do you consider your breakthrough?
I consider many movies my breakthrough, ‘Ogbon Inu’, ‘Kulusoni’ and so many others; I played very good roles in these movies so I will say they are all breakthrough movies.
Do you in anyway feel threatened by the big players in the industry?
I don’t feel threatened by anybody, instead I see them as people that inspire me. I want to learn as much as I can from them. I work on myself everyday and if I keep at it I know I will get to the point that these people are.
Without training do you think an actor can succeed in the industry?
Well, I would not say that actors cannot find their way in the industry without undergoing training, so many people have talents but they still need to be trained. A talent needs to be polished for it to be perfect; I believe talent is not just enough. Anyone can get to wherever they want to but it will take time if they are not trained.
What do you consider before accepting a script?
I look out for the production itself, I want to know the people in charge of the project. Money is not the first thing that comes to mind, although money is important but as an actor if you are solely drawn by money you might end up not doing much. There is a difference between working for money and working because you have the passion for what you do. There are times I get scripts and fall in love with the story and there won’t be money in it for me, I take up such jobs because I love what I do.
Have you produced any movie yet?
I have produced one already and working on another one. The title of my first movie is ‘Emotions’, I just submitted it online but it has not been uploaded yet. Also, I have a working title for my new movie ‘Onibara (customer)’.
Going by its title ‘Emotions’, is it an English or a Yoruba movie?
It is 70% English and 30% Yoruba but it will be listed as a Yoruba movie.
Which is more financially rewarding, being an actress or a producer?
Being a producer is more financially rewarding than being an actress. As a producer you own all the money, you are in charge of the production and in place to pay your crew members, while as an actress you will work a times and not even get paid.
Have you ever been asked for sex in exchange for a role?
I have had a terrible experience while I was coming up in the industry back in 2011 when I used to go for English movie auditions. This experience made me step back from attending these auditions, they are very blunt over there, a director asked me to compromise before I could get a role and it was like a slap on my face. I had to reject the offer, for me, messing up in an industry you are looking to work and go far in is not the right thing to do because at the end of the day it will come back at you.
It doesn’t happen like that in the Yoruba industry?
I’m not saying it doesn’t happen in the Yoruba industry, of course, it happens but it is easier for you to become a producer and make you own movies especially if you know what you are doing and have the money.
How would you rate the Nollywood industry?
I would rate it 80%, the industry is improving every day, you see people trying new concept every time. We are improving more on our effects, makeups and every other thing; I believe we will get up there very soon.
It is believed that there is discrimination in the industry, how true is that?
I would say it is very true because everyone prefers to call their people for their productions. Yoruba producers prefers to call Yoruba actors for their movies, the same happens in the English industry too, that is just the way it is.
We don’t see more of Yoruba movies in the cinema why is that?
For this, I think the cinema is supposed to cut across all languages and not focus only on one language that is why Yoruba movies don’t go in cinemas.
Are you saying Yoruba movies are not accepted in the cinema?
Although some of our Yoruba movies are not shot for cinema standard, we only shot for the cinema when necessary. Language barrier also won’t allow Yoruba movies make much money in the cinema, you won’t see Hausa movies as well in the cinema.
What is your relationship status?
I’m in a relationship.
Do you see yourself getting married soon?
Yes, very soon by the grace of God.
Why do you think actresses take long to marry?
It is not easy for an actress to find a husband because most times we come across men who do not want us as wives but only as flings because they believe so many people are after us as well. They can’t bring themselves to trust an actress and settle down with her. So, even if a man gets together with an actress, it doesn’t last because not every man is comfortable with a person that is always away on set. It takes only a man that understands the nature of the job and is ready to support, but then as an actress you have to make your man trust you no matter what.
In your opinion how important is sex in a relationship?
Sex is not the most important thing in a relationship especially if it is a serious one. It is only a big deal if the people involved are just messing around with each other.
Who is Aisha Ibrahim?
I’m a young up and coming talented actress. I’m from a family of four, my dad is late, and I have a sister. I’m an indigene of Kano State, my dad was Hausa while my mother is Yoruba from Lagos State. I speak the Yoruba language fluently and very little Hausa.
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