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Reloaded Return For Kannywood’s Shining Star, Maryam Isah


Outside Nollywood, one other motion picture sub-sector that has the reputation of throwing up new talents almost on a quarterly basis is Kannywood.

The Kano-based motion picture industry has thrown up many dynamic talents and there are so many others waiting in the wings to exhale.

One of those young stars that Kannywood has thrown up is the delectable Maryam Isah.


The Kano State born actress who is the half-sister to one of Kannywood’s notable actresses Mansurah Isah has been having a good run off and on screen since she joined the acting turf a few years ago.

Maryam is regarded as one of the very few young stars that have been pulling their own string and really showing that they are good in what they are doing.

An actress with her eyes on the summit, Maryam was convinced by her half-sister Mansurah and her in-law who is a top Kannywood actor and producer Sanni Danja to venture into the world of make believe after they established that she got all it takes to have a steady run in the movie.

Maryam recalled that she attended a few auditions where she was able to convince some directors and producers that she got the acting chops.

Doors opened ‘after one or two auditions’ and since then it has remained open for the star of ‘Kukan Kurciya’ who combines acting with business and who had her primary and secondary education in Kano.

A devote Muslim and a product of the Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Maryam who speaks Hausa and English fluently said she took the decision to join Kannywood not just because she has a sister (Mansurah) who is a leading Kannywood actress and wife of a leading Kannywood actor (Sani Danja) but because she is passionate about acting.

Although she acknowledged that she rose swiftly to become a recognizable face as a result of the guidance and occasional counseling she got from her sister, her husband and some producers and directors, Maryam noted that the biggest motivation for her is the fact that acting provides the platform for her to contribute her quota in educating, enlightening and entertaining people.


“I am always elated when I run into people especially women who see me as their model or someone that they can look up to or someone who has taught them one or two things from the previous roles I have played in movies.

So my reason for joining Kannywood is to contribute my quota in educating and entertaining people.’’

Born and raised in Kano, the ‘Aurena Rayuwata,’ star disclosed that she has received a number of invitations from some Nollywood producers to take part in some English language movies, but as she explained, she has had to turn down most of the request because according to her they largely go against ‘Islamic tenets’.

She also said “I am a Muslim. Agreed that as an actor I should be able to take up any role.

But I cannot accept any role that I will be required to wear suggestive costumes or expose my bodies. It is against my culture and religion and I place a lot of value on my culture and religion. So give me a decent role and I will take up but definitely not dirty roles.’’

Star of some of Kannywood’s critically acclaimed movies like ‘Turai’, ‘Rumaisa’ and ‘Rai Da Rayuwa’, If Maryam has any pain to share, then it is the pain of being divorced and having to return to the industry, few months after a lavish industry wedding ceremony that attracted the best from Kannywood.

Although she has moved on, hoping too that she will find love again and this time with ‘a God-fearing man’, Maryam regretted ever succumbing to the advances of her former husband.

“I don’t want to talk about it. I simply got entangled with a wrong guy who claimed all sorts while asking me out.


I got into the marriage only to find out that he was fake.

I don’t want to talk about it. The more I talk about it, the more I feel like pressing charges.

I lost valuable time and monies trying to make sure we had a grand wedding and also that we will live happily afterwards. But Allah knows best.

I am happy that I went into it and came out alive and well and fit enough to continue to do my work as an actress.

I am still young and there is so much for me in front.’’

So will Maryam agree to a fresh marriage proposal anytime soon? “By the Grace of Allah’’ she snapped.

“But he must be God-fearing and must be supportive of my career.

Although I am ready to give up the profession, if he insists but what is important is that he must be God-fearing and must be supportive,’’ she added.

Maryam’s career ambition is to get to the top of her acting career.

“My ambition is to get to the top and to be regarded as a world-class actress,’’ she said adding, “I have a sister (Mansurah) who has done well for herself as an actress.

She pushed the envelope way beyond and took Nollywood to greater heights.

I want to get to that level she has attained and even more.

I definitely want to get to the top and stay there.’’

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