Meet 11-year-old Mariam Kayode, first child actress nominated at AMVCA
I am Mariam Kayode. I am 11 years old and attend Kingsfield College, Ijede Campus. I am from Oyo State.
What do you do and what is the motivation behind it?
I am a child actress. My love for acting motivated me to act, even when I am given challenging roles.
How did you become an actress?
I started acting at age eight with my mum’s film school (classwork). I then played the role of a girl with alter ego whose father was murdered in her presence.
This was when my mum discovered my talent and spoke to my dad about it. They asked if I like acting and my response was yes, with lots of excitement.
So, I can say my parents influenced my going into acting.
What are the challenges that come with acting?
Except for shooting late at night, it is always an interesting experience staying with co-actors who are big stars in the industry.
What category or aspect of acting are you best at?
I believe I am very good at every aspect, although my parents always say I can do better. However, I am yet to feature in ‘action film.’
How do you manage schooling and acting?
It is to plan ahead with the production schedule. When I get the production schedule and know the number of days that I would be on set, my mum would then speak with my class teacher, who then speaks with the subject teachers to get the topics they are to teach while I would not be in school.
With this, I read on my own and do my assignments. So, I don’t really miss out on school activities.
Although, it is tasking, I do it for the love of acting.
How do feel acting on a set?
I feel very excited, because most times, I find roles fascinating. This makes me feel that there are actually kids like that.
How was your training like, rigorous or easy?
My mum is currently my coach. She is tough and easy at the same time.
When she trains me, she makes sure my attention is not divided by continuously telling me to ‘focus’ and not laugh or play with her.
Do you make money from acting?
Yes, I do. But the most important thing to me is the experience and exposure I get from acting. I have travelled to different places, seen different things and made new friends; they are all exciting and important to me.
Who are your role models in the movie industry and outside the industry?
I have quite a number of role models I look up to. Outside the movie industry or maybe I can say still in the industry are my parents, Mr. Ahmed Kayode and Mrs. Titilola Kayode.
Majorly in the movie industry, I look up to Aunts Rita Dominic and Funke Akindele, Uncles Ramson Nouah and Odunlade Adekola, among others.
What are the names of the movies you have been featured in?
Starting from my mum’s class project, I have featured in three movies, one short film and a music video.
They are Darklight directed by my mum, Titilola kayode; Happiness Ltd directed by Imor Umoren; Don’t Leave Me directed by A’wizzle; The Nigerians, a music video by Ebisan; and Children Of Mud that earned me AMVCA nomination.
What stands you out from other child actresses?
My talent and the grace of God stand my brand #MariamKayode out from other child actresses.
Would you go into acting fully after your education?
I would very much like to continue acting, when I finish my education. I also have other attribute, which is defending/standing/speaking for kids who are not fit to do so.
Were you at any point discouraged by your parents, siblings or even pressure from studies?
No one has ever discouraged me from acting. My parents are my biggest fans and critics.
Everyone who knows I act encourages me, even in my school. And my younger brother is my biggest supporter and always cheering me.
What category were you nominated for in the just concluded AMVCA 2018?
It is in the Best Actress in Movie/TV Series Category.
How did you feel when you learnt that you are the first child actress to be nominated for an award?
I felt and still feel very happy. I am grateful. I didn’t see it coming; I didn’t even know that the movie Children Of Mud was submitted for AMVCA award.
So, it was a pleasant surprise for us, when we found out that I was nominated.
How do you think this nomination will add to your acting career?
The nomination has added to my acting career in a positive way.
It has further exposed me to people who have never seen me before now, which has tremendously boosted my career.
Now, everyone wants to have an interview with me. I believe more acting jobs will soon come, as people now believe in my talent.
What other things should we be looking forward to?
I want you to look forward to more positive things from me, as I do the things I love.
What other things are you skilled at doing?
Apart from acting, I am a good singer and a fantastic dancer. l also love to support and speak for kids that need help.
I look forward to getting support from organisations and companies, so that together we can help ‘The Children of Mud.’
And maybe one day, I will make a good lawyer defending children’s rights.
Any advice for kids with potentials out there?
My words to the kids with potential out there is to be the best that they can be, seek support from your parents to do what you love, and never underestimate your talents.
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