Maryam Jibrin Gidado: Pearl of Kannywood sambas off and on screen

Maryam Jibrin Gidado

In Kannywood, as the Kano-based movie industry is simply called, Maryam Jibrin Gidado is a crowned princess.

Maryam, who holds a Diploma in Computer Science, as well as in Economics, is popular and everywhere she goes, she is accorded the kind of reception that top stars in any industry receive.

Popular amongst fans and colleagues as Maryam Babban Yaro, an alias she earned after she interpreted the lead role of the acclaimed Kannywood movie, Babban Yaro, also starring Adam Zango, Maryam has so far graced the jackets and posters of over 90 Kannywood movies and still counting.

Even though Maryam said she has lost count of the number of movies she has featured in since venturing into screen acting a little near a decade ago, she still has a lot of attachment to her first ‘blockbuster movie’ appearance, which earned her the alias Babban Yaro.

“The movie happened to be my first big movie appearance and I featured alongside some of the best in the industry, like the respected Adam Zango.

“The movie was well received when it was released and I think the name came because I played the daughter of a very rich man in the movie and I was everywhere in the movie and when the movie was released and it did well, people started referring to me by the movie’s title.”

Pretty, fashionable and easy-going, the single mother of two never knew she would end up being a constant visitor in most homes. Though she acknowledged that she was a movie buff and one who was particular about seeing only movies that edify, but it never occurred to her that she would one day become an actress, a full time actress at that.

But Maryam was inspired to venture into acting after she featured as an extra in a movie titled, Ragowar Yaki, which was shot on location in Jos. Before then, she had been engaged to feature as a dancer in the Mahmud Nagudu’s music video. Nagudu is huge in Kannywood and in the north and so Maryam said she had no issues featuring in the music video. Besides, as she noted, the song from the album, entitled, Garin So Nisa was full of life lessons, which impacted on people.

For Maryam, entertainment should not just be ‘entertainment for entertainment sake,’ but “it should be able to impact on the lives of people.”

It was indeed the desire to impact positively on the lives of people that later motivated Maryam, a Fulani lady, to launch headlong into acting.

Star of hit Kannywood movies, like Fulani, Sultan, Basaja, Munafikin Mata, Al’ajabi, Wata Hudu and Zawarawa, Maryam, who is visible on social media and has a huge following on Instagram and Facebook, said she would never be caught discussing her private life.

“I keep what is private, very private and what I want the public to know, I will let them know. I don’t discuss family matters in the open,” she said in reaction to a question on her marital relationship.

A multi-award-winning actress, who combines acting with running a beauty parlour, Maryam said her joy as an actress is in “hearing people say they have learnt so much from watching our movies generally or the movies I have taken part in.”

She added: “That is the joy for me; helping people solve life challenges through our movies and affecting them positively.

“That is what gives me joy, apart from the recognition and the fact that it opens doors of opportunities.”

Maryam plans to play a long game in the industry, enthusing that she has benefited immensely from working very closely with top Kannywood actors and producers, such as Adam Zango and Ali Nuhu, amongst many others, and looks forward to starring in a movie in mainstream Nollywood.

She has no plan to quit acting, but if she must, she would rather produce movies than quit completely.

“I don’t think anything can make me quit. May be marriage and if that situations comes, I won’t quit completely; I will produce movies to further my desire to impact positively on the lives of people.”

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