Zainab Abiola Sulaimon


By Ajibade Alabi

Zainab Abiola Sulaiman, the beautiful Nollywood actress who has carved a niche for herself in the movie industry was with Ajibade Alabi in her office recently. She spoke exclusively about her career and other issues.

From what I can observe in your office, you seem not only to be only an actress, but also a businesswoman?
If you say so even though I have to agree with you as I am not only an actress, but also a business woman. I have a travelling agency called Zasby Travels. I do talk shows with an online TV too.

You have introduced yourself even without asking. Anyway, can you please officially introduce yourself?
My name is Zainab Abiola Sulaiman, an actress and business woman. I am from Lagos Island, though I was born and bred in Kano where I had my primary education before I went to Katsina for my post-primary education. I attended The Polytechnic Ibadan for my National and Higher Diplomas in Mass Communication.

You read Mass Communication, but why are you in the movie industry?
Initially I wanted to be a lawyer, but my mother discouraged me. She said I would become a cultist as there is no lawyer who does not belong to one cult or the other. I therefore decided to be an actress, but she again told me I don’t need to go to do that as she wouldn’t want to waste her money sending me to school since she could easily take me to Mama Rainbow or Iya Awero to become an actress. I did not argue with her because I knew where I was going.

And how did the journey as an actress begin?
It all started in 2002 when I walked into the office of Remmy Shita-Bey and told him I wanted to be an actress and would want him to put me through.

Somebody must have inspired you. Who is that person?  
Jumoke George inspired me. I loved the way she spoke, her accent and carriage. She gave me the confidence my mother took away from me.

Did you tell her about it?
Yes I later told her.

Which was the first movie you appeared in?
My first movie  was “ Eyin Oju Akanni”. I took the lead role in “Tipatipa ni.” I have also acted in movies like “Angeli mi” “Anikesileke,”  “Felele”  “Omoijebu” “ Aanu Obi” and many others I can hardly recollect at this moment. “Mystery girl” was my majo English movie although I do more of soap such as “So wrong so right”,  “Behind the siege”, “comfort zone” and so on.

Of all these movies which one would you consider your best?
“Tipatipa ni” happened to be my best where I acted as bad girl. The ole interpretation was beautiful and was happy about it.

Do you have any close female pal in the industry?
No, I don’t have close associate among my female colleagues

I feel more comfortable with my male colleagues because they don’t really engage on issues like belonging to a caucus in the industry.

If offered a role that will involve kissing, will you accept it?
Why not? I can kiss in a movie; I have done that several times. There is make-believe kissing which is what we have in the industry. There are no feelings attached to it.

If I may ask, would you mind dating your professional colleague?
Dating a colleague? It is not a sin, but I can’t do it.

As a popular actress, has there been any time you were embarrassed publicly?
Embarrassed? I have a dual personality. In my mother’s area, I cannot disguise even when I wear my sun glasses since I am well-known there and easily recognized. In other places I always put on dark glasses.

Can you recollect your first kiss?
My first kiss?  No comments.

What is your view about the movie industry in Nigeria?
To me I will say the industry is still doing well and I believe we have not really reached our zenith. But, we will get there some day.

Nollywood actresses are often accused of not keeping their home front. What is your take?
It happens every day, everywhere and in every sector, but because we are always in the limelight it is quite easy for people to see what happens to actors and actresses at the home front. I will also state here that anyone who want to marry an actress should marry her with her job although I will partially blame the women because they choose to paint who they are not to the world.

I don’t want to mention names, but some actresses will go to the social media to display to the world material acquisitions their husband bought for them. We don’t need that as it has led to marital issues in different homes.

What is yours selling point?
I am neither light complexioned, busty nor possess a big ass. (Prolonged laughter). I have only enjoyed the mercy of God

What is it that get men attracted to you?
Just the glory of God upon my life.
I mean your physical attribute.
I don’t have any; it is just the mercy of God

Then what is it that gets you attracted to a man?
I love a man with a good heart.
How do you get to know he has a good heart and supportive without admiring something in him first. At least something must have attracted you to him
His personality and maturity

Is Zainab married or a single mother?
Sorry, I don’t speak about my personal life in the media.

Bernard Taiwo

I am Management strategist, Editor and Publisher.

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