TWENTY-YEAR-OLD Sekinat Usman, actress, producer, script writer, entrepreneur, and brand influencer, is gazing at the future with hope, resolve, and optimism.
As her latest work, ‘Shekinah,’ debuts next Monday, the Kogi-born actress said she is determined to make a name in the industry through serious learning, patience, and perseverance.
Since 2018, she had opted for a career in the entertainment industry, where life is full of ups and downs. To Sekinat, it is important to study and emulate the giants in the industry, who through their devotion, determination, hardwork, sacrifice, and resilience, got to the top.
“Acting is my career, not a short-time vocation,” she said as she reflected on the journey so far. “I am motivated by the success stories of great men and women in the industry, who are my role models. I am determined to succeed like them, ” she added.
As a teenage-actress, Sekinat had starred in a number of movies, which created a path to fame for her. She played a lead role in “Oko Ore Mi,” which she recalled, was very challenging.
Since then, she had also starred in numerous others, including Imoran, Kaffy Omo Lemomu, Ika, Ile Opo, Ibeji Mi, Simisola, and One Plus One is Three.
Last year, she made progress through her film, ‘Eru(Fraud),’ which was a success. Then, she started shooting for another, ‘Dangerous Wedding,’ which is still “under production.”
But, I take more pride in my completed work, Sekinat, which will be out on Monday. It will be an accomplishment and what will propel me forward to greater heights,” Sekinat said.
Highlighting the challenges of acting and production, she said only those who confront the constraints can triumph. “The greatest challenge is money for production. I would have done a lot more. But for financial constraint,” she stressed.
There are hues and cries in the industry about the common social deviation and adversity triggered by the weakness of human nature. Although sexual harassment is not a controversy that is peculiar to actors, actresses, and managers, it is often blown out of proportion, with entertainment celebrities paying the price of stardom.
Sekinat acknowledged that social and sexual advances are features of daily existence, but what makes the difference is the style of management.
“It is a choice, not by force. If you come my way and I like you, we can be friends. We agree on boundaries. I respect my fans. At this stage, I must be focused,” she said.
The actress stressed the importance of role models in the entertainment industry. She paid tribute to star actress Funke Akindele, Sola Sobowale, Mo Abudu, Adesua, Toyin Abraham, Odunlade Adekola, Femi Adebayo, Wasiu Adeyanju, and “Pa” Tunde Kelani. “These are my role models. I want to be like them. I am ready to walk through their path to success and fame. I should brace up for the challenges,” she said.
Although an actress, Sekinat is conscious of the imperative of education for personal development. Currently, she studies Mass Communications at the Yaba College of Technology, Yaba.
How is she coping with acting and schooling? Her response:”Maintaining a balance is not difficult. It is a Part-Time Programme. It is still challenging. But, I am coping. Without education, you are incomplete.”
Sekinat has won moderate awards. She is the ‘Young Actress for Entrepreneurship Ambassador from Nigeria to Indonesia and ‘The Brand Influencer of Merit Product.’
How does she hope to survive in the highly competitive industry, which is domiciled in a harsh economic environment? She said:”I understand the factors and conditions for success. These are prayers, determination to succeed, and full focus. I try to do all these.”