Rekiya Yusuf is fast becoming a household name after making her big break playing the role of “MiMi” in the TV comedy drama “My Flatmates”. It didn’t take long for Rekiya Yusuf to engrave the character “Mimi” into the hearts of the fans as she played the role of Frank’s girlfriend perfectly, with her sense of humor and troublesome nature. However, “My Flatmates” is not the only project Rekiya Yusuf has been part of, she has featured in series of movies and TV shows including “Calabash”, “Drunk in love”, “Spotlight”, “The Siege” amongst others.
Rekiya Yusuf is an indigene of Kogi State, where she studied and got her bachelor degree in industrial microbiology. How does a microbiologist have a sudden change in career and divert into acting? These are some of the questions that will be answered.
In addition to having a bachelor degree, Rekiya bagged a diploma in acting at the Royal arts academy.
Keep reading to find out more about this amazing actress.
I am from Kogi state Nigeria, I’m Ebira from Okene. I’m a Christian.
Journey to fame how it all started
In 2014, I decided to go to acting school (Royal arts academy) owned by Emem Misodi Isong in Lagos. The plan was to go into presenting but the course duration for presenting was quite long so I opted for certification in acting instead which took about three months.
What influenced my passion for acting?
The passion at first wasn’t for acting, it was for presenting. I’d been told to try it by close family friends because I love talking. And I’ve always loved a good TV show… The poise and eloquence of the presenters I watched were amazing and I thought to myself that I could actually do this. But then I found myself in acting school and the passion came gradually after I went on several film sets. I fell in love with the entire process of film making.
One word for the first time I saw myself on TV
Hilarious. For some reason It felt weird seeing myself on TV like that. So I was laughing at myself. I couldn’t believe it really.
How I get the roles I play?
I used to attend a lot of auditions. At the grassroots of my career that was how I got most of my roles but as I kept going, roles came on referrals from producers, actors, directors etc…
Fitting into the role of Mimi
Fitting into this role was a gradual process. If you watched the first episodes aired you might be able to tell I struggled with the character a little before embodying it. It was challenging though but I believe I’ve been able to interpret the character in the best possible way.
Working with the cast and crew of MY FLATMATES
It is always fun. And I believe the show has become a huge success but we compliment each other on the show. We help each other with come back reactions and all. Safe to say that we rub off each other. The FLATMATES crew are the hardest working film crew I’ve ever worked with in my entire career. Their creativity is second to none.
Favorite role so far?
Playing the Character Doris on Paul Igwe’s sitcoms the OJAYS has to be my favorite role I’ve played. This is because it was my first major role played in a sitcom. The show is a classic situation comedy about a widower and his challenges in raising seven daughters and in as much as it seems like a dysfunctional family, they stick together against all odds. A beautiful family series if you ask me.
Roles I’ll love to play
I’d love to play more emotionally challenging roles… Like the character Rose in Fences played by Viola Davis. Also the character Elizabeth Sloane in the movie Miss Slaone played by Jessica Chastain one of my favorite actors.
One thing you’d be most surprised to know about me
I’m an extremely shy person… Lol
Yes it’s true. That why when you meet me in person I come off as mean probably because I always have a bland expression or rather a straight face.
Most ridiculous rumor about me
So I heard that I got married. I don’t know to who or where or even when. Lol I’m still single please.
Most hurtful comment about me?
So here’s the thing. People’s opinion about my personal life or my work is an absolute reflection of themselves. Their knowledge of understanding of me as a person and as an actor so I’m hardly ever hurt by that. Now while I take people’s constitutive criticism about my work serious I’m pretty tough skinned to negative comments.
People will always talk. The earlier you understand that the easier for you to move past negativity but then again that’s my opinion.
What to expect from me?
I’m planning to try my hands on production sometimes in the year. Got my first script for a short film which should have been shot in June this year. But with the ongoing pandemic one is yet to know the effects on the industry so for now we wait. Man proposes but God disposes. Also I have a movie coming out this year so fingers crossed.
Biggest Challenge when taking on a Role
One major challenge I have is breaking out of character for another role. For instance, because I’ve been playing the character MIMI for four years now, whenever I get cast for another movie, during the course of shoot I tend to flash some of the traits of the character MIMI.
So it takes repeated conscious reminders that I’m playing a different role.
First thing that comes to mind before the cameras start to roll
I always always say a short prayer after which I tell myself I can do this. I take deep breathes and 5 seconds speech exercise before the Director yells ACTION. Every time!!!!
If I could change one thing in the Entertainment industry
Content Distribution. Now while global digital markets are changing, I realized producers still have it difficult trying distribute their content. If I had a magic wand I’d create a working and reliable system through which content creators can conveniently distribute their creative work without the loopholes.
How many movies have you been part of
That will be hard to tell but between 30-40 movies. A rough estimate that is
On a scale of one to ten how excited I am about life
I’ll say a hard 7. I’ve always been a happy girl. Through the thick and thins I realize there’s so much to live and be grateful for and every time I count my blessings I’m amazed at how far I’ve come as a person and In my career. There’s still so much I want to do and I’m pretty excited about the journey and work ahead
My biggest career moment
That’ll be easy to tell. When I got cast to play the character MIMI in 2016. I didn’t believe I would be starring along side the biggest names in the comedy industry.
It was a dream come true. Also another huge high in my career was my first paid endorsement by MAON homes. Brought in the first millions I ever made in my career. I knew I had to be doing something right and it motivated me to be better as a person and as an actor.
How I improve on my acting?
I read a lot which is one of my favorite things to do. I read classics and biographies/autobiographies, acting books, etc
Also I watch movies a lot . I try to act out scenes I love, I record myself Acting out monologues . Also I think I am my biggest critic
Five actors I wanna work with
- Jessica Chastain
- Viola Davis
- Idris Elba (because he’s cute lol)
- Meryl Streep
- Morgan Freeman
- Regina Hall
Funniest person in person among the FLATMATES cast
This is pretty hard to say. They are all so uniquely hilarious but I can tell you who the trouble makers are but that’s not part of the question LOL
As a person, my biggest fear is leaving this world without leaving my mark. Which is why I try to be kind to people no matter their story or situation.
My biggest fear as an actor is to become irrelevant and what I mean by that is an actor whose work who can be easily replaced in the industry or an actor who is not missed not necessarily famous. when a role comes up and a casting director can say that I am best for the job then I’d have been an accomplished actor
Ability to read minds of course
Two truth and a lie
I’m a coffee freak
I love music
I’m a great dancer
What’s your annoying habits
I get really horrible mood swings. It’s annoying to even be me most times
Three things I always have in my bag
A perfume vail
What will I play if my life was to be made into a movie
I’d play my mother! An incredible woman and I don’t need to tell you the level of sarcasm African mothers have… Lol
One message for my fans
Are you a fan like we are? Follow her Instagram page @rekiyayusuf You should follow us too. @glancenigeria across all social media platforms.
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