Born in Bauchi State and raised in Jos, Plateau State, Mohammed had the intention of studying Geology and Mining but he ended up studying Mass Communication first at diploma level at the University of Jos and later at the Bayero University Kano. It was while he was an undergraduate that he joined Kannywood. “I joined in 1998”, he said.
But before he joined Kannywood, Mohammed, who has acted in over 100 movies, wrote a number of poems and short stories during his days in early school and as an undergraduate. As he kept on writing, the actor and model who has over a thousand songs to his credit, looked forward to the day he will have the opportunity to have them either staged or produced as a film. He also composed and wrote a couple of songs but it was never his intention to sing. Like he said, he simply “wanted to be behind the camera or the stage, producing and directing”.
Mohammed does more than just producing and directing. “I didn’t plan to be a jack of all trades and master of all as some of my colleagues refer to me. I just wanted to be behind the camera, directing and producing. Even being a singer came to me naturally. Yes, I wrote songs but I had no intention to be a singer. Things just fell in place for me when I joined Kannywood and I worked to ensure that I understood the different trades. I think it is divine. I am destined to do all that I am doing today and what has helped me is that I space them out and work at my pace”, he said.
Mohammed started off in Kannywood writing scripts and working behind the scene. He trained on the job, rose through the ranks and in no time he found himself calling the shots and signing works as a producer. But as he worked behind the scene, a few of his colleagues talked him into taking up roles as an actor. They mounted pressure on Mohammed and in no time he found himself in front of the camera.
“I later fell in love with acting because I found out that acting takes away the actor’s burden, worries and sorrows even if it is only for a temporary moment. Once you fall into the character, it takes over your being. You only focus on how to make a perfect presentation and make sure your message gets across properly”.
Co-founder of ‘2ffect Empire’, a production company he runs with the multi-talented artiste Sani Danja, Mohammed and Sani have led the company to sign some movies including ‘Gabarcikingida,’ ‘Saninake so’ ‘Romiyo’, ‘DakaiZanGana,’ ‘Sisingwal,’ and ‘Mailaya Mai zamani’.
Star of ‘Shu’uma’, ‘Nas’ and countless other productions, Mohammed describes the experience of being an entertainer as “very good and enriching”. He said: “The experience has been very enriching. I enjoy what I am doing. I love impacting people positively, and my work offers me the opportunity to achieve that”.
Publisher of ‘Noble Icon’, a magazine published in Abuja, Mohammed who is married, has also produced a movie for Family Health International with funding by the USAID. Titled ‘Jankunne’ (The Awakening), the success of the movie as Mohammed hinted, earned the movie a mention in the famous ‘Wall Street Journal’.
Mohammed spends time with his family when he is not on any set. In between, the actor who named his late father as his role model, reads “anything readable”. He also spends his off screen period reviewing his works. He speaks about his late father: “I lost my father when I was nine years old. One thing that he instilled in us, his children, before his death, was the pursuit of education. He wasn’t a rich man, but was somebody who believed that, with education, with knowledge, one could get to the very top in his chosen career. I am sure in his grave he will be happy that I followed his advice and made good his expectations of me”.
If his father were to be alive, would he have resisted his incursion into acting? “No, he would not have resisted it”, Mohammed replied and adds: “I think what would have mattered to him is my getting well educated. But you see, unlike what people think of us as filmmakers, filmmaking is a respectable and noble profession. We are responsible people trying to make positive impact on the society. But it is getting better. I mean, the level of appreciation of what we do and our contribution to society.”
And what is the future for Kannywood? Mohammed who sees a great future for Kannywood, replies: “Very bright future. We have done well as an industry and there is still plenty room for improvement. We have massive follower ship even beyond the shores of this country. So we have a large market. What remains now is the enabling environment for us to improve on the quality of our works, which keeps improving day by day. But I know we will get there and my prayer is to be a part of that story”.