Contrary to what many people in the Ghana movie industry say, screen actress Kalsoume Sinare says boldly that the industry is booming and for actresses like her, the income has been good.
“We no longer have to combine acting with another job because now it is possible for actors to survive on their artiste fees as compared to the past”.The pretty and loveable actress made this revelation last Monday at south Labadi in Accra when the Showbiz newspaper met her for a long-awaited interview.
Although Kalsoume would not say how much her highest pay cheque has been, she conceded that actors are being paid much more than they were in the past, “It is very good, I thank God that we have gotten somewhere because you can easily survive on what you are paid these days. The industry is booming and many new faces on screen are also doing very well.”
“Back in the day, people had to combine acting with other jobs but now you can survive on acting alone,” she said. Kalsoume was not wrong because a quick check tmade with a few prominent actors and actresses revealed that they were taking between GH¢2,500 and GH¢6,000 per movie.
The full-time actress added though that she has other business that generates income like her South-Labadi based salon, Farikals, where a good number of celebrities patronise. “That is a salon I have been running for about 21 years so it goes way back and still doing very well.”
For some time last year, Kalsoume seems to have disappeared from the screen. “That was when I went to have a baby”, she said. “By His grace, I have three lovely children, Shaquille 13, Bukeem 11 and the last and only girl Kashira who is 17 months old.”
Only two and a half months after having her daughter, she was back on set in Kumasi where she did Lost Desire which featured Nollywood star Kanayo O Kanayo and Jackie Appiah.
“Since then I have been doing one movie after the other and one of my favourite in recent times is Her Excellency, a Venus Films Production in which I played the role of a Vice President who was trying to get what rightly belongs to her and that was a very challenging role.”
Her very first movie was Kofi Owusu’s Out of Sight in 1993, directed by Tom Robeiro. “Though my acting career actually started from that state with Nkrabea Effah Dartey’s Theatre Mirrors, I have not looked back since I hit the screens and it has been a wonderful experience.”
She mentioned Out of Sight, Princess Tyra and Mummy’s Daughter as some of her all time favorites.
Having done a number of collaborations in Nigeria, Kalsoume said that there is no major difference working in both countries. “Of course the only major thing is that you get paid in dollars when you work in Nigeria and that makes the fee slightly higher but trust me, they have also been coming here for collaborations so it tells you how much our industry has shot up.”
A number of film enthusiasts have observed that though Kalsoume has starred in some high profile movies, she has also been seen in a few not-up-to-standard ones. Her reaction to that was, “maybe that was back then but I thank Allah that I am part of the good ones, there were obviously certain things I did not know as a beginner so I may have settled for anything back then but definitely not now,” she said with a smile.
Asked which actor or actress she feels most comfortable on set with, Kalsoume mentioned Jackie Appiah, “We just click and I flow a lot with her, I think Majid Michael is a fantastic actor too.”
That took us to one question I could not wait to ask her. Kalsoume has put on weight as compared to how skinny she was back in the day and a lot of fans think she looks terrific with her present full figure.
“I started as a model so naturally I could not have had this figure then, now thanks to Allah because I have had all my kids and hey, I am not a young person anymore but I thank Him for His grace.” “I am happy my fans love me like this but they should pray for me to maintain this figure and not to beyond this,” she said bursting into her trademark infectious laughter.
She had a little story to tell about how drastic her change in figure has been, “I did an Akwetey-Kanyi movie called Babina in which I played the lead character Babina, back then I was very slim and used to wear all those lengthy blond weave-ons and people called me Babina wherever I went but some of them don’t recognize me these days and come asking if I am Kalsoume’s sister, can you imagine?”
For the records, Kalsoume was second runner-up at Miss Ghana 1989 and represented Ghana at Miss Model of the World in 1990 where she walked away with the prestigious Miss Model of Africa crown. She is also a former Miss 2nd Image and Miss Peacock.
If anyone thought that Maame, as she is affectionately called by close friends and family does not go through any challenges as an actress, then they are getting it all wrong because she sure does.
“Combing my duties as a wife, mother and actress is not easy at all considering the long hours I have to be on set and shuttling between taking care of my husband and children.
Having babies in between has been very demanding especially when I am breast-feeding and still going on set, it has not been easy and I can’t stop thanking Allah for seeing me through till date.”
Kalsoume is married to Tony Baffoe, a former player of the senior National Team, the Black stars who has stints with FIFA and CAF and is the Puma consultant and ambassador for West Africa and is also into sports management and sports consultancy.
He is the father of Kalsoume’s three children. One might be wondering why I am going on about Kalsoume’s husband but it is the rumour making rounds that the two are divorced or were separated. The question to Kalsoume was, was there ever a bad patch in her marriage to Tony?
“Of course, everybody experiences these things, there are ups and downs in every marriage and we had our fair share of that, nobody is perfect but the important thing is that Tony and I are still happily married and I won’t hesitate to say the he is such a wonderful husband very supportive of me.”
Has Kalsoume’s husband ever had a problem with any role she has played? “He hasn’t done anything controversial you know,” she said not holding back her laugher.Kalsoume is the first child of nine children comprising six girls and three boys born to Alhaji Adam Said Sinare and Zainab Sinare both of blessed memory.
Kalsoume attended the South Labadi Experimental School, St Michael’s International School and Accra High Schools before beginning her acting and modeling career. She mentions watching movies wither kids, reading to them and having them read to her as her hobbies.
This was her message to her fans before we ended a rather exciting interview, “I love them all and would like to tell them to keep watching and patronizing our movies because without them, we are nobody. God bless us all.”
Beyonce, Out Of Sight, Mummy’s Daughter, etc