She sings, she dances, she acts and she’s the fresh new face on TVJ’s Weekend Smile Morning Show. But, what else do we know about this beautiful quadruple threat? I decided to fa`as in her business and share my findings with you.
Let`s get the boring stuff out of the way. How old are you?
I’m a mature 50 year old in a 31 year old woman’s body.
Which schools did you attend and what was your major in college?
I went to the Sts. Peter and Paul Prep School on a scholarship. After which, I was blessed enough to attend THE Most Fabulous Girls school that has ever existed. THE Immaculate Conception High School. Then, I went to UWI/UTech, studied Medical Technology, which I took a Leave of Absence from to go look wuk.
Before we get to the ‘looking wuk’ part. Were you a good student? Why/why not?
I was an EXCELLENT student! Okay. That’s a lie. I couldn’t even say that with a straight face. Ahm, no. My prep school reports came home repeatedly each term with the same criticism: “Sakina talks too much.” I was, however, very good at English (guess that came from practising it so much with the chatting). I loved Science and was quite good at that too (which I supposed is what fooled me into thinking I could have been a doctor), but I totally ignored the very important fact that I sucked at Math. Honestly though, I wasn’t a bad student overall. Easily bored outside of the subjects I liked. Was on the student council. But, I was very distracted by many different things at the tertiary level. Traveling with Father Holung and friends being one of them.
Tell me more about traveling with Father Holung. How did you become a part of that? Did you want to act? How did you get into this field?
I was asked to audition for Father Holung and Friends when I was in 3rd form at Immaculate. I used to sing at Catholic Mass on a Wednesday (Yep. You heard me. Catholic Mass. What happened?! Right?). Anyhow, I did the audition and I became a part of the group and that became the beginning of the love story between me and theatre. I did Jesus 2000 and found myself traveling all over the US and other parts of the world singing in plays and concerts (Not bad for a likkle ghetto pickney). Then, one night someone encouraged me to take my stipend and go to see Lion King on Broadway. Oh my Lord! Keesh! The spectacle, the music, the wonder of it all!!!!!! I remember bawling like an eeeediat that night. I couldn’t get the show out of my head. Fast forward to a couple years later, Mike Daley, Jenny Stephenson and Robin Baston who were involved with Holung encouraged me to audition for The Wiz, which was the upcoming production at the time. This was the 3rd or 4th time they pushed, so I went. I auditioned and I was sure I sucked, but I was shocked as hell when I heard I was given the lead. I alternated with Danielle Stibelle and from there Basil Dawkins saw me and asked me to audition for his play. I got the role and as they say the rest is pretty much history. I balanced a day job till it became pointless. The greedy, needy husband that theatre is fought and took its rightful place as my only love.
Thanks for being real thus far. Now, it’s time to get beyond the surface stuff. You ready?
We were chatting once and you shared a story about your father not being a part of your be-ing. Would you mind recounting it?
I was at Utech, needed to pay tuition and he came around claiming to want to be a part of my life. I met him properly for the first time (I had seen him once or twice as a child. I have vague memories of that. Vague to the point where sometimes I wonder if I imagined them). He promised to send tuition. It never came. So to avoid being de-registered, I took that Leave Of Absence from university.
How does it feel not having a father in your life?
For a period of time I was ashamed of it.
I’m a part of a group of friends who all grew up knowing and having a relationship with their fathers. On Father’s Day, I’d see them posting pictures and I’d wonder why Lewin Deer wasn’t around. And yes, I know it’s not the worst thing that can happen to a person. Yes, I’m aware that persons lose entire families and suffer irreparable damage to mind and body. However on days like today, when you ask questions like this, it makes me realize that even though I’ve had many father figures, I still feel this — hole — this empty feeling in my gut and I have to admit that it still bothers me.
It bothers me because …
Because it’s a father’s job to make his little girl feel loved, protected, beautiful. To treat her like a princess, or as my daughter rightfully calls herself, a queen. He’s supposed to be the template for a girl’s boyfriend, husband, partner. He’s supposed to let her know what to expect from a real man, show her what chivalry looks like in how he treats his wife, her mother, his mother or any other female . So, what happens when that is missing? That space goes empty? That hole goes unfilled? We end up with women who are insecure. Women who don’t know how to tap into their own strength. Women who rely on others for validation.
Probably the worst part is that we don’t know how to recognize and accept love. Until that’s dealt with, until those of us who are affected in this way, deal with those deep-seated, heart-rooted issues, we’ll just be walking around “holey“. Incomplete versions of ourselves. Not ever giving our best because we ourselves aren’t even sure what our best is.
If you saw him now, what would you say to him?
I guess I would say Happy Father’s Day. That half of my genetic make-up, that part of myself that I barely even know is uniquely his. So I would definitely say, happy father’s day. Thank you for the chromosomes. I’ve heard my bow legs, the cheekbones and the shape I have comes from you. You’ve taught me that life goes on, the world will keep spinning with or without a father in my life.
Did mommy support as it relates to pursuing your dreams?
My mum was, and still is, my biggest fan. I hate the word fan — just using it for the expression. When most of the other academia oriented people in my family thought I was wasting my time and life with this “acting thing”, she stayed up with me into the wee hours of the night while I rehearsed. So yeah, mommy supported every aspect of my journey.
Which one do you prefer, being an actress or being a media personality?
Hmmm…. ACTRESS, DUH! Being a media personality is cool and it’s mostly been a learning curve this far, but as I said, I have a jealous husband and that`s theatre. I love it just as much as it loves me and I enjoy the fact that it offers me a chance to escape every night. To be someone else. Can`t beat that.
Tell me two things about you that people would be surprised to know you can do (apart from the singing, the dancing, the acting and the media-personality-ing).
I don’t think singing would be surprising, since I was thrown into theatre via Musical Theatre. I am definitely not a dancer per se, but mi can help miself. What people may be surprised to know though is that I did gymnastics up to a point in high school so I`m reeeeaallly flexible.
What’s your greatest struggle to date?
Dealing with my own insecurities, lack of confidence, fear of failure. Those are everyday struggles.
What’s your greatest accomplishment?
I don’t know yet. It hasn’t happened yet. I have a long way to go. Being a mother though is awesome. I wouldn’t say that it is an accomplishment, but it’s the one thing outside of acting that brings me much joy.
Tell me three things on your bucket list that you will regret not doing.
- Doing The Lion King on Broadway
- Seeing the World/Traveling
Wow, I really should give some thought to this bucket list thing. I think Lion King is the only one so far I would be really disappointed about.
People love a good underdog story. A good survival story. A good triumph over trial story — what’s yours?
I think my whole life is that story. I am surviving. I am triumphing. I’m still in the process of chipping my way out of the stereotypes that I’ve been cemented in for so many years. The girl from less, (because I don’t believe I came from nothing) who is a single mother, who is supposedly condemned to a life of mediocrity, I won’t stay that girl. Check with me in five years. Mek we see just how much chipping I’ve done.
Play catch up with Sakina on the big screen in her new movie ‘Dope Fiend’ coming soon OR just head over to CentreStage Theatre and catch her in Patrick Brown’s latest: ‘Blind Spot’ OR just tune in to TVJ — you’ll be sure to catch her there.
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Images: Sakina Deer