Sadia Islam Mou : Tête-à-tête with the Diva

by  Tehreen Islam

On the eve of the third edition of the National Dance-Drama Festival, which includes performances of the celebrated dancer, we catch up with Sadia Islam Mou about her passion for dance and life in general.

We know Sadia Islam Mou as a model, an actor, a dancer, a choreographer and the list is never ending but she passionately claims dance to be her first love. Born into a family where art is a compulsion, she was three and half years old, when Mou was enrolled into dance lessons at BAFA along with her school admission.  It took her some time to let the passion grow but once it did there was no stopping her.  And today we see her as a celebrated dancer of the country.

As Mou came from a culturally rich family, she had her exposure to many forms of culture but she singled out dancing as her passion and did everything she could to follow that path. She fondly remembers her mother and her guru in this regard and adds, ‘It’s all because of my mother Rasha Islam and my guru Raiza Khanam Jhunu, that people today know me. I had my mother at home and my guru at BAFA, both nurturing my passion and encouraging me to do more, be more.’

Her modelling career started by chance. It was 1988 when her brother in law randomly asked her to walk on the ramp for the biggest fashion extravaganza of the time, BATEXPO. She immediately caught attention of people, and her modelling career took off, with her first TVC following shortly. Soon she became the name that everyone was talking about.  She was later seen in television dramas, doing her roles with the same perfection. Despite walking on different stages, she never removed her focus from her first and true love – dance.

Mou’s career of 30 years in the entertainment world of the country has seen a lot of ups and downs. But one thing that kept her going was her passion and dedication. She took a break after her marriage to another celebrity actor and director Zahid Hassan. Because of family commitments, she took a long break from work but when she got back, she was back with a bang.

When asked about the changes she has noticed over the years, she replies, ‘Personally I feel the same dedication and passion towards my work like before. From another perspective, the people working in this sector at present are equally talented like they were years back. There are noticeable changes in budget and technical sides though.’

In the entertainment industry, we see people being stars overnight and fading away with time. Mou on the other hand managed to stay in the hearts of people even when she was not working and she thinks it’s all because of her hard work and commitment.

But she is thankful and feels lucky and honoured to be so loved and so appreciated by her fans. ‘I think God has blessed me in a special way and hence showered me with so much love from people,’ she adds.  Mou cherishes her dancing career and performances both home and aboard, most recent being at a festival in Korea. She performed at the festival titled ‘12th Migrant Arirang Multicultural Festival (MAMF)’ in Korea as a part of the government tour.

We have seen Mou reign every field of the industry but the big screen. When we ask her about it, she replies with a smile, ‘It is not like I was never interested or attracted. When I started my career, I received many offers. But the stories or roles did not offer something very different. I feel Bangladeshi film industry at present has unusual and unconventional projects and I would love to be a part of them now. I am just waiting for the right one to click.’

How does the diva balance between work and home? She gracefully replies that it is absolutely doable. All one needs to do is stick to the commitment and have a great sense of time management. She follows a schedule that gives her enough time for home and work. ‘I became very busy after marriage and children and turned down many opportunities because I felt my home and my children needed me. I got back to work when I felt the time is right and it gives me much happiness to be able to finally take the chance and live my passion.’

She thinks it’s not fair to the parents when kids give up on the dreams that they have for their children, like her parents who wanted her to be a dancer. She encourages youngsters to come to this sector, as the dance industry needs them along with support from producers, program directors and others. This beautiful form of art deserves so much more from the industry and audience.

Mou loves listening to music when she is not working. Her piece of advice to her fans would be to stick to the commitments they make and to value time ‘Only when you value time, time will value you,’ she concludes.




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