LAGOS – Four years after converting to Islam, Nigerian screen diva Lizzy Anjorin has stressed that Islam has changed her life to the best, adding that her decision to accept Islam has positively modified the way she dresses.
“I’m a private person and people don’t know much about me. If you check my Instagram page, you would see that my mode of dressing has changed,” she told Sunday Scoop, Punch NG reported on Sunday, September 17.
Lizzy Anjorin, a lone child of her parents, is a top-rated award-winning movie artist and producer in the booming Nigerian movie industry – The Nollywood – where she maintains a record of being one of the most enterprising actresses around.
Finding Islam, Lizzy appeared in photos donning hijab in 2013, and announced that she has taken the name Aisha as her official Islamic name.
Her conversion to Islam jolted millions of her fans and the entertainment industry, but the actress said she turned to Islam as part of her life’s dream.
“If I changed to Islam because of a man, why am I still single? People just like to say all sorts, but I’m not bothered anyway,” she said.
“This is my second time of going to Makkah after my conversion; I went first in 2013. My name remains Liz Anjorin, but I adopted the Muslim name, Aishat, and that’s all.
“My father was a Christian, while my mother was a Muslim. I only decided to follow my mother’s path,” the actress added.
Lizzy is not the first Nigerian to hit headlines with news about her decision to embrace Islam.
In July 2013, the decision of Charity Uzoechina, a 25-year-old daughter of a pastor, to convert to Islam stirred up a nationwide debate between Nigeria’s umbrella Christian and Muslim groups.
It also raised questions about freedom of religion in the volatile tribal region.
Nigeria, one of the world’s most religiously committed nations, is divided between a Muslim north and a Christian south.
Muslims and Christians, who constitute 55 and 40 percent of Nigeria’s 140 million population respectively, according to some official statistics, have lived in peace for the most part.
But ethnic and religious tensions have bubbled for years, fuelled by decades of resentment between indigenous groups, mostly Christian or animist, vying for control of fertile farmlands with migrants and settlers from the Hausa-speaking Muslim north.