Nasra Yusuf: My problems with Rashid started while we were still dating
Separation is one of the worst things a couple can go through, especially so when they have to do it in the spotlight. The questions, the feeling of failure and the criticism from fans add up to an unpleasant experience.
This is what comedian Nasra Yusuf had to go through just a year after saying “I do” to his colleague director Rashid.
In an Instagram post that startled her fans, Nasra wrote:
“So yes I’m single… anyone who knows me knows I have fought for that relationship. I lost touch with family because of it, I lost myself and my career I lost friends because of it, and I got constant criticism from my community because of it but I was still willing to make it work even though the roots of our problems were the same year in year out for 5 years. I cried myself to sleep, I broke down several times in front of friends and strangers, I was in denial, and I had so much regret, but I finally accepted that it was time to close that chapter. I went through all the stages of grief and were it not for my mom, sister and friends, I would have sunk even deeper, so thank you guys for walking with me during this hard period.”
In the eyes of their fans, they were the perfect couple who blended well when it came to their interactions on air.
“Rashid and I have been together four years. We started as friends then dated and later got married. As Muslims for you to enjoy your relationship even more you have to be married. That is why we took it to the next step. We got married on April 25, 2021,” Nasra said.
But it seems all was not well behind the cameras.
“Rashid is still my friend, but the reason why our relationship has not worked is because we have been having the same issues over and over ever since we were just dating. I saw them and I knew I would be able to survive if these issues keep on existing,” she said.
But love made her through all caution to the wind and marry Rashid.
“Aki mapenzi wewe… My ex-husband is a good guy he has his positives but these issues that were coming up all the time were deal-breakers. And they are things that if he rectified we would still be together. But it appears some habits are hard to leave,” Nasra explained.
“My love for him was genuine despite him being of a different background from me. I am Somali and he is from the coast. This was an issue with my family who could not understand why I was getting married to someone, not from my culture. Despite all this, I stood by him and chose him. So for things to end the way they did breaks my heart,” she said.
In the minds of many, the fact that the two of them are both Muslims should have been a plus. But Nasra says that was not entirely the case, tribe is also a major factor.
Also read: Five couples who found love in the newsroom
The stage where they would crack jokes to the fans is where their love started blossoming. The two met on the show while performing. They later started dating.
“We never kept it a secret all our friends knew that Rashid and I were dating. I think I was the one who had a crush on him and when he asked me out for a date I said yes, he did not struggle in getting my attention because I already liked him,” she said.
She says she is grateful for having started on the Churchill Show, because that is the platform that has helped her build her career as a comedian.
“I appreciate Churchill for giving me the platform, if the Churchill Show was not there I do not know where I would be. The journey has been amazing and right now I am hosting comedy and fashion shows. It has not been a smooth sail but I thank God.
“Being the person pulling all the strings is not an easy thing, at Churchill Show, they will find everything set up and ready for them the only job they had was to make people laugh.
“Hosting a show is not easy now I have to organise everything and also perform, it is challenging but risk takers I always say are the ones who get more in life. I now love the thrill of not knowing what will happen next, not knowing if people will show up or not,” she said.
As one of the few female comedians we in the country and coming from a conservative background and minority tribe, Nasra has always things stacked up against her.
“That has been my biggest challenge, convincing my family that what I am doing is not something wrong but I am just making people laugh. Initially, my dad thought that my job was to make only men laugh, in his head, my audience was only men and after that, I give them my phone number,” Nasra said.
“In my community, women are laid-back people, they are housewives which is not a bad thing but I believe it is time for the community to start having an open mind about life and society. I had to be hard-headed to push through the negative comments from a section of my community,” she said.
Now she is looking forward to what the future holds. Her advice to women is never to ignore the red flags; better to walk out of a relationship than wait until things degenerate to a point where leaving will be hard.