Khatija Iqbal is an original Indian girl born & brought up in the Caribbean islands. An island named, Grenada, with Bollywood dreams from childhood has led her to this fantastic city Mumbai. KI explains “this city has given me a lot, the best experiences one can ever learn. I have been working in this entertainment industry since 2015 on wards. I began my career as an anchor and I have hosted many live events”.
In 2017 she has learnt Hindi, took up acting workshops and began giving audition, and got her first show Ragini MMS returns on alt Balaji where she gained popularity from a character she played, went on to Vikram Bhatt’s Tan- tra for YouTube, a cameo in Namaste England, then Jamai Raja 2.0 for Zee 5. Khatija did a small cameo in inside edge season 3 for amazon prime which hasn’t yet released and a very big show named, Cartel for ALT Balaji which is also in the shooting process.
She was first known by name of “Katie Iqbal” and later changed it to Khatija as it’s my real & birth name. Why did she decide to change it? It’s because, she realise how beautiful it was… and felt the desire to be known by her real name. As it is the industry wears a mask I didn’t wanna wear that mask to begin my career with.
As of 2020 Khatija’s work is still yet to be released, just before lock down she was suppose to shoot her debut film named, “ ILA “ it’s a festival film directed by Nitin.
Apart from Bollywood, she love horse riding, like reading books mainly thrillers and psychological books on human behaviour – the mind, body -meta- physics. She is extremely spiritual and love yoga. Khatija is a very curious per- son and love learning especially ancient yogic science, she strongly believes that a human being can heal him/ herself naturally if he believes and pursues it. Besides She love watching movies & currently studying screen writing.
Q. What motivated you to travel across the globe to join the Bollywood, where the art and culture is appreciated but the competition and nepotism blocks scalability in terms of success?
A. Well, I think it’s a matter of perspective, if one is willing to work hard and polish their craft then one can break all barriers and I decided to do so, work extremely hard and I have seen many outsiders breaking barriers in this in- dustry. Also, cinema and the kinds of films which are being made these days has evolved drastically filmmaker’s are actually looking for real talent. Rest is luck & your hard work.
Q. What challenges are faced by you when you landed in Mumbai in the show business?
A. My language has been my biggest weak point, but it has also made me realise that it is one of my strength also as it’s part of my personality although Hindi is well polished now since I’m learning Indian classical music.
Q. Your real name Khatija has historical relevance, pushing it in the glamour world can be a deterrent but you don’t want to wear a mask in the industry, explain?
A. Yes! I’ve been trolled many times by mainly the Muslim community and have been told to change my name also, I’ve been trolled for my bikini videos & photographs not that they are vulgar of any sort. But, I love my name it’s beautiful, it’s sounds amassing and it is very special, be- cause father named me after my great grand mother as he was very close to her. So I’m happy with will live with it despite the odds.
Q. Covid 19 Lock down has challenged the most resolute minds, how have you spent your isolation period and since you are spiritual in nature, tell us what you have discovered in the last few months?
A. Oh! I loved it I had a long list of movies to watch which I completed, discovered writing for screen, even shot a small film from my phone, uncluttered useless things, completed my reading list and I discovered that I can make my own melodies on my piano simply by following tutorials online. So I really enjoyed lock down.
Q. India and Caribbean are united by cricket, how Khatija will further consolidate the bi-lateral and cultural relationship between the two nations?
A. Firstly, I was never into cricket… funny though I posed with all the cricketers from different teams for pictures when I was a child. I would always remain a Caribbean girl by heart, but I look completely daisy which means I am very faithful to my roots so I am going to be here for a very long time as Bollywood is my first love residing in my Caribbean heart.
Article & Interview is complied by Nithya Ramesh.