Saba Qamar Zaman – keeping cool, calm & creative in crisis



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Photography: Alee Hasan

When Covid-19 took center stage in our lives, many of us were initially caught up in cooking, cleaning and laundry during lockdown. However, actor (now a director and a writer) Saba Qamar Zaman was utilising the time to come up with her own YouTube channel. With only two episodes, her channel managed to garner millions of views. She had the Internet riled up with her stellar monologues, touching upon different social issues of our society. A true trailblazer, we talk to her on how she’s keeping cool, calm and creative in crisis.

You have been unofficially dubbed as the “Queen of Quarantine” by the Internet during lockdown, how do you feel about the title?

I feel like it’s a great honour, as my work isn’t just being appreciated but is being understood by my audience. I’ve used my time in isolation to create content which addresses some of the core issues of our society, for it to receive such an overwhelming response means a lot to me.

Speaking of unofficial titles given to you by netizens, there are also trolls on the contrasting side. What do you think about the unnecessary criticism online?

I feel like as long as you put faith in what you do and have confidence within yourself then no criticism is big enough to break you down. For an artist it’s important to understand that there will be love but there will also be hate, we need to learn how to look at the brighter side.

Rewinding a bit, we can imagine how busy your schedule must have been, how difficult was it for you to adjust to the initial lockdown?

It did come as a shock at first but I was quick to channel my energy and time into creating something that I could work on during my time in isolation which is my YouTube channel.

Your eponymous YouTube channel is a HIT! What made you take the step to venture into the world of digital storytelling?

My passion for direction is the main reason why I decided to launch my YouTube channel. I don’t only act in my YouTube episodes; I write them and I direct them. It’s a space solely dedicated to my creativity and talent.

The content on your page not only showcases your impressive acting but has also brought your writing, directorial and editing skills to the forefront – where was this creative genius hiding before?

I’d say that it was in the making rather than being in the hiding. My endless desire to learn and grow has helped me develop skills apart from acting. Just like they say an artist learns his entire life and everyday he discovers a new talent.

As much as the fans love seeing you online, they are also waiting for your return to the big screen – when can we expect to see your upcoming projects?

My fans will be watching me on the big screen very soon, InshAllah. We are just waiting for these difficult times to go by, by the will of God cinemas will be filled with love and laughter once again and all of us will come together to celebrate art very soon.