When the news recently broke that Moonlight star Mahershala Ali was expecting his first child, one question immediately came up (at least, it did in my mind): Who is Ali's wife, Amatus Sami-Karim? It turns out that Sami-Karim is an artist in her own right and frankly, deserves just as much of the spotlight as her actor hubby. Sami-Karim currently enjoys a wide range of artistic pursuits, including music, composition, and acting. In each field, she has created some truly incredible work. What's even more heartening is that she is rarely referred to as Ali's wife, freeing her from the weight of reductive perceptions and allowing her to be a successful artist of her own merit.
A graduate of Tisch School of the Arts and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, you can see the results of that high-caliber training in Sami-Karim's work. On her personal website, you can get to know her through her music. I highly recommend getting to know her music by listening to her EP Broken Compass (start with the song "Punk." You'll thank me.) or peep her music video for the lead single, "Messin'." Her talent and joyousness shines right through; both of these qualities seem to be through-lines in her work as well as the depiction of her life through her personal Instagram.
Although there's no report on how long Sami-Karim has married to Ali, the pair have been together since their time at Tisch. In 2014, Ali to ELLE magazine just how meaningful Sami-Karim was to him: "She and I have known each other for a really long time [about] 17 years. So, at this point, she's seen a big shift in things, but at the same time, she'll ground me real quick if I start feeling myself a little too much. She's very real, like, seriously." Sami-Karim's stabilizing force has been a great comfort to Ali, who's own stardom has literally skyrocketed over the last handful of years with roles in House of Cards, The Hunger Games, Luke Cage, Moonlight, and the upcoming Hidden Figures.
With awards season on the horizon and Ali poised to become a fixture in the awards show milieu (thanks to his work in Moonlight), it's safe to say we'll also be seeing plenty more of Sami-Karim, too. But don't wait until the red carpet interviews to get to know this amazing artist.