Today, as if your sibling sense your death anniversary, he was awake all night with bout of malaria, and crying uncontrollably. I missed you so much my son. Continue to rest in perfect peace. Adieu.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Today, as if your sibling sense your death anniversary, he was awake all night with bout of malaria, and crying uncontrollably. I missed you so much my son. Continue to rest in perfect peace. Adieu.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
His infectious baritone and interpretation of roles are a director’s delight. Having been in the industry for over 37 years, he is now a bridge between the old and the new, a motivator to the youths. Jacobs attended a drama school in England called The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. “After I finished, I worked with various repertoire theatres in Britain and I’m a member of National Theatre of Great Britain. I worked with some of the television stations in London and at a stage, I decided to come back home because I felt I have reached a certain level in my field and that my country had the potential of being so great too. So, I came back to Nigeria in early 80s and we started Third Eye”. Like many of his colleagues, his family was not happy with young Jacobs when he chose to study Dramatic Arts. But even at the age when actors were seen as never do wells of the society, he knew what he wanted and stuck to it. “ I left Nigeria in 1964. Then, there was nobody in Nigeria to look up to, all the people I looked at were people outside the country. The entertainment profession was not professional as such in Nigeria then and the only professional company we had was Ogunde and he inspired me a lot. Before then, my brothers used to take me to cinemas and I used to enjoy myself a lot. I was also taking part in school plays and drama. But when I said I was going to study drama, my parents did not like it and my dad said, ‘no’. When I got to England I wrote him a lengthy letter and said, sorry, I was going to study Drama. And because I had already started, he gave in. when I came back, there was no home movies in the country, it was stressful and the fees of artist was very low. NTA was only beginning to increase the fees of artists and people were only getting interested in acting. Meanwhile, my own company was doing stage plays and documentaries. Gradually, series on television started properly before we entered the home movies. It was stressful then.”
The Ogun state-born actor would not say how much he was paid for his first role but said it was very low and not encouraging at all.
“The first movie I did was produced by AA production and it was called Vigilante. We were paid very little for it and starred RMD and Mama D.
We had problems then looking for locations because people were not used to giving out their homes to people. They were very suspicious and we had to write letters to the Association of Landlords telling them what we were doing, where and when we would do it, for them to be aware.
Jacobs also disclosed how his friends tried to discourage him from acting because they believed acting was not a profession and should only be taken as a hobby. “People enjoyed it then but did not respect it. They enjoyed it, yes, but you have to get another job, they would tell you it’s not a job. But all my life, I’ve done nothing else except acting and productions. It is a profession, that is what I want people to understand. I had a friend who actually wanted me to help run a company, then. I asked him if he wanted me to be happy and he said, yes.
I told him to invest in a company for us to do productions. But, unfortunately, the company did not see the light of the day. I also had few friends that believed in me and gradually the society started catching up with the fact that it is an honorable profession and not for dropouts. But when I want to do something, nobody stops me and that was why I went to England to learn how to do it properly and help my country.
After I left Secondary I went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts London(RADA) which was and still is the Premiere school for the performing arts in the UK. School was fun but after l left school things became rather difficult. I was caught in Catch 22 situation. I couldn't get a job unless I had an agent and no agent would accept me unless I belonged to the union and I couldn't become a member of the union unless I had a job and of course if you were not a member of the union you could not work. It was a no-win situation until a friend told me about an audition at the BBC Studios, so I went. I think I was the first person to arrive that morning . I got there and met the assistant director who was still putting things in place. He gave me a piece of paper to write my name and my agents number. I used my friends agent, a lady. Immediately I left the audition I called her up. I told her I'd just got a job with the BBC and that officially she was my agent. She burst into laughter but accepted to play along with me. They rang her up and held negotiations with her and that was how I broke in. unfortunately I can't remember the title of the production
There were a bit hectic times because there was an unwritten law on racial discrimination. Several times I was confronted with racism openly. The film the British Council shows in this regions about life in England is absolutely misleading. I can tell you that there is no place like home. I remember in trying to secure accommodation I went to places were I was categorically told that blacks were not allowed. I went to a house and knocked on the door and a lady said “can't you see? No blacks.” I had to sit myself down and decide what to do. I locked my door and removed the phone and reflected. I had to make up my mind that if I was going to function in that society I had to learn and be useful to my people. I squared my shoulders and decided to bear the discrimination. I registered with a sports club, a horse riding club. I already had access to horses having grown up in Kano. I had a positive attitude concerning all that was happening around me which was how I grew. As I also grew in the industry I attended less auditions and started getting more appointments. I got to the point where I was headlining shows getting jobs where I was promoting white actors. If I were white there was no way they could touch me. I would have probably been the greatest now. The journey back home started in 1980.
I almost lost a job. Roman Polanski the great Polish and Hollywood Director wanted me to play in his movie Pirates. That was also the time the NTA wanted me to come and develop Second Chance. I told Peter Igho I had to go back to London. I got to London on Sunday went to the French Embassy picked up my passport, went to Paris and met with Roman but that wasn't my first. My first International movie was Ashanti which came before Dogs of War. But Pirates was the most challenging. It was shot in Rome, Seychelles, Malta, Tunisia and Morocco The experience of Seychelles was beautiful. There was one whole week when I was the only actor working. It was stressful but the kind of experience that one cherishes.
My wife is my jewel. Most people think that we met in England but that wasn't the case. We were rehearsing the play to celebrate Nigeria's independence and we were having a production meeting when she walked in. I took a look at her and told them, “Gentlemen behold my wife”. That was how we met and started. She'd gone to another prestigious school in England Weber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts.
LOSING YOUR BABY
It was like the ground opened and was removed from under someone's feet. She went in for a routine surgery to straighten her bow legs. Three hours later nothing. They called us and said the operation was fine but she went into a kind of coma and stayed in coma for four days and on the fifth day she died. I was performing in the stage play Ovarehwhen Nogbaisi by Ahmed Yerima of The National Troupe then. I still performed on that night before telling the stage manager. She had come to watch the play before going in for the surgery. We saw her go but we never saw her come out. This was in 1996 and after about a year or two years we decided that we should try for another baby. And he would be nine this September his name is Olugbenga. He has an elder brother Olusoji who is in Cameroon University Oklahoma in U.S.A.
Nollywood is something that must and will remain and grow. It is the beginning of a greater movement. For the first time in the history of the black man we have our own things to relate to. We are not living a life that has been designed for us by somebody else. We are not telling stories that have been given to us by Caucasians but our own stories, based on our culture and tradition. We now have our own “gods” and not the White Man's God. It is gratifying that the entire continent of Africa has been re-colonized by Nigeria. We have been invited by different countries in Africa to kick start their own film industries. It is most exciting. What we have not done is to put ourselves on a proper footing. The artistry and techniques that run a film industry was not developed. We need the right infrastructure. We need a government that should understand the power and influence of culture. In this regard, the government has not done well. We need money. The marketing and distribution side is vital to the industry. We are running under our own steam. It is imperative that when a movie is coming out, it comes out everywhere at the same time. You know must people think that Nollywood is a thing for now but I was here before the beginning and I am an eternal optimist. The fire that is burning inside me is still as hot as it was when I started. We must have a proper structure to build for our children. Our leaders did not have anything to sell this to us it started with us so it is our own thing, something that is originally and genuinely Nigerian. Our youths now have Nigerian stars Instead of foreign stars to look up to. There is a lot of work to be done but we are not afraid of the work.
Q: What problems are you facing in the industry?
We are working with virtually nothing in place. This is unlike the situation abroad where everything has been put in place for actors and actresses to act conveniently. I must confess to you, this is making us to lose a lot of money because a producer must have spent all the money and when such film is eventually released, the producer will be faced with another problem of pirates, who are ready to reap from where they did not sow.
Q: As a versatile actor that acts in English and Yoruba films, which one will you regard as more rewarding?
A: I enjoy working in English movies because of the good use of the language. Making good use of the language is what brings joy to me whenever I am acting in an English movie. But Yoruba is my language and I cannot run away from it. Although I speak Hausa a lot, the language I prefer most is English because I am used to it. I have problem with Yoruba because for a while now, I have not been speaking it, although I am trying to adapt to the language because it is my language.
Q: How will you assess ANTP and AGN?
A: In ANTP, they are giving practitioners the best opportunity to showcase their talent, but in AGN, once you believe you are good, you can just come in anytime, but I want to believe the two bodies are doing fine. In ANTP, there is a lot of discipline and it is well organised because they deal basically in culture and they have come of age, but in AGN, because they are still young, a lot of things need to be adjusted.
Q: You are married to star actress Joke Silva, what really attracted you to her?
A: In 1981, when I came home from
Q: Since you are both acting, how do you manage the family?
A: We manage the family very well because we are able to understand each other. For instance, when I travel, she will be at home and when she travels, I stay back to keep the family happy. The children understand the kind of job we do. Thank God, there is no problem at all.
Q: As a veteran actor, should we now say you are fulfilled?
A: No, my fulfilment is still coming. I will only be fulfilled if the industry is at the right place, where it is expected to be. I can’t say I am fulfilled when a lot of things are still lacking in the industry, when we cannot say we proudly have a studio of our own, when actors and actresses are still suffering. I will only be fulfilled when the government comes to our support and give us what we need to survive in the movie industry.
Q: Should we now say acting is a dream come true?
A: I don’t know what you are actually saying but all I believe is that I have always aspired to be an actor since when I was seven, because then, I used to watch Hubert Ogunde acting. What came to my mind then was that I could do more than the man, so this led me into acting in school, as I was always confident of whatever role I was given to act. So it was then that I knew I was going to be there and nothing would stop me from being there.
Q: What joy has acting brought into your life?
A: I feel on top of the world when people see me and say they appreciate what I am doing. In fact, I derive a lot of joy when I see that what I have done has made people to be happy.
Q: How will you assess Nigerian awards?
A: Nigerian awards are based on sentiment and money. People in
Q: What advice will you give the younger ones?
A; Though one is really depressed, we still need to encourage the younger ones. What I will say is that they should be steadfast and always believe they will get there. They should also take this job as a professional job like those in the banking industry. They should also try to protect their name because it matters most in whatever they are doing and they should please seek the elders’ advice because they need to learn from those at the forefront.
Friday, October 31, 2008
I’m very sure the Lilian Bach you’re seeing is different from the one you see in movies. This is because, I’m only interpreting the roles assigned me. However, I’m simple and down-to-earth. I don’t have any air of pretence about men, I do my job as an actress and interpret my roles to the best of my abilities. I play different roles in movies, like a wayward lady, funny housewife, a devoted housewife, a schoolgirl, etc. I’ve actually played many characters, but the real me is simple and God-fearing.
Q: Have you at anytime played a role that accurately depicts the real you?
I can’t remember, because I have played so many roles. So it is difficult for me to say. May be when I get home and search through the movies I have acted, I will be able to know the ones I acted something close to what I am in real life. But for now, it is very difficult for me to say.
Q: People believe it’s your beauty, more than anything else, that gave you the Nollywood breakthrough.
Q: So, what will you say actually brought you to limelight?
I don’t know because I started as a model, so I’ve always been in the limelight. I started modelling when it was no big deal here, when it was just gradually gaining ground, just as some people began acting before home videos gained ground. I’ve always been in the limelight, but I’m a quiet person, I’m not a noise-maker, I’m a silent achiever, so I can’t say this is what brought me to limelight.
Q: What makes you different from other actresses?
Q: What kind of roles do you enjoy playing most?
Q: Tell us about your experience in Nollywood?
Q: How do you really feel when actors are smooching you on set?
Q: But an actress once said some actors go the extra-mile in interpreting the role?
I have never experienced such a thing. I guess it has to do with whoever is playing with whoever. A professional is always a professional. I’m not saying that there are no people that go the extra-mile to interpret their roles, but I’ve never experienced it because when I’m doing my job, I’m strictly doing my job. If I want to do romance or play funny, it won’t be when I’m doing my work.
Q: Don’t you sometimes get carried away when touched in a sensitive part of your body by an actor?
Q: What is the reason behind your recent trip to
Q: How do you see the quality of films we have in Nollywood compared to
Q: What is your interest in music?
Q: You’re still single, I’ve heard you saying once that it’s because you’ve not met Mr. Right. Have there not been pressures from your family?
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
CHIEGE Alisigwe Ebbe could have been an acclaimed athlete. But perhaps she was not destined to be one. Fate had something else in stock for her: she became an actress, a tube goddess, one of the beauties that make Nollywood tick.
In early days at school, the Orlu Imo-State born Chiege was athletic champion for many years and would have gladly represented Enugu State at an earlier edition of the National Sports Festival, but for the politics of state of origin, which deprived her of that opportunity. That ended her dream of being a top athlete.
She gave acting a serious thought after her studies at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu, where she studied Fine and Applied Arts. An encounter with a family friend who was then a recognisable face in the movie industry provided the break. She had expressed the desire to do some serious acting to the family friend who informed her of an audition exercise at the Hotel Presidential in Enugu.
After her first role as Agu's wife in 'Igbodo' she soon got a lead role in the epic movie 'Oganigwe'.
She has since featured in over 60 home videos. Some producers have thought that Chiege would not last in the industry when she came in. They had thought she was a flash in the pan that would run out in no time.
But almost six years after, she is still waxing stronger in Nollywood, determined, she says, to prove that she is into acting good.
Chiege used to be married with a baby. She says her husband saw her on the screen, and that was how the attraction started. "He was so persistent until I decided one day to honour his date. But much later I discovered that his dad and mine were very good friends when they were young," she recalls her encounter with the love of her life.
She says she married early because she believes that there is respect in being married. "I know some people always ask why I married. I wanted it early because I believe when you are married you are more respected. I don't believe that a woman should remain single for the better part of her youth. Marriage attracts respect and it doesn't make you a lesser actress."
On Nollywood she says: "We must begin to get people to specialise. I am an advocate for specialisation. Produce only if you are a producer, direct only if you are a director. People should be able to specialise, that way they would become masters of their arts."
Some Chiege movies includes End of Dream, End of Money, Once a Soldier, Message, Traditional Marriage, My Portfolio, Sadist, Under Fire etc
The Nigerian movie industry has come a long way. We have tried to hue water out of stone. It has grown so much. There are several things that are not going well but I must tell you, it is so far, so good. It is not what it used to be but we have moved forward in some areas.
I think there is a great future for the industry here in Nigeria. We started small but with God and with interest in its growth, the Nigerian home video industry will grow from where it is now.
How do you feel being one of the few getting roles?
I feel very great and thankful to God for being there. Everyone is slugging it out to survive, both big and small artistes. So it is the grace of God not even your hard work or your beautiful face that keeps you there.
My first acting role came in 1998. I was introduced into Nollywood by a family friend named Kelvin Ugwu, a broadcaster and actor. I did my first audition in the movie Igodo where I got the role of Agu's wife. I did Oganigwe, My love and others.
I won't say I dreamt about being in the movies before the opportunity came. I just came out of secondary school. I attended Queens School Enugu and was a member of the Dramatic Society. I was not just dreaming because it is part of me and I knew I would be there some day. I left secondary school in 1996 waiting for my JAMB result, so 1998, I went into the industry. Kelvin had said to me: “Now that you are waiting for JAMB, why not come to try your luck?” I thank God it has been lead roles all the way.
I consider myself a very comfortable person. I don't talk about riches because it is God that gives them. I wonder when people talk about riches. It is not any one's making to be rich or poor. It is only God that decides this.
The challenge there was knowing that you are a new comer in the arena coming to slug it out with the known faces. There was a little bit of anxiety when I was auditioned to feature in Igodo but I have always believed in my ability to act. It was determination and solid belief that I have the ability that made me excel.
I have always believed that talent is the basis for any grasping of knowledge. I learnt so much from our Dramatic Society but I have also learnt so much from Nigerian notable directors who have directed my acting in their films. I have learnt quite a lot and continue to learn. I can't say I got all from the drama group but the rudiments were the basic foundation.
I come from Umueshigwe, Orlu, in Imo State, but I grew up in Enugu where I had my Primary and Secondary school education and went ahead to study Fine and Applied Arts at the Institute of Management and Technology also in Enugu.
I completed my Youth service in 2006.
The most challenging movie for me was Under Fire. I played a typical village girl who couldn't speak English. My director helped me a lot. Tchidi Chikere did plenty to help me realise this and people are commending me for that role till date.
I have never encountered this. I go all out to do what I am expected to do. I do not mix pleasure with business. So I am serious minded. I won't talk about that because I have never come across that. However, I have heard that it exists especially from the new actors.
I have heard about it but I have never been approached for such. I believe that no one could even come around me to propose that. I was a day student in secondary school so the idea of inculcating lesbianism into me did not arise. I am yet to see the lesbian who would woo me when there are several handsome men out on the streets.
I have a working relationship with them. It is only a working relationship I said. If you want me in your movie, you invite me, we negotiate and then I work. After that, we move on. We have a strictly business relationship.
I was once married and I have a baby girl. The marriage crashed. The marriage did not work out. The marriage was consummated in 2002. For me, it is past tense and I won't talk much about it. We were incompatible and it didn't work.
Kind of man
I love a God-fearing, determined and hard working man. He must be respectful and humble. Men who are full of themselves bore me stiff. I detest being around them. He could be good looking as people say, but I don't mind that. I find it hard to discuss about men in the good looking adjective because it does not follow. He must just be a man, and this doesn't mean being a monster.
I won't say I made a wrong choice of a husband. May be I was naive when the affair was contracted. May be it was a wrong choice. I won't call it a mistake but I call it experience which I have learnt from. The marriage, lasted for only three months you won't believe it. I had concieved the baby in my womb before we fell apart, three months later so I had the baby and have taken care of her all by myself since she was born. When I am working, she stays with my sister and as soon as I am back from location, I take her. She lives with me and I love her so much. In fact, she is my jewel.
It is not easy but I cope. My baby is my jewel and I am very happy I have her. It's a blessing and not a stress as people want to say. Her name is Munachimsoaga.
Yes, if the time is right and the guy is right. Why not? I am young and can't live my entire life alone without a man. But the time and the guy have to be right. I can't afford to make the mistake I made earlier so I am watchful and very careful the way I fall this time around.
I love to spend time with my daughter and listen to music. I love music.
I do not regret any thing, I just move on. Just see everything as experience and it goes on and on. You must be strong in whatever you do.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
NAME: Prince Jide Kosoko.
ADDRESS: Abule Oja, Yaba,
DATE OF BIRTH: 12th January, 1954.
MARITAL STATUS: Married with Children.
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Yoruba, English and Pigeon English
i). Yaba Methodist primary school.
ii) Bona College/Methodist Boys High School
iii) Yaba College of Technology – Business Administration
iv) Lagos School of Drama – Dip. Theatre - Arts
Tell us a little about your childhood, growing up, parents, brothers and sisters?
A direct descendant of King Kosoko of
What was the first paying job ever that you had?
I was first paid for a job in my life as an actor. Later worked at various companies alongside acting. Voluntarily resigned as the General Manager of Steve Industrial company Limited Apapa.
How much were you paid per month and what were the responsibilities?
N13,500 in 1986 as the General Manager of the multi-million Naira cosmestic/candle and palm oil manufacturing Company.
What other jobs did you do outside Acting?
Acting scripts writing, directing, film producing, editing, and administrative consultant.
What made you go into the Acting career and when did you start Acting (year)?
I started precisely in the year 1964 at the age of 10 years. Late Chief Hubert Ogunde lived in same community with me then and I was so close to his family. I admired his overwhelming appreciation by his fans.
Who were your Idols/Models (Actors) in those days?
Late Chief Hubert Ogunde of blessed memory.
What was your first role in Theatre, TV or Movies?
The role of Alabi in a television production titled Makanjuola by the Ife Lodun travelling theatre. My first television appearance was on NTV barbeach –
What was your major break-through role and in what film, series or play?
Combination of film and video;
Taxi driver (1983) arrival to Ade love
Comedy series by Ojo Ladipo
Various Felluloid film productions from 1977 - 1989.
What were the constraints you had to face and overcome as an up-and-coming Actor (young actor)?
Serious family objection both from my mother and father. My father believed that as a royal prince, I should rather be entertained than me entertaining people.
How many films have you been involved with as an Actor to date?
Too numerous to mention among them are taxi driver, Ojiji, Asiri nla, Omo onikan, Omolade, Glamour girls, end time, etc.
As a DYNAMIC, OUTSTANDING, 'A'-List Actor, how have you managed to adapt to the different range of roles you have played in your career?
As far as I am concerned, it's a gift to have this ability. I have played numerous different roles such as the part of a king, deaf and dumb, palm wine tapper, millionaire, drunkard, womaniser, crook etc.
What is the most awkward or strangest role you have had to take/play in your career and why?
I do not find any role awkward but a challenge.
What film have you been most proud to be involved with so far, and why?
End time – because of its World-wide acceptance.
As an 'A'-List Actor yourself, what other 'A'-List Actors or Actresses have worked or collaborated with?
Almost all of them, I cannot remember any that have not worked with me.
Did you at anytime want to quit your Acting career for something else or for a reason, and why (if any)?
Not at all.
What is the motivation for you or what keeps you interested in this career every morning you wake up?
I am just happy doing the job I know how to do best; determination to break new ground as a leader in the Industry.
How important are our Nigerian roots, morals, values, knowledge and sense of wisdom to you and your works?
Since my work entails creating wisdom, I ensure that I use my work to project the good culture of my tribe and my country; I educate; entertain and inform my viewers on the need to preserve our rich cultural values respect one another, I promote culture of respect.
On the stories, scripts, or screen play of your films, and its impact on the Nigerian/African cultural values (home and abroad), how do you manage to harness, keep and pass them across in your films?
As a producer, I ensure that I pick subjects that are not only entertaining but also educative, and the ability to highlight current issues of interest to the generality of my viewers. As an actor, I endeavour to interpret my roles to the best of my ability in accordance with directors' view.
What projects are you working on at the moment and with whom?
The Historical play of
Where do you see yourself in this career in the next five years?
Still waxing strong and contributing my quota to the continuous growth of my noble profession. I also have the ambition of being the next President of Association of Nigeria Theatre – Arts practitioners (the largest Actors organisation here).
Where do you see the Nigerian movies industry in the next couple of years?
Penetrating the world market. Our actors and actresses are up to the task. Technically we are improving.
When you are not working (Acting, producing, directing or making a film), what do you do or how do you pass the time?
I love playing in-door games like script writing, draft, monopoly scrabble and I also play table- tennis.
What kind of music do you listen to and who is your favourite musician?
Juju music – King Sunny Ade.
Is there an International Actor (American, British, Australian, African, etc.) you will want to work with if the opportunity presented itself?
What message do you have for your international fans in
I promise to keep them happy at all times.
For any reason at all, how would you personally want your fans to remember you?
As a creator of wisdom, and grandmaster of all re-action
ON THE MARBLE
But a lot of people believe that Living in Bondage by NEK Productions is the pioneer…
That is not correct. Living in Bondage was done in 1993; the same year I did Asiri Nla. I don’t want us to dwell on that. Even before Living in Bondage, NEK participated in the production of some Yoruba films. If people want to talk about stepping up, using special effects, Living in Bondage was a step up technologically. There is no doubt about that. I remember that Asiri Nla, which I produced in 1993, sold well over 160,000 copies without publicity. You know what that means?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Francis Duru shot into limelight with some of the earliest home video flicks like Rattle Snake, Missing Mask and Mama Sunday, etc and it would not be out of place to describe him as a pioneer Nollywood actor. Francis took a sabbatical from acting by relocating to Abuja as a businessman, contractor and events consultant, but later returned to his first love with movies like Price of Destiny and Cold War. The Imo state born actor is an awardee of UN ambassador of Peace. Coat of Many Colours is one of his earliest movies and this blog derives the topic of this work from it. Here is Francis Duru at a glance.
Music, Sports, Poetry, Charity ,reading.
University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
St. Thomas Aquinas Osu Mbano, Imo State Nigeria.
Lion And The Jewel, If (Banji), Guinea Byrd (Dr. Byrd), Sizwe Bamsi is Dead
Missing Mask, Rattle Snake, Cross Roads, Dust to Dust, Coat of Many Colours, Sgt Okoro, Set Up, House on Fire, Sins of the Flesh, Desperate Romance, Cold War, Blood Money, Immoral Act, Laraba, Mama Sunday, No way Out, Personal Assignment, The Dream , Wanted At All Cost and War For War
How did the Journey started?
The whole thing about acting for me started in 1989 when I mistakenly followed my friend to an audition where Paul Worika was in-charge. I had the opportunity of reading and some one said why don’t you just do it. Since I was just waiting for JME, I had time to do it and from then all things fell in place. I later got admitted to the
What are the happenings with you in recent time?
I’m doing well, production, shooting, doing my own things, doing my best in the business. I have been working.
How does it feel, being in
Film business is not about the distance or location but the product. Irrespective of my location, I get called for jobs and it doesn’t matter where, transportation to location does not affect production. I move from here to
At what stage does an actor stop to lobby for a job? It is believed that since
Yeah! It is true, but for me the word lobbying is what I am not used to and as a matter of fact, I have not been comfortable with. The fact that people believe that it is part and parcel of the business should not apply to all. I believe that if you deliver a good job, they will come for you. My own kind of lobbying is moving into the next business by doing so well, the one that I have at hand. So, it is about what impact I can have on the production.
So, what would you say that you are missing not being resident in
The only aspect that I miss about
So, would you say Nollywood marketers and producers alike are so professionally driven enough to seek a good actor irrespective of distance, some people think they are nonchalant about this and would rather make do with whoever is on ground?
Yeah! They do that, to be candid. It is a bad-bad situation and I tell you that right now, emphasis is being placed on people who can deliver. It is true that once in a while they get nonchalant but that desire is growing now to put up the best. I get my job consequently because the person knows I can deliver. I don’t just do a job because the person is my friend or not, and that also applies to other actors. It has gotten to the point where they go for whoever they want, not just who they see.
What other things do you do apart from acting, I know for one that you are a MC?
I do shows, event and so on. I also combine acting with business. I consult for people, organizations. I am an event person generally, master of ceremonies, social services. Even when general supplies come, I do, at least, using the goodwill that comes along with entertainment to achieve other feats in life.
When is Francis Duru going to write his own movie, if only to proof a point?
I beg my brother, this whole thing about proofing a point is not part and parcel of me. Movie making is all about impulse. And the major problem we are faced with is the absence of a worthy distribution network. I’m working on my own movie but it is not easy like you think. You can’t proof a point when you are not sure that where you are putting your money would yield returns. But you make a point when at the end of the day the product finds a larger market. Distribution to me remains very, very important. It remains a motivational force for anything I want to do.
You were seen in a movie (Total War) recently that looks like Laviva, could it be that Laviva was given another title?
No, that movie is Total War, and they are two different movies. It’s just that they have one common setting;
So what has happened to the movie, Laviva?
Yeah, Laviva is still there but I think the people who are actually responsible for the marketing are in better position to answer that question. I don’t really know much about Laviva, except that I am aware that it is being screened at some international film festivals..
Tell us about UN Ambassador awards you bagged recently
Yeah! It was the UN Ambassador of Peace award. It was given to me, the former governor of
How do you feel being so recognized?
Yes, I feel good and really honoured given that type of award, it isn’t easy, you know, to receive that kind of award from an international organization, with the diplomatic community too, endorsing that. It’s a big feather to me, it makes so much sense. It makes me feel that, fine, I may not have picked the indigenous awards, but there are people out there who are looking at me from a different perspective. We are in a time when we have a lot of unsung heroes who have contributed so much to the industry. Now, it s a great challenge and as an ambassador I know I have to contribute my own quota to global peace and make the world a better place. I didn’t know how they did it, how I got nominated, I just got the call that I should report where I was given the award.
On a lighter mood, tell us about your family?
Well, I have two lovely kids and my wife has been a very strong pillar. And like I say to people, I put family first in every thing that I do. My wife, my kids, my sisters, my entire household in
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I also use this opportunity to thank those who find time to visit this blog, your visits is what spur me on to update it regularly, while your comments is the tonic I need to know that you really appreciates what am doing. I thank you all.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
How is life and work treating you?
I am happy and work is alright. The challenges are there but I am more comfortable now. Initially it was a bit of struggle for me.
How do you joggle between motherhood and your acting career?
For now, I take my daughter along with me to locations, until she is probably eight months or one year old.
Do you enjoy acting?
Yes I am enjoying it because it is what I love to do best, I love acting.
For how long have you been acting?
Professionally I have been acting for four straight years. Although I have been acting since 1992 and I have featured in some movies as an amateur. But professionally, I started acting in 2004.
Which was your very first movie?
My first home video was shot in 1996 and the title of the movie is 'Pregnant Virgin'
How did you feel, acting alongside professionals the first time?
Being a graduate of Theatre Arts, I was very comfortable with it because I was already used to facing audience while performing live, so this was even much easier for me because when the camera is running and you make a mistake, there is room to make amends because you will be given the time to do some corrections but this is not the case in live and stage performances. The stage is more difficult because any mistake you make, you can not undo, you will have to stay there or you improvise. It was okay, I enjoyed it.
Can you recollect one good thing that acting career has done for you?
Apart from the fact that acting is my God given talent, it has opened doors for me, although initially, I thought it was not going to be, because I was a little bit skeptical about being in the public but I think being in the public has made things a little easier for me. I don't have to go to the banks and queue, I do not have to go to airport and queue. I am always given a VIP treatment. It is good especially when people walk up to me and pay me compliments. The flattery, the…it is just so exciting.
You said you were skeptical about going public, why?
You know when you are a little shy and not prepared for what is going to come out after being famous but then I have a solid man behind me that has and still grooming me.
Who is that man?
Who else, it is my husband. God has used him immensely in my life.
Was it after you met him that you went into acting?
Yes I have met him before I started acting professionally.
How supportive were your parents?
Naturally back then, parents never liked their children being in anything entertainment. They were usually like, 'ah, you want to go and entertain when there is medicine to read, there is the Lawyer for you to become, there is the corporate world for you, then you want to go and entertain people, hellooo' it was of course frowned at back then. But with time, my parents began to realize that acting is my God given talent. Actually, they are a little bit liberal but sometimes, they give advice. They will say,'why don't you do this or do that, why don't you try and be a business person or try to be a lawyer' but when they saw that I was very passionate about acting, they allowed me be, but at the beginning, they were not too happy but when it started producing result, they are seeing my performance on stage, sometimes I beg them to come and watch me perform on stage, they were very excited about it and they said 'go ahead girl' and that was it.
What was your father's reaction when he watched your first performance?
The truth is that my father is a very liberal person; in fact, do anything that gives you joy. It is just my mother that is a bit strict. When my father saw me on stage the first time, he was telling my mom, 'you see, I told you this girl is very good, just let her be' so he was really excited about me.
How do you align your person to fit into your character?
Well, yes you have to. I watch enough foreign movies and sometimes I assess my own performance, I also do a lot of research. For instance, if I have to play the role of someone who is on drugs, you have to help yourself by watching somebody who is an addict. If you want to play the role of a pediatrician or Anatomist, you have to help yourself by researching to know how these people operate. I go on the internet, I go on television, I watch a lot of television programmes, I am a television eye and I read books as well, that is how I conduct my research.
Have you been able to produce a movie of your own yet?
When I grow up, I will be a producer (Laughs).
Do you think the Nigerian movie industry is up to standard?
I have a lot to say on that. Basically, I will really like us to be more professional in everything. Technically, we are a little backward but now that the corporate world is beginning to take part in what we do, we are improving little by little but we need more improvement. Also in the other areas of entertainment, we have to really improve. We like what we see on television, I mean when we watch actors and the camera movements in foreign movie. We have the resources but we are just a little lazy but I think we are getting there, just give us a little bit of time, we will get there.
So if you have the chance to effect a change in the industry, what will be the first thing you will change?
The first thing I will do is set. We get a lot of embarrassments when we have to go and shoot in people's house, that is so absurd when you have to go knocking on people's door, you have to beg and they treat you like trash, I don't like it and I know that a lot of us don't like it but we just have to manage, what do we do, we don't have a choice for now. But I think they are going to get a us a vast land for us to build our sets. That is one of the things I will like to change given the opportunity before other things fall in place.
Have you ever had any embarrassing moment for playing a particular character in a movie?
I have not been faced with such; rather I am being encouraged to continue the good works.
How would you describe yourself?
I am a very simple person, simple things are beautiful, can't you see? hello (laughs). I am a very simple, very emotional and I am a very straight forward person too. I like honest people, honesty is my watch word. Don't cheat people, don't discriminate, that is just me.
What was growing up like for you?
It was really interesting. Being the first child of my parents, I think I was a little bit over pampered. I was given most of the things I needed not wanted. I grew up being very comfortable. I thank God for my parents, it was really exciting and the fact that my mother was a strong woman in church, she sowed the seed in us a lot, so I grew up in a very Christian home.
Where did you grow up?
My early life was in Port Harcourt.Do you have any memorable experience?One was when I have my daughter, baby Tamar - Dejo Richards. That was really memorable.
When did you meet your husband?
I met my husband in 2002 briefly. It was like hello meet my friend Segun and whenever we meet, hello hi and that was about it. I did not even know that the man has already started planning how to 'catch' me. Since then, he has been mapping out strategies to 'catch' me, it took him two years before he succeeded in 2004. He will call me and end the call four hours after.
And you were picking the callWhy shouldn't I?
Everybody loves men that are after them. Then in 2004 we met again and he started again from where he stopped and the hello hi now turned to, you see let's go up for a drink and within that year, we got married.
So how is marriage?
Marriage has been exciting. It is bitter sweet, you know what I mean.
How supportive is he to your career?
He has been very supportive, he is unique, and he is different. Because for somebody to tell me, 'why don't you just go back to do what you like doing best, it was because of him that I got back into acting, that is the truth. People don't like hearing it but that is the truth. I was a little skeptical in the past; I did not know that acting was going to be a career for me. I wanted to be in a corporate world, I wanted to work in a bank, I wanted to just be a consultant to something, somewhere or wherever but I did not know that I was going to be an actress, so when I was planning to go into other things, he just sat me down and say 'my dear, go and act, that is what God called you for' and since he sowed that seed, he has been wonderful.
Is he very romantic?
Romance is far from his dictionary but he is just a realistic person. He won't like that anyway but that is the truth. He is a very, very realistic person.
how does he feel when you play those sexy roles?
No I have never been kissed on set. He knew all these things before he said I should go and do what you are called for. I mean, being a responsible person, you should know what to do. In the early days he used to help with the script and to help build my character and all that. He is indifferent but as a wife, I know my limitations and I don't cross the bounds. My husband knows me; he knows what I can do and what I cannot do.
What if you are under pressure to choose between your home and your career?
I will choose being at home because, for a man to come to telling a wife to choose between staying at home and your career, it means the wife is not doing what she is supposed to do, it means she is not striking a balance between being a career woman and being in the house to take care of the home front, that's what it means. I don't think any man that is sensible will know that everywhere is organised at home, he has his food when he wants to eat and the woman strive to strike a balance with her home and career and then he tells her 'you know what, stop, don't go out there again and come back eleven o'clock' there must be a balance. And if that balance is not there and my husband says 'this is getting too much, you have to sit at home', I will have to sit at home until I convince him that I can actually be a career woman and still take care of the home but it has not come to that yet. I try as much as I can to strike a balance.
What is one good thing that being married has done to you?
It has made more responsible, it has made me wiser, it has made me stronger and it has made me realized that marriage is something everybody will wish to be in. it gives you a sense of security and belonging especially in this fierce society that we live in Africa. It has been great and fantastic.
What is your perception of the reality of sexual harassment in the industry?
There is sexual harassment everywhere.
Have you ever been sexually harassed?No, I have never been sexually harassed, to the glory of God.
Do you have a role model?
Naturally I should have and I do have a role model. I have two people as a role model. One of them is Joke Silva and the second person is Reverend Dele George of the little saints Orphanage home. These are the two women I aspire to be like, not necessarily copying them but if possible, to be better than them. To give back to the society better than what they have been able to give back.
How do you feel when you watch yourself on set?
I feel great, I feel oh God so I did this like this and sometimes, I feel like oh I should have done this better, oh why do I have to. I like seeing myself, so I can upgrade in the next one and can be better off.
Are you a designer freak?
Yes and no. yes I love designer things and I wear them and no because I won't go out of my way to have designer things if I don't have the money.
What about jewelry?
I love jewelry. As an actress, you can not do without that to compliment your looks.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Maureen Solomon is an Igbo girl. I’m a simple girl from Isochi in Abia State. I come from a family of seven that is, including my parents. I’m the second and second girl.
I started acting in 2001 till date. I wouldn’t say I started by mistake, it was by chance. Actually, I bumped into an audition. I went there to look for my sister who was attending the audition but when I got there, I was asked to be part of the audition and I got the role.
Most of the things that happen in my life do so when I’m not prepared, just like acting, and I’m stuck with it because I just love it.
Now, I don’t know but I’ve done quite a number of movies.
Shot into limelight
I owe my shot into limelight to two movies because the first movie that people really got to know me for was "Not without my Daughter", we shot the movie in Jos. It was done by Lucky Joe, then the one that really got me popular was "Women Affair" by Annex Merchandise. So I owe my shot into limelight to these two movies.
Not really much. Just trying to cope with the industry, to be myself and then outside people normally place us where we are not. It takes a lot to be yourself outside. That’s about the challenges for now.
Well, right now am not lacking anything, so it’s okay for now.
None except when people see you on the road and begin to shout your name, it’s not that embarrassing, it’s something you have to live with.
I really pray for it to grow more than where it is now. It’s really going wide, years before now nobody envisaged that it was going to be like this and definitely it’s going to go higher.
I try. Most of the times some of them are stubborn, some polite, some nice. But I try to be plain to them, whatever they want, I just tell them my mind.
Well, I have never broken any body’s heart and mine has never been broken. We part as friends when the need to part arises.
Most challenging roles
Most of the roles I play are challenging because first, it’s not my character. I’m still expecting the most challenging although there was this movie I took part in and it was my first time of playing an elder sister to someone that you know is older than you. At first, it was like I could or could not carry it and besides, that was my third lead role so I wasn’t sure of myself but after some scenes, I picked up and it was okay.
Well, for the female artistes, I love Stella Damascus - Aboderin. She’s one actress I know that is there. She has depth. She is good. Genevieve, Eucharia Anunobi-Ekwu are also good. Then for the elderly ones, I like Ngozi Ezeonu and Shola Sobowale, these two women are just too good.
Then for the guys, I love Richard Mofe Damijo, Ramsey Noah, Emeka Ike, but in all of them Stella is just my number one.
I like locking myself inside the room watching movies. I don’t go out. I don’t hang out, I’m too lazy to hang out.
For the girls, have a focus of what you want to do first, not just being a star. If you feel being a star is your sole target then when you come in, many things are going to go under water but if you’re focused and you know where you’re coming from and where you’re going to somethings would not just come and take you like that. They should be careful and know what they want.
I hear that everyday but no, it has never happened to me. But before one gets harassed, definitely you must have shown the red light or green light. For me, I just get to location, do my job and leave.
No girl, I will not. I’m an Igbo girl and I will not act nude for any amount of money. I know the family I come from and I know what I want in life. I can’t do it.
I’ve really been trying. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do. I’m trying so hard not to make everyone unhappy, especially when they go like oh! Maureen and all that. The whole thing is just being yourself. If you are yourself, anybody that wants to get pissed off at you, then, that is the person’s problem but if they like you, then they like you and there are no two ways about it.
It’s good but I still hope it gets better.
Me and my guy
Oh yes, I love him and he loves me. I don’t know about wedding bells, but we are praying for it. He loves me for who I am and I love him for who he is. God, he’s himself, he’s not fake, he’s honest and most importantly, he loves me and I mean I can’t ask for more and I count myself lucky to have him.
culled from http://odili.net/news/source/2006/mar/4/514.html