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Friday, May 22, 2009

Photo Glance at Rita Dominic of Nollywood

Rita Uchenna Nkem Dominic Nwaturucha popularly called Rita Dominic by her adoring fans, is an irresistible beauty to behold any day. Born in 1975, in Mbaise, Imo State, Rita is one of the most celebrated Nollywood actors .

As a talented child, she was a consummate lover of music, who entered and won severally in dance competitions and expressed herself vocally through the art of traditional music.

Rita developed a strong passion for the arts and in realization of her lifetime ambition, as she grew up, the fast rising actress opted to study Theatre Arts at the University of Port-Harcourt. It was a decision that later launched her into the mainstream acting in Nigeria.

And of course, having finally begun her promising career in television programmes such as Children’s Variety and Junior Opinion, Rita is today rated as the most sought after actress in Nollywood. Her anglic face and sexy poses often command ethereal influence among notable movie directors within and outside the shores of Nigeria.

While she debuted in her first movie, A time to Kill in 1998, Rita Dominic is a rare name to behold whenever a mention of Nollywood is made anywhere around the world.

Below is an excerpt of interview she recently granted in Malawi where she is the guest of Multichoice, Malawi

Q. Why do you think Nollywood films have had such an impact in Africa?

Rita: Most Nollywood films are dramas which laymen can relate to and learn from.

Q. Earlier today [yesterday] you visited the Kamuzu Banda Mausoleum, why did you go there?

Rita: Kamuzu Banda was a great leader and I had heard so much about him. I wanted to learn from Kamuzu and hope that the future generation can learn from him as a leader as well.

Q. Give us your brief background

Rita: I started entertaining at the age of six as a singer and dancer. I graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with a BA (Honours) Degree in Theatre Arts in 1999. My parents are late and I am the last born of four children.

Q. Of the movies you have starred in, which is your favourite?

Rita: I have starred in over 60 films and to this question I always respond that every movie I star in, I always hold it dear to my heart. All my movies are very special to me.

Q. Are you amazed at the pace which the Nigerian movie industry is growing?

Rita: Yes I am surprised. But with hard work and determination it is no wonder that we are growing

Q. How do you spend you normal day?

Rita: I watch a lot of movies and I also love books. I also work out a lot - I follow the Tae Bo exercise regime which is a mixture of taekwondo and boxing. Some of you might have noticed that I have lost weight.

Q. How do you define yourself as an actress considering the many movies you have starred in, and where do you see yourself in the immediate future?

Rita: I describe myself as a versatile actress. I act in almost every part as long as I find it challenging. In the future I hope to do more quality movies.

Q. Do you know anything about the Malawian film industry?

Rita: While here I will meet with local artists and know what plans they have for the industry. Where I can help, I will help.

Q. How can you as an artist contribute to curbing the HIV/Aids pandemic?

Rita: I feel we have to create more awareness about the disease. As actors we have to tell stories related to Aids and this will help create awareness. As an actress I feel this is one way we’ll be able to contribute.

Q. Here in Malawi, we are championing the 50/50 gender campaign. As a woman how do you feel we can achieve this?

Rita: The important issue is women empowerment. If women are educated and are professionals they will go out there and help their countries.

Q. In some of your movies you have portrayed yourself as a loose woman, what impact do you think such an image will have on the Aids pandemic?

Rita: Can you please define what you mean by loose woman.

Q. I mean a woman who jumps from one bed to another

Rita: At the end of the day if you leave a careless life you’ll suffer the consequences. For example in one of my films where I played such a character, the woman died a very painful death.

Q. Are you married, how do you mix family and work?

Rita: I am not married and I don’t have children so there is no mixing family and work.

Q. What about a boyfriend?

Rita: That’s for me to know and for you to guess.

Q. What is your impression of Malawi?

Rita: Malawi as a country is beautiful, amazing. Coming here has proved why it’s the Warm Heart of the continent. The people are so nice and down to earth.

Q. Where do you see the African film industry in 10 years?

Rita: Hollywood watch your back in ten years

Tell us a little more about yourself.

My name is Rita Dominic Waturuocha. Why I adopted Dominic was because it’s my father’s first name and when I first came into the industry, Waturuocha wasn’t easy for producers to pronounce. I’m from Imo state. We are four children and I’m the last child with two older sisters and an older brother. They all live in England. I am a happy-go- lucky kind of person. I studied Theatre Arts in University of Port Harcourt. Moved to England after the first two years of being in Nollywood, came back after another two years and found Nollywood has grown bigger than what it was. I did a few movies again and that was how I got stuck, never live in England again. Right now I’m looking for that one movie that will give me the right satisfaction as an actor.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Atlanta Girl - Grace Amah of Nollywood

I am from Ebonyi State, but born and bred in Lagos. I speak Yoruba very well. Some people want to call me a Lagosian and I answer when they do.

Do you see any difference between those who studied Creative Arts and those who did not.

Is there really? There are lots of us in the industry who do not read anything close to Drama or Creative Arts or Theatre Arts and they are just as good as those of us who are formally trained. I will rather say that when the talent is in you, you excel better rather than just trying to be good doing it. There are some actors and actresses that you don’t even need to go the extra mile to get the best out of them. Some others have become so good in their acting because they have been doing it over a long period of time so they know where to correct the lapses, when they see the lapses, they know.
Whole families are glued to their television sets watching One Bad Apple and you as Segun’s jilted fiancée.

What other home-videos have you appeared in apart from Day of Atonement?

There are many of them. Elastic limit, Cinderella, Atlanta, Love Paradise I can quickly remember these for now.

So, what is your character in Day of Atonement.

The character I play in the movie is that of the sister to Mike, the room-mate of James.

We are from a family that lack financially. But I am always there for my brother, helping with the little I can provide for him so that he can face his studies as an undergraduate. I am eventually put under a lot of stress in providing for him and one thing leads to another. It is quite a gripping and a movie full of passion.

What should an actor do to get into character?

The first thing to do of course is to read the script. I try to imagine myself being that character. I try to see how I can make it real. There was a movie, Pastor and the Harlot, in which I played a wayward character and those who watched the movie and my friends were like saying: Hey! You are sure you had not done this type of thing before! God knows I have never been a prostitute before, nor will I ever be! But that is just what it takes. You visualize, imagine and make the character real.

How come acting? Why not something else?

In fact, I was earlier on studying to become a lawyer at Ibadan. I was reading law. Along the line I just felt it was better for me to transfer to Unilag to face something else. My parents were initially not in support but I was determined because in secondary school, I confided in a friend of mine that I wanted to be an actress in life. Fortunately for me while awaiting my JAMB results, I had done some appearances. I have so built on that experience so I can now blend . Besides, I really found commuting between Ibadan and Lagos very stressful.


I went to secondary school in Lagos. Stadium High School, Surulere. I told you I am omo Eko proper (laughing).

Media “lies” and hype..
I don’t like the impressions at all, because they could be negative. Why? A parent cannot have a child, hear such impressions and encourage the child to go into the movie industry. But on the other hand, it does not bother me. Why it does not bother me is because I know myself. Yet, you cannot be content with that, because it is only those who are close to you that will know you are not the kind of person people talk negatively about.
As far as the media is concerned, I have never lost any sleep over it. Why? Because I feel it is their job, they are only doing their job. Initially, the media was not favorable to me but I am beginning to get good mention and reviews now. Nor can I really blame people for their opinions. There are some of us out there that go out of the way to mess around and when people now insinuate, can you really blame them? After all, people say there is no smoke without fire.

Are you rich?

(Laughs).... I am still working hard to earn the big money. I see it coming soon in the industry where actors and actresses will be earning good money.

So, in what way will you say, acting a Christian movie is different from acting in any other movie?

Acting is acting. It all depends on the character you are given. If you are given a script to play Jesus Christ, you read and visualize what it takes to be Christ while He was on earth.

While visualizing that, you need to be spiritually motivated. The important thing is to come out with a fantastic role. If I am asked to play Mary Magdalene or Mary the mother of Jesus, I will do so and achieve their character. In fact, I will want their role to affect me. But I will not play a gangster or a prostitute and let the character affect me in real life. I guess it is better to let positive roles affect you. But a role is a role to play. I have seen people acting roles of rich men and women in a movie and wanting to carry on in that manner, even in real life. If you take it too far, it begins to affect you.


I believe in everything that is good. My upbringing has been such that I see things from a different perspective. Yes, I believe in God obviously. I am into acting but I do not want any role I play to make me a bad person. I am me. I am a calm person. I want to do something that is right. I believe in hardwork too. I want to see myself where God wants me to be. He knows what is good for me because whatever I want for myself may not be what He wants for me.

Who are your mentors or the role models locally and internationally?

Joke Silva inspires me, so does RMD, Liz Benson . Liz remains the number one motivation. Internationally, I will mention Denzel Washington and Martin Lauren. It is not an exhaustive list, though.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pa Kasumu - Kayode Odumosu of Nollywood

Francis Olukayode Olugbenga Odumosu was born on the 16th of March 1953 in Agbeni area of Ibadan, Oyo State, though, he is from Ogun State by origin. His father is from Odogbolu (Ijebu) while his mother is from Ake (Abeokuta/Egba), that is why he refers to himself as “Ijegba”.(The combination of Ijebu and Egba).

Pa Kasumu started his career at age 15; taking up challenging roles on stage under the tutelage of Elder Chief Ayinla Olumegbon whom he knew through his area Uncle then (Mr.Afolabi), popularly called “Brother Simbat”. He got baptized through a stage play titled “Iyawo Orun (1968). And ever since then, he has grown from strength to strength, but no without facing some serious challenges.

When asked about how many works he has featured considering the years he has put in, he has this to say” Well, I thank God for sparing my life to witness today. I since lost count of my work, but I can assure you that they are well over 400 movies.

On Nollywood evolution, Pa Kasumu said “Maybe, if will have chicken out or abandon the Industry, many people will not meet what they are meeting today (Nollywood), for we have suffered a lot, as we tried to preserve the profession we cherished with passion, even without money and societal acceptance. Indeed, we worked with our lives, for the love and the passion we have for the profession, then, privileges and fame is not attached to the profession like now, and money was not just there. But thank God, today, it is a different ball game; we are now been appreciated and accepted globally”.

Dedicated to the memory of Teslim Olamilekan Suleiman (1992 - 2005) [Click Image to read about him]