The difference between success and failure
Successs is looking at yourself and being happy with who you are. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen people that are not very rich but are very successful. They live a very moderate lifestyle, they have a very moderate home, they are very contented. Being contented with who you are , being happy with who you are, I think that is success.
Failure is the exact opposite of that. Some people think they are failures even though you will look at them and say I wish I have half of what you have but they are living very stressful lives because the oil well that they want to get they couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get, meanwhile they have like three houses, two in Japan and yet they see themselves as failure because they put too much into life and they get so little back from it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the exact opposite of what I said.
My most memorable labour room experiences
My last baby. Unlike the others, before they start calling people that I was at the hospital I would have given birth and I left hospital that same day. My last baby was memorable in the sense that it was not fun. It was memorable but very painful. I was due but my contractions were very slow and they said if they had to go at that pace I could lose the baby and so they had to induce. It was bad and then the contractions really came quickly and saved me of all the trauma and I said thank God this is my last baby because if it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get pregnant again. But my most memorable one in a nice way was my third because my husband predicted he would come on my birthday. I doubted it and wondered how it could be that perfect. He was supposed to leave the country that day but he tried not to, lamenting I was going to put to bed on that day. I told him I did not feel any contraction but he insisted that he must take me to hospital. I protested that it was not right and just before he finished dressing up I went into labour. It was funny and instead of screaming I was laughing. He did not go on that trip again. That day he was Prophet Matthew.
Great country, selfish people
I think before we start talking about re-branding we should start with ourselves. I think every Nigerian knows what the problem was. It was just that we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t what to talk about it. We all know that corruption is the major cause of NigeriaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s problem and the biggest headache is that we refuse to fight as Nigerians. Until we all get up and say we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind shedding our blood to fight for our rights, we will keep on suffering and smiling. I think people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get liberated if they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t become selfless. Your mother would say she didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t send you there, that you should thank God you had food to eat in the morning. You hold someone who stole your money and people will tell you to leave him and thank God you did not lose your life in the process. We are too sentimental a people. I think judiciary needs to do more, if the judiciary begins to do its job well, a lot of things would fall into place in Nigeria. If members of judiciary cannot do their jobs well there is no need for people to go study law. People find out that they can bend the laws in the country. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think we can brand Nigeria when we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have electricity.
Truly this country can be the greatest country in the world. The US doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have what we have. Even American companies say theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve never seen people like Nigerians. We are a unique kind of people and that alone is worth celebrating but the governments, since whenever till now, know that they have not done anything and they are still not doing anything for this country. When Mandela and other people started doing it we knew, we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to be talked into understanding it. We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need too many broadcast, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not by power or strength but by action. There are so many people that work in Aso Rock till today and leave that same place and come out with the news of the place because there is nothing that is hidden under the sun. If it was a place where purity was upheld it would filter out and you will start to feel it. We are still living in a very corrupt country and some people should be ashamed of themselves.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m proud to be a Chi ambassador
I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know if I should think about that, I am ChivitaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ambassador and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one of the highest selling brands we have in Nigeria. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m very proud of them and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good.
There are some kinds of movies I need to leave for the younger ones
From 2007 to this time a lot has happened to my class of actors and are still happening. We did not have other people to learn from so we had to learn from our own mistakes and triumphs. We have to face obstacles and then find a way through them. Now we have gotten to that point in Nollywood history where some of us have to take the bull by the horn again to lift the industry up. We have decided to up the stakes of the movies we appear in. Personally I will not appear in a movie where you are shooting with anything lower than a HD camera and your budget has to be up to a certain amount.
We have put some standard in place and like they say do your best and leave he rest. I believe as an artiste with pedigree you should have a basic requirement for the people that you work with. Since there is not too much happening collectively, you have to do that individually. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been shooting movies but now there is an amount of money you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t offer me. There are some kind of movies I probably need to leave for the younger ones. When I was younger I probably needed to do a lot of movies so that people will get to know me which was the norm but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to do those many movies anymore. Also the quality of movies has not been improving because the quality of living in Nigeria is not improving in itself. I think that Nollywood is big enough to take everybody but we have a people problem.
We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like to give respect to people whom respect is due and we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like to honour our own. So we see people who are in the trade for a while whom you are supposed to respect for their experience, you start to disrespect them for their experience. They make it look like you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want new ones to come and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why you are still working. I remember that in my own time nobody had to die for people like us to rise. We came into the market and earned our stuff credibly. Now itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s weird when you say you have to throw some people away for this other ones to come in.
New actors, actresses, please, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get into Nollywood through a bad route
I would say education is very important. Times have changed. The only thing that will give you an edge now is your intelligence, how much of a thinker you are, what extra thing you are bringing in. Secondly be educated. If you have the talent go for it, people will tell you that you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it, you are not good enough, the place is very hot. Though people always scare you with sexual harassment but when you are very good you will always get the part. Just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t compromise your stand because sometimes when they see that you are good they might throw bullshit at you just to try their luck. Some of us cut ourselves short because you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know who you are, you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what you carry you already cut yourself short before you get there. You will get there anywhere but unfortunately through a bad route and you would have gotten there anyway. Patience is very important in this business. Do you know how many people I have to outsmart to get the role of Mortal Inheritance? When they threw the audition open we had about 600 to 700 and I had to do about 6 to 7 auditions to get the role. You go for auditions over and over again with different people on the panel.
There are no regulations for foreigners coming into Nollywood but it is a passing phase.
Nobody is taking over anything. Today, it might be Ghanaians, tomorrow it might be Kenyans, everybody is welcome. Even in Hollywood, they celebrate Mexicans. So, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think there is anything wrong. My dream is that people from around the world come into Nollywood. I hope that Nollywood can actually become a substitute to Hollywood.
I think Nollywood is about to evolve. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gone through the story of Hollywood and there were times they went through what we are going through though it might not be totally similar because we have problems peculiar to our own situations.
There are so many things that are going on right now that are plainly wrong, like you just coming into an industry and they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pay tax here, they are not necessarily better than the Nigerian actors. There are no regulations guiding how they can work. Some of them are good actually. Some people just win a reality show and then you bring them to start acting with your Ramsey Nouah. We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t value our own. Your Ramsey Nouah is like the Tom Cruises of Hollywood. I have heard of other industries that are fighting the same situation where foreigners are taking over jobs from Nigerians. When I went to Dubai I heard there is a certain criteria given to you before you establish any company there of how many indigenous people you must employ. There are rules as to how you can operate in their environment, a disciplined society. The society we are working in isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t disciplined. The people that should care about us really donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care about us. Those who are suppose to set the laws and rules donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do that so you find yourself speaking out, setting your own rules and becoming public enemy, you become a target.
In my most challenging role the director did not allow me to meet with anybody. I was put in a hotel all by myself and I was not allowed to go out. My eyes were always puffy
I had something close to that in Abuse. I remember that I had to carry a particular hairstyle for more than a month and then I was required to always be in a particular mood. It was directed by Fred Amata. That is one of those roles I know that I was drilled as well and I was made to get into a particular psyche and stay there. I was always on my own, the director did not allow me to meet with anybody and they put me in a hotel all by myself and I was not allowed to go out. I was really down, my eyes were always puffy. I also enjoyed Daybreak even though it was not an emotional role, everything was provided to make it big. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as if we were pretending to make it big. I would just say the earlier part of my career was the most challenging.
I love Oyato but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think I love it as much as I love No Rival. That was one of my best too. It was my first Yoruba movie. It was wonderful, I enjoyed my experience on set. For you to know how much I enjoyed it I did another one as well.
At Command Secondary School Kaduna, I saw people being stabbed to the wall, women giving birth in my school. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I say Nigeria needs a lot of healing.
I went to Command Secondary School, Kaduna at Second Mechanised Division. We were the testing ground for the soldiers. It was my school they used for guard room, training ground and refuge camp. I bless God I went to that school because it has helped in shaping who I am today. I saw people being stabbed to the wall during the Kaduna crisis. All they needed to do was cross over to the wall and they were saved but the military people would not intervene outside of the wall until you get to the gate only then would they fight to save your life. We saw people almost getting to the gate and being daggered down. A lot of students were traumatized, women were giving birth in the school and we all turned into midwives by providing cloths, wrappers, blanket and so on. That is why I said Nigeria needs a lot of healing. We canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sweep all these things under the carpet. What happened to the child born under that condition or child that saw his father being daggered down? Has he forgotten and we say we want to rebrand Nigeria.
Omotola & her age
Hardly had our last week interview with Omotola hit the newsstands than we began to receive text messages that we are promoting falsehood with the star actressÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ age.
Those who protested said Omotola can not be 31 years old since she was 18 when she won the best actress award for Mortal Inheritance and 18 when she married her pilot husband.
We went to work and we were able to lay our hands on OmotolaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s passport that clearly stated that she was born February 7, 1978. If we are promoting falsehood, Nigeria Immigration Commission must be party to the falsehood too! Doubting Thomases, hope you aryou will rest your case.
Meanwhile, the star actress is presently in Asaba playing a role someone described as Ã¢â‚¬Å“exagerated and refreshingÃ¢â‚¬Â in a flick Tchidi Chikere is directing.
She would leave for United States May 2nd for another movie project.