I grew up in Calabar and my childhood was fun. My dad died when I was very little, and my mother was very busy, so I had to live with my grandmother. I was very naughty back then and I grew up having my way a lot. I always had ways of escaping chores, and I think that’s when I developed my acting prowess because I used to pretend that I was sick if I didn’t want to do anything.
My late mum wanted me to become a reverend sister, so most of the schools I attended were Catholic institutions. For my elementary education, I attended Kerel Primary School, Calabar. For my post-elementary education, I attended a convent, Mary Immaculate Girls Juniorette, in Cross River, where girls are groomed to become reverend sisters. For my tertiary education, I initially attended Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State, where I studied Medicine. But I had to leave in my second year because Medicine was not accredited in the school. I moved to the University of Calabar where I studied Microbiology. I didn’t want to become a reverend sister because I felt it wasn’t my calling. I believe you don’t have to be a reverend sister before you can worship God. I have always wanted to get married and have children.
I started taking my acting career serious after I graduated from the university. I studied Medicine and Microbiology, and you can’t play with those courses; you have to give them 100 per cent concentration. It was after my university education that I enrolled at the Royal Arts Academy. When I was younger, I used to follow my cousin to movie auditions back then in Calabar. On many occasions, they asked me to give it a try, and when I eventually tried it, everybody loved my performance. The irony is that my cousin who was very enthusiastic about acting back then is now a member of the armed forces, while I’m the one who became an actress.
My mum told me to focus on my education, and that when I graduated, she would give me all the necessary support. I would have registered in an acting school much earlier but she kicked against it.
My late mother used to say that talent is not always enough; you need to be groomed and trained. I was at the Royal Arts Academy for three months. Art school will not necessarily teach you how to act, but it would expose you to techniques, and prepare you for things you would encounter in the industry. Basically, it gives you an edge over others.
I got into the movie industry officially in 2014. The first movie I acted in was titled, Chronicle of the Book, and it was directed by Desmond Elliot. I was still at the Royal Arts Academy then. I actually acted in two movies on that same day. The other one was a short film titled, Sanitation (The Movement).
During the audition for it, people laughed at me and I felt so bad. Surprisingly, I was the only one that was called back out of all of us that attended the audition. I played the lead role in the film. I don’t want to exaggerate, but I have acted in a lot of movies. They include: Prince of Fire, Painful Kingdom, Onuma Tears, Baby Stella, Broken Heart, Broken Stone, and Marriage Woes. One of the toughest roles I’ve ever had to play is one where I had to speak with an Indian accent; the movie will be released soon.
The benefits that come with being an actor are what count. The money may not be enough, but the endorsements pay. For now, I’m not a brand ambassador for any company. But I’ve had deals with different brands.
I have not produced any movies yet. I want to focus on my acting career for now. I will have my personal productions in the future because there are some stories that are dear to my heart that I want to tell. But I’m not in a rush.
God has been faithful to me. I believe that in everything you do, you should know your worth. Pray, don’t be in a haste, and things will fall in place at the right time. It is God that has helped me this far; it isn’t by my talent. I believe that you should be quick to listen; don’t be a talkative. If you listen more than you talk, you’ll gain more. You should also be humble and submissive, because it can take you even further than you expect. You should endeavour to have good working relationships with your colleagues. That way, people would recommend you to other producers. Pride cannot take you anywhere; it has never helped anyone, so be submissive.
When I first got into the industry, there were roles that I really wanted to play but I was never given the chance to do so. Some of the producers requested for sexual favours before they could give me roles. However, I knew my worth, so I did not sleep around to become a star. I knew that whatever would be, would be.
There is sexual harassment in every industry. As a fine girl, if you walk on the road and men don’t approach you, then there’s a problem; you should go back to your village. Whenever things like that happen, I’m usually polite. I tell them that I don’t sleep with people for roles. I don’t rule out the fact that I may date or get married to an actor or producer because nobody knows the future. You cannot control who you fall in love with.
I admire my mother. In the movie industry, I love Joke Silva and Mercy Johnson.
Every girl likes a guy with six-pack. I also like someone who is God-fearing, smells great, looks really good and has money. I cannot settle for someone just because he has potentials. I believe every human being has prospects. It is the money and results that count.
The only time I unwind is when I travel out of the country. Whenever I’m in Nigeria, producers always call me for jobs, and I cannot turn them down because that is what I signed up for. My job comes first.
As I grow, my style changes. Before now, I used to bare my boobs. I believe that you don’t have to show a lot of skin to be noticed. Just look nice and decent; simple is more. Now, I show a little flesh and cover the rest. My favourite fashion items are shoes. I like shoes that are comfortable, especially wedges. For now, I don’t know what I can never be caught wearing because I can wear anything.
Back then, whenever I read negative reports about myself, I used to cry. But now, I just laugh even when I’m angry. I have toughened up. I still believe in testing my partner sexually before marriage. I’m not a hypocrite. If you don’t test your man, how would you know what he’s capable of? I believe that marriage lasts forever. Six months ago, I talked to a pastor, and he told me that biblically, there’s no divorce. He said divorces are not recorded in heaven, and that changed my mentality totally. Once I get married, I’m in it for life. I advise ladies to test before marriage to know if they are compatible with their partners. However, I would pick money over sex. Without finance, sexual urges would die. I can stay for a year without sex, but I can’t stay for one year without money. It is not true that I said that no woman can snatch my husband. I said, ‘any man that can be snatched is not mine.’ If a man is meant for me, he cannot be snatched. However, if my man cheats on me, I can forgive him if his reason for cheating is good enough