You have been off the screen for some time, is it deliberate?
Not really. I just don’t get offered the kind of exciting challenging roles I crave. The last intensely challenging and exciting role I played was last year as Nori in Hush. I thank the producers for that opportunity and the chance to again play opposite RMD. My career came full circle with the role of Nori. I started acting professionally as Alero the wife of RMD’s character Pastor Voke in 1996 and twenty years later in 2016, I played Nori, baby Mama to RMD’s character Bem in HUSH.
What have you been doing?
Acting, producing and working 9 to 5 with my friend, boss and business partner Alhaji Teju Kareem in Zmirage Multimedia Limited, a leading entertainment technology provider and event management company.
Growing up in Freetown, Sierra Leone must have its impression on you as a child. How was it?
It was a picturesque little city which I only have fond memories of.
How and why did you choose to become an artiste?
I started acting professionally with my role in RMD’s Out of Bounds in 1996/7. Before that I had only acted in school productions. I feel i was born to be an actor because I was always happier in the fictitious worlds I created in my head.
You are also a writer. At what stage did writer in you come up?
I started my first novel when I was a youth corper though I had created stories in my head for as long as I can remember.
What really inspires your writing?
Life, people I know, meet or hear about; circumstances I have encountered or heard about spiced by my very vivid imagination.
As an artiste, what do you look out for in a script before accepting to feature in it?
I look out for a script that is true to whatever message it seeks to share. I look out for an exciting and intense character that will challenge and stretch me.
How would you describe yourself?
I am sensitive, humble, romantic, hardworking, fun loving, adventurous, impetuous, quick tempered and a stickler for propriety who values integrity.
As a child growing up, how was your relationship with boys? Were there any special encounters?
Growing up, I was a bit of a tomboy; so I had a lot of friends that were boys. However, I also did the girly things so I had great friends who are girls. I don’t recall any special encounters.
How do you handle love roles in your career as an artiste?
As a professional, any role I accept, I perform to the best of my ability. Any role I am not comfortable playing, I won’t accept. What can you say about Nigerian men, especially actors and producers? Nigerian men are great people. Like Nigerian women, there are good ones, great ones and some not so nice ones.
Which them – writing or acting – engages you the most?
I enjoy both. Acting and writing feed different parts of my soul. Like a mother shouldn’t be asked to choose between her children, so I refuse to make a choice between my two major passions.
You are a board member of Audio Visual Rights Society of Nigeria. How has it been?
It’s been interesting, educating and challenging. I believe the company is on the verge of a major breakthrough that will make audiovisual rights owners proud to be members.
Are you not considering going into politics? No. Not yet, at least.
Also, as a producer, what do you look out for in a script?
I look out for a script that excites me. I also look out for a script that has a message I want to share with the world.
You were vice president of Association of Movie Producers (AMP) for two consecutive terms, and wanted be president, because you wanted to put the right structures in place, with a view to facilitating the welfare of members. Has the situation changed?
There is a sitting President in AMP and I will not comment on the situation of members viz-a-viz welfare and structures as whatever I say can and will be misunderstood and possibly taken out of context.
Piracy is a major challenge hampering growth in the industry. Why has it been so difficult to stem the trend?
It is impossible to stop piracy. Even developed countries have piracy issues, but there are strong deterrents there so pirates don’t operate freely or openly. A drive through Maryland will show you that though we have anti-piracy laws, nothing much is done to enforce these laws. Pirated films and books are sold openly and nothing is done about it. People need to be sensitised about the damage piracy does to an economy and the law enforcement agencies need to directly confront piracy the same way they battle smuggling.