Interviews

Actress COLLETE ORJI gives back to her community

– DONATES  MATERIALS TO SCHOOL CHILDREN

Super-sexy Nollywood actress, Collette Orji is no doubt living up to the promise she showed when she joined Nollywood in 2006.

She was touted for the top when she clinched her first movie role at her first audition, starring alongside Jim Iyke, Patience Ozokwor and the likes. Ever since then, she has not looked back, as she has grown to become the toast of movie producers, especially in the epic movies genre.

The light-skinned thespian enjoyed a highly successful 2013, where she featured in several A-list movies won the PAAMSAA best upcoming lead actress 2013, launched her clothing line, Coco House as well as her NGO, Coco Medicare Foundation.

On December 15, 2013, the philanthropic actress, through her NGO, Coco Medicare Foundation staged a charity event in her home town, Ufuma, Anambra North Local Government, Anambra state.

She hosted hundreds of primary school pupils students, their teachers, as well as women in her community known as Umuagu – Etiti, Ufuma.

In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the single and available actress disclosed her passion to help, gratitude over a successful 2013, her lofty plans for 2014 and much more

Colette

How do you feel about the success of the event and the appreciable turn out?

It has never happened in my community. I am honoured and glad, especially as the villagers came in their numbers, invited or not, mothers, fathers, my uncles, elders of the community, family members, everyone was just so happy and proud that this was happening.

I was so happy to do this, I am so amazed at the turn out and really thank God for making me take this back home. They say charity begins at home, so it was great going back to my roots.

What else were you able to do apart from feeding the children?

Apart from the food and drinks for kids, we had school materials for them, items for their classrooms and gifts for their teachers.

We also had boxes of clothes, shoes, handbags donated by the Coco Medicare team which was shared among teenage girls of the community. The mothers received wrappers, and trust me, it couldn’t even go round. The turnout got bigger than we expected. It was beautiful, I felt joy in my heart.

How were you able to foot the expenses on your own, are you that rich?

Every kobo for this came from my pocket, my bank account. Only my mom helped, we would soon have help though.

And I don’t even have money, it’s just the beginning of the year, I haven’t earned or made a kobo. Coco House boutique was closed all through the Xmas period because the head of my sales department lost her dad and I asked them to go take care of stuffs and resume January.

But not earning a dime from December till now is not enough to stop me because 2013 was such an amazing year. I didn’t even have to do 50 movies that would not make any impact after release. God chose and screened each job I did last year and I won the PAAMSAA best upcoming lead actress 2013, I launched Coco House, launched Coco Medicare Foundation, signed deals and business arrangements worth more than I’ve had in five years at a time, took business and pleasure trips all around the world and God was my pilot at all the time. God stood by me and blessed my family with good health.

You can see I had every reason to invest in the lives of kids through education via my foundation. I’m so honoured to have started my year this way. I wish I could do much more than this, but I am happy.

Collette-Orji Which schools(s) did the kids come from?

We had kids from Amazing Grace Nursery and Primary School, Ufuma Community Primary School and all kids of primary school ages whom for one reason or the other, haven’t been in school.

Why did you decide to host the children?

It’s part of my NGO activities, it’s my passion. It’s my zeal to make sure I am not going be asking what my country or community or land has done for me. I need to make sure I do something for my country, no matter how small. I need to be among those making positive impact in my nation.

You won the PAMSAA award for the best upcoming lead actress’ 2013, how do you feel about it?

It was an amazing experience because it’s always great and beautiful to be acknowledged.

I just received it this year when I got back from my film shoot and business from the States.

It was my good friend and colleague, Junior Pope who picked it up for me.

Having had a superlative 2013, what are your expectations for this year?

I want to do movies that matter, work on stories that bring about positive changes in people.

I want to totally surrender to God, give Him the first place in my life and make movies that please God.

I am changing my dear. I’ve been opportuned to meet some awesome people, folks with so much wealth, they kneel and bow to God with so much ease, folks whose actions moved me and I have promised myself, I want that. I can be anything I want, all I need is God and to remember that my knees on the floor and hands lifted up with lips of praise is the code. Movie making is my world, and my platform and I will bless those around me with what I have.

Also, this year, I will not tolerate any one who is going to stand as a barrier to this life I have chosen.  I will cut off unrepentant seeds easily. I hope to hold more charity events and I know God is with me.

How do you stay away from controversies, is it because you’re not based in Lagos where your actions and inactions will be scrutinized by the media?

No, I’m not a controversial person by nature. It has got nothing to do with whether I am based in Lagos or Abuja. I’m mostly in Lagos and I still see our Lagos colleagues moving freely and doing great, so it has nothing to do with being controversial. I’m a sweet person, yes. I’m a born star, I’ve been a star all my life from primary school days. I’m the sociable sweet next door girl.

The media will find you anywhere you are if you give them enough reasons to.

Don’t get it twisted, I will love to be in the media but only for the right reasons.

I have a family. They read and watch me and I’m going to have my own family soon too. They ought to be proud of who I’ve grown up to be, that is what I owe them.

If you could change one thing about the movie industry in Nigeria, what would it be?

It’s not a question of if; I am already changing some things about the movie industry. I use what I make from the industry to make the world around me better.

I’m producing movies which families will love to have in their libraries. I’m contributing my quota to my work, my life and everyone who comes in contact with me. The industry as a whole is growing, we’re producing amazing cinema movies, better productions and we are building a reasonable rapport with the media too. It can only get better. As long as I live, breathe, and God lives, I will use my work to bless my world.

How do you relax and maintain your stunning look?

I’m just so blessed. I don’t even have to buy this and use this or try this and try that. I’ve got an amazing skin. It hardly matters what I use, my skin just radiates. (Laughs) But of course I still have to buy the best I can afford, why not?

Relaxation, for me is swimming, reading and writing, I love good times with gracious friends, I love to dance too. I also love to do some things I don’t want to talk about. (Laughs)

At the end of the day, I’m a happy person, a bit too playful but that’s one sure gateway to reduce stress.

 

-DANIEL FAYEMI

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