- Chides Nollywood colleagues on poor pay
SULTRY actress, Eucharia Anunobi could be blunt to a fault. And she didn’t betray her identity in this exclusive interview ENCOMIUM Weekly had with her recently. Admitting Nollywood is sick, the Glamour Girls star blamed the movie industry’s woes on paucity of funds. She also hit hard on her colleagues for pretending to be well-paid when they go home with the poorest pay compared with their Hollywood and Bollywood counterparts.
On her expectation from the man to walk down the aisle for the second time, Eucharia, who is still in court for a divorce told ENCOMIUM Weekly the man with the fear of God has an edge over all her other would-be suitors. She touched on other personal issues including how she has been coping with her only son’s health (Joshua, the fruit of her short marriage with her run-away hubby, Charles Ekwu, the boy was born with sickle cell anemia).
What is the nicest thing about being an actress?
The fact that it opens doors for you, people appreciate you, you stand above the crowd.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
It’s when people attribute the role you have done in a movie to your personal life. Forgetting that we are doing a make-believe job, that somebody wrote out the story and we are just chosen to act it. But on the other hand, I will take it as a credit because it means you’ve done your job very, very well.
What’s the worst thing that has been written about you?
I don’t really put this in mind because I just consider the fact that being in the public eye, whether you like it or not, people would want to write things for good or bad. As they say, bad news is news and good news is no news.
When you look back, would you say you are living your dream?
Let me put it this way. I won’t say I came into Nollywood to be noticed. I just had the innate desire to do my job. I just found out that when I was small, I loved acting. So, for me it wasn’t to be known or for
material benefit but to make people happy. I remember I used to do comic stuff with my siblings. I would wear my father’s coat and shoes to act like him or sometimes I would tie my mummy’s gele and act like her. For now, you can say I am living my dream of entertaining people and being a role model. But then, I haven’t gotten to the height of my career. So, I am not living my dream completely until we shoot movies that would be accepted internationally more than what we have already. I am also looking at movies shot with high-tech equipment and a lot of money involved. It may be a kind of collaboration of international artists in Hollywood, only then will I say I am living my dream.
A lot of your colleagues and even younger actresses are going into movie production, what’s delaying you?
Everybody cannot be a producer. We are all cut out to do different things. Kudos to those who have ventured into some other things, I have other things I am also doing. I have always been into private enterprise which I don’t have to go about showcasing or talk about so much. For my colleagues, I watch their movies and I am happy for them.
What to you is the greatest problem of Nollywood?
We don’t have the kind of money we need to make the kind of movies we need. I give kudos to those who started the industry out of nothing. But now it has gone beyond them, we need billionaires to come into the industry to do better movies. The industry will fall if these investors don’t come, it will fall because a lot of criticisms are coming up. People are now looking at script-writing, acting, directing and all other aspects of production. So, you need money to meet up with these challenges. It is no longer what we used to produce. We have international exposure and people are expecting more.
The allegation in town is that no serious work is going on in the industry?
Do you think any artist in Nigeria has been paid the kind of money we ought to have been paid? Some of us over blow our pay. But I do not think any artist can comfortably stand on any stage in this country and say I have been paid N10 million for one movie. Nobody. Meanwhile for our colleagues in Bollywood and Hollywood, ten million is a chicken change. So, we’re not being paid well. We have never been paid well. I don’t care what my colleagues say, that’s over bloated as far as I am concerned. If you pay me two or three million, I am not well paid. But we’ve been collecting it and managing to keep our head above water. When we get real money, we will say we are now well-paid. Not when people collect N500,000, N1.5 million. How much is the average house rent in Nigeria? What about the bills? If you give me N1 million, the money is gone. No artist can do one job now and say I am going to by a brand new car.
You still look stunning at your age, what’s has sustained you?
My faith in God. I have absolute faith in God. And when you have faith in God, He will just give you glory all along.
I love dancing and I take a lot of water. I am also crazy for fruits. Anybody who loves me knows I love fruits and water.
But some say sex is also good?
There are lots of other things that keep one younger and stronger.
That’s one. It’s a form of exercise. That’s what we know. It is one of the recipes for looking youthful, younger and a great shape for those who can get it.
How’s your divorce case going?
We are still in court but I am sure judgement would be passed soon. So, we take it from there.
Have you found another love?
I can’t think of another man until the first one is all over.
Have you reviewed the qualities of your kind of man?
He’s got to be God fearing. It is not about being handsome, tall or hard working. All those ones are necessary but the foundation, the background, when a man has got the fear of God, then he will understand what it means to truly love a woman. That means he will take care of her with everything he’s got. That means he will respect her. That means he will cherish her. And that means he will be by her side through tick and thin; when she grows old, when she grows fat, when she’s sick. So, when a man knows God, he’s a better man. But on the other hand, we need a man who’s got a job. It’s not about being a millionaire, he must have something he’s doing. So, that he can have a sense of belonging, a sense of individuality.
Each time you say you are ready to give marriage a second shot thousands of men disturb us with phone calls…
I haven’t seen them o, please tell them to come o (laughs). Tell them to come very fast, I want them because my God said a woman should not be alone. And a man should not be alone.
Although your name was not directly mentioned…they once said you are dating former Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu?
My God, I have not even met the former governor before not to talk of dating. I am sorry. There can’t be a gossip like that.
We didn’t ask you how your son, Joshua is doing?
He’s okay, but it hasn’t been easy moving from one hospital to the other. God is our strength.
- THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENCOMIUM WEEKLY ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2010