DELECTABLE actress and mother of one child, Monalisa Chinda, sure knows her onions as a role interpreter. Her appearance in a Sunday TV soap, Heaven’s Gate, was a good platform to launch herself into mainstream acting. She is also among the blessed actresses who are still Glo ambassadors. ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with the fair-skinned woman about her acting career, her numerous endorsements, life as a single mother and sundry issues.
Can you please, name the ingredients that helped you succeed in your career?
If there is any reason I have been consistently engaged and appreciated for what I do, I think it is because of my gift and God is the giver of all gifts. I simply discovered my love and natural talent for acting. I followed it by developing my talent into skills and God’s grace has been responsible for the rest.
Did you ever entertain any doubt or fear about getting to the top?
Of course, I had my initial fears when starting out because it wasn’t as attractive as it is today. But I also knew beyond an atom of doubt that I wanted to act because it comes naturally to me and I love doing it.
So, at what stage of your movie career did you begin to find your feet?
After doing my first major movie, Pregnant Virgin in 1996, while I was still an undergraduate. I also acted in Above the Law, they had an overwhelming response after these two movies, I became more confident that this was my line and decided to stick to it. Since then, there has never been a better yesterday.
You featured in Heaven’s Gate years back, what has been its impact on your rise to stardom?
I featured in a lot of movies before Heaven’s Gate, but I think Heaven’s Gate was spectacular to me in so many ways. It remains one of my most interesting movies. In terms of impact, it won’t be out of place to say that it gave me some boost.
Has being a movie star given you any special privilege?
Special privilege? I said being an actress has given me the opportunity to pass across crucial, life changing messages to the society.
How will you rate the response from your television series, Catwalq?
Catwalq is a special series I co-produced with very good friend, Emem Isong. The response has been both awesome and encouraging. We initially had it aired on TVC, now it is on NTA, DSTV and others are still calling for it. It can only get better.
What inspired it?
Catwalq was inspired by the need to tell the story of the upwardly mobile woman and how she copes with the challenges at work and at home. Aside that, we also wanted to correct certain relationship flaws while entertaining our audience.
How will you describe your experience since you became Glo ambassador?
Globacom actually is one of the very few African companies committed to adding value to lives. I consider it a privilege being a part of their great works.
What will you say has kept you as a Glo ambassador despite the fact that some people have been dropped?
I am not in the best position to answer that question. Glo would be in the best place to answer that.
What has being a Glo ambassador done for you?
It has helped me contribute my quota to the amazing work Glo is doing as a leading telecommunication brand in Africa. Beyond making profit, Glo is concerned about empowering the society, nation and continent as a whole. And for someone like me, who is very passionate about specific societal causes, I see it as a privilege to add more value.
How did you emerge as face of Rivers Carnival?
I wasn’t part of it until they got across to me, I just got a call and was briefed about the entire project. They told me they would appreciate it if I could be the face of the state’s carnival. It’s happens to be the state where I come from. So, I took up the challenge and it really was a nice experience.
What are your roles as Face of Rivers Carnival?
My roles include representing the state in different capacities that have to do with the carnival. My face was used for the publicity. I also had to be on ground whenever needed. My state is unique in so many ways, so I gladly took up the responsibility.
How much is the endorsement worth?
It wasn’t done for the money, it was done for the love of my state and my country as a whole.
How have you been coping without a husband?
There is no such thing as coping, I am actually living my life to the fullest.
How is your daughter doing?
I am very grateful to God for giving me such a wonderful daughter. She is one of my greatest gifts from God and it has been a blessing having her.
What do you miss about the marriage institution?
Marriage is a choice, it is not a requirement to fulfill your purpose. Your purpose is not in marriage, it is in you.
What is your relationship with your ex-husband?
My dear, there is something called personal life.
When are you taking another shot at marriage?
Leave that to me, there is no need to rush. When such happens, you will get to know.
Who are your friends?
I have a couple of really good friends within and outside the industry. Nollywood is filled with lots of lovely people with great character. We are closely knitted like a family that there can’t be a list of preference.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, September 25, 2015