IF I BECAME A LAWYER LIKE I WISHED, THESE SCANDALS MAY NOT HAVE BEEN THERE— INI EDO
At merely 25 years of age, Nollywood star actress Iniobong Edo, second child of the four children of Mr Jonathan Edo from Eket, Akwa Ibom state of Nigeria has become a household name having featured in several movies since her entry with the movie Child of Destiny directed by Ndubuisi Okoh.
She has been described as saucy, arrogant, controversial, disrespectful by many who may not have even met with her closely. In this no- holds- bared interview with one of Nollywood greatest screen divas, she explains that she may have been misunderstood by many. She also goes in wards to offload her innermost feelings. Enjoy.
When people say I came from no where and became a star, I wonder how true that is. That is not true because I started in Nollywood long ago. I attended an audition about six years ago or more. It was Child of Destiny by Ndubisi, Oko. This audition was done in Aba and the movie was a Zelex movie. I hear Zelex is now of blessed memory. I had a very insignificant role in it. I was just one of the girls.
I may not have planned this. I am not here because I have all the talent, it is all the favour of God. He made it happen. However, I don't want to admit that I came from nowhere to become a star because I think I have paid a few dues. I may not have had it so rough but it was not smooth just like that. I know I had a divine upliftment. Now let me tell you how it all started. I was in Uyo doing a diploma course in theater arts when a course mate of mine who was already an established make up artiste and already working in Nollywood just invited a few of us to join the audition in Aba. We were about seven of us who had gone to probably get a side attraction due to the boredom caused by an ASUU strike. My parents never knew I was going into Nollywood. When they realised, they were very skeptical. It took one Nollywood director and scrip writer, Ekenna Igwe to come and take their pennision for me to feature in Snake kingdom. He was in Eket working with late Francis Agu and needed my character. I told him I was at home and my parents wont allow me. He said he would come and take their permission. And he did.
I did not grow up wishing to be an actress. If I must say this I wanted to be a lawyer or a news caster. But when you have the character in your system, you never leave it. May be if I were a lawyer, these scandals trailing my activities may not have been there. I have always loved acting right from my primary school. I went to New Era International Nursery and Primary school in Eket, Akwa Ibom state. I moved on to Uyo where I did my secondary school at Uyo and the diploma at Uyo as well before I went for my degree in theatre arts at the University of Calabar. I am yet to do my NYSC. Some people are wondering whether I could stay cool to serve for a year. I have already stayed idle so to speak for five months or so due to the ban so why not.
When you come into an area where several stars are swarming, you know it is a difficult issue to try to prove yourself . Only with determination, confidence and a very strong grip of what you do that God would help you. I came determined to be the best of the best from among my peers. God supported me with good health. I had to do a lot, several small roles.
I had done other movies before this but I believe this was the major break for me and brought me into lime light since then I have done several uncountable movies. I don't have my best of them at all. I don't watch them even, I remember Only love it is the movie that touched me so deeply.
I don't know. It's people that say I am controversial, may be they could explain better. People find it difficult to understand me. I am just this simple woman from a very humble background who is very determined and hardworking to be the best of what I wanted to be. My parents taught us all to be very humble so I do not even know where people get their ideas from. I attend Solid Rock Kingdom Church. I am Pentecostal. I am a religious person at heart, I think of God as the Almighty so I don't know where people get whatever ideas about me.
I am not arrogant, I know myself but people have different opinion about people. I am not going to defend myself here. All I know is that I am not arrogant and those who know me closely know this. I knew that anything might come my way because some people naturally are not even happy of other people's progress. Some people confuse self confidence with arrogance. I am somebody who does not want to be intimidated. But some Nigerians misconstrue this for arrogance
Marriage on my mind
I don't want to talk about it because the time has not come. When the come comes to become, we talk about it. I am not yet worried about that until the time comes.
Dbanj, Mike Ezuruonye and all
People saw us at Coliseum and started peddling the story that we are lovers. He is a friend for Christ sake we do not have a relationship that is amorous. I have not dated Mike Ezuruonye. He is a colleague of mine. Idle minds peddle these rumours
Kind of man
I would want a man that is there for me. I would love a good man in all its ramifications. Basically the man has to be God fearing because that is what I can't compromise. He has to be a neat and descent man.
It's a good thing they lifted the ban and I am happy about it. The period for me was a time to take a rest because before then, my parents were worried.
The most interesting thing is that I rested enough and used the time to do my own things. For the first time I took off time to visit some motherless babies homes. I also did some of those things I really had wanted to do like visiting cousins, relatives and all like an NGO I was putting together also had some of the time. So I am happy to be back and thank God and the president of Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ejike Asiegbu, I know I wished for a leave but not in that negative sense. I was not happy about it, it made me look at the entire issues and take stock. On the part of my parents called me and said it was necessary so that I slow down and rest. He said God wanted me to take stock and come at the several things I may not have been doing right.
I know I have missed work but I am taking my time before jumping at any locations. You might say once beaten, twice shy but let me take my time even though several other scripts are coming around me, I want to see how to make somethings better than before. I wouldn't try to be in every movie.
What really happened
The cause of the ban is what I really do not know. There were many insinuations and the things that were taken into consideration were not the issues anymore. They were no longer relevant at that time. You could see avarice and jealously at play. I do not think it had to do with the job which they say I abandoned any more but I do not want to go into those details. At a point it was not reviewed. I have never jumped anybody's set for another. I left the set in question because I was ill and I let them know of my illness. I left in the early hours of the morning because I was tired and ill. I had worked for almost 24 hours and left about 3 a.m when I took ill. But please let's not talk about that any more
Change of numbers
You know how it is for some one whose piracy is already obstructed by fan adulation of showbusiness. You keep changing telephone numbers as several people may have peddled your number. May be that is one of the biggest price you pay as a so called star. No privacy . You are compelled to pay higher for items etc. With the period of my ban, I had to change my number so I could look inwards without people bothering. I had changed my number about two weeks before the ban. Do you know people peddle numbers and claim they are known closely to you. So you change your numbers once in a while to prevent people from bugging. It is for security reasons. I just do not feel safe when several people have my numbers and call at will. I believe it is the same reasons some of my colleagues do the same.
Lessons I learnt
The major lesson I learnt from my ban is that you don't take people on the face value. I believe I trust easily and deeply and I have learnt that the sound of the bitter kola is not compared with the taste. Most friends come to you because they want to bring you down. I also learnt and now appreciate the kind of responsibility entrusted on me by God by making me a celebrity. I did not appreciate this before now. I now do realise that there is some kind of conspiracy by people who feel I shouldn't have been where I am.