I kissed many frogs before meeting my Prince Charming-------Kate Henshaw-Nuttal
Kate Henshaw-Nuttal won the best actress of the year at AMAA Award this year but long before the award we all know that this mother of one is extremely talented. She spoke with SAMUEL OLATUNJI on the challenges of being a married actress and like the rest of us she kissed a few frogs before meeting her Prince Charming.
How does it feel every time you leave your husband for location?
It is my work; that is the kind of work we do and your partner has to understand. Our work involves a lot of travelling and we cannot be in one location all the time. My husband understands and he has adapted to the fact that I am an actress.
You've been on the scene for a very long time, what has been keeping you there?
You make me look old with the word 'long'. I've just been keeping my head down and be as professional as I can be. And I'm also praying that God should keep me there. It is not easy though; I know a lot of colleagues that we started together and most of them are not there anymore. It is really hard in an industry where new talents come up every day.
What do you do that others don't?
I don't know.
What has been responsible for the sudden disappearance of stars?
In the industry, it is easy to get up there with the press hailing you and if you let it get into your head, you won't last. I've seen people come and go.
When you started out as an actress, did you think you'll ever get this 'big'?
No, not at all. Like I've said in interviews in the past, I did not wake up to say I'm going to be an actress; I was just around Klink Studio and I saw an advert for audition, which I went for and that was the beginning for me. I believe this is about talent and it is whether you learn it or have it.
Did you think you'd become a household name?
No. When the film even came out, I didn't know.
Have you ever been harassed sexually?
Never, and that is why I'm still here. If you get to the top through your hard work, of course, you will stay there. I was never harassed. What is wrong with most people is that they don't want to have the patience to be a star and sooner or later it will backfire.
So, none of the guys in Nollywood have been bold enough to ask you out?
I dare the person to speak up.
Are they blind or they are just simply cowards?
I don't know.
In the game of love, did you get your fingers burnt and how often did it happen?
I don't know how often, but I still remember my first love; I thought we were going to marry, but it didn't work out. That was my first year in the university. Of course, most people find true love the first time, but for some people, they have to go through the bad ones before they finally find a guy who loves them.
How old were you then?
I was 17 years old.
At 17, what did you give to make the relationship work?
I did not have much to give, because I didn't have anything then; it was just my heart that I had to give and I did give it.
And did he shatter the heart?
No, we just grew apart. I was in Calabar before I came over to school of medical laboratory in Lagos later. And by the time he came over, we had already grown apart. Mind you, there was no mobile phone then. So, it was just a question of time and distance.
You said the only thing you had to give was your heart. Didn't you give your body as well?
That is left for you to find out and for me to know.
But there is no way I'm going to find out except you tell me.
I'm not going to tell you. Come on, I'm going to keep something to myself.
Maybe if you had given your body it would have worked out.
You don't necessarily have to, although you do sometimes, but that is not the criterion.
How many frogs did you kiss before getting your prince?
Uncountable, really, I can't remember.
Do you think love is fair to women in this part of the world?
No, it isn't. I think the woman is on the receiving end; you have to trust the guy for who he says he is and what he says. I think here it is more of the woman maintaining the relationship than the man. Here, if you are in a relationship for a long time, people look at you as a failure and start thinking it is the woman's fault.
How have you been enjoying marriage?
You can see I'm enjoying marriage.
What have you been doing to keep your marriage, especially to a foreigner?
You people and this foreigner thing. Is a foreigner not a human being? What I've been doing basically is that my husband and I talk. We talk about everything and it breeds understanding. I'm not saying we don't have disagreement or quarrels, but when you talk you'll be able to know what to do. But if you don't talk, everyone is left to think whatever he wants.
Doesn't he complain about your work?
He does. When we first got married it was okay, but it got to him. For instance, I got back February this year and I went straight to Asaba to shoot three jobs and I was there for a month, I only stayed home for two days and I travelled again. After a while, he complained and I had to adjust so that my home front will not suffer.
Has your husband had reason to doubt your faithfulness?
No. he understands, and the fact that you talk to somebody who is not your wife or your husband, it doesn't mean something is going on.
Don't you think if your husband were a Blackman he would complain about your incessant travelling?
Maybe, because I've had some of my friends say that their husbands cannot take my constant travelling. And I say thank God.