someone says he wants to sleep with her. What does Kate think?
There is cute, there is pretty, there is hot and there is beautiful. Kate Henshaw-Nuttal falls in the beautiful bracket. Her lips, her eyes, her hair, her body, compliment her pretty natural face which takes on a healthy chocolate hue.
Kate, has been through a lot, and has come out gold. Married to a Britton – Roderic James Nuttal, she admits it – actresses are asked for sex to get roles, said she, “It does happen.” Has it happened to her? “Never. Not at all. A few girls have walked up to me,” telling her they’ve been asked for sex. But Kate would counsel from a feminine point of view: “Say no! Believe in yourself. Believe in your confidence. No matter how long it takes do not sell yourself short. Because once you do that, that is what they will tie you down with.” The girls took to the advice, refused sex and according to Kate, but too bad (if that is the word) “they didn’t get the role.”
What should be done to perpetrators of such vices? “If there is unity, [among actors and actresses]” answered Kate, and “if a law is passed that this and that should be done to” such immoral individuals or group, “I believe that it should be carried out. And if anyone defaults, be it the actress who goes after the producer or the other way round, they should be fined and maybe not even worked with because it is wrong. It is very, very wrong.” Getting roles shouldn’t turn “people who are doing a serious business into prostitutes.”
Basic Problem of AGN
The Actors Guild of Nigeria started out as Nigeria’s Actors Guild (NAG) and “I’ve been a member for as long as the association has been there – since 1995.” So being one of the pioneer members of the guild when, “we used to meet at 70, Adeniran Ogunsanya Street… and then to Calabar Community Hall, Ajao Road,” the actress observes that, “basically for ten years, the problem [of AGN] is of uniting everyone; everyone speaking with one voice; everyone listening to the leadership and obeying so that when we have cohesion it will be difficult to break us. If we stand together as one, it would be very difficult for things to be done over our head. You can have the film, your director, your camera and everything, without the actor to interpret what you have written the script is nothing. I know everybody is important but the actor is the mouthpiece.”
A voice should go forth
The fight for the position of the National PRO of AGN is going to be a kill or cure, you are either successful or not. This actress who “shot my first film (The Sun Sets), 1993 and it was released 1994” says if she becomes PRO, “I want to work with people who have the same vision like myself and the rest of the people that’ll be in the cabinet.” She has never done politics before but the former student of Federal Government Girls College, Calabar “where I was Social Prefect,” said, she used her sociable qualities against other contenders. “I’m a people person,” says Kate a graduate of “Medical Microbiology at the school of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH.”
As the medical microbiologist turned star actress, homes-in on being the National Public Relations Officer of the AGN, three things of precedence, she would do as AGN’s spokesperson are: “First is to garner respect for everyone in AGN so that people would not look down on us and think we are bunch of unserious people who meet here just to waste our time.
“Second, I would want us recognized abroad as well. As much as trips are organized, I would want to be a National PRO or someone from the national executive who would go and speak on behalf of the AGN. There’re premières being done in the UK in America and all that. I want a voice to go forth. Actors abroad put themselves together to organize things and they are recognized wherever they go. So when people do come in here to do anything that has to do with entertainment be it movies, commercials or whatever, I want them to recognize AGN.
“Fostering unity is the third thing. I would make sure that the state PRO’s relate with the chairman. And make sure there’s unity among the members. It is important to me. I don’t want to be one of the people who have risen through the years and then won’t do anything for the association I belong. I want to be remembered for doing my best and that is okay for me. There was a situation in Ikorodu where there wasn’t enough food for the extras and I personally gave my own money for food to be made and to feed them because they are an integral part. I don’t believe because someone is an extra you leave them on set for two three days. They don’t give them money to go back. They come with their transportation, they don’t get to shoot for three days, and they keep coming back because the lead is not there. The lead is busy doing something else. You have to be good to people on your way up so that on your way down they’ll still be there for you.
Won’t say what I can’t do
If there is a problem in Abakaliki and you are somewhere in England shooting and you need to speak to the press what happens? “I would call them on phone.” Are you not going to take the next flight and come home? “I might but I would not promise what I cannot do. No. I’m very straightforward. That’s me,” she answered without a hum and hew and emphatically too.
One last question. If your president is corrupt and as the PRO would you tell the press? “Yes I would. And if he refuses to desist then I would resign. I would not be part of a corrupt regime. I do not stand for it at all.
If honesty is a virtue, humility and forth rightness are apt complements – Kates benchmark. Memo to all AGN members: if you should spot Kate Henshaw-Nuttal – and you will – try not to stifle your natural impulse to holler, ‘Up PRO!’