Jim Iyke and I
Pretty Rita Dominic found her way into Nollywood through Basorge Tariahís invitation to her to be part of his film My Guy. With well over 100 films in her kitty, she remains one of the top actresses in Nollywood. In this interview , she speaks on herself like never before.
When you started out in 1998, did you ever envisage that in such a short while, your rise would be so meteoric?
I guess all that has happened to me so far has been the will of God. After My Guy in 1998, I returned to England and only came back for holidays in 2003. the holiday was to last for only two weeks. A chance visit to Chico Ejiroís office changed all that. After doing the movie Love You Forever, by Chico Ejiro, I forgot about my life in England, so to speak.
From your first movie till date, how many films will you say you have made on the whole?
To be sincere, I have lost count. But conservatively, I will say that I have done close to 100 films.
As a growing child, did your background prepare you in anyway for your job as an actress today?
As a child I loved to sing and dance, and I was always the centre of attraction for this. Courtesy of my mother, I had alt of books on the arts, on the entertainment side.. I was always at one programme for kids or the other
How were you able to escape the 'ban', since many of your colleagues got the slam? Does that mean that you are better behaved than the lot or was it plain luck?
First and foremost, I am a very reserved person. I cannot be said to be arrogant or rude. I choose to keep to myself. As for the ban, I do not know why I was exempted. All I can say is that God did it for me. I was not in the country when the issue came up. I only returned and was briefed on the state of things. But if I had been banned, I would have questioned the decision. But if it had happened t me, it would not have been the end of the world for me. I would have done something else, like go back to England and continue with my job there.
In your opinion, you worked closely with all of the banned stars, would you say that they deserved what they got?
To tell you the truth, I was shocked at the action. So many things were not taken into consideration, before reaching that decision that is my candid opinion. The lives we live is not an easy one, especially with jetting from one set to the other, and that is sure to take its toll on any human. That is the much I can say on the matter. But I guess the marketers can also justify their action.
Three things stand you out as an actress. You cut across as a romantic who is prone to emotions, your Afro hairstyle and your red lipstick. Are these the Rita Dominic trademark?
I am romantic. I am emotional but I am on top of these emotions. If my emotions stand out so glaringly when I act, then it means I am doing exactly what the director has told me to do. For my hairstyle, I love the Afro style. I guess it suits me but that doesnít mean that I do not wear other hairstyles. And for the red lipstick, yes that is a Rita trademark, although I do, not too often, wear other shades.
You also have joined the club of actresses who cry so effortlessly. Do you cry easily in real life?
If I have cause to cry, then I cry. It doesnít mean I cry at the slightest instance.
Between last year and this year, you have done quite a number of films. Do you ever reject scripts, or you simply do all that come your way?
Oh no! I do reject scripts. For me to accept o do a job, I must go through the entire script. If the script is not acceptable by me, then I am out. It is as simple as that.
Looking back to the days when you started off to the present, how to you feel having attained so much fame, and what were some of those challenges you had to face?
The biggest challenge I had to face when I started off was breaking into the mainstream. I seemed to be in and out of the industry because I was residing also in England. I was lucky not to be harassed sexually, sincerely. I came in determined to work hard and since I was equipped academically, I really had no problems. I am some sort of a no-nonsense person and would not have tolerated any pranks. So looking back to those days, it has been one interesting and fulfilled journey. The key thing to success is knowing where you are coming from and where you are heading to. Reaching the top is one thing, staying there another. My topmost concern now is remaining on top and I am working hard towards that.
You are still single. Your celebrated romance with Aquilla Njamah crashed shortly after it started and then you were rumoured to have dated Jim Iyke, is it true?
Jim and I happened to have done a lot of work together and so, over time, we became friends, and good friends at that. For Aquilla and I, were are still good friends and that is all there is to that. Jim is a good friend and colleague of mine.
Are you presently in any relationship?
I am in a relationship and I want to keep that part of my life private.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was fun. I grew up in quite a number of places; Aba, Ilorin, Port-Harcourt, Owerri and London. I am the last of four children; a boy and three girls. I was raised in a strict Catholic family. My father lives in London. I lost my mother in 2001