I USED TO SAY MY NOSE IS TOO LONG- EGO BOYO
Ego Boyo won many hearts more than a decade ago. Then as Ego Nnamani, she played the role of Ann Haasthrope in Amaka Igwe's popular soap, Checkmate. She tells Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe what informs her style She was a great actress, and still is anyway; only that she is hardly seen on screen anymore. But Ego Boyo's decision to quit acting is something she says was inevitable. ”I didn't want to act anymore and really that's not what I was interested in. I majored in film and television production, not really acting. It wasn't what I wanted to do. So, once I had my fill, I left.” she explains. Isn't she likely to come back as an actress? Her response was apt. “I am not sure, I don really know.”
But even if she has quit acting, it can be safely said that her presence as a producer has effectively made up. Yes, Boyo indeed does great movies and documentaries. She seems to have the eye for good productions. ”I think it is the way the story develops. Sometimes, it is the theme that attracts me to do a particular movie.”
And what about pecuniary considerations? ”I don't know that anyone can say for a fact that a film will make money, you can't. Even in the Hollywood, they make a film and they believe it will be a blockbuster and it is a flop. So, there is no genre of film that anybody will tell you that this particular film is going to make money. But it all depends on how much money. Were you able to cover your cost? I haven't done any movie that I have been grinning to the bank. I have smiled, but I have not been ecstatically happy.”
One thing you will never take from this lady is her personal carriage. It is not just about her impressive height and beauty right from when she was Ego Nnamani and now as a mother of three children. As a single and very attractive actress, in the 90s, she was never mired in any scandal.
”How you end up thinking is how you were raised and perhaps some experiences. But really, I think that the way my parents raised me is one thing I keep coming back to. The way I behave, the way I react to things and the way I think is because of the way I was raised; my upbringing. I have some experiences, but not enough to make me change the way I used to think, or make me think differently,” she says.
“With maturity you change from things you used to accept when we were younger. I will do this, I will not do this'. As you get older, you begin to realise that by living day in day out and by listening to other people's experiences, having experiences of your own, you realise you can't be so stuck in your ways or stuck in some particular behavioural patterns.”
But generally she believes she is just like the average person next door. ”I am just an 'alright' person. I am not fantastic. I am a person in development, I am growing everyday.” And like the average person she says the things she really cares about are ”My husband, my children, and my family. There is no material thing that makes me glad to be alive. It is those people in the world that you care about. And I like people that are very humorous. People that laugh at themselves; that don't take themselves too seriously. I don't take myself too seriously.”
Wearing a black attire, she confesses that black is a colour that greatly fascinates her, howbeit, for no particular reasons. However, when it comes to fashion generally, Boyo says she is her own woman. Simply put, she doesn't dress to please anybody. Rather, there are factors that determine her dressing any day. ”It depends on the day. I like fashion, I read a lot of fashion magazines and I enjoy them. But I don't follow fashion slavishly. There are some things that are in fashion and I wear them. But it has to be something that suits me. It has to suit my personality, it has to suit my figure, and it has to suit my age. I am very particular about dressing age-appropriate. I don't follow anything because people are wearing them. For instance, leggings right now, total disaster for anybody, but people are wearing them. And I won't be caught dead in them. I don't have any problems with them, but I have problems with those wearing them. You have to be slim or under age. If you don't have slim legs or you are not under 12, you don't have any business wearing them. I went through those entire micro-mini stages but I have passed them now. So, age-appropriate is very important.”
Now to her other side, a side that not many of her fans and admirers are aware of. That is her present preoccupation with the organisation, 40 UNDER 40 Nigeria. According to Boyo, it is a novel idea which intends, among other things to select 40 underprivileged children to be put under 40 mentors. By so doing, the programme aims to develop an institutional framework through which young Nigerians will be equipped for success and excellence. ”I know it's something people will identify with. We had a launch and a lot of people responded. The thing is a lot of people have stuffs that they want to do. They want to help people; they want to do charitable things. Some people don't know how to go about it. You keep postponing it. Or you are already doing things but not structured.
“A lot of people have questioned me, sent e-mails asking questions. So, it is something a lot of people will identify with. Up till last Saturday, someone was telling me she would be interested in being a mentor, different people from all walks of life, from housewives to company executives.”
However, she explains that some of the mentors may not necessarily be under 40 years. ”The reason that we mentioned 40 and even under 40 is that we thought that we wanted to give these children people of an age they can still identify with. A lot of people that are in their 60 or 70 are people that have had their careers, excelled in them and had moved on to retirement. The major part of the mentoring is to see how these people have gone through whatever they had gone through and are seriously putting in good work ethics, and had been completely transparent in their business dealings or their professional dealings; people that are doing well without anything fraudulent, a person with a very work or professional pedigree. So, it has nothing to do with how they were raised but what they are doing now.”
Boyo is married to Omamofe Boyo, the Group Deputy Chief Executive of Oando Plc. And obviously working isn't something she is doing for money. But she disagrees. Is she then saying that her husband isn't wealthy? She replies with a rhetoric query ”Really? Now, you are telling something I don't know. I have to tell him that you said so. A lot of people work and even then, I am working really at my own pace. I am not even doing what a lot of my friends and others are doing, which is working for somebody else and working at odd hours of the day. I am lucky that I can work at a job that I like, I do it when I want to do it, I can get involved in courses that I like. I am not struggling; I am just doing what I want to do.
Among her astonishing qualities is her prettiness which could make heads turn, her three children notwithstanding. But that she says has never been something that is capable of keeping sleep from her eyes. ”I don't even deal with it. I don't know that there is any great attention that will now compel me to have to deal with it. It is not enough to even make me have conversation about it. I get attention from both sexes. So, I can't even tell you this one is greater. People walk up to me and say ”oh my God, I remember in Checkmate. I don't get men coming over to tell me I love you.”
Like many other women, she confesses to have had one or two grouses with her body. But that ”As I have gotten older, I am used to it. I have been seeing it for many years in the mirror. When I was young, I used to say my nose is too long and that when I grow older, I am going to do a nose job. And you know this is my daddy's nose. So he will say what! Do you know that people will kill to have this nose? I have gone through the whole thing, but now I am used to it; it's what I see. And you know we read magazines and hear stories of people who have gone to change this or that. It is not and my daddy used to say that is not to say I won't do anything. I can't, because I am too sacred. If there was assurance that nothing would go wrong, I would do something now. Like tuck, get my stomach flat like it used to be before I had children. Then, it was flat. I do exercises everyday, but it is not the same,”
At present, she is one woman that does not regret being where she is. ”I think that I pretty much got to where I thought I would. Then, I used to dream of being in entertainment and I am doing that. So, I got where I dreamt I would.