I am fully prepared for the big screen--Amada Ebeye
She is the darling of every follower of the popular TV soap City Sisters showing on different TV stations round the country. Black, pretty and lively she's also got brains. At 23, young, hardworking fast-rising actress Amada Ebeye has shown the stuff she is made of. From her first attempt in the movie Weeping Tiger to her sensational performance in Senseless, the young starlet has displayed a character worthy of an actress that knows her onions. In this chat with Chibueze Okereke, the former Benin based actress reveals what stands her out and her big preparation for the big screen. Excerpts
Has it always been acting for you from the outset you just dabbled in it?
Well for me it has always been acting all the time, although it wasn't what I studied in school. I've always had it in me to be on TV and I have always strived towards it
So what would you say has given you so much being on screen?
My greatest happiness has been to be appreciated, it's good when people see you and tell you that was good or something like “you tried, you did well,” that's what makes me happy all the time.
What are your challenges as an actress?
Well my challenges are maybe because we are new on the scene, a lot of producers feel using the old faces is always better. Although this happens everywhere because whether I like it or not, the old faces will sell the movies because they've been there and people trust them; and naturally it's not easy giving in to something new. People always prefer old wine it's really not easy for them to accept someone fresh. It's everywhere, in everything we do even in our normal lives, when you are used to something; you just want to stick to it. But sometimes if only you can take a break a give that new thing a try, it might really pay you know. When you do TV, the movie people are like you are a TV person and for you to break into the movies becomes a little bit difficult, because they want you to start from scratch , go through the ropes and for this a lot of people can't cope. But I can.
How prepared would you say you are for the big screen?
I know I am very ready for the big screen, because I have built and polished myself to a point where I can stand the big screen, because it's actually not easy; because when you place the soaps and the movies side by side the movies are actually more challenging than the soaps. It's not just about the glamour, but there is a lot of energy in our movies. Although it does exist in the soaps, the energy there is not as much as our movies. I think I have given much to soaps to help build myself, so right now I am ready.
What drives you to want to give your best?
What drives me to want to give my best is encouragement. When people commend what I do it fuels me, it gives me the energy to want to strive and do something better that what I just did. Most times when I look at some of my old jobs I always look for areas that I could have improved.
When was your first movie role?
That was in December 2006.
What is the difference between the Amanda on screen and Amanda Ebeye that we all know?
Like of City sisters, Gina is a lively person who loves to go out and have fun but the real Amanda is a little bit of an introvert. I am not the type you see everywhere or at every occasion. I like being at home watching TV. I love movies, I love series like Desperate Housewives, Prison Break and I love 24-it's just awesome. I learn a lot from the way they act. I love reading magazines.
When you are not doing all these, what do you do while at home?
I sleep and I gist.
I thought you said you want to shed some weight?
Well, I try to eat less but I can't help sleep and its sleep that makes me fat. I work out every morning. I do sit-ups, I skip, jog on the spot.
When was your first relationship and what was it like?
I was sixteen years old when I had my first relationship.
I said that was my first relationship, I didn't say that was first sex.
I didn't say sex either?
Well people are just too quick to call you a spoilt girl when you say such things. I am being honest because that was actually my first love, my first relationship. I was sixteen.
You grew up in Benin; what was it like growing up there?
Growing was just there, my childhood was bliss because I had my mom and my dad; it was very nice, but I and my siblings were always locked up in the house actually.
Who is your favorite in the house?
My mom, I just love her (Laughs).
Tell my why?
(Laughs) I really can't explain, she is just my idol and I really want to be like her. I love the way she loves me and my siblings. She is my greatest confidant and best friend. Before I do anything I tell her.
What trips you in a guy that makes you want to date him?
He must be fine first of all. Everybody tells me that that fine thing will soon put me in trouble. He just has to be good looking and if he is, he scores a pass mark before we start talking about…
(Cuts in) Whether he is boxed up?
Being boxed up is another issue entirely, its not that important to me. He has to be presentable. I can't carry an ugly man home and most of all he has to be intelligent. He has to be able to talk to my father. He has to be able to stand my father.
Why your father, what does he do?
My father is an engineer. He is really intelligent same as my mum. So if a guy I am bringing is not then that is going to be a big problem.
Is it always a coincidence that ladies who find themselves in the entertainment industry suddenly do not have a boyfriend anymore?
Maybe they are not just in a relationship at that time.
Is it true that Amanda is stubborn?
Stubborn, well people are entitled to their own opinion. Some people say I am stubborn but I don't think I am. Like some of my friends would say that I will always want to do what I believe in and ensure that everybody accepts it.
Can you go nude in a movie?
No, why would I? (Laughs) I can't. I don't think its right. Fine, they say it's being professional, but what has exposing your body got to do with you being professional.
They say most ladies in entertainment are loose. How do you see this?
I don't attribute looseness to entertainment but I attribute it to your personal life. Every loose person would still be loose even if they are in other fields but not because they are actresses. That you are an actress does not make you loose. I think it's unfair for people to attribute looseness to entertainment.
So what do you do when you have the urge for men?
Oh please! Wrong question! No answer… Why would a woman just need the company of men, are we dogs or what? When I need someone to talk to or gist with, I have friends.
So what if there is chemistry between you and another male friend, what happens?
It hasn't happened yet but when it does I will call you and we do another interview.
What is that habit you will like to drop?
The truth of the matter is, honestly, I really don't have any bad habit—maybe lying. Not that kind of lie-lie per se. I might tell you I am close by when I am actually far away. Every time I try to stop it, I find myself doing it again. That is practically the only lie I tell.
How has it been with your weight loss programme?
It's not been easy because I like a lot of junk food like pies, cakes. I love sweet things generally.
How would you describe your dress sense, what is it you will never wear?
I hate pink. I can never be caught wearing a pink flowery dress. To me it's ugly. A pink dress is okay by me but a pink flowery, naah.
My mother, I told you before; she is my mother, my sister, my best friend. She is everything to me. She is somebody I want to be like
So you told her the day you were deflowered?
Gosh, what is that? (Laughs) Who told you I have been deflowered anyway? I tell my mum every single thing about me.
So is Amanda a virgin?
No comment (laughs). I won't answer that because it's personal. If my friends were to read this they would wonder what kind of person I am to answer such a question.
Lesbianism in Nollywood
My opinion about it is that it's foolish. I won't really know what to say because I haven't really met them yet.
So no girl has toasted you?
A girl on Bode Thomas did that once but she wasn't an actress. From the way she was asking that I come around and telling me she likes and misses me, I suspected foul play. To think that I just met and gave her my number innocently. It was disgusting. I just feel they are sick. I think it's sickness. Even though it has been legalized in the western world, I still think it's a sick society. I don't think I can stand the sight of maybe walking with my children and I see two women kissing. It doesn't just look right. I just think its sick and they need to check their brain. I think it has a lot to do with growing up and the environment.
Tell us about your school days?
I went to Igbinedion Education Center for my primary school education, and later to Igbinedion Montessori and Private school for my secondary education and from there I went Benson Idahosa University.