To guys out there, I'm not available -–Nollywood’s Tonia Nwosu
Absence from movies
I didn't take a break from movies. I have not shot a lot of movies recently because of the problems they are having in the industry now. The marketers are not really shooting and we have few independent producers that are shooting now but I am back now and my movies will soon come out.
Entrance into Nollywood
I was in year two as a student of Theater Arts at the University of Port Harcourt, a guy I had known before just met and invited me to partake in an audition for the movie Conspiracy 2, which was holding in Aba.
I had watched the first part of the movie and I liked it a lot but I told him I couldn't be in the movie because the likes of Onyeka Onwenu and other big stars were there and I didn't think I could act with them.
He encouraged me to try, saying they needed twins. I and few of my friends went for the audition where the crowd was so much. After the audition they picked five of us and after reading again, they picked me and someone else. From then on, it has been movies for me.
Is it fun being an actress?
Yes, it is so much fun being an actress. I get called up to do what I enjoy doing. I am being paid for enjoying myself. As for the negative things, its normal in an industry like ours. I have not really had negative part.
With the structuring I think we will get somewhere and by the time all the problems are settled, everything will be in order, it will be better than it was. Nollywood is bound to grow bigger than this and it will not crash.
No good scripts, no good directors
It's not that we don't have good scripts but the marketers are not educated to know what it means to have good stories, they need to be educated. We still have people that write good stories; it's just that the marketers cannot pay them.
As for directors we have good directors like Lancelot Imasuen, Charles Inojie, Andy Amenechi but most of the marketers do not have the money to pay good directors so we end up having movies that are badly directed.
There was one incident that I felt so embarrassed about. I traveled to Port Harcourt and I was just waiting for a friend to pick me up and while there, people who saw me just kept looking at me and saying I know you, you act in the movies.
I started praying for my friend to come and pick me up fast because I felt like disappearing from that place.
The other incident was not embarrassing but rewarding. I was onboard a plan to Abuja and I met this family that had just come into the country, the mother of the four-year-old boy walked up to me and told me the son loves me and wanted me to sign an autograph on his book. I told her to bring him and after signing, he hugged me and sat with me till we landed, that was touching.
Any regrets being an actress
I don't have any regrets being an actress. It has been a fulfilling experience for me. If I was not an actress I will be working in a bank because that is the job that pays. When you can't work with the course you read the next option is to go into the banks.
Who is Tonia
I am a simple, loving girl. I am friendly. I am the first of a family of nine. I went to University of Port Harcourt where I read Theatre Arts. I then went to Adamawa state to do my youth service at Nigerian Customs and now I am doing what I love doing best.
As for my likes and dislikes, I like honesty, I like straight forwardness. I hate lies and I hate being cheated.
Have you ever been heartbroken?
I have not been heartbroken before, not really. As for breaking hearts, I wouldn't know but it is normal for a girl to refuse a guy. You can't expect me to love everybody who tells me he loves me. But I try not to let myself be heartbroken.
My ideal man is a man who is God fearing, hardworking, focused and one who knows what he wants because in this life, if you have a man who doesn't know what he wants then there is trouble.
I am in a relationship that is very serious. Very soon the wedding bells will toll and when I say very soon I mean very soon. I am not available at all. I don't know if he is a colleague or not but all I can say is that I am in a loving relationship. And to answer your question, it was not love at first sight. He did everything a serious man will do to get a woman he really loves by his side and I fell hard.
Are you thinking of going into other areas of Nollywood?
I am thinking of going into producing. I am working on a Yoruba script. All that is left for me is to take it for reading. After that casting, I want to play a role in it because I can speak Yoruba, I was born in Lagos and I don't want my Yoruba to waste.
I decided to write a Yoruba script because the English industry is not settled but the Yoruba is more organized. After that I will write an English script.
I know I will break even because I have friends in the Yoruba industry and even the directors. The casting will be more of Yoruba actors and actresses. It is a story about my friend that is all I will say.
Problem of diction in Nollywood
Diction problems is not a new thing in Nollywood, even those before now…some had diction problems but the difference between the early actors and the present ones is that the early actors took time to work on themselves and became better.
The present actors need to work on themselves so they can be better. The movie industry is just about entertainment so you have to do everything to keep yourself up to date so people will be entertained.
Aunty Joke Silva - I like her acting, she is good. She is really a mother, I have been on set with her and she impressed me. She is not just an actress, she is a good actress.
I aspire to be like Aunty Joke one day.
The second person is Genevieve Nnaji. I love her so much. People say she is nasty, no she is not, because of where she has gotten to, she can't just be like you want her to be but she is a very friendly and loving person.
In five years from now, I see myself playing a prominent role in Hollywood. Hollywood is it; it is the height of my career as an actress. Once you can break into Hollywood you have hit it big.
To your fans
I still love them and as for what they should expect from me this year, they should be expecting better acting, better movies than the ones I had done before. Many have complained that they have not seen me in movies in a while but I am back, both in Yoruba and English movies.