I will insure my eyes and my lips – Nuella
When Jennifer Lopez some years ago announced that her bursts and behind were both insured, many highbrows were raised. Those were her selling points, and she wanted security for them. That's life in Hollywood. What will we say about a Nigerian actress who says she wants to insure her assets too. DEBORAH NWOKOCHA had a chat with Nollywood actress Nuella Njugbigbo, who disclosed plans to insure her eyes and lips.
Where is Nuella from?
I am from Ozubulu in Anambra state. I am from a family of five, that is mother, father, two brothers and I am the only girl. I am the first born and the only girl in my family.
Was it fun being the only girl?
It was not fun at all. That is why today, I have a lot of female friends. I remember when I was young that I always asked my mother when she would give me a sister and she would say I should go and talk to God and tell Him I wanted a sister, and that He would give us one.
There is the good side of it too. My brothers looked at me like I am their all. Though my mum is a disciplinarian and I still have to do my chores but I was still doted on. I was very secure amongst my brothers.
Tell us a bit of your Nollywood story
I have been in the industry for five years now. The major movie that launched me is 'Lord of Marriage', but I don't know which movie brought me to lime light because I have been doing very good movies and anyone I do I get positive response. The industry has been kind to me. I have had no scandals, and my roles have always been easy for me to play.
I have always wanted to be on T.V, but I actually thought I was going to be a broadcaster but as time went on, I found myself loving movies. I remember when I use my pocket money when I was still in school to rent movies. My mum would scold me and ask why I would always waste my money on movies. It happened that one day, I was watching a movie and I saw something that I liked. I was watching Genevieve and I said to myself that I like her and I wished I could do what she was doing. Then I called a family friend of mine and told him I wanted to join the movie industry and asked what it was like. He just said ok and that he would call me if there is an audition. But then I was still in school so I was combining school and work. I write script also and I have written a lot of scripts.
I wrote Next of Kin, Heart of Slave, Lord of Marriage, Bloody Ring, and others.
What role would you say is the most challenging?
The movie I played my most challenging role is yet to be released. I have shot it but it is not yet in the market. The movie is a mixture of love and war, kidnap and all of that. It was produced by Mofe Ekene Okonkwo.
You said you wanted to be a broadcaster before coming into the movie world, did you pursue a career in that?
No, I just did a one year programme in fine art. I should call it creative arts because it combines visual art and theartre art. I borrowed some courses from Theatre arts like scripting and directing. That was where I got the idea. I tried to read mass communication in school but I wasn't given. I was given Public Administration.
Who are your role models in the industry? I love Genevieve and Liz Benson. They are my role models. As a member, what do you think of the crisis rocking the A.G.N and aren't the members given a right to have a say in the crisis?
They are giving us though, but…infact, they are trying to sort things out. But I think it is the normal to have crisis because at the end there will be long lasting peace. We can also build a steady organization so there are things that come with it. Though we are having misunderstanding with each other, but we are trying to sort things out. We the members have talked and aired our minds and opinion. Infact, it is getting better.
So who is your own A.G.N's president?
He is Segun Arinze.
And not Emeka Ike?
It depends on where you are coming from.
What about the election that proclaimed Emeka Ike the president?
For you and other members of the Guild, whom do you people see as your president?
I don't want to come between anybody. It is your right and you have a right to choose who should lead you.
It is our problem; we will sort it out and tell you people. It is already been taken care of.
What do you think is the way forward for Nollywood and all concerned?
The way forward I would say is more funds. We need money and support especially from the government. We need fund for something like a Nollywood village and fund to curb piracy. Piracy is our major problem and if we can curb to the barest minimum it if not stop it, the market will be better and the sky will be our starting point.
What misconception have people had about you because of the roles you have played?
A lot of people see as some one that likes trouble and looks for it, but I don't like trouble.
That means the roles you play are more of trouble?
Not really. I mix them and I am lucky I have played different roles. There is no kind of role I have not played. I have done that of a prostitute, an unfaithful wife, a stubborn sister, a boy friend snatcher. I have done a lot, but a lot of people see as been naughty. But I am not naughty it is just my job and I try to do it very well.
You have been in the industry for five years, where do you hope to see yourself in the coming future?
I hope to see myself on the very top, the toppest top if there is anything like that, from there, to Hollywood.
How best can you describe yourself?
I am a very calm person and I could be very considerate. I go out of my way to make to do things for people. That is the way I see myself. I hate to be used and taken for granted and if anybody does that, I go off my limits and you see the other side of me and you will ask; is this her? Though I am not an outgoing kind of person, I am still not an introvert. I am neither here or there. Sometimes I want to be here; sometimes I want to be there.
What is your source of inspiration?
The fact that I have God, I have somebody that will never turn his back on me no matter what comes my way and the fact that I believe in myself, I believe in what I can do and my abilities.
All the while you have been in Nollywood, would you say that the journey has been worthwhile?
It has. Although it has been it has been strenuous, but it is worth it. I have sacrificed a lot, in terms of time, hardwork and every thing it takes, but it has been worth it because I love to do it. It is something I like to do though sometimes with the false rumour and misconception, we still got there, and I didn't know I was going to get here, though I knew I was going to get there, but I didn't know it was going to be that fast.
Apart from the fame, will you say you are making a lot of money?
At first I won't lie to you, it was not coming. You know when you are starting, you have to get there first and let people know you can do it and when they now see you and know you can do it, they start coming and they will pay you. I will say that I have worked hard and people have seen what I can do so I will say that the money is coming.
So far, can you rate the number of movies you have done?
It should be like more than 25. but a lot of them have not been released. In recent times, likes since January I have really worked. I have moved from one location to another.
What is that thing you have and love that is in you?
The fact that I am strong willed and that I don't give up on any thing. I believe that the only time something ends is only when life ends because better things are yet to come. Physically, I love my eyes and my lips and if I have my way I will insure them, infact, very soon I will insure them.
Any funny moments? I was by a pool side relaxing with a friend when a guy walked up to me and called my name. I turned and said Hi to him; he answered and said; so finally this is you, so I can look at these lips. He went on and asked if he can have a taste of my lips. I was like how, and asked what he meant. He just said that he was serious. And with what I saw in the guy's eyes, I knew he was ready to do it and people were watching and wondering what was going on. The guy was seriously telling me that he wanted to do it and I asked him what he wanted to do.
What about what a fan has done to you? There was a time at the airport, a fan saw me, he just dropped his bag and ran towards me and he was like; oh my God can he hug me, before I responded, he just picked me up and turned me around and he was saying that he couldn't believe it was me and that he was happy to see me. At the end of the day, he missed his flight. I get to meet crazy things a lot. I have met a woman that hates me because of my movie. It was in the market though.
Which role have you played that is opposite of your real person?
I played a stubborn and wicked sister. I stabbed my sister in the movie. The woman went over bode. I think she is not used to watching films. She was complaining about me and even after I passed, she kept on talking that she doesn't like me.
How do you cope with male compliments?
I cope with my male admirers the way I should cope with them. Before I came into the industry, I had them, but now they are more and I would say it has been fantastic. They are my fans and I love them, they brought me to where I am so I cannot do without them but I try to keep it at bay you know, I am very careful and I know where to draw the line.
Are you into a relationship? Yes I am.
Is it a serious one?
I don't know about serious but I know that I am in a relationship and I am cool with it.
Are you hoping to walk down the aisle with him?
I don't know but if it happens that way fine and if it doesn't, fine too.
But you should know your level of commitment and where you both are headed?
Yes I do, but as you know man proposes and God disposes so I can never tell. We might want to be with each other for the rest of our lives but we don't know if that is what God wants for us.
What will you say is your greatest assets as an actress?
It's obvious. I know I have great lips and eyes, which stands me out. I know many people who give comments about my lips and eyes. In fact if I had the chance, I will insure both of them because they are like assets to me.
What do you have to say to the younger and up coming ones that are looking up to you?
They should hold on and believe in themselves. If they don't, they might go off and get into things they might regret in the future. So they should believe in themselves, in their talents, they should work on it and build it. If some body says you are not good, you watch yourself and if you see that you are not good, you should go into your room, shut your door and work on yourself. Pick a role model and try to emulate and learn from the persons work.