WHAT I LEARNT FROM LIZ BENSON — CHIKA ACHUGONYE
Black and beautiful Chika Achugonye is one notable Nigerian actress who has been itching for the big league but keeps eluding her as she says cliques have made it impossible for the roles to spread. She also talks about all he learnt from one of Nigeria's notable screen divas, Liz Benson “I come from Umuowa,Orlu, Imo State. I studied at the Institute of Management and Technology. I graduated from the Department of Mass Communication” she says
I used to combine the practise of Mass Communication and my love for acting and I believe acting takes precedence even though I see the two as communication. At first, I was torn in between making a choice between the two. I started working with an independent producer who had programmes on Minaj, Lagos. The programme later rested. So I had been on the Nollywood train before I moved into televison. Now I am back and hope to catch up by God's grace. You know it is difficult to return and pick your place.
I love acting so much. When I left for journalism, I realised that the people I had joined Nollywood with had become stars. Some of them became directors now.
Acting in Nigeria is a job where you must have to be there. Any stepping aside leaves you trying to catch up. If you are dying of hunger, you just have to stay because it could be better. And indeed for some who stayed on, are now enjoying themselves. I am starting from the scratch and I am picking up.
I have done several movies including The Maid, One man, one wife, Never come back, Hatred and others.
My best director is Henry Ejeta and I also have a host of others who are also good. But I actually started with Amayo Uzo Philips.
Liz Benson was one of the people who inspired me so much. She could act just any role from a pupil to an old woman. She is just too much. I feel very sad that she is no longer in the system like she used to be. I learnt so much from her and I miss her on screen because so many others who may learn one or two from her are missing out.
I have heard so much about that but I have never been approached for such. They know they won't because I am not in that line. I will shun them.
This is a very strong issue in the Nigeria movie industry. People do not go to audition and get roles because the auditions have already been concluded. The cliques have continued to kill the industry. The best people do not get roles. There are several gifted artistes in Nigeria who need roles. But they are not given roles. Roles are given to those they know. It is only the role of extras that are flying around. You can not continue to be in the crowd scene.
I watch movies and I read a lot of romantic novels. I have a heart and you know all that is good for a woman like me
Kind of man
He is a tall, fair but very handsome even though it is hard to find the dream guy. Every woman wants a serious caring man who would be there at all times. It does not have to be money but the show of concern for your affairs. Most men are there to break your heart if you fall wholesomely. So we are careful.
Philosophy of life
I believe in God and whatever he says comes to pass. If He says yes, nobody can say no. But we have to back it up with hard work and prayers.
Already, the duo of producers namely Blessing and Omoni and indeed all the members of the cast and crew are already set to jet off to New York and are expected to introduce their film before it is shown to a diverse audience.
In the words of Blessing Effiom, the black and beautiful international model who traversed catwalks all over the United Kingdom,France, Italy, US and South Africa, “What gladdens my heart is the fact that we are the only Nigerian film producers going to the festival since its inception. We are there with other movies from Canada, Australia, France, China, India, Brazil, Ireland, England and of course movies from all over the United States. I cannot wait to see this happen.”
For Omoni who has featured in several films since the inception of Nollywood, “ I feel very happy that both of us are part of this history. I mean that whatever any one sets out to do with all the passion yields fruits. I recall all the sleepless nights and all the investment. I can't wait to see how the New York audience receive our movie. And to compare it with Coming to America makes me feel very proud as a Nigerian”