LIFE AS A FUN LOVING GIRL – RITA DOMINIC
Sweet and seductive. These two words best describe star actress, Rita Dominic. As a key figure in the Nollywood phenomenon, Rita, who just turned 30, has also been able to prove her worth as a resourceful artiste having played diverse roles and interpreted same convincingly. In fact, she is now one of the country's most popular faces in the home video sector.
A lover of sports, Rita also likes brandy and cigarettes, especially when on marathon shooting at a location. She had been used to shooting in London before returning home to join Nollywood.
The youngest in a family of four, Rita is a born entertainer. At six years old, she was already the favourite of her parents as she started showing traits of a future artiste in her home and school engagements. "My siblings would invite their friends over to watch me dance, sing and generally make a fool of myself". And after serving as vice president of the dramatic club and social prefect in her secondary school, it became so natural that Rita would fall in the dramatic line. And with the full support of her father, a medical doctor and her late mother, a nurse, she applied to study Theatre Arts at the University of Port Harcourt.
At the university, Rita specialised in the theory and practical arts of theatre, and finished as the only student in a class of 54, who majored in acting. She later moved to Lagos, where she met an old school friend, who introduced her to Nollywood, where she made her first movie in 1999.
Shortly after the movie, Rita moved to England to stay with her family and she was able to create more time for acting. On arrival in Nigeria in 2003 for a two-week holiday, her former producers invited her to make a movie and she agreed. Her two-week holiday has since been extended to over three years now. Her words: "After I made that one movie in 2003, another offer came and I said well, let me make the second one and go back to England, and then I made the third one…I haven't looked back since then."
With over 70 movies to her credit, Rita remains a Nollywood fixture. She has appeared in such movies as All my Life, Night of Riot, Clearing Stones, To Love a Thief, Unforgetable, Passion of Mind, Ultimate Crisis, The Bombshell, True Romance and Wheel of Change, among many others.
The success story of Nollywood notwithstanding, Rita is not unaware of the shortcomings in the industry. According to her, the problem of ego is so overwhelming in the sector. And how does she cope with this? "I try as much as possible to have a civil relationship with my colleagues, but there are some people who I would prefer to work with more than the rest. There are certain people that I don't connect with and I'd rather not work with them."
Speaking on one of her favourite movies; Break Up, Rita confessed "I enjoyed Break Up because I acted alongside Genevieve Nnaji and Jennifer Eliogu and it was all about girly fun and togetherness. Moreso, Genny (Genevieve) is someone I get on with quite well."
Beyond the challenges posed by the downsides of fame, says said she has discovered that she has to re-educate herself on the many roles she has been playing.
For example, All my Life; another favourite movie of hers, she played the part of a girl whose older sister is unable to have a baby after a number of years of marriage. Her older sister begs her to step into her shoes and have a baby. After a lot of uproar, the family consents, and the younger sister agrees. She marries her sister's husband, conceives and bears a child, but has to live with her sister's jealousy and physical abuse.
The story is surprisingly compelling, and Rita's role is moving and excellently delivered.
And who exactly is Rita Dominic? She was quick to say "Rita is an easy-going, fun-loving girl, who is not afraid of hard work and who doesn't like to be taken for granted." She added: "An actress will always be an actress and for me, when I'm not acting, I will still be acting