I’m not missing Nollywood -Ego Boyo
Ego Boyo, Managing Director,Temple Productions Limited was a seasoned actress who featured in such popular soaps as Checkmate and Ripples. However, for a long time now nothing has been heard about her in the industry. She tells National Life what she does now and
why she is out of the acting world.
What have you been doing since you left the acting world?
I have been running a company which produces different things like home videos, documentaries and advertisements. That is what I have been doing.
Some see their jobs as punishment; are you enjoying yours?
(Laughs) Definitely! I love my job, if not I would have stopped. It is not a punishment. It is what I enjoy most and what I have always wanted to do.
Can you reach out to some younger women who are aspiring to make it in their careers like you?
The major thing is for you to understand what success means to you. The definition of success differs from one person to another. So, I'm not going to say: Oh! look up to me because this is how I planned to succeed and that is the way it should go. Success is an individual thing. It depends on how you measure success. To some people, success is measured with the millions they have in the bank, others see it as having a successful family life while to some it is a good working experience. So, it really depends on what your own individual goals are and what you want to achieve. And the only thing I would say to that is; take goals that are realistic and do your best to achieve those goals without compromising your own principles.
You no longer act, why?
Acting was something I did at a time I had just come out of school. It was a good way to get into the industry. After a while, I discovered it wasn't really what I enjoyed. It was fine while it lasted; it wasn't as if I hated it or something.
I however, realized where my interest really was when I had the opportunity to produce. Eventually I decided to venture into directing although I haven't directed yet. I don't miss acting at all as I'm enjoying what I'm doing at the moment.
You are aging gracefully, what is the secret?
Oh, there is no secret. I exercise which is something I have come to do of late. I didn't do it when I was much younger and I guess I didn't need it then. But now I need it, so I'm exercising. It is not only about dropping a few pounds, it is also to be fit as you get older. I don't compromise on my exercises. It is something I do for 30 minutes or one hour a day or twice in a week. It is not something that I would say I love. I don't, I hate it (laughs) but what would one do?
But religiously, I do not go to bed with make-up on. I remove all the make-up with cleanser and I have come to do that with age because when I was younger, I could go to bed with make-up on because of tiredness. But now, as I'm getting older, no matter how tired I am, how late I come back, I must wash off my make-up, cleanse, exfoliate before sleeping. And if I'm not going out, I don't apply make-up on my face, if I'm staying in my house, I don't put on make-up, I just cleanse and exfoliate or mask my face. At times, I do go out with just very light make-up. On just to give my face a breathing space. I would also say I'm lucky that I have good genes. I mean it could do with good genes not really with whatever I apply. And then I don't smoke and I don't drink which also help as one grows old.
You mean you don't take alcohol?
I do occasionally. It's not that I would sit at home and say okay let me have a drink. Even when I'm out with friends, it's not all the time that I would decide to take alcohol. That goes to show that I'm not a drinker. I don't take it, if you see me taking alcohol it would probably be because I'm at a party or with friends and that is not usually very often.
How do you combine home front with your career?
It's quite easy for me because I have been lucky. I have always had good health. I have three children and I have never at any time had two babies at the same time like some people have had. My children are well spaced, which makes it easier to manage the home front.
We are trying to take the company to a new level. You know ours is a creative career, we are able to have adjustable time because you can work when you want to. I mean when I was acting and I had my first child, a boy, I worked when I wanted to. I mean I had a schedule and I had the opportunity to chose which work to accept.
Some people would have to be at work from nine to five o'clock. I remember when I was shooting Checkmate, I used to take my son with me to different locations. So, the work I do is easy enough to combine with the home front more effectively. But there are sometimes when it is a bit tedious and that is when you are shooting outside your home. And this doesn't happen all the time. So, it hasn't been a big problem, it has been easier for me to handle.
Who is your role model?
I don't have a particular role model. There is nobody that I look at and say oh I want to do everything that person has done. I have people that I have always liked how they lived their lives and would want to emulate in certain things. My parents fall into this category. They taught and helped me to become what I am today. I have always tried to emulate their work ethics, how they gave their all. My parents gave their all to their jobs. I want to be like them. I want to be like them because of the way they raised us, my sisters and I. When I look back and see what my sisters and I are, the lives we live now, we have succeeded in all our different endeavours. And so, it means that our parents have done a good job. So, with me having young children, I want to be able to raise them up well based on what I learnt from my parents.
Who are the Nigerian women you admire?
I admire my mum and my mother-in-law who is a judge. They are very strong women. There are so many others but as we are speaking now, their names are not readily on my mind. My mum was tough when she needed to be, it is not easy raising female children. Ours was an all girls family. As she was beating my sisters and I with one hand, she was petting with the other hand. That is what I admire about my mum. And my mother-in-law is also a tough woman who has succeeded in a man's world.
When you are not working, what do you always like to do?
Reading, I read a lot. I'm trying to be more business oriented than reading financial books although it is difficult, but I'm trying but reading is what I do very often. If I'm not sitting in the office or working, I would be in my house, sitting somewhere or lying down reading and then listening to music. I always listen to music even in my office.
What kind of music, Apala?
No (laughs), not 'Apala,' I'm not a fan of 'Apala'. I mean I jazz, classical music. I won't say I won't become a fan of 'Apala.' I like all forms of music; it's just that I have definite ones I like.
What is that style you won't be caught dead in?
I have said it before, it is leggings. I think at a particular age there are certain things you leave. To me, it is something that is very juvenile and I don't see any reason a woman of a certain age should be wearing it. It is alright for twenty something year old who are light and slim. I mean there are particular ages for different things. And for me leggings is just one of those outfits. When I was in the university I used to wear it because it was strictly a young lady's thing. Now, there are a lot of women who wear it because they don't recognize their ages or are trying to relive their youth and wearing things that are not appropriate no matter how slim you are. Leggings' is one outfit I can't stand.
What are common fashion blunders Nigerian women commit?
There is no one thing, I mean sometimes people have their good days and bad days and you find yourself wearing things you have no business wearing. Things that when you see them, you ask yourself what would have made this person decide to wear this. And then in their next 50 outings, they are perfect. So, I can't say there is one particular style blunder or whatever. Yes, it is true that some of them wear wrong colours and so what about it? I mean how does that affect all the major things in the world? It doesn't.
How about cleavage revealing tops most women wear irrespective of age?
Well, that is still an individual choice. Yes, it is the person's choice. Half of the time, it doesn't look good, yeah it looks a bit desperate, it is a personal choice and people don't see anything wrong with it.
Don't you think some women are overdoing it?
Yes, sometimes there are situations where people had gone over the top. They don't look good, they look ridiculous. Yes, there are sometimes like that. Like I said earlier, it is the person's choice. Everybody is looking for God knows what and trying to achieve what God knows what. I think in entertainment, people think that they can get away because they think anything goes. You see most of the women in Hollywood too dressing weird. I think that is what Nigerian celebrities are emulating wrongly because those women first of all are so thin that they can wear anything. Not that it looks good on them but they can get away with anything. But when you are certain size, there are some dresses that may not look good on you.
You don't have tattoos, why?
When I think that tattoo would be there for ever, that puts me off. I know there are laser surgeries that can be done to remove it but it is so painful, why go through something that you are more likely to change your mind about and go through that pain to take off. If you want to have a tattoo to show that you are fashionable, why don't you have the temporary ones? Those ones are less painful, less expensive, with less exposure to HIV which may be contracted from contaminated needles.
Somebody told me she lost a job because of her tattoo, can that be possible?
Yes, here in Nigeria, we are very conservative and sometimes people would say we are also very pretentious. Yes, because people do all sorts in their closets. So, the thing is we are in a conservative society, so there are certain things we are still trying to catch on with. So, when there are things like that we have to be very careful. People look at those with tattoo as not very reliable. It might not be true but that is just the impression. We are conservative and it would take us some time to start accepting certain things. You have to take that into consideration when you are adorning yourself with tattoo or what have you.
Do you mean if somebody walks into your office having tattoo on her arms and chest, you won't employ him/her?
Well, I might do because I will not judge the person just by the tattoo but the tattoo on her could colour my perception. I'm human let me admit it, it would colour my perception. But that doesn't mean I would then say I won't offer you a job because I haven't even had a chance to talk to you and find out if what stuff you're made of.