By Funmi Johnson
Ebube Nwagbo
Ebube Nwagbo

Can I meet you?

My name is Ebube Nwagbo. I'm Ibo and an actress. Some persons may have a different opinion about whom I am, the truth is, I'm down-to-earth and an easy going person. And that's Ebube in a nutshell

How did you get into acting?

I started acting like every other person. I went for auditioning and that was in 2003.

How are you finding the acting profession?

It's okay. The industry is better, better than what it was when I joined in. But it could be better.
I think I'm enjoying what I'm doing right now, but it could be better.

And what is your educational background like?

I studied Mass Communication and not Theatre Arts but I believe they are all in the same family.

What was the feeling like the first time you found yourself on set?

I had the feeling there were butterflies in my stomach. And like every other person, I was nervous. God, I didn't know I could do it. But God used the people around to give me courage. And at the end of the day, it all seemed like a piece of cake. I did it quite well especially with the encouragement of the older and more experienced people on set.

Do you really think there is sexual harassment in Nollywood?

I don't know why you people are so interested in this sexual harassment thing after all, it's not peculiar to Nollywood alone.

Sexual harassment is everywhere, Nollywood, banking, music and even in your profession. And since I joined the league of actors in Nigeria, I'm yet to come across it. Honestly, if one needs to really talk about it, I'd say before someone is sexually harassed, that person must have in one way or the other asked for it.

And most of the time and especially the female, we actually attract harassment or kind of encourage the director to do it. We do it through our mode of dressing and our carriage. As for me, I have never experienced it and neither have I come across anyone who has. So I can't tell if it exists in Nollywood or not. And if it does, I haven't come across any such incident.

Your name was once linked in a romance with Kanu Nwankwo's younger brother, Ogbonna, and a producer called Amaco. Were you really involved with these men?

I don't want to talk about it anymore. I must confess that I have been anticipating that question and I don't have anything anymore to say about it.

What's the feeling like these days when you are on set?

Normal. For me, acting on stage is like a normal day's job. But the only difference is that I have to interpret the character the director hands down to me. Every role comes with its own interpretation but at the end of the day's shooting, my overall performance is just a normal routine. Even when I play roles different from my real character, I try my best to make people believe that I'm what the script is all about. I'm used to it though.

And what was it like the first time you came face to face with some of the older hands you once admired on the same stage?

I was very nervous because these were people I used to see on the screen all the time. But they made me feel at ease.

Being a popular face must come with its advantages and disadvantages, so what is it like in your own case?

Wao! Stardom has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. As a star, you don't have control over your private life. On the street, harassment by fans becomes the order of the day. You are no longer able to do what you want to do; instead, you live your life according to the dictates of your fans.

And as a role model, you have to do what society wants. It's really tight. But then, being a popular face, doors are opened easily to you and certain concessions are handed to you too.

What are those things you used to do that you cannot do anymore because of stardom?

I was a known introvert before stardom came calling. But today, I'm a different person. I no longer want to keep indoors and I want to meet as many people as possible. These days, I'm more open to receiving and meeting people. I think to be a star has made me want to go out. Apart from wearing smiles that seem to give me wrinkles these days, I tend to live my life more for people and I'm more matured in the way I handle people and my personal affairs.

And what don't you like about stardom?

The nosey nature of the media. Everything I do these days becomes news to them. And when you try to run away from them, it's trouble. They won't let go until they extract whatever it is they want. Sometimes the whole process wears one down. And that's the ultimate price one has to pay for being who one has become.

Have you ever fallen in love before?

Of course.

And do you have a guy in your life right now?

Hmm . . . Yes, there is a guy but I won't tell you. All I can say to you is, I'm in love right now.

Are we expecting wedding bells soon?

...When will you marry?

This year, next year, sometime or never? God's time is the best and I'm sure when the bell tolls, you'd be the first to be invited.

How many movies have you featured in?

I can't count the number. Let's say like thirty, forty or thereabout, I'm not sure now.

Which is your best of all the movies you've featured in?

My first movie is so dear to my heart and I can't help but remember it with nostalgia. Maybe because it's the first time I'd be on set.

And which of the movies has been the most challenging?

Every movie has its own challenges. And so it's not going to be easy to point out one as the most challenging. But in all the roles I starred in, I found each movie challenging especially when it comes to interpreting the different roles. Although I have my favourites, I couldn't tell if they were more challenging than the others.

When you started acting, how did your parents and family members react to it, were they supportive?

Funny enough, when I started acting, I didn't tell my parents until the movie was released into the market. I knew if I had told them, they would have discouraged me because of the society we operate in. And when the movie hit the screens and they saw it, they were quite excited and they lent their support.

They were also very proud of me, but warned me to remember the family I come from and not disgrace the name.

What if any of your kids wants to go into acting career in future, will you support it?

If that is what he or she wants to do, why not? I like my job and if any of my kids wants to take after me, fine. It's their choice to make and I'd go to a great length to support the dream.

What would you want to be remembered for if you should quit the stage today?

My dream is to be remembered well even if I leave this profession tomorrow. I want to be remembered as a legend in Nollywood, one whose impact will be too much to be forgotten.

How did you spend your Valentine's day?

I had a very good time with my friends and my sisters. They were around and I sure did have a nice time with them. We went out and enjoyed ourselves.

What is your opinion about the entertainment industry today when compared to the one you first met in 2003?

I'm really impressed with the industry as it is in Nigeria presently. It's getting bigger by the day and it can only get better. A great number of Nigerian artists have won music and movie awards and laurels in and outside the country. And today, we are considered the biggest industry on this side of the world.

When you are not on stage, how do you unwind?

I love watching movies, reading, and when I'm doing these things, my next favourite pastime is sleeping.

And do you watch movies you starred in?

I don't watch movies like you will watch them. I watch movies to know where my lapses are so I can work on them. But really, it is funny, watching yourself acting in the movie.

What's your beauty routine like?

If I tell you what I go through just to make my face smooth, you won't believe it. I clean my face every morning and I strive to clean up my make-up before I go to bed every night. It's not easy but I try.

Who is your kind of man?

My kind of man must be one capable of making me laugh all the time. I like to laugh and look happy. So the lucky man must have a very good sense of humour especially when it comes to helping me out of my occasional moody moments.

Apart from that, my man should respect me for who I am and see beyond my personality as an actress. He has to accept me for who I am and not what I am.

How do you feel when your fans see you on the street and want to talk to you?

I feel very shy and at the same time happy because it shows that the people appreciate what I do. It also means that I'm trying in what I'm doing. And since they acknowledge what I do, I appreciate it so much.

You look like one who may have a weight problem in future, is there anything you are doing to keep fit?

I know I have the tendency to grow bigger than I am now, so I watch what I eat. I eat less sugar and carbohydrate. It's really not easy to keep myself in check but I'm trying my best. I'm scared of losing shape and I don't want to be bigger than this.

If you have an opportunity to change something in the Nigerian entertainment industry, what will it be?

We have today a lot of persons who have no business in the movie industry. The movie industry has been bastardised to the extent where pretenders have taken over the business. There is hardly room for the real professionals to exhibit their trade. So, if I have a chance to change anything, I'd sweep out all the pretenders from the industry. And I will tell them to go find their talents elsewhere and not come in to bastardise the industry.

And what advice do you have for the upcoming ones aspiring to take up acting career as a profession?

They should be first of all, sure that they have all it takes and must have the flair for it. They must also be patient and have trust in God. And with time, the sky will be their limit.