One of the budding talents of Nollywood, Cynthia Okonkwo, whose talent for acting brought her to limelight, has a solid movie baggage. In this interview, she opens up on her life in Nollywood... and more.
You were in Berlin, Germany, a few weeks ago. What were you doing there?
I travelled to Germany for the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival. The Festival was all about International stars on the red carpet, enthusiastic fans, filmmakers from all over the world, and above all, great films, between 7 and 17 February. Berlin was the centre of the film world during the 63rd International Film Festival. In fact, it's the first time I ever travelled out of Nigeria for a film Festival.
Despite the fact that you are still young in the industry, you are already mingling with the big names. Aren't you lucky?
Yes, I think I am blessed. I don't really have anything short of being 'blessed'. I count myself lucky in the industry. God has been on my side, because I haven't put in so much energy into the industry, yet I have recorded a lot of results. I think that's what favour is all about.
From where do you draw your acting inspiration?
Everything inspires me. But Nigeria is a very dramatic country to draw inspiration from. So far, I have acted well over twenty movies in less than three years.
Were you getting roles easily at the time you started acting?
Well, I haven't really gone through so much stress in getting roles in movies. But that does not mean I haven't been attending auditions. I attended auditions after auditions, but I never gave up any hope. It wasn't so stressful for me, even though I got my first role while attending audition. Ever since then, I haven't looked back.
Have you ever had any nasty experience in the industry?
I never had any nasty experience so far. I think my acting skill paved way for me. It makes things easier for me to scale through in the industry. So, I really don't have any reason to use the back door to rise to fame. I am not a desperate person.
Are you saying there are 'desperadoes' in the industry?
There are desperadoes everywhere, not just in Nollywood. People are desperate to survive, they are desperate for everything, so, it's not about Nollywood alone.
Where can you be found when you are not filming?
In the comfort of my home, of course.
Do you have a relationship with God?
Yes, I do. And as a Christian, prayer becomes a way of life for me. It's not that I have a particular style of praying. I pray fervently.
Can being a good girl take you to the top of your career?
It can't, one needs to remain focused to hit the top. To some extent, I am focused.
What can you not do in the name of acting?
I can't go nude because our culture forbids it. That's it
What of overcoming the temptations that are associated with the kind of job you do?
Temptation in this regard could mean different things. You could have issues with a colleague in the industry. Common sense requires that you learn to handle such issues with wisdom.
Do you keep a low profile?
Not at all. I don't keep a low profile, but I am not somebody you can see at nightclubs or meet at social gatherings. I know where I want to be at a particular time.
Are you in any relationship?
That's private to me. I want to separate my private life from my work.
What kind of labels do you like to wear?
Any clothes that make me feel good and, is stable for me. Probably such clothes that every young girl would like to wear; simple and stylish. I am a simple girl by nature, so, everything about my dressing tend towards simplicity. The same thing goes for my hair do. I like flowing hair-do.
How would you describe your journey into Nollywood?
I think I am blessed, I have moved from one level to another level. My work is being appreciated by a lot of people and I am happy. I am peaceful, and I don't like so many dramas.
How many films have you featured in so far?
I have played several roles in over 20 movies with no stopping in sight. I have worked in movies such as, House Party, Devils Workshop, Evil Agenda, Another Hell, Not for Kids, Stolen, Dangerous Love, Professor Ibrahim, Missing Identity, Heart of a Princess, ALANPOZA, Supernatural Woman, Mr. Perfect, Cornerstone, Room 027, Hot and Sexy, Heavy Duty Bloody Encounter, Battle Line, Darkness of Sorrow and others...