I have tried very hard to keep this under wraps, it isn’t exactly the sort of information you broadcast, especially when described by one’s own husband with terms like actress or worse, alata, which means pepper-seller. In Africa no one grows up wanting to be a pepper-seller and if by some misfortune they fall onto that path, they would not broadcast the fact either. Sadly, my mum and brothers are on the same bandwagon and have even dragged my innocent sons, kicking and screaming onto it to join them. They think I’m an actress and may have missed my calling. The only one who insists on seeing me as I am, a dignified, ambitious woman is my precious father.
So here it is, I need a connection into Nollywood
Starring in a Nollywood movie isn’t number one on my bucket list but it is there nonetheless. And since I’ve never deluded myself into thinking I’m Ms Organised, I won’t explain why I’m not addressing my list in chronological order. Plus of course being me, chronological order does not mean in order of importance. It just happens to be the order in which the thought forced itself on me.
Why Nollywood? I can’t tell you why because I don’t know. I only watch the occasional movie and those occasions are very few and very far between. Like many people I became fed up of the
cliffhanger annoying endings signalled by the words ‘To God be the Glory‘, followed by credits to the many Chief and Chief Mrs Okonkwos and Otunba Babatundes.
Still, I want the opportunity to ‘side-eye’ people up and down to the cham-cham, kpas-kpas sounds of my chewing gum. I want the Nollywood style makeup that not only transforms your face, but changes your accent while you’re wearing it. I want to play the part of that wicked madam who treats her minions as though she is only just coming to terms with the bitter truth that they breathe the same air, or maybe even play the role of the secretary that’s so rude even the mice shudder. I want to be able to gist with my friends and say; ‘Gurrl!! Can you imagine? Ehnn!?‘ complete with appropriate hand gestures. I want to say I’ve got my ‘international passport‘ That one baffles me, is there a local or national type?
I’m not keen on the role of being the bit on the side with whom chief belts out his
dirty sexy laugh; and he puts his arm around her shoulders saying ‘Come here my dear, he he heh!!’
So will you hook me up? Bear in mind I do have a reputation to protect. I don’t want the ones where every character including the vulcaniser has an American accent. I also don’t want any movies with a car accident scene- they just don’t work. Especially when the doctor has the task of breaking the sad news of death to a worried relative. Although he has been instructed by the scriptwriter to ‘break… gently’ he chooses instead to jab the pre-wailing character with these exact words (every time); ”sorry, she’s dead. No need to cry, no need to cry, be a man!”
My friends and I went to watch Chimamanda’s Half of a Yellow Sun a couple of weeks ago, which by the way in case you’re not familiar does not fall under the Nollywood umbrella. First we had dinner and then the movie. We were very surprised to see a red carpet and a bevy of beautiful Nigerian folks dressed to the nines all milling around. There were 8 inch heels, weaves down past their bums, make up that I swear changed them on the inside as well as the outside and tons of backs. Chocolate-coloured backs, yellow backs, bleached backs. I’m thinking the dress code was backless dresses. Thankfully I took some pictures- otherwise you would not have believed that there really was a man dressed in a gold shirt with gold accessories. And a white waistcoat. And a white fedora hat. I spotted an acquaintance on the red carpet, sashaying about as the cameras took her pictures. She is fairly well-known on the entertainment scene. She told me it was the premiere for a movie which raised awareness for cervical cancer. My brothers and sisters, there was no indication of cervical cancer awareness anywhere. There were backdrops, camera men, photographers, actresses and actors, but nothing about cervical cancer. Just hair, make-up, dresses and gold outfits. And backs.
Just so we’re clear, I’m not looking to make a name for myself, go backless on a red carpet or hang out with gold-shirted men. I just want to cross one line off my bucket list.
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I’m desperate for comments I would love to know your thoughts. It’s been a while.