April 1st, 2017 – Nkechi Blessing: My Mother Is The Owner Of Gberi City Bar In Agege Lagos, That Is My Root
As An Igbo Babe, I Prefer Yoruba Nollywood Sector To English Because They Don’t Discriminate
Excerpt from Nollywood actress Nkechi Blessing recent chat with Dupe Ayinla Olasunkanmi.
As an Igbo babe, don’t you think you will do better in the English sector?
I settle for this particular industry, because they were the one that accepted and welcomed me into the movie world, as an Igbo girl. I am not being biased here, but before you can make it in the English sector, it will be a very hard task.
Are you saying the Yoruba sector accepts just any person?
No, what I am saying is that in the English sector, you will move from one location to another, and might not given get selected for any role. But in the Yoruba sector; they are ready to help you grow and push you out for people to see you talent. It goes beyond the physical look, but what you can deliver.
Did you try to push yourself in the English sector?
Yes, my first movie was an English movie, directed by Emem Isong in 2007. The movie had load of stars. But at that point, I was still struggling to become a star, and it was hard for me.
Are you saying you have reached the top of your career now?
No, but you cannot compare then to now that things are easy for me, and I am taking everything cool. When I did the English movie, I didn’t get the much recognition that I wanted then, so I switched.
But you said the movie was directed by Emem Isong, she could have been an avenue for you to rise?
Yes, that is true. But something happened back then; I lost the contact of the Production Manager who called me for the job, Emeka Duru. But I am trying to come back in track; which (saw) me star in some English movies recently. It is not like I am restricted to Yoruba movies; I do both, but more of Yoruba movies.
Which movie brought you to the limelight?
That is Omoge Lekki; it is one of the baddest movies reigning presently. It is written by my greatest mentor Mercy Aigbe-Gentry. She single-handedly brought the idea of that story that has made me a name to reckon with today.
Are you saying your butt is a selling point for you?
People have been saying I have a big bumbum, but I don’t care. It is God given and I cannot hide it. People believe it is one of the things I am promoting, but I have been in the industry professionally since 2007; that is about 10years now.
So when the movie Omoge Lekki became a big shot, they were like ‘the new girl that just started.’ I have been in this game for long, trying to make a name for myself and I am happy it is happening. I can walk on the road now and people recgonise me for that movie, which is a good thing.
You mentioned giving back to Agege people, is that where you grew up?
I am planning something big for the people of Agege, because that is where the whole dream started from.
My mother has a very popular bar called Gberi City, in Agege, which was then one of the open places that has helped some top names today; I don’t want to mention names. But my mum’s bar gave the platform to those actors to showcase their talents.
I have always been popular back then, because I have been in the papers because of my mummy’s bar. It is just like going back to my hood and giving back to them. I am from Agege and I am not ashamed to say it.
Being the daughter of a bar owner, one would assume you to be very exposed
My mom has a bar, but she is too strict; she does not drink, but she is much disciplined. We do not have access to the bar and there was no room to misbehave. People know my name, because they call my mom, Iya Nkechi, but they cannot place my face with the name.