Epunchng - Most read newspaper in Nigeria Sunday, August 13, 2017 - Page 28

Sunday PUNCH august 13, 2017 Spice Crème de la crème 28 I have 11 characters in my head — Chigul Actress and comedienne, Chioma Omeruah aka Chigul, speaks to BUKOLA BAKARE about her family, career and other related matters W hat course did you major in? I studied French education in the university and I worked for a few years as a French teacher in the United States. I speak five languages but I am a Lagos girl-born and bred in Lagos. I was born in the Yaba area of the state and thereafter, I moved to Kaduna, Jos, and came back to Lagos again. Afterwards, I went to the United States to study. I lived there for 12 years before returning to Nigeria. How did you come about the distinct voice that you are known for? I am a very blessed human being and God has given me certain gifts and sometimes, I really don’t know which one to explore. I’ve always been very gifted at imitating people since I was young. Even when guests came to my house, once they said something, they knew that Chioma would catch it instantly and entertain the house afterwards. Till now, I still do some of these things. Then one day, I recorded a voice note with my blackberry phone and sent it out to my friends. It was something that just happened; it wasn’t as if there was a plan. There are about 11 characters in my head and Chigul is just one of them-the others are there as well. However, Chigul is the major one. You were previously married and mentioned at some point that you married as a virgin. What lessons did you learn from that union and how has it shaped you into the woman that you are today? My marriage just sort of fell apart – as you know, bad things happen but then, you have to learn to pick up the pieces and move on. Nobody envisages that his or her marriage is going to crash. You go in with the best intentions and the highest of hopes but for whatever reasons, things happen, life happens and it’s always better when you build from the bad things that have happened to you and move on. What qualities would you be looking out for in a man this time? This time around, I think that I have a more mature eye and mind. I was 33 and I think I had a different notion of what life was then as well as different expectations. Now, I am more settled in my mind and I’m just all about being with someone who allows me to be at my best. As a man or woman, you want to be with someone that makes you whole and complements you. For now, it is only me in the car and I am at the wheels and riding solo but when I see a life passenger, I’ll definitely take a shot. How would you describe your personality? Something that has to with Chigul always slides into my personality. I’ve realised that Chioma is that person that was born by her parents and Chigul just became part of her so, they are one and the same and one can’t do without the other. Even when I’m angry, it’s still in the Chigul manner so both characters are one and the same. What are your likes and dislikes? I like honesty and dislike dishonesty . As an artiste, I like professionalism and one of my pet peeves is lateness. I don’t like keeping people waiting and I don’t want them to do same to me. I like being able to work with people who take others along with them and it is good when you are able to take someone along with you-there is a lot of mentorship going on for actors and comedians and in my experience, I have been embraced by most people that I have come across and a lot of people have come my way. The likes of Alibaba, AY and all of these people have taken me as their sister and I really cannot say I’ve had it hard because God has just been involved and it’s more like he said, ‘‘I’ve bestowed a favour on you; wherever you go, you would be favoured.’’ In that same vein, I always make a conscious effort to remain grounded and humble because like I tell people, sometimes, the attributes that you display opens doors for you before your talent does. Some people will work with you just because they like the way you behave; you might not even be good at what have my friends around me. I am not one for going to you do. For every work you do, you must make sure that clubs, so I’d rather entertain myself at home. I don’t like you put your best foot forward every single time and that’s to cook even though I am a good cook. I’d prefer to have what I strive to do. 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