Sunday PUNCH Spice Last Word Society Personalities In-style Tofarati Ige august 13, 2017 40 Randy directors almost made me quit acting —Nkechi Blessing (Omoge Lekki) C hildhood I was born and brought up in the Surulere area of Lagos. My childhood was fun because I come from a comfortable family. We were not too rich but we were far from being broke. Education I attended Olu Abiodun Nursery and Primary School, Lagos, for my elementary education. For my post-elementary education, I went to Barachel Model College, Lagos. I also did a six-month course in theatre arts at the Lagos State University, Ojo. After that, I studied international relations at Houdegbe North American University, Benin Republic. Acting Getting into the movie industry wasn’t that easy for me. While in secondary school, I had always wanted to act but I didn’t know how to go about it. When I gained admission to the university, I met some friends who were into movies and they told me I have the physical qualities of an actor. After school, I met Kemi Korede who asked if I could act and I said yes. She then featured me in her movie, Omo Bewaji, in 2008. That was the first movie I ever acted in. Later, I met with Emeka Duru, who offered me a role in Emem Isong’s movie, Through the Fire. In 2012, I travelled to South Africa on vacation where I met Tope Bali, who was there to shoot a movie. Coincidentally, the blonde hairstyle I was wearing at that time was in sync with a character she was looking to feature in the movie, Kafila Omo Ibadan, which she was shooting. In 2012, the trailer of the movie was released and that was how I became popular. Challenges The earliest challenge I encountered happened when I decided to become a full-time actress and different directors began to make advances to me. At some point, I wanted to give up on my dream of becoming an actress. Due to the pressure I was faced with then, I stopped attending auditions for some time. Apart from that, I haven’t really faced many other challenges because in everything that I do, I always put God first. I focus more on my job and I don’t leave room for negativity. Breakthrough My career breakthrough was when I produced my first movie, Omoge Lekki. The movie paved the way for me in the film industry. My role model, Mercy Aigbe, wrote the script and till date, I’m grateful to her. The movie portrays recent happenings among young girls in Lekki and its environs, who live fake lives. I produced the movie and even though I wasn’t able to recoup my investment, I still made some money from it. Movies Honestly, I have lost count of the number of movies that I’ve featured in, but the most recent one I took part in, Alakada Reloaded, by Toyin Abraham, got me more fans. I got almost the same kind of fame that Omoge Lekki gave me. Personal productions I have produced four movies. Two of them, Omoge Lekki and Fiditi have been released. The others, Church Girls and Don, would be released soon. Being Igbo I am from Abia State, but I am able to speak Yoruba fluently because I grew up in Yoruba land. However, I also act in English movies too. Some of the English movies I’ve acted in include Unrequited, The Document, Weight of Guilt, When Hell Freezes, among others. Poor pay It’s not like we don’t get paid but we don’t earn big. I’m not in this for the money or fame. I love to act and see myself on the big screen; it’s my passion. I get paid what’s commensurate with my level for now. I believe when I get to another stage of my career, I will earn better. I don’t live above my means and I only show off what I have; I can’t go broke trying to look rich. For now, acting is the only thing that I do. Fashion My style can be described as simple but very classy. I love shoes and the most expensive one I’ve ever bought is a pair of Jimmy Choo high heels. Relaxation I’m an indoor person. Whenever I’m not on set, I am at home with my family. Romance I’m single at the moment. I like a man who is God- fearing, caring and playful. Most importantly, he must smell nice to get my attention. I cannot date or marry anyone in the industry because I’m a private person.