There is so much going on for ace Nigerian actress, Genevieve Nnaji. Apart from having numerous awards under her belt, this year proved to be exceptional. Earlier this year, she made the 10 most influential African artistes list, won an award at the prestigious Monaco Film Festival, and won the Best Actress at the ZAFAA Award, in London.
Recently, she was awarded the Nigeria National Honour of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic, Arguably one of the most successful in the industry, the 39 year old glamorous actress spoke on her winning ways and the industry.
How do you feel bagging the national award alongside other international laurels?
I can’t complain. It means recognition for what we are doing, and it feels so good to be recognized for doing what you love doing. It also means appreciation of the industry, not just Genevieve. It means gradually we are being recognized by the federal government, this has been long over-due, that Nollywood should also be accorded the well deserved recognition for what it’s doing for the country.
It’s really something that will show that Nollywood has come of age and the federal government has championed their cause.
This honour as given to you and other Nollywood acts, to your own words, what are the things the industry needs from the federal government?
I think they are doing a lot of things already. I know there is a film village being set-up in Africa. That is something we can all appreciate the government for. So, I am trying to ensure that Nollywood is fully involved. I really think they are doing a lot this time for Nollywood. I feel if this continues, then the government would have been made Nollywood more viable and some of us who have been privileged to meet with these people one on one, will make sure that certain things are put to place.
But I can tell you things are really looking up for the industry at the moment, all hands on deck. There will be so much benefits for Nollywood this time.
In your opinion, what is the major challenge the industry is currently facing?
Unity! This factor I see as very important to help us build a Nollywood we all desire. We all want to see a Nollywood that is focused at all times, not divided. Because it is when this common goal is put into perspective we can forge ahead and make everyone including the government see that we are serious with what we are doing.
What are your winning strategies?
God. To be honest, I don’t know my winning strategies, I would just say, it’s been God. To tell you I have any winning strategies, I don’t even know where to start from because I can’t list this and that as steps I would take to win. If I had a winning strategy I would sell it.
What’s your advice to upcoming artistes, especially those who look up to Genevieve?
The truth of the matter is that for anybody to want to be like Genevieve, she must understand what Genevieve is made of. I am one person that is very determined. I follow my heart, I do not follow friends and I don’t believe in impossibilities. I believe in following my heart as I said. So, it’s very important you listen to yourself. Don’t copy anybody or pretend to be somebody else.
I believe that everybody has different stuff they can be good at, all they need to do is listen to themselves and discover what they can be good at. This is the best way for an individual to discover yourself.