Top Nollywood actor and producer, Stephanie Okereke, has revealed that discovering her talent at an early age, has helped her attain her present status.
Having produced hit movies and won many awards, the mother of one, in a recent interview with humanfox.com spoke on the challenges of being an actor and how she was able to scale through hurdles.
Every actor has to face a lot of challenges in their careers in order to move up the ladder. What were the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
It’s the zeal that matters and nothing else. It’s your passion for something that pushes you to do the things you want to. I honestly think I got lucky because I had the luxury of discovering my passion at a very young age. I wasn’t certain where exactly I wanted to be but, television is definitely where I wanted to start my career. After finishing secondary school, I got myself featured in one of the major productions and my career thereon rocketed. Point being, when there’s that much of passion inside of you, you don’t really care about obstacles, you just pursue what you were born to.
As a woman what would your advice to other women out there be, who want to be independent and do something of their own?
This is to all the women out there in the whole wide world, “JUST DON’T BE AFRAID.” We have so much of power or passion inside of us that we’re too afraid to explore it. We’re afraid because the societal pressure prevails in our lives and it always will. But, I believe that god gave everybody a talent so that we can contribute to the society and not just sit around. And that is why we shouldn’t be afraid to explore our passions so that we can use them for the common good of the people.
My turning point in life, or the event that participated in turning my life around from various angles was my accident in 2005. It was a bad one. My legs were fractured and I had severe burns all over my face and body, and as a celebrity, you come to think of your face as your ticket to stay in the industry because it gives you your livelihood. So, yes I was shattered, but god gave me this amazing will power and strength and that is why I was able to bounce back even harder. Being in that situation was sort of an epiphany where I came to realize a lot of things such as where I wanted to be in life and what exactly was it that I was working for. All in all, it was a bad experience with a good verdict.
Piracy is as horrible as it gets in the reel industry. It’s a common enemy to all. People make money over someone’s work of sweat and blood and ultimately us artists have to suffer. We as a community have been pushing the government to take actions on various scenarios. Specially Piracy. The penances for the same should be way higher than they are right now. We also have been trying hard to get the government to acknowledge this industry because we are moving up on our contribution to the economy ladder and our industry also serves as an opportunity for the youth to showcase their talent and find employment.
Every character that an actor performs is different and requires a different level of commitment. But what remains the same for me in all this diversity is the cause of why I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing. Which is social awareness. That’s my WHY to every project that I take up. Matters like gender inequality, child marriages, saving the girl child etc. are matters that need to be catered to even in the 21st century. I use my art to shed knowledge to these matters which have been corroding in dust so that I can make people socially aware of their causes and consequences.
First, you can’t move forward in life without having someone to follow or to inspire you. So learn from your ideals. I still admire and follow a lot of people and get to learn something different from every one, every time. So be grounded and realistic. Second, glamour is good, I’ll give you that, but the second you lose sight of your humility and get caught up in the hype, the balance gets distorted. So be a person of substance. Lastly, Have Love, Love and Love in your hearts. Work for a world where the women are safe and liberated. Where men and women are equal and brotherhood is the motto. That is the purest source of truest creativity. Look out for one and another.
Have Love, Love and Love in your hearts. It’s the essence of creativity.
– Stephanie Okereke Linus