Sunday, 26 August 2012

Nollywood stars have paved way for me – Uru Eke

Uru Eke
Fast rising actress, Uru Eke is surely a beauty to behold. Born in East London, she had her primary school in London and secondary school here in Nigeria.  She went back to the United Kingdom for her University education at The City University. Before taking up acting as a career, she worked with Zurich Financial as an IT consultant.

Having decided to take to acting, she was recently featured in a documentary on Nollywood in CNN’s Inside Africa. Her first movie was ‘Ebony’ after which she also featured in others like Forgive Me Father, Widow’s men, Friends in Love, Timeless Passion, a soap titled’Catwalq’ and others. Here in this interview, Uru talks about her career in acting, Nollywood and others. Enjoy;

What actually informed your decision to go full-time into acting? And how far do you think you can go?
I’ve always had a burning desire to be an actress. As cliché as it may sound, that’s just the truth. Ever since I was a child, I’ve practiced being other people and mimicked things that I watched on TV. So it was only natural that when the opportunity to actualize my dreams came up, I jumped at it. I intend to go very far with this. I’m very determined and diligent. And when I put my mind and heart to do something, I always succeed.

The Nigerian Nollywood is kind of saturated. What are your plans as an upcoming actress to overcome the ordeals and possibly get accepted within the industry?

It hasn’t been easy. Good looks can only get you so far! Talent is what truly speaks for you and when people see that, it’s very easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. I believe I have been accepted otherwise I wouldn’t be getting the offers and recognition. So I’m grateful to God Almighty.

What are those unique skills you are bringing to play that may possibly stand you out or better still that may give you recognition among all the big stars we have in Nollywood?

The big stars are in a league of their own and helped pave the way for people like me coming in now. I try to play whatever role given to me as natural as possible and not force it. I study the craft and observe others then, infuse the key elements into a character. I don’t try to be like anyone else but me- that way, no one says “oh she acts like this person or that person”

What future do you think you have in Nollywood, say in five years?
By God’s grace, my future in Nollywood and beyond is very bright. The possibilities are endless. There are lots to explore- producing, making my own films etc. I’m yet to be challenged in a role yet so there’s lots more to do. Come 5years from now, I want to be listed among the top 5 talents in the country and to also represent my people anywhere in the world!

Already, which are the films you have acted in?
So far, I’ve acted in ‘Ebony, Lucky Joe, Forgive Me Father, Widow’s men, Friends in Love, Timeless Passion, a soap called ‘Catwalq’,just released “Last Flight to Abuja” and soon to be released “Weekend Getaway”

By all standards, what comparison can you do between Hollywood and Nollywood- which is more relevant to Africans?
Hollywood is big and all over the world but trust me, our Nollywood is much more relevant to Africans and even the Caribbean! You’d be shocked the homes you go into and see a Nollywood movie. Sometimes, getting enough funds to produce quality films is a major problem among Nollywood producers, as such, they resolve to producing sub-standard movies.

In your opinion, what do you think should be done in terms of sourcing for fund and maintaining world class movie productions in respective of this peculiar challenge?

Before I embarked on this journey, I did some research to find out how Nollywood began, when and by who. At the end of the day, it was a very interesting discovery! One of the first Nollywood films is ‘Living in Bondage’ by Neks video links. It was one man’s venture into the unknown, he wasn’t quite sure how things would turn out but to his surprise, the film was a block buster.

Then, lots of other people jumped on the idea and today, we have Nollywood. I guess because the industry was developed and grew to what it is today, through efforts by individuals with no help from the government, my opinion is that the government felt it didn’t need to pay much attention to it.

Our films are the quality they are because the independent producers cash their savings and produce these films out of sheer passion and love for it. What they have isn’t enough to produce a world standard movie but it’s good enough for the Nigerian viewers. Now would be a great time for the Government to step in and turn the fortunes of Nollywood around by building studios and creating grants/loans that can be accessed to contribute great content to our movies.

How much do you know about Inside Africa?
I’ve watched Inside Africa a few times in the UK and its segments are very interesting. It gives us a look into various cultures and personalities in Africa

How do you see the impact of CNN -Inside Africa programme on the Nigerian entertainment industry?
I’m elated because the impact is ultimately positive! The Nigerian entertainment industry is growing bigger and bigger and our local talents are being recognized internationally. I’m super excited because a new guy like me has been selected to feature on CNN’s Inside Africa programme on Nollywood and it’s being introduced to a wide cross section in Africa. I’ve been told that Inside Africa’s viewership is almost 300million. That’s huge!!

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