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Cooking is my passion – Nse Ikpe Etim

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Akwa Ibom

Image: Nse Ikpe Etim



Nse Ikpe Etim is not just beautiful but also exceptional in the interpretations of her roles. This University of Calabar graduate of Theater Arts and AMAA 2012 best Actress, has featured in over 15 movies. In this interview with LUCY EZELIORA, this eloquent lady speaks on several issues including her recent marriage to her United Kingdom based childhood friend.  She is our weekend delight.

Going by your tremendous success within such a short time in the industry, what or who would you say is your motivating factor, aside God?

I did not see that coming. Well, since I always give glory to God; it has been His grace. Also, that I have been able to marry professionalism with my God-given talent. Discipline is key and the talents I have been opportuned to work with, have brought a lot to the table for my rise and I am truly thankful for it.

Can you tell us how you found your way into Nollywood?

It just happened. I started acting with the movie “venom of Justice” part 2. From there, I was handed the ‘Reloaded’ script by Emem Isong who is a friend and a sister. That was where the journey started.  A few years back, I took a break from acting, to work in the banking sector. I’m a professional chef, I later delved into the fashion industry before I made a comeback in Emem Isong’s hit movie, Reloaded. My background in theatre also helped because I knew what I wanted.

More so, theatre doesn’t teach acting for film. Acting for film, is a different thing from being on stage. These are two different ball games. You have to be lucky that the camera loves you and whatever it is; you can elicit some sort of feelings from your viewers. Theatre is exhilarating. It is almost orgasmic. Besides, I didn’t  see myself as an actress, even when she said I had no confidence, I chose not to prove anyone wrong, well, until now. I still get scared.

I noticed you feel most comfortable working with ‘your’ people, like Desmond Elliot, Emem Isong, Ini Edo, why these people?

Then I dare say you have not seen all the other ones I have done. I have worked with other notable producers.Some are still in the can, so in good time you will see that I work with other people apart from my “people” as you put it.

You are regarded as one of the hottest actresses in Nollywood right now, how does that make you feel?

 That is a lot of honour to be bestowed on a relatively new comer. I am honoured to be put on the same pedestal as the amazing actors and actresses that Nollywood has produced.

Take us through your background?

I spent my formative years in primary and secondary schools in Jos, Kaduna and Ilorin and I studied Theatre- Arts at the University of Calabar.

Who really are you outside the cameras?

I am a Nigerian. I think that sounds a lot better than claiming a State. I have been told that I have a sense of humour; I love to cook, write in my spare time, read a lot and lay in my couch. That’s it really.

Why do you think a lot of people regard you as a very sexy actress? 

Sexy? That’s not what I see myself as. I am a regular woman. Though, not the girl next door. I honestly don’t think of myself in that light. But if people see me so, well they know what they saw before concluding.

Your innocent and girlish look is said to be one of your strong points, do you think so?

That means you have not looked straight into my eyes. Is that not where they say innocence is? I don’t agree with this, because I do not see what people see.

Now that you are married, what do you think will change about you?

Nothing much will change, because I married to a man who loves me for who I am. Yes, he is not based in Nigeria but he so much loves and believes in me. Another change that will not happen is that of my career, I will continue to act as long as I live.

Will you add your husband’s name to your maiden name?

Well, that is not the most important thing for me to do now but, if he complains, I will do it.

Can you tell us how you met your husband, Clifford Sule because you kept the whole thing secret?

(Breaks into laughter) My husband is a senior lecturer at Middlesex University, in the United Kingdom. He is my childhood love. Though we broke up later in life and moved on for several years until few years back when we met again and rekindled our romance. He proposed and I accepted. We decided to formalise everything at the resgistry this last Valentine’s Day – 14th February 2013, now, we have completed the civil ceremony (Registry) wedding, so we are officially married.  I also threw an after wedding party the next day, my close friends which include Rita Dominic, Waje, Thelma Ojiji, Uche Jombo, Dakore Akande and Michelle Dede came to celebrate with us at the Swanky Sky Lounge penthouse restaurant and bar at Eko Hotel in Lagos. My traditional wedding will take place in my hometown, Ikot Etobo, Nsir-Ubium LGA, Akwa Ibom. The white wedding will take place later this year by the special grace of God.

After the wedding will you relocate, if no, how will you cope with the distance?

Look, once there is true love, distance will never be a barrier. For now, I will be shuttling between the United Kingdom where my husband lives and Nigeria where I do most of my acting. So it is not a problem at all.

Why do you think you are tailor-made for the romantic parts?

I do not think I am tailor-made for any part in particular; it’s just that I have been given romantic parts to play, but I have played other characters. I am a prolific actress and can act any script or role given to me. I am not a stereotype kind of actress. Basically, I think producers give you what they deem fit for your character.

Are you as romantic in real life as you are portrayed in the movies, especially since that is what has gotten everybody talking about you and such movies?

I can be romantic. I believe in happy stories but this does not mean that I live in a surreal world. I also think that the reason people talk is because the character might have been portrayed the way the director wanted it interpreted.

When you were much younger, what were your dreams? 

I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to become. I admired actresses (Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida) because it was what I saw on TV, but for me, growing up was paramount and so having to follow my dad’s dream of being a doctor was far-fetched.

Did you follow those dreams through your school days?

I think by the time I was eligible to write JAMB, I knew I wanted to study Theater Arts, which was why I deliberately chucked the first form in front of the post office, walked into CBN and lied to my father’s friend that mum could not buy a form for me. Having just lost my father, I whipped up sentiments, bought a new form and filled University of Calabar, Theatre Arts. Well, look where it got me!

Were you one of the few that had a swell childhood? Or were you too much of a princess that you were not allowed to play with other children?

I had a fun filled childhood, even when friends are chosen for you; you must make the best out of it. Looking back, I could not have asked for a different or better childhood.

Did you ever play pranks on your mates?

Playing pranks was too much fun. And I still have not stopped, so I guess I carried with me something from way back.

What career would you have chosen if you weren’t an actress?

After finding succour in acting, I think I am happy where I am. I love the fact that I cook, which is a passion I cannot give up for anything.

How close are you to multiple awards winning movie producer, Kunle Afolayan?

We are close and he remains my boss, nothing can change it. Kunle is a good person to me no doubt and his wife is my friend.

Are you looking forward to featuring more in Kunle Afolayan’s movie?

As a nervous actress, I am scared but as an actress who recognises excellence, I am excited. I am just thankful for all the opportunities.



Article Credit: Daily Independent Newspaper

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Updated 6 Years ago

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