Monday, 13 April 2015

“I Can’t Marry A Poor Man” — Belinda Effah

Nollywood actress, Belinda Effah, has made a giant stride in the movie industry after her emergence in 2011. She won the Most Promising Actor of the Year Award at the ninth edition of the African Movie Academy Awards. Effah, who became a subject of discussion during the just-concluded African Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) with her outfit, speaks with Newton-Ray UKwuoma on her love for fashion, career and other issues. Excerpts:
You drew a lot of attention with your outfit at the recent AMVCA. What were you hoping to achieve with that attire?

I love to be perceived in a certain way for every red carpet event I attend. I do not want to step into the red carpet and not be noticed.
I always think of how to appear unique for every event. For AMVCA, I was thinking of how to infuse my personal theme of being African at all times into my looks.
You know, for an African lady, we have specific styles which many women no longer don on red carpet. We are in the Brazilian hair era, but I am not a Brazilian. And I do not see Brazilians wearing my hair. I felt I had to do something very bold, and this was what I came up with, the African outfit and the hair.
What is your opinion about revealing dresses?
For me, it’s all about confidence. When you wear stuffs like that, you have to make it suit you, especially your body. Some people do not care whether an attire –either revealing or not – really suits them before the, wear them. Make it suit you and I will admire it too.
What would you not be caught wearing?
I could wear anything. I would not be caught naked or semi-Nood. I could be a tomboy sometimes. I forget to wear my make-up sometimes. I guess I am not a typical girl.
Is that what makes you stand out, is it your selling point?
No. The grace of God is. I cannot specifically say this or that. But I am grateful for fans that rock my world, for producers that consider me for roles. Maybe, these people see something in me that is unique and sellable, that makes them see Belinda when they think of a role. I leave it to the grace of God, because there is nothing I am doing differently. We have a lot of fantastic actresses in Nigeria, so it is God.
How best do you love to dress?
I love to dress in whatever makes my skin comfortable. I do not care what it is, but so long as it makes me comfortable I wear it. I would like to wear something that makes me comfortable in the midst of people. I love to create my style. I do not believe in going with the trend. For me, I go with my mood.
What are your favourite colours?
I love red. Red will always be around me. I love black too. Generally, I like bold colours.
What is your best accessory?
I always tell people, it is my dress. Because when I have my dress on, it changes my total outlook. I may not carry a purse along or jewellery, but once I have my clothes I am good to go. That is why I take care in choosing the style and designs of my outfit. I love style. I love design. I love fashion in general.
What brands of perfume do you prefer?
I use Gucci, willieens. I am a collector. I use different brands. I do not stick to just one.
You have risen so fast in the movie industry. Has acting paid off for you?
It has paid off. I would like to tag my rise to dedication passion and the grace of God. I know that if God was not blessing my hustle I wouldn’t be here or where I am today. When you are passionate about something people would get to see it, even God will acknowledge it.
How did you come into limelight?
I came into the limelight in 2011, and since then it has been grace.
What are the challenges you are facing at the moment?
Every success comes with its own challenges. Sometimes, I get three roles to shoot at the same time and that means reading three different scripts and everything. You know, no one wants to give the wrong impression to the producer, especially if they have paid money into your account and trust that you will show up for a production. You just have to brace up and serve everybody right. Accomplishing that in itself is a huge challenge.
Why do you have to accept three roles at the same time?
It is not that you asked for them. Sometimes a certain producer may fix a date that a movie production will begin. He might even tell you when you will be paid. And when that time comes, he may shift the date because of technical hitches and things like that. Remember he has paid you. And you already have something else on another date or a date close to it. What do you do? Manage the clash. It is sometimes not the actor’s fault.
Do you also select movie roles?
Yes. I am very selective of the roles I play. I will not take on a bad script. I will not take part in a movie that tells no story.
Are you currently working on any production?
Yes. I am working on a production called Desperate House Girls. I was on the set before I met you.
What do you aim for in doing your job?
Happiness. Impact. I want fulfilment.
Which actress or actor has influenced you?
Genevieve Nnaji, Majid Michel, Ramson Noah, RMD, Mercy Johnson and others. On the international scene, Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, etc.
What should fans expect from Belinda?
I want to represent them in the right manner and to the best of my craft. I would love to try new things, challenging roles and the grace of God I hope to receive more awards and acknowledgements.
What do you flaunt?
My confidence. A lot of people feel I should be subtle and reserved. I am those things, but more importantly, I am a confident woman. This is me. There is no other personality of me elsewhere. I no remain for house. If I stand with you, I don’t stoop to you. Sometimes people stand my guts, but I sincerely have no reason to apologise. I love to express myself to the fullest.
Are you in a relationship?
I am single.
Any lucky man?
You will get to know in due time.
Have you seen the qualities you desire in any potential suitor?
I am looking for a God-fearing man.
Would you marry a poor but God-fearing man?
A God-fearing man knows what he has to do to take care of his home. When you are God-fearing every other thing is taken care of. You do not need to worry about finances. I cannot marry a poor man. I know that God-fearing men are rich in their mentality. And that is money enough.
God-fearing men understand what it means to set a goal, to have focus on their dreams. They have drive; they are responsible; they have ambition. Maybe at the moment you might not be so rich, but the future is well laid out for a God-fearing man. It is not about today. Money may come today and leave tomorrow. I do not mind struggling with my man up to the top. I am hard-working.
I like that?
That is all you need to build a home. And don’t go asking me if I am God-fearing myself. Just think about how a home will be with a God-fearing man.

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