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‘I was sexually harassed

By Ope Akintayo
She had her first professional acting experience in 2010 when she enrolled in the Next Movie Star competition. And out of the sixteen housemates, Yvonne Enakhena came top six.

This pretty upcoming actress who hails from Benin, Edo State, talks about her family, acting career and how she was sexually harassed while trying to get a role. Excerpt:

Growing up for me was fun. There were ups and downs but they were not serious challenges. Without challenges, life would not be fun. Through those challenges, I learnt my lessons and that makes me a better person that I am today.

Yvonne Enakhena ...Men are everywhere so it’s not a big deal coping with them

I have parents who are disciplinarians. My mother is an educationist and my father is a businessman. They both taught me how to be independent. Morals were also part of what my parents instilled in me. They taught me to become the beautiful and responsible young lady that I am today. Although I was very stubborn, at the same time, I’m a happy person. I love to play with guys because they are more fun to be with. Ladies gossip and quarrel a lot.

I have always acted since my days in the kindergarten. I also acted during my primary and secondary school days and also in the church .

But my interest in acting grew to its fullest during my days at the university in 2004. So I have always loved acting.

I had my major acting experience when I enrolled for the Next Movie Star competition in 2010. I decided to go for the competition because I saw it as a place to develop my acting career. We were sixteen in the house- six from Nigeria and others from outside Nigeria. We stayed in the house for a month and the competition was a tough one. Although I didn’t win, I was among the last six.

I wouldn’t say the Next Movie Star as a platform is contributory to my gradual success in the industry today. The reason is because, the competition just helped me to sharpen my acting skills. But it’s a different ball game after the competition. It’s a big struggle and hustle because I have to look for jobs on my own. Roles didn’t easily come to me because I was in the competition. But I didn’t regret going into the competition because I met lot of people and learnt new things.

Well, I believe that for one to do something well, it has to be something that one has a natural flare for. I believe in what I do and that has always helped me to win the hearts of my audience. My fans appreciate my work and that boosts my morale to want to do more.

I haven’t really broken too deeply into the movie industry. I’m still very fresh but I believe in what I do and that I’ll become big one day. Nothing good comes easily.

Basically, we all have choices to make in life. So, the issue of whether or not to give in to sexual harassment from producers for movie roles is a matter of choice. I was harassed but didn’t give in because I’m not that kind of person. Because if I had given in, I’d have made a big break by now. But it’s not as if I haven’t been getting roles. It’s just that they don’t come as I would want.

The harassment happened after I went for a movie audition. After the audition, the judges told me that I was good and that they’d call me when it was time to shoot. But I didn’t get a call. Later, I heard that the movie was already shot. When I approached them and asked why I wasn’t contacted as promised, they told me it was because I didn’t comply with their demands. I think it’s unfair and wrong.

Life is versatile.I don’t intend to focus all my resources on acting alone.I’m also a presenter and a choreographer/dancer. I cook well too.

Men are everywhere, so it’s not a big deal coping with them. It’s the same when you ask how I cope with my father or brothers. So, I cope well with advances from men.

Well, I haven’t had any embarrassing moment. But if at all there would be one, it would be the day I fell in a public place with lots of eyes staring at me. I don’t have regrets because I try not to dwell on my past.

It’s not that I don’t wish to be married by now. I’m waiting for the right man. It’s not as if I haven’t dated anyone before, I don’t just want to discuss about my love life. But I believe love is everything. Love is magical to me.

Well, I know there are lesbians in the movie industry but I haven’t been approached by one before. I don’t want to think about them because they’re evil.

I like hanging out, having fun and cooking. I hate embarrassment, deceit, dishonesty and lies.

 


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