By BENJAMIN NJOKU
Three things brought Ruth Kadiri to the limelight; her flair for writing as well as her acting prowess. The third being her well-cherished relationship with one of the notable Nollywood producers, Stanley Ebonine.
Their relationship crashed last year when the former got married to his beau, Dorathy Chinasa Agu, in a manner that left tongues wagging that he dumped the actress for the love of his life. But in this enagging interview, Ruth debunks every insinuation that she was dumped by her ex-lover.
Instead, she has vowed to continue to appreciate the immense contribution made to her life by the stylish producer. Hear her…
You were in Umuahia, Abia State capital few weeks ago. What were you doing there?
I travelled to Umuahia to do a production. The working title of the movie, which is being produced by Chidi Chijioke is the Ultimate Search”, and it’s starring the likes of Jim Iyke, Tonto Dike, one Ghanaian actress, Micky and a host of other stars. In fact, it’s the first time a production would travel to that part of the world.
Despite the fact that you are still young in the industry, you are already mingling with the big names. Aren’t you lucky ?
Yes, I think I’m blessed. I don’t really have anything short of being ‘blessed’. I count myself lucky in the industry. God has been on my side because I haven’t put in so much energy into the industry, yet I have recorded a lot of results. I think that’s what favour is all about.
Could it be because you are also a script writer, which makes it easier for you to enjoy the favour of most producers?
I don’t think I’m the only script writer who is also into acting. It has do with interpreting your roles very well because if you don’t, the scripts might be forthcoming. I don’t go through a lot of stress not just because I’m a script writer, but importantly, I’m also a good actress.
Did you start out as a script writer or as an actress?
I started out as an actress before I later veered into writing. My first movie was “Boys Cut” and I have a couple of movies thereafter. I guess I had a lot of creative minds around me who helped to hone my skill in writing.
Though writing comes to me naturally. People like Victor Eze who had a script writing school then, and who happened to be my friend helped me a lot in developing my writing skill. So also Yinka Ogun who worked with the Content Development film then, and Paschal Labafu.
These three men really encouraged me a lot to go into script writing. Thereafter, people like Stanley Ebonine and Ifeanyi Ogbonna came into the picture. They equally helped in bringing forth whatever I had to offer into the market. These men saw something in me, which many others didn’t see at that time.
From where do you draw your writing inspiration?
Everything inspires me. But Nigeria is a very dramatic country to draw inspiration from. Most times, I’m contracted to write script for the producers. So far, I have written well over twenty scripts in less than three years.
How are you combining the flair you have for writing with acting?
They are two different talents. While writing takes away my social life, acting is the job.
Were you getting roles easily at the time you started acting?
Anybody who have watched “Boy’s Cut” would agree with me that the role I played in that movie was a very vital one. I haven’t really gone through so much stress to getting role in movies.
But that does not mean I haven’t been attending auditions. I attended auditions after auditions but I never gave up any hope. It wasn’t so stressful for me even though I got my first role, while attending audition. Ever since then, I haven’t looked back.
Why do you think you never fell into trap in the industry?
I never had any nasty experience so far. I think my writing skill paved way for me. It makes things easier for me to scale through in the industry.
So, I really don’t have any reason to use the back door to rise to fame. I’m not a desperate person, may be, because I’m a writer I know when a character does not worth the trouble.
Are you saying there are ‘desperadoes’ in the industry?
There are desperadoes everywhere, not just in Nollywood. People are desperate to survive, they are desperate for everything, so, it’s not about Nollywood alone.
Where can you be found when you are not filming?
In the comfort of my home of course. I don’t write for 24 hours but most times, I’m prepared to write for 24 hours. That’s why I’m always at home. The higher you go in this profession, the more responsibilities come to you.
This year alone, I have done two movies and written one script. There are still many more scripts lined up for me to write.
Do you have a relationship with God?
Yes, I do. And as a Christian prayer becomes a way of life for me. It’s not that I have a particular style of praying. I pray fervently.
Can being a good girl take you to the top of your career?
It can’t, one needs to remain focused to hit the top. To some extent, I’m I’m focused.
What can you not do in the name of acting?
I can’t go nude because our culture forbids it. That’s it
What of overcoming the temptations that are associated with the kind of job you do?
Temptation in this regard could mean different things. You could have issues with a colleague in the industry. Common sense requires that you learn to handle such issues with wisdom.
Do you keep a low profile?
Not at all. I don’t keep a low profile. But I’m not somebody you can see at nightclubs or meet at social gatherings. I know where I want to be at a particular time. So, when I read negative stories about myself, I pause to ask, where is this scandal coming from?
What kind of negative stories?
I don’t want to go into that now.
What happened to your social life?
It’s okay but some people say I don’t have a social life.
Would say you have enjoyed a smooth career since hitting stardom?
If I look back from where I started and where I am today, there has been a lot of improvement on my part, if you like success, achievement and gratitude. I’m very grateful to my maker, not just because I’m the best, or the wisest rising actress, but because of his grace upon my life.
How did you observe your Valentine Day celebration?
There are some people who do not believe in Valentine Day. I spent the day with two senior colleagues of mine. We were on a script conference for an upcoming cinema movie to be produced by Uche Jombo. We will start shooting the movie very soon. I’m indifference about Valentine Day.
What relationship exist between you and the popular producer, Stanley Ebonine?
Stanley has been a helper to me, a manager, a back-bone and a friend. It takes a bad girl to end a relationship with Stanley. He’s a very good person, someone who could go over board for you. He will give you a chance when every other people wouldn’t.
I don’t care about what people are saying against him. If I don’t show appreciation to him or stop talking to him or getting closer to him because of what people are saying, then I’m a stupid person.
In life, never ever forget what someone has done for you because ingratitude is a sin.
Did you feel bad that he left you to marry another woman?
Why should I feel bad?
Because it was obvious that your well celebrated relationship with him then, was going to end up in marriage?
Does it mean that when you are close to someone, you are definitely going to get married to that person.
But you were at his white wedding ceremony to give him your support?
I didn’t attend his white wedding. I was on location on that day. In fact, the entire cast and crew wanted to attend the wedding. But we couldn’t make it.
What is the future like, without Stanley?
Why do you want me to say somethings I wouldn’t want to talk about here.
Do you still believe in love?
Yes, I do.
Are you seeing someone else at the moment?
That’s private to me. I want to separate my private life from my work.
What kind of clothes do you like to put on most often?
Any clothes that makes me feel good and, is stable for me. Probably such clothes that every young girl would like to wear; simple and stylish. I’m a simple girl by nature, so, everything about my dressing tend towards simplicity. The same thing goes for my hair do. I like flowing hair do,even though I’m on low-cut at the moment.
How would you describe your journey into Nollywood?
I think I’m blessed, I have moved from one level to another level. My work is being appreciated by a lot of people and I’m happy. I’m peaceful, and I don’t like so many dramas.
…And you are still in school. What level are you?
I’m in 300 level. It has not been easy combining studies with my acting career. But it is no longer an issue for me because I have gotten used it.
What has the reception been like on campus?
I’m hardly noticed everywhere I go to, because of my simple nature. But while on campus, my lecturers try to monitor my movement. They want to know when I’m in the class and when I’m not. Sometimes, my fellow students would want to be mischievous. They would go ahead of me to check on my performance at our examinations ever before I set my eyes on my result.