By Benjamin Njoku
Amanda Ebeye, a graduate of International StudiesÂ and Diplomacy from the Benson Idahosa University, Benin, stands out among the latest Nollywood actresses.
A 22 year- old sensation who hasÂ endeared herself to millions of movie addicts from her interpretation ofÂ characters she is assigned to portray in various popular television programmes, including â€˜Extended Familyâ€™, â€˜City Sistersâ€™ and now, â€˜Clinic Mattersâ€™, Amanda is a promising talent to watch any day.
Having spent only two years in the world of make-believe, the black, pretty actress who describes herself as an â€˜introvert kind of person â€™ is already walking her way into stardom.
She started out from the silver screen before she later moved to the big screen. Today, her face does not onlyÂ adore the screen like a goddess, she is one of the Nollywood stars on the block. Featuring in her maiden movie, â€˜Weeping Tigerâ€™, the soft-spoken Agbor, Delta State-born actress, has not looked back to carve niche for herself in the industry. She tells HVP in this encounter her plans to hit the sky. Read on…
Nollywood and I
Itâ€™s been okay. Weâ€™ve beenÂ trying to do what we know how to do best- always on location, shooting one movie or the other. The industry has been okay. Itâ€™s taking us on. Iâ€˜ve spent just two years in the industry.
And the movie that has launched me into the world of make-believe is called, â€œWeeping Tigerâ€. After featuring in that movie, which saw me playing a minor role in the first place, I have starred in several other movies.
Breaking into the big screen
It has not really been easy. I keep working hard to break into the big screen. I am a very persistent person, ever determined to write my name in gold. No matter the challenges, as long as I am determined and acting,Â Iâ€™m sure to get what my heart desires in the industry.
At the beginning, I was faced with the challenges of not having enough money to meet up with audition, chaotic traffic situation in Lagos, often being turned down by producers because they feel using the old faces are always better.
Naturally, itâ€™s not easy giving in to something new. People always prefer old wine; itâ€™s really not easy for them to accept someone fresh.
It was so disheartening then to a point that I was attempted to call it a quit. But it took the grace of God and my strength to have stayed put in the industry.
I am more of an indoor kind of person; always occupied with watching television, reading novels.
I am really not a visiting kind of person. I am more of an introvert. Except on occasions, where my mom comes around, I then can decide toÂ take her out. Thatâ€™s all. I am always by myself.
Bad and good aspect of acting
Acting has brought me unequal exposure, lessons of life and other goodies attached to it.
People have come to appreciate me for what I am doing.Â And I am happy Iâ€™m being appreciated today. It has brought me a lot of joy, just as it has sometimes brought me negative publicity.
Some people out there tend to write certain negative things that are not true about me, just to destroy the career of the person.
Sometime ago, one of the papers carried a negative report against me alleging that I was caught having sex on location with one of the crew members.
That was not true. As long as the location is in Lagos, no matter what time of the day it is, I rather would go to my house than to sleep in a hotel.
If you ask any of the producers, I have worked with, I donâ€™t accept to stay in a hotel, provided we are shooting in Lagos.
I canâ€™t explain how the story originated. I donâ€™t keep away from home.
Playing a role of prostitute
I would gladly play it. Yes, I would, because I am an actress in the first place. As far as I am not going to go nude, I donâ€™t mind picking up any obscene role.
Well, I have learnt how to manage stardom, even though itâ€™s not been easy. I always talk to my mom. She is practically the person that manages me. She encourages me, most often and sheâ€™s always there for me.
I need the grace of God, and strength to be able to make decisions that would not undermine my growth. It might look very glamorous but the truth of the matter is: we need to hold ourselves in order to succeed, and thatâ€™s what I have chosen to do since I started breaking into the film industry. Like I said earlier, it has not been easy.
I have featured in a couple of movies, about six of them. Some of the movies are yet to hit shelves, but movies like â€˜Last Weddingâ€™, â€˜Desireâ€™, â€˜Tomorrow Must Waitâ€™ are already in the market. However, I am more into TV series for now.
Amanda on set and Amanda in real life
Amanda on set tries to be very accommodating, easy-going and friendly. I do what I am assigned to do on screen.
I donâ€™t walk, carrying my shoulder high. And I neither play when I am working. I try to interpret my role to the best of my ability.Â But when I am not on set, I am just myself.
Thatâ€™s being an indoor person. I am actually a boring person. I donâ€™t believe in clubbing and partying. I just believe in sitting in the comfort of my home, reading novels and watching television…
Yes, I have a boy friend. I try to make out time somehow to see him. Following the nature of my job, we hardly see each other. But when we finally meet, we make up for the lost time. When I am not working, I try to spend few hours with him.
Thinking of marriage
Not at all. I am not thinking of getting married for now. Because I am not already for it.Â I mean, I am not physically and mentally ready for marriage now.
Itâ€™s not about being old or ripe for marriage because a lot of people who go into it unprepared oftentimes had come out faster than they expected it.
Being mentally ready means that I have to develop to a point where I can accommodate a strange person in my life; ready to tolerate the person who he is, because when you are married, you are married for life.
My church does not permit divorce or separation after marriage as the case may be. Divorce is a sin before God. And when I am married, I cannot afford to divorce my husband. No matter the situation of life.
Thatâ€™s why I have to be mentally and financially prepared before going into marriage.Â But the fact remains that I cannot accommodate a second person in my life now. I am busy trying to build up myself to a particular point.
My schoolboy friends are my â€˜ex-â€™ and they are now history. They were history the moment we broke up after our graduation. I see them now as my â€˜ex-â€™ and my â€˜ex-â€™ donâ€™t rear their ugly heads in my present or future affairs. I donâ€™t permit them to interfere with my love life.
If I was dating a guy, while in school, and we didnâ€™t had cause to break up after graduation, I probably would continue to see the guy, even now that I am an actress.Â But everything ended the moment I left school.
I am a graduate of International Studies and Diplomacy from the Benson Idahosa University, Benin. I didnâ€™t carry over any relationship. I donâ€™t like men crowding around me. I resist crowd.
And any girl that believes in seeing crowds around her is just wasting her precious time, because there are a lot of things to do with your time.
Roles in movies
I am still looking forward to playing that role that will challenge me the more. Most of the roles I have played so far in movies are situated around me.
I havenâ€™t really gone out of my way to give my best in a more challenging role. Recently, I played a role in a soap opera entitled, â€˜Shadowsâ€™, where I played the role of a wife, which was quite different from the roles I have played in recent times. I think, in one or two occasions, I have played a more challenging roles.
In the on-going TV series, â€˜Clinic Mattersâ€™, where I am playing the role of Abigail, itâ€™s not real me.
It takes me reading through my scripts, lines to fit into the kind of role that I want to play in a movie. Also, I always play with my standing mirror.
Men making passes
As a woman, I have had passes all my life. Sometimes, I do get strange calls fromÂ people whomÂ I canâ€™t explain how they stumbled into my number.
My childhood was very memorable. I had my mom and dad who provided everything we needed to be happy, as growing up children. I can say that I come from a sheltered home.
Ambition in Nollywood I want to grow to a point inÂ Nollywood where everybody will come to appreciate me for what Iâ€™m doing. This is just the beginning.