By Aramide Pius
Chidinma Stephnora Ibeto is an up and coming movie star who has featured in well over 10 movies.Â Her first movie was an EnglishÂ film titled Cry of the Poor directed by Emeka Nwosu.
She is a French language student of the Lagos State University and a beautician.Â In thisÂ interview with Show time Vanguard, she recounts her journey into the world of make-believe as well asÂ her vision in five years time about Nollywood.
How is your acting career?
It has been wonderful.
How long have you been acting?
For quite awhile now and I am enjoying it.
How many movies have you featured in so far?
I have done over eight movies now.Â I have featured in movies like Cry of the poor, Spirit of the dancer, White Hunters among others.
I know a few of the artistes before, because I am a beautician and some of them patronise me.Â Then, at a time, I got interested in the career and I decided to give it a trial and here I am today.
So, how do you do it, beautician,Â acting, school?
Well, if I have a job to do, I go, and when I come back, I return to my beauty job.Â As for school, I am running a part time and so somehow, I am coping well.
Have you been sexually harassed on this job, especially when you came in newly?
No, I have not been sexually harassed yet.
Have you seen someone who has been harassed sexually that you know?
I do not really have time.Â Â All I just do is my job and I go my way.Â But to think of it, nobody is a baby. One should know what to do if one is not interested in something.
Whatâ€™s your opinion about the on-going crisis in AGN?
It is indeed a terrible situation.Â Although I do not have the details of what is actually happening, I think the best thing to do is for them to handle and sort things out amicably so that we can go further than this. But everybody seems to be keeping to themselves. But they should just try and settle everything.
How do you see Nollywood in five yearsâ€™ time?
If we put more effort, Nollywood will grow better than this in five years, time, especially if we have the support of the government and some corporate organizations.Â But the rate at which things are going now, weâ€™d better do something about it because failure to do that might pose a problem for us all.
What exactly are you studying at the Lagos State University?
I am studying French Language.
What is your turn on?
I love to travel a lot and I love meeting people.
So, how far travelled are you?
I have been to a couple of places.
As a traveller, what can we learn from those places?
I noticed that there good roads in those places.Â We need to work on our roads and also the issue of constant electricity supply.Â There is also the issue of good water supply.Â If most of these things can be put in place, Nigeria will surely be a better place to be for all.
Whoâ€™s that special guy in your life at the moment?
The special man in my life is Jesus. I am married to Jesus right now.
So when are you walking down the isle with this Jesus lover boy of yours?
Ha! Ha! Ha! Like yesterday.
Like yesterday, tomorrow or next tomorrow.
So how supportive were your folks when you made it known that you wanted to start acting?
It was not that easy but I actually started with advert, not acting.Â I did advert for Emzor Oil.Â They were very unhappy with me initially but when I brought the calender for them, they were okay with it because they thought it was a situation where I would open every part of my body. But on seeing the end result, they had no choice than to cooperate with me and let me be.
You mean you cannot play a nude role even if the deal is big?
No, never, I cannot play nude…
Even for $1b?
I canâ€™tÂ do that.
What about romantic roles?
Fine, I can still make do with that but not playing nude. I did one already with Chinedu Nwadike.
How deep was that role you played?
It was very deep.
What was the feeling like when you were on set playing that role?
Itâ€™s just acting.Â I did not feel anything. It was just acting, nothing more.
Did you for once as a growing child imagine that you would end up an actress?
Acting has been a part of me from when I was in primary and secondary school days.Â Acting for me is a dream come true.
Do you have any role model?
Yes, I love Rita Dominic very much because she is such a pretty, talented and natural actress.Â I also love her dress sense very much and if you ask me, I think she is one of the best dressers in Nollywood at the moment and even as an actress. I think she is one of the very best that we have now. She is very, very real.
How do you feel when you watch yourself on set?
Most of the times, I find that I am always criticising myself.Â I will like, â€˜oh, I should have done this like this or I should have done that this wayâ€™.Â Â So, that is what I do most of the times when I watch myself.Â I am never satisfied with my performance.Â I always have this urge to do more.
What is the title of the very first movie you did?
Cry of the poor is the title and it was directed by Emeka Nwosu in Asaba.
Was it a waka pass role?
No, it was not a waka pass but the scenes were not much.Â I had just a scene or two in that film and I played the role of a princess.
What was the experience like working alongside professionals that you may have once admired on set?
It was not easy but being what I have been doing from childhood, I did not find it too difficult.Â The learning spirit wasÂ there for me.Â If I was not doing it right, I was ready to be corrected, and practice they say make perfection.Â But I never had any stage fright, neither was I star struck.Â I thank God for everything.