By Ekerete Udoh with additional reports by Benjamin Njoku
Emem Isong alongside a number of producers in Nollywood represents the very best that the industry has to offer in recent times.
Her movies from such classics as Ëmotional Crack”, to “Reload” have won numerous awards and helped establish many actors and actresses as viable and marketable properties in Nollywood.
In spite of all the accolades she has enjoyed in the industry, Emem has largely remained anonymous, preferring to let her body of work do the talking on her behalf . She rarely grants interviews and her private life is shrouded in mystery.
Last month, when I was in Nigeria, I had an encounter with Emem , and I demanded to have a no-holds barred interview. She agreed to, without objections.
As I said earlier, Emem is an intensely private person and I began by asking her why she is so private in an industry where her works are celebrated all over the world.
“I don’t think I should insert myself in the mix. My job is to ensure that the actors and actresses have all the tools they needs to do their job in the most professional manner, and so far, I am happy that fans have come to appreciate what we have been providing them.”
In Nollywood, Emem Isong’s movies are usually celebrated as the very definition of production excellence and I asked her what makes her different from all the other Nollywood producers.
“I won’t say I’m different from others. I’d say it is all about how you want to define your work. With me, I insist on nothing but the very best from my actors and actresses.”
“We don’t just embark on a production, for the sake of it, we try to ensure that everything we do conforms to our settled standards-from the story to the screenplay, to visuals, audio etc… and we don’t sacrifice standard.
We also ensure that our stories have redeeming social or moral value, and people tend to relate to this easily.”
Emem Isong who is single, was asked what’s up with her romantic life?
“I have always tried to keep that aspect of my life out of the public square, but I will tell you something, I do not always talk about it. I’m blessed with a beautiful daughter and she is the love of my life.
I thank God for bringing her to my life. Her father and I had a relationship but things did not work out. But I’m dedicated to giving my daughter the greatest love she can possibly get from me.
I’m currently not in a any relationship.”
Asked why she isn’t married, Emem said, “Marriage is a beautiful thing, but it should never be something one should rush into when the elements are not fully aligned.
I believe in marriage, but you have to be ready for it, when you spot the right person. When that moment comes, it will be out in the open.
Relatively, Emem, in a recent encounter with HVP debunked insinuations that she belongs to a cliché in the industry.
Hear her; “Yes people have accused me of casting the same old faces in my movies, and I wonder why they are complaining. Every movie I produce today, I try to bring in a new face who can do something different and interesting.”
“Sometimes, when I organise auditions, and I don’t find what I want, I’m compelled to go back to my trusted good old hands. They are tasted and trusted hands. I’m a business woman and I can’t lose my money because of sentiments.”
“I have read a lot of comments online, where people accused me of having a cliché. I don’t agree with them. When I produced “Promise Me Forever” and ‘Emotional Crack”, I starred Stephanie Okereke in four movies at a stretch. And they said, Stephanie, Monalisa Chinda, Uche Jombo and the rest of them are part of my cliche.”
“If I work with a particular actor and get satisfied with his or her performance, the next two to three movies that I will do, I will automatically invite such actor. That’s me.
“I’m very happy doing what I’m doing. I have strong passion for it. And whenever I finish a movie and come across people who are enjoying my movies, I always feel elated.