By Florence Amagiya
Tamara Eteimo won the Next Movie Star reality show in 2011 after graduating from the University of Port Harcourt, where she studied Theatre Arts. She landed a lead role in the wale Adenugba’s production, Superstory and acted the role of UTOHAN, the female footballer.
She’s one of the emerging actresses to watch in Nollywood. In this interview, she talks about her budding music career that she had to trade-off for her passion for acting. She also shares the story of how she emerged the winner of the Next Movie Star reality show among other issues raised by our reporter.
My delving into music
I got into showbiz after I graduated from the Theatre Arts Department of University, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. I have always loved singing and I hail from a family where music runs in our blood. My brother writes music while my younger sister is a songwriter. I did my first movie, “Still Born” while I was in the University.
I played a lead role and I acted alongside some A -list actors in the industry. After completing my certificate programme in Theatre Arts, I delved into music. I was almost going to drop my debut album. Then, I had four singles making waves in the radio and TV stations in Port Harcourt.
I remember when I went into music, I wanted to sing like ‘Beyonce. But I didn’t have the songs to convey my message. I only had the right sound. There weren’t any moral lessons in my songs then.
I am somebody who believes so much in love. So, I started writing love songs and all that. I also developed the art of dancing. Then, I performed in a comedy show known as ‘Crack your Ribs’ in 2009. I also performed in Miss Obolga Beauty Pageant in Obiakpo local Government Area of Rivers state as well as the Rivers State Carnival called Carniriv also in 2009 and I shot a musical video.
Next Movie Star contest
I visited Lagos in 2010, and registered with the Actors Guild of Nigeria. I went back home because I knew I wasn’t quite ready; I was yet to finish with school, my project and project defense. I travelled back to Lagos when I was through with school in September, 2011. I attended Delyork Film Academy coordinated by Stephanie Okereke and her husband, Linus Idahosa.
It was at the academy that I obtained the form for the Next Movie Star Reality show about two days to the closing date and consequently, went for the audition. Participating in the reality show, wasn’t something I had planned. But I gave it a try since I didn’t want to focus on music. Surprisingly, I got a text message informing me that I passed the audition.
Then, music was paying my bills but deep down in my heart, I wasn’t satisfied with it. That was it. I got into the house and stayed about 45 days without having contact with the world. I survived the jungle and emerged the winner. For now, I have dropped music.
Winning the contest
While in the house the spirit of winning the contest overwhelmed me in such a way that I was always waking up before every other contestant. I am sure the judges were amazed with my action. But that didn’t give me the fore-knowledge that I was going to win the contest.
There was this Yoruba guy, Toluwa who was my close rival. I felt that since we were in Lagos and the organizers happened to be his kinsmen, it was sure that he would win the show. But I was surprised when my name was announced as the winner of the competition.
Beside featuring in local films, I have a desire to star in international movies. By the grace of God, I want to star alongside Denzel Washington in future. I’m also eyeing being nominated for the OSCAR.
Becoming Big Brother Africa housemate
I can’t go into the BBA house because I am already an ambassador of The Next Movie Star. Moreover, Big Brother Africa is not a career booster but a reality show that showcases how people cope living with strangers in the same house for as long as it lasts. I am a very professional person and I do not have that kind of time to waste. Though the money is cool, I cannot be confined to a particular house for 90 days without being productive.
At the moment, I do not think I need to be in a relationship. But when it is time, you will be properly informed.
My dress sense
I am a very simple person. I do not believe in what’s in vogue, but when I see something that is beautiful, I do not hesitate to grab it.