By JULIET EBIRIM
Etiko Destiny is a budding Nollywood actress who is already on the radar as a star to watch for. Unlike many of her peers who would shy away from discussing sexual harassment in the industry, Etiko gave her own version and maintains there is indeed, sexual harassment in the industry:
Tell us about you?
My name is Etiko Destiny. I’m from Enugu State, Udi precisely. I had my primary and secondary education in Enugu, while my tertiary education was in Anambra State. I got into the movie industry in 2011. It wasn’t easy then because I had to grapple with school and my acting career. I graduated from school in 2012 and I’m doing my youth service at the moment. I did a movie in 2012, though it was released in 2014 titled Idemili, produced by Ernest Obi and shot in Enugu. The movie gave me a nomination at the City People Awards and it brought me into limelight.
So far, how many movies have you done?
Before Idemili, I had done some minor roles in movies like Airline Babes. But after Idemili, I’ve done so many good jobs. Four of the movies where I played a sub-lead role recently came out, namely Black Xmas, After Wawa, More Trouble and School Trouble, etc. and others that are yet to be released.
In a recent interview you granted, you said your dad was against your becoming an actress….?
My mum was actually acting when I was younger. So what I meant was that my mum loved acting and wanted to take it up as a career and my father agreed initially. But later on, acting started taking most of her time as it is very demanding. My dad then told her that it was better for her to quit and concentrate on her family and business. Those days, I used to go with my mum to movie locations. My father asked my mum to quit acting because it wasn’t giving her time to perform her duties as a mother. So, when I wanted to venture into acting, my dad told me that since I’m a woman who would get married someday, acting will not give me time for my family the same way it did my mum. So, I explained to my dad that I’m still young and unmarried, when I get to that bridge, I would cross it. So at the end of the day, he accepted.
So what if you fall in love right now with a man who wants to get married to you by next year, how would it affect your acting career?
Before I started acting, I’ve always said I will never work for anyone, but rather be independent doing my own thing. I read marketing. Acting is something I love and I’m passionate about. So whoever I’m falling in love with or having a relationship with should understand that I love acting and that I’ve been doing it before we met.
Does it mean you can’t quit acting for any man?
I’ll have to look for an understanding man. Probably, there has to be an understanding that there are some roles I shouldn’t do, like smooching, kissing, caressing and all. I would agree to that because I love him and want to keep him. He shouldn’t stop me from doing what makes me happy. Most people who are married and still into acting are not doing it for the money, but because of the love and passion they have for it. So, the man has to understand, I can’t ask him to quit his job.
Has your mother ever told you that she regretted leaving acting?
As a matter of fact, she once said she isn’t happy she left. But she had to do it for the peace of her home and so she supports me completely in what I’m doing.
Has she ever told you she misses acting?
Of course, she has.
What has been your experience as regards sexual harassment in the industry?
Sexual harassment is everywhere, not just in Nollywood and I won’t lie to you that I’ve never experienced it, because I have. There are people who would want to deprive you of the role given to you because you didn’t sleep with them. Some will even sleep with you and still not give you the role. So, it is left for you to know yourself and know your job. If you can act well, your blessing will locate you. If you want to sleep around, it is your choice but it cannot guarantee your getting roles often. So many girls who have succumbed to such harassment have come to regret it.
Don’t you think that being localised in the eastern part of the country limits your scope?
Not at all, apart from doing movies in Enugu, Asaba and Owerri, I’ve done movies in Lagos and Benin. The truth is most movies are shot in Enugu. Most big marketers and producers come from Lagos to Enugu and Asaba to do movies.
What kind of roles do you have an affinity for?
As an actress, you have to be versatile. You don’t have to be stereotyped and that’s what makes you an actress. I can’t say this is exactly what I love doing, I do all sorts. In all modesty, the roles I’ve done so far; village girl role, glamourous girl or the usual everyday girl, I think I did them well. Personally, I know when I’ve done something well and when I’ve messed up.
Has there ever been a role you feel you didn’t do well?
There was this movie I did in 2011 and that was my first time acting with Mercy Johnson. I was given four scenes to do with her. Tchidi Chikere was the director of the movie. It’s not really as if I didn’t do well, but I lacked complete confidence because I was a beginner. But everything in life takes a gradual process and you get better by the day.
As an upcoming actress, is there a role you wouldn’t do?
I don’t think so. Like in Idemili, I carried a life python. In another movie, I played a tomboy. There’s really no role I won’t take up. It might not be completely perfect, but I will do it.
What has been your experience with men, within and outside the industry?
The normal thing is, as a good-looking, promising young lady, you’d surely have a lot of toasters around.
Koga Studios concludes work on “The Visit”
Koga Studios, the entertainment company popularly referred to as ‘powerhouse’ of Nigerian entertainment has concluded works on the anticipated four-cast movie, The Visit.
The Visit is Nollywood’s first ever four-man cast movie featuring Bayray Mcnwizu, Femi Jacobs, Nse Ikpe Etim and Blossom Chukwujekwu. Funke Fayoyin of ‘`The Gods are not To Blame fame directed the historic flick.
For the first time, a production house is using two world-most expensive camera to shoot and has quality members of cast. That is huge’.
Speaking on the project, the director, Funke Fajoyin said it was a privilege to have worked on the movie project.
‘It was a privilege to have worked on the project with this cast. These are great actors in the making. Nse is phenomenon. Femi Jacobs has been fantastic. He’s the kind of actor who gives you what you want. Bayray has been enjoying meteoric rise and Blossom is the kind of actor we call director’s delight. Working on this project with this kind of investment is an honour. I can’t wait for this movie to be out. This is the kind of ambitious project Nollywood should do. Am proud of Koga Studios’ she concluded.
Robert Jeyibo, an official of the entertainment company said the movie should be ready any time soon. ‘We have taken our time on the movie because our goal is to ‘set-the-proper-kind of history’ just as people have said. This is the first time a four-cast movie is done in Nigeria; we have had two-cast, three cast but not four-cast. A lot has gone into the movie; it will be available for people to watch soon. We will let people know if it will be in cinema or on our online TV. One thing that is however clear is that, the movie, The Visit will open new