By Elizabeth Uwandu
Veteran actress, Hilda Dokubo is a woman of many colours; a wife, a mother, an actress, a crusader and one time special adviser on youths affair to the former governor of Rivers state, Gov. Peter Odili. The beautiful ageless actress who is known for her roles in Black Maria, End of the wicked, Onye Eze etc last week featured in a new film, titled Stigma. In this interview, she speaks on the film stigma, the Non Governmental Organisation that she runs-CREATE, and the secret to her ageless beauty amongst other things.
What is so unique about this film Stigma, which you featured in?
Love is the uniqueness of the story. HIV has been said over and over again but not stigmatization. We had hardly done anything on what happens after you have contracted HIV/AIDS, and how you feel living with it and how people feel living with you. Stigmatization is a killer. It just means rejection as a result of hate? And when people reject you, it is the same as they show you hate. When you are shown hate, you can’t tape any energy as it a negative one. So you can’t tape any form of strength from rejection or hate. But you get a lot of strength from love. So love is what is special about this film. As we saw two characters in the same script, a mother and a child. One dies as a result of rejection while the other lives and even achieves more as a result of love.
How do you spread the message of stigma for people to know its defect?
We are hoping that people will come along and support us. We are hoping that all the money that the federal and state governments with the international communities have or kept somewhere for the fight of HIV/AIDS should be release to us to spread the fight against stigmatization,especially at the grass root level.
You seem to have been off the movie scene, is this film a sort of come back?
Yes, it is.
Are you working on any project now?
I am actually working on two projects, one is a movie called “Asawana”.
Why the delve into politics?
I didn’t go into politics but got a political offer. When I left the industry, it was not to go into politics but to give back to the society by working with young people. So by working with young people I got appointed as Special Adviser (SA) to the former governor of Rivers state, Governor Peter Odili. I am grateful that by the example I left, entertainers are today given political offer. If I had messed up that role, nobody would call any entertainer to hold any appointment. So as the first person given such offer, I thank God for setting a good example.
Are you thinking of going into politics?
Right now no. but I am not God.
Do you think it is good for an artist to openly support a political party?
It is your conviction. If I can publicly say I am a born again Christian, the same way I can also say I’m a pagan. So when a political figure you love and trust comes on board, you can openly support him.
Is there any low point in your life that you survived that can encourage someone?
(Laughs) I have been through several hells and have survived them. One particular one is loosing my father as a child. If you grew up like me as a daddy’s girl whose major strength was my dad. Then you would understand what it means to face the pain. But I survived. So if you are out there and you suddenly wake up one morning and that source of everything you have is removed from you. Be strong, because inside of you lies a strength.
And if you give up, you may never find out why such incident happened and you may never know how strong you are and the quality of your character you posses. Because you are who you are by what you do when nobody is there.
Does that experience affect the way you train your children?
When I am dealing with my children or young people, I prepare them for eventuality. Because anything can happen. So don’t let what has happened stop you; keep moving, you will get there.
What is the secret of your ageless beauty?
I take plenty of water and live very healthy. I don’t drink alcohol nor keep late nights. I don’t worry at all and rest well when I want to. I play a lot as am a very happy person. And lastly, I don’t brood over anything. When you annoy me, I tell you at the spot and I move on. In fact, my principle is to forgive everyone before I am offended.
Tell us about your NGO.
Yes, I run an NGO, called CREATE- Centre for Creative Arts Education. We use creative arts to empower young people and women. We teach them how to think creatively, create their own works and create the businesses that they want and how to build every single talent they posses.
How far has this NGO go?
Very far. We run a school. If you go online, we are the fourth best innovative training centre in Nigeria out of 298 institutions. That is not a joke. We are rated at the best creativity innovative centre in West Africa and we empower sixty women every year, this we do religiously.
What is the qualification to benefit from the NGO?
Just be a woman being. So the first criteria is the willingness to survive. So once you show us the willingness to survive as a women ,we give you a lifeline for survival.