…marks 50th birthday today
By Prisca Sam-Duru
Keshia Mbata is an American-born mother of two, living in Lagos Nigeria with her 31-year-old husband, Dizzy Mbata, a hip-hop rap artist.
Keshia, a promising Nollywood actress, producer, philanthropist, entrepreneur and writer, turned golden today and, is celebrating her birthday amidst so much joy and funfair. With much excitement, Keshia shares in this interview, very personal information about her root, her family, job and much more. Enjoy!
Today, January, 29th, is your 50th birthday but you don’t look 50. How do you keep fit and radiant?
Well, I have studied dance since I was a child as well as track and field when I was in high school. I enjoy dancing and working out. I take care of my skin with natural products only and, I try to eat well although I rather enjoy chocolate and cake. You must love yourself and beauty will radiate from within.
How did you discover that your root is Nigeria and why would you leave America, to settle here?
It happened while performing my recruiting duties as the HR Recruiting Manager for a well known national fast fashion women’s apparel company in the fashion district of California. Weeks earlier, I had submitted my DNA to an accredited laboratory to trace my roots. So on this day, the results were in. And there it was; I was 65% Nigerian. Wow! I quickly went to Nigeria on Google maps and then I noticed the Forbes Magazine on my desk with the cover “the next billionaires will be created over the next ten years in Africa”; I was sold. Within 48 hours, God led me to my destiny with facts and numbers and an even stronger spiritual calling that Nigeria is my destination.
So what did you do next?
I researched everything about Nigeria pre and post-colonization. I loved the music, the fashion, and the creatives. I was also equally drawn to Nigeria’s strength and opportunities; such as I have the opportunity to help eradicate malaria from Nigeria and, to take Nigeria’s strong tomato production into billions of dollars and millions of great paying jobs for Nigerian families.
The possibilities are endless and that’s the first reason I chose Nigeria. Through my path, I found my darling husband, my best friend and rock. Our diverse relationship just lets me know this was a special path chosen by the one on high.
As 65% Nigerian, have you been able to trace your tribe?
Although my ancestry is majority Nigerian, I have yet to trace my tribe. I do plan to, very soon but I hear repeatedly that I look like an Igbo woman.
Tell us what you’ve been doing since you came to Nigeria?
Since my arrival in Nigeria in 2019, I married, established an NGO with the main mission to establish a better Nigeria through lasting relationships with the American community. HMIF helped my husband to establish a registered production company in Lagos, called MDE Empire as well as raised over $100,000 to help establish the company over the last 3 years.
In addition, I have recruited talent for all of my projects, from our Mobil health care units to our Chicago House Music Festival in Lagos; a first-ever. I have yet to dive into agriculture but it is on the list. I also made my Nollywood debut in the film, ‘Shattered’
What role did you play in ‘Shattered’ and have you been featured in any other Nollywood movie?
I played the role of Mila the audacious niece to Mr Johnson and Uche Montana’s nemesis. I am looking forward to more roles as well as staring in ‘I Am Dorothy’ (an original series based on the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, written by me.
How exactly did you meet your husband, Dizzy?
I met him on social media. He was stalking my page. My cousin noticed his attention to my page and brought it to my attention. I laughed when I saw him because he was so young. I was like, this boy is trying to play with me; let me just help him out. He joined me live while I was at the gym. He enjoyed my Arial workouts and we video-chatted every day after that.
With the kind of startling stories we hear about how ladies especially, have been defrauded or murdered while dating social media friends, how did you trust him or know he was genuine?
Well, Dizzy Mbata was a public figure and my experience as a recruiter helped. I accessed everything very well and was well informed and educated prior to arriving. Plus, I just felt it that Dizzy Mbata was a very good person. And I was correct.
You got what you wanted in Nigeria; husband, businesses etc, any plans to return to the US?
My husband and I believe in Nigeria. We plan to live in Nigeria for the remainder of our lives and raise our children here. We will go to the States of course as we like too; my family is there so, we now have two homes, two countries and our empire.
So you plan to have more children?
Yes, absolutely! We are already speaking to a specialist to ensure we are successful this year. As I said, however, life just falls in place. The time will be perfect and I can’t wait to have his beautiful children.
How old are your children and where are they?
My children are in the States with family. My son is 28 and my daughter is 16.
Any ongoing projects?
We have a few really big projects like the first TMT Gym in Nigeria, a hot new Nollywood/ Hollywood series “I Am Dorothy”, based on the book “The Wonderful Wizard Of OZ” , and our new pizza and ice cream addition to MDE Empire Kitchen. So, stay tuned, we have so much and we are sharing the journey on our social media platforms.
How can fans find you?
I’m on social media platforms; a Whatsapp business account, and email. My name is the key to finding me but you have to spell it correctly- KESHIA MBATA; we always respond.
You’ve been married since 2019, how do you sustain your marriage?
Hard work; because we have decided to do it all together and that we wanted something special. We focus on our ultimate goal- “to be good and do good”. We are so proud of one another. Even when we make a mistake, we both forgive quickly and genuinely express ourselves. We have challenges but I love that we can always reconnect spiritually. We know what we have is extraordinary. We are both big kids so, we just kiss and make up and laugh. I make him laugh when he’s angry and, he does it to me too. Then we have great sex and all is forgiven. Sometimes, I think he argues just to have make-up sex.
What are your future plans?
I am entertaining a radio program and a few additional movie roles. I am also continuing to write my series, cast it and, shoot the pilot. I’m looking forward to this project because it will bring together, a music and production crew in both the USA and Nigeria; post-production and music on dual continents, that’s my next big step. My biggest reward from it all is being able to make so many people happy with the work they are doing and what we all are showcasing to the world.