Eucharia Anunobi needs no introduction. If there was a Nollywood wall of fame, her face would be on it. We’d like to say she’s one of those of actors that make movies popular. In this chat with Nollywood Post, Eucharia talks about how it all started, and more.
What is Eucharia up to these days?
I have been doing what I love doing. The gift God has blessed me with; I’ve been acting. I’m doing my modelling work and carrying on with my ministry. And of course, doing my business.
Lately. I have been in loads of movies that are coming out in cinemas and on different platforms. About two of them are going to be released in the Cinemas throughout this season. The first one coming out is Stepping Into Maggie’s Shoes (SIMS) by Opeyemi Akintunde. The second one is by E’Bawa, LOUD (Live out Ur Dreams) A musical talent hunt movie. I have done nothing less than five movies in the last two months.
You’ve been in the scene for a long time. You’re actually a veteran. How would you describe what we have now?
Oh, well, I want to say there are some things in the industry that are a little bit exasperating. Some actors no longer read the script before they go on set. They give scripts to their PA’s to read and break down for them. “Hey, what did my character do in that scene?” “She jumped and then she sat down”. They don’t internalize their scripts and understand the story that they’re supposed to be telling. But I know that those who are passionate like me, they read the script, they internalize it.
These days people pursue fame. When I started out, even until now, I try to hide as much as I can from the public. There was a time I even stopped granting interviews. I only broke the rule this year when I came back from London. That was my first interview after a long time.
Prior to that time, I had lots of media people calling me for one interview or the other. I’ve been declining. So I’m just trying to say that for me, I can run away from publicity. But I see that some of my colleagues, especially the younger ones, are looking for where it’s happening. They’re looking for the publicity by fire, by thunder.
“Fame will look for you”
You’re not supposed to look for Fame. Fame will look for you when you have the right things sown in the ground. Because like they say, the sun can not be hidden. When the sun rises, everybody sees it. So, which means that you if you carry glory before you know it, the media will look for you. You don’t have to look for the media. So these days people are doing everything according to the new world. They’re looking for clout. They’ll do anything for clout. They just want to be in the media. I’m like, what do you want to be in the media for? Shouldn’t you be talking about the content you have to offer?
I’m of the belief that actors should be more concerned about the quality of work that they put out. Work that will stand the test of time. I’m not looking to be on the internet, or other platforms, for nothing.
“So far, we are doing well“
We still have a long way to go but so far I will say we are doing well. We have been able to make our mark with next to nothing in terms of equipment, remuneration, finances, etc.
Now we have more creative writers, more equipment. More investors, seemingly, have come in. Better and more platforms have come in, in terms of how-to, and where to showcase the movies. People are now criticizing more we are a little more careful with the kind of content we’re putting out there. We got it wrong a little bit from the onset, with our movies on compact discs instead of in the cinemas. We kind of turned it upside down.
The money has not been coming in the way it should come in. If they were paying us the way we should be paid, someone like me should have my own private jet. You know, sometimes it’s only one financier per movie but it is not supposed to be like that.
The movie industry has been able to employ loads and loads of, graduates like me. I don’t know where would we have been? Which Industry would have taken all of us? With all the laying-off that banks are doing. The entertainment industry got us employed and got us to become voices and influencers. So for me, the industry has done very well.
So tell us about being employed by Nollywood. How did this start for you?
“I Started as a model”
My sojourn in the entertainment industry started when I became a model and a beauty queen. I was Miss Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), where I had gone to do JAMB before admission into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
I was one of the biggest fashion faces in Nigeria. There was no runway by all the big and small names in fashion that was ever done that Eucharia was not among the leading models.
You meet a lot of people in the course of modelling, right? I was modelling and then I was schooling at the same time. I am born and bred in Lagos by the way. When I came down on holiday to Lagos for modelling jobs, I got to meet a lot of people.
“My first audition”
So it was on one of those events. Then I had been seeing a lot of actors and actresses already acting. And I used to admire them. You know I used to see them Omotola, Genevieve. Sister Hilda Dokubo, Aunty Liz Benson, Kate Henshaw, etc. I used to wonder if I will ever to do things like that.
Coming from an Ibo background, you know, Ibo men don’t want their children to be actors or models. They think it is a waste. So it was a battle for me to even be a beauty queen.
So one day, on one of those trips to Lagos, someone said to me, “Eucharia, don’t you think that you can be one of these people?. I believe you have a bigger dream, a bigger star that will shine gloriously as an actor”. And I’m like “An actor? Ha. me, I cannot O!”. He said, “Eucharia, I believe you can. Look at you. You’re beautiful. You’ve got a good shape. You speak very well. You’re intelligent. You’re educated and everything”. I said, “My parents will kill me.” He said, “since your father has not succeeded in killing for being a model, you can do this.” And that was how he took me for my first audition.
I went through a couple of auditions. Some of the auditions did not work out. In 1996, again, I went for one or two auditions and before you know it I had done one or two, three, four movies. After nine months in the industry, I heard about the audition for Glamour Girls Part two. and of course, you know part one was already out these big stars like Pat Attah, Ramsey Noah, Emeka Ike
Glamour Girls 2 gave me my first award
So, late 1996, I was featured in the movie glamour girls part 2 to play the leading role of the character Anita. The rest is history. That movie took me to London and gave me my first award. It was that movie that placed me on my queenly throne till today. That is my story of how I started and how I joined the industry. Of course, initially, my father was adverse to me acting just like he was adverse to me modelling and being a beauty queen.
On that London trip, apart from the awards ceremony, we also shot a movie that was also paid for. So I came back with my plaque, with my money, with everything. And I said daddy see this job that you said that is going to make me a waste is bringing me glory. My father told me to kneel and he blessed me.
Part 2 coming soon…