Fast-rising Igbo actress Nkechi Blessing, with a striking physical quality, is presently the reigning queen in the Yoruba movie industry, with her recent movie, ‘Omoge Lekki’, where she gave top actor, Yinka Quadri, a lap dance. In this interview with DUPE AYINLA-OLASUNKANMI, Nkechi discloses why she settled for the Yoruba movie industry and other interesting issues.

AS an Igbo babe, don’t you think you will do better in the English sector?

I settle for this particular industry, because they were the one that accepted and welcomed me into the movie world, as an Igbo girl. I am not being biased here, but before you can make it in the English sector, it will be a very hard task.

Are you saying the Yoruba sector accepts just any person?

No, what I am saying is that in the English sector, you will move from one location to another, and might not given get selected for any role. But in the Yoruba sector; they are ready to help you grow and push you out for people to see you talent. It goes beyond the physical look, but what you can deliver.

Did you try to push yourself in the English sector?

Yes, my first movie was an English movie, directed by Emem Isong in 2007. The movie had load of stars. But at that point, I was still struggling to become a star, and it was hard for me.

Are you saying you have reached the top of your career now?

No, but you cannot compare then to now that things are easy for me, and I am taking everything cool. When I did the English movie, I didn’t get the much recognition that I wanted then, so I switched.

But you said the movie was directed by Emem Isong, she could have been an avenue for you to rise?

Yes, that is true. But something happened back then; I lost the contact of the Production Manager who called me for the job, Emeka Duru. But I am trying to come back in track; which (saw) me star in some English movies recently. It is not like I am restricted to Yoruba movies; I do both, but more of Yoruba movies.

Which movie brought you to the limelight?

That is Omoge Lekki; it is one of the baddest movies reigning presently. It is written by my greatest mentor Mercy Aigbe-Gentry. She single-handedly brought the idea of that story that has made me a name to reckon with today.

The wayward lady you played in Omoge Lekki, is it somehow related to your person?

That is what I am trying to tell people, and that is the reason behind my new movie titled Churchgirl. When the trailer of Omoge Lekki was released and everyone saw the movie, it was believed that I must be a wayward girl, to have been able to play that role well.

But the story of the movie was to pass a message to every young person to always remember their background and always look back when they have finally made it in life. That is because you need to take care of the home, before impressing the street.

The ladies we have now spend money on material things to impress the society, copying the life style of the likes of kardarshians. Having their parents wasted away at home. The movie not about promoting girls who do runs, but a reminder for them to always look back and remember where they came from.

Does that mean that is the roles you have been getting?

Somehow, because when they saw the twerk part with Yinka Quadri that we used as promo, people have been seeing me in that aspect, and believe that is the part I can act well.

Are you saying your butt is a selling point for you?

People have been saying I have a big bumbum, but I don’t care. It is God given and I cannot hide it. People believe it is one of the things I am promoting, but I have been in the industry professionally since 2007; that is about 10years now.

So when the movie Omoge Lekki became a big shot, they were like ‘the new girl that just started.’ I have been in this game for long, trying to make a name for myself and I am happy it is happening. I can walk on the road now and people recgonise me for that movie, which is a good thing.

Has the role given you any negative feedback so far?

I am a positive person and do not see negativity as a barrier. My second mentor, Toyin Abraham, has made me to understand that whatever I do, I must be positive about it. So negativity is not factor to my career. Also being a humble person, it has also helped my career.

You mentioned giving back to Agege people, is that where you grew up?

I am planning something big for the people of Agege, because that is where the whole dream started from.

My mother has a very popular bar called Gberi City, in Agege, which was then one of the open places that has helped some top names today; I don’t want to mention names. But my mum’s bar gave the platform to those actors to showcase their talents.

I have always been popular back then, because I have been in the papers because of my mummy’s bar. It is just like going back to my hood and giving back to them. I am from Agege and I am not ashamed to say it.

Being the daughter of a bar owner, one would assume you to be very exposed

My mom has a bar, but she is too strict; she does not drink, but she is much disciplined. We do not have access to the bar and there was no room to misbehave. People know my name, because they call my mom, Iya Nkechi, but they cannot place my face with the name.

So how did you become an actor?

I don’t know if people go to learn acting, like some always say. But for me, it is in the blood. My mom knew from the start that I have always been one who loves to showcase myself. So I can only say I went to acquire more skills on being an actor and become one of the best on my delivery.

Acting is not about the fame, money; it is the passion. I am a showgirl anytime.

Your new movie, Churchgirl, are you taking it to the cinema?

No, it is going online. That is because having your movie online makes it have a wider coverage. Having a movie online has made me very popular in different countries that I have not even visited. So it is like preparing a platform for me, and you also get to be paid by YouTube, as the views keep increasing.

Which would you say is the most challenging role you have taken as an actor?

That will be the role of a cripple. I played the part from the start of the movie to the end. That was very challenging for me, because I did not stand up all through. But I am planning a very big project that will wow my fans. I don’t want to give out the details yet, until it is released; then I leave it for people to judge.