‘I make films that teach lessons and add value’
Like most of her contemporaries, she admitted that her journey into moviemaking has not been an easy one. She said this in a recent chat with The Guardian.
However, she acknowledged that it has been quite interesting, when she noted, “I believe I’m blessed to be in this industry. I have been in the industry for almost 18 years now. I started my acting career in the year 2000.
My journey into filmmaking started in 2009, when I decided I wanted to tell stories that could add value to our society. I felt most producers were more after money; so, some of them just produce anything just to make money, especially the English films.
I wanted to make movies that people could relate with and learn from. Right there and then, I decided not to complain but to do my own part. Here I am today with almost 10 movies I wrote and produced.”
She stated that her films are different because they teach life’s lessons to both young and old. She also spoke of her role models and how they continue to impact her life.
“I make good films that show the ills in the society as well as add value,” she said. “I believe Nollywood is like the mirror of society and it must tell good African stories and get our stories right.
Inspiration comes to me naturally to do my job because I love my country Nigeria and I believe I’m a role model to many young people and I must lead by example. With that at the back of my mind, I believe my job is important and I want the best of me every time.
“My role models are Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Professor Pat Utomi, Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin, Mrs. Joke Silva, Reverend Liz Benson, Mr. Richard Mofe-Damijo, just to mention a few. They are all wonderful people, who have touched my life positively in diverse ways. I learnt a lot from them and from their day-to-day activities.”
Beyond Nigeria, Ebigieson said she would like to work with Hollywood actors like Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Lopez. Although the Nigerian film industry has come a long way, Ebigieson opined that it could get better with time, adding, “Like I always say, taking a step that never goes back is the best.
The fact that government is not helping us and we have still managed to get here I would rate us 7/10. We are really trying and making Nigeria proud outside the shores of this country.
It’s not easy, I must confess, but we are pushing. With the way our producers are going, Nollywood would be in a better place in a few years to come.
“One of the lessons I have learnt on this job is that ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Being over-ambitious kills faster than HIV in Nollywood.
One must learn not to be too desperate if he or she must enjoy life outside of Nollywood. My candid advice for upcoming filmmakers is not to just produce anything because they want to make money.
The truth is that the more rubbish we produce, the more we discourage people from buying and watching our movies. Also, do a thorough research before you produce.
Also, ask questions, find out how best to go about making a good movie; don’t be too much in a hurry to make a movie because Nollywood is not running away.
“For upcoming actors, I would advise them to make sure this is what they want to do. Stay focused; be practical; don’t be too ambitious. Don’t be desperate in the field because desperation kills your goals before you know it. Stay relevant with God and, with hard work, the sky would be your starting point, not your limit!”
Ebigieson is renowned as a multiple award-winning producer. The Mass Communication graduate whose acting career in the movie industry spans 18 years has featured in over 50 films; she has also produced about 10 films and has received local and international awards.
They include Best Indigenous Actress at Eko International Film Festival 2016; Best Indigenous film for her movie Ileri Ife 2016, Nollywood Humanitarian AMB Award (Europe Golden Awards Germany 2016); Best Creative Female Actor (Oya) Ogo Yoruba awards 2016; Humanitarian Award by (ROOF) Rachael Okeke-Ozzoude Foundation 2017; Humanitarian Ambassador Award by 9 Brigade Nigerian Army 2018 among others.
Apart from filmmaking, Ebigieson is the founder of Queen Blessing Foundation (QBF), a non-governmental organisation aimed at helping widows and the less privileged in the society.
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