Michelle Dede’s New York In Nigeria
Michelle Dede is more than your favourite face on the screen, she’s also a host and voice over artist who came into the industry with a grace and charisma that has made her a revered actress and host here in Nigeria. When she’s not busy onscreen, she is relaxing at a spa or catching a bite at one of her many favourite restaurants in Lagos.
Home is currently Lagos, Nigeria.
What projects are you working on?
A radio drama where I play the half Hausa/Yoruba wife of an ex-governor, preparing for a feature film
project and a comedy webisode.
What advice would you give to a tourist?
Always research any city you are about to travel to before you visit. Explore and have fun, be willing to experience Lagos, its culture, diverse food, art, theatre (we have phenomenal plays), musicals and other theatre productions happening every weekend, home-grown film industry, amazing fashion, music scene and night life. Get an authentic experience of the Lagos vibe.
Why are you here?
I’m a TV host, actor, event MC and voiceover artist. I live in Lagos because it’s the media and entertainment hub of Nigeria. Lagos is like the New York of Africa to theatre people and the LA to those in the film and TV industry.
What do you like about Lagos?
The hustle and bustle, the sights and sounds that make Lagos unique. The fact that it’s a city that teaches you to strive for your dreams, in spite of the odds and because of the supersonic speed with which things move.
What do you dislike about Lagos?
Lagos traffic, it consumes so much of anyone’s day, the aggression that everyone eventually exhibits after living here and the constant sound of generators that most of us become numb to.
I’m a foodie, so I have many restaurants I like for different cuisines from Lydia’s Place in VI for the most mouth-watering prawn coconut rice and plantain to Arabesque on Etim Iyang Crescent for Lebanese/Middle Eastern food, Izanagi in VI for sushi and Delta Pot in Lekki Phase 1 for ohwo soup and starch (I’m from Delta so I love my ohwo soup).
Who is in your local squad?
I didn’t go to school here so the first people I became friends with in Nigeria, where my elder sister Najite’s friends. I met about four to five of her close friends and eventually became friends with them. Thelma Okodua Ojiji and Rita Dominic became my friends almost immediately. Isio Wanogho and Jumai Rosiji are friends I met on my own who also happen to be TV hosts too.
What was the last tune you downloaded?
I downloaded several simultaneously, Tekno – Pana, Bruno Mars – Perm, Ycee ft Maleek Berry – Juice, Only Girl by Adekunle Gold, DJ Khaled’s – Wild Thoughts and I redownloaded the Cuban group Buena Vista Social Club’s self-titled album, Buena Vista Social Club.
What shoes are you wearing today and why?
My favourite pair of converse all-stars, because I’m in a recording studio doing voiceovers and there will be a lot of standing involved.
What do you do for exercise around here?
I tend to exercise at home to Insanity or pilates DVDs. Swimming is my favourite sport as I used to compete as a child, so I swim when I get the opportunity to spend a few hours in a pool.
How do you wind down?
If I’m not catching up on sleep because my work usually involves working 14 (or more) hour days, I’m watching TV series or I go to a spa. Oasis Medspa on Cameron Road in Ikoyi is my hideaway from stress zone.
Who will you call if you get into trouble?
Hopefully, I’ll never get into any serious trouble, but since it’s a hypothetical question, either one of the following people, my friends Janet, Thelma, Beatrice and my sister Najite.
What are you missing most?
I miss the freedom of walking around a city. High-speed Internet is something I wish we had here too. Most of all, I miss living in a truly cosmopolitan city, where friends are from different backgrounds, races, and nationalities. Your mind and world expand from the diverse people you come into contact with and learn from.