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‘I want to build Akwa-Ibom into the next Nollywood location like Lagos’ – Aniebiet Francis

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Aniebiet Francis is a dynamic and rising Nollywood actor, scriptwriter and producer from Ikot Obong in Ikot Ekpene Local Government of Akwa Ibom State. She is a graduate of Genetics and Biotechnology from the prestigious University of Calabar. Her passion includes entertainment, humanitarian services, community building, and youth empowerment.

She has featured in blockbuster Nollywood flicks like Hush, Hotel Majestic, Daddies Girls, Newman Street, Iquo’s journal, etc. She also has also produced two movies: One Bright Morning and The List.

She is the founder of Conscience Alive Foundation and Orange Film Boot Camp. She is currently working on her next PET project U40 Eveprenuers, a platform that sets out to harvest under forty female entrepreneurs, unite and groom them into successful CEOs.

Her other projects include; #EverySecondCountsNigeria awareness campaign for a rapid and effective response for accident victims and other hazards, #BrideNotCommodity a campaign to save the girl child from the claws of exploitative traditions that encourages exorbitant marriage lists from bride’s family. Orange Film Boot camp is a capacity building and empowerment platform that offers free training for aspiring and budding Nollywood practitioners in Akwa Ibom. She shares her journey and some of the challenges of being a Nollywood actress in this interview.

Growing up
I WAs raised by mum as a single parent, this experience opened me up to the challenges of life, womanhood etc, hence I grew up wanting to be a voice of the voiceless and add value to humanity any way I can.

Meet Me
I am an actor by default but a circumstantial graduate of Genetics And Biotechnology. I veered into science because of lack of academic/ carrier counseling in Nigeria, but no matter how hard you try, passion will always have its way. Producing is a craft I dabbled into because I want to use movies as a tool for building a better society by telling stories that matter, stories that address issues that plague our society, like THE FINAL LIST, ONE BRIGHT MORNING.

Being an Actor & Entrepreneur
It is a smooth sail…Acting gives me the face and voice to speak and be heard, the fame to champion humanitarian causes, Entrepreneurship gives me funds to counter fund my humanitarian projects, while soliciting for sponsors and partners.

Reception
For someone that relocated to Lagos in 2014 and was able to feature in two MNet series and a few major series like NEW MAN STREET, DADDIES GIRLS, AKPOS AND FRIENDS etc, I would say the reception has been encouraging.

My Inspiration
Mo Abdu, Emem Isong and Genevieve Nnaji. I am Inspired by My love for my mum, my passion to save/serve humanity, Hatred from people.

Challenges
As an actor, my location is a challenge, we have fewer movie/Tv productions in Akwa Ibom, but that is a self-inflicted challenge. I prefer to stay here and build my state into the next Nollywood location like Lagos, Asaba, Enugu, etc. As an entrepreneur, capital and competing with several big brands.

Reception of society
Though there is still that erroneous perception that every female slept her way into the industry, a good percentage of the society is very receptive.

My Movie
The final list is a campaign to save the girl child from the claws of greedy family members. It tells the story of an outrageous marriage list, the effect on the girl child, the family and the society at large.

Giving up
If I say no, I would be a blatant liar….yes I do feel like giving up sometimes, but I have more reasons to succeed outnumbers reasons to give up.

Being a woman of rubies
Because I have mastered the art of making things that came to break me to bless me.

Advice to women
Hone your skills, don’t be desperate, have patience, be passionate and serve God.


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