Ini Edo In Her Ruby Jubilee
The famous quote says “Life begins at 40”, Inibong Edo popularly known as Ini Edo wears many hats, from being an Award-winning Nollywood actress, philanthropist to being a mother. She stands as a force to reckoned with and a beaming light for the girl-child. Guardian Life sits with her as she tells us about her plans that will etch her in the sands of time as she transitions into a new phase in her life.
Congratulations on your new age. What is different about this age?
40 is different because it is a coming of age for me first of all as a mother, an actor, an artist and an entrepreneur who has been around for quite a while. I believe that at this point in my life I am more driven toward impactful programmes like doing things that will outlive me.
Is it safe to say you made a switch from acting to philanthropy? What inspired the shift?
I couldn’t possibly switch from acting to philanthropy. I just never really put it (philanthropy) out on the media for the public to see, but this is something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember. It is just that at this point I just want to formalise it and, you know, make it a movement to encourage some of my colleagues or friends or people who look up to me to know that look at a certain point, although we are all busy trying to make things out of our lives, we have to also look at influence other people’s lives.
You have been involved in several women empowerment programmes. Is this inspired by your roots?
I am naturally passionate about girls, especially young girls. I believe that a lot of young girls need mentorship, they need care, and they need someone to look out for them. They don’t have to make the same mistakes that some of us made. So mentorship is very important as well as empowering them to be able to be independent-minded. I mean, looking at the country today, you can tell that to survive, you need multiple streams of income, you need to be quick on your feet, think outside the box, be ready to get your hands dirty, you just need to be innovative as a person. So I encourage women to go into businesses, to get as many certifications as they can get, and not be afraid to try new things.
What is your most memorable experience since the establishment of the Girls Empowerment Mentoring System (GEMS)?
The sheer joy on the faces of these women when they come back to give you their testimonies or tell you what they have done with what you gave to them. You can actually tell that these people have finally found a career or you have successfully created a career out of the little help you have rendered. When I see that a little help can push them and leave them very excited about life, there is nothing more wonderful than that.
Tell us about the joys of motherhood.
My child is the most active child in the world. She is always happy. Being with her is so overwhelming because she has this aura, this happy vibe about her person. Even if you come back home sad and you see her face, she smiles so brightly you’d find yourself smiling involuntarily. I am so blessed. I mean, God just decided to give me a happy child. Her happiness is everything to me.
You’ve heard people describe you as all sorts of things. How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as a passionate person. I think I am very human. I think I am laid back. I believe that I go out of my way for people; I am selfless. I know that I have so much love in my heart. I describe myself as somebody who has zero tolerance for bitterness. I’m a very happy person.
What should we expect from the new Ini Edo?
Career-wise, we just shot Shanty Town. It should be on the platforms anytime from now. I can’t wait for people to see it. I just got off the pre-production meeting for another that I will be producing this year. I am wearing my producing cap right now, and of course, I am still acting.