FRIDAY: Being raised in Ajegunle helped my Warri accent
Monica Friday is a Nollywood actress, influencer, model and producer. Born in Badagry and growing up at Ajegunle, into a Christian home, Friday started her Education at Mistermis Kiddies Academy, completed her secondary school education at Newland Senior Secondary School, Lagos before proceeding to Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State where she studied Mass Communication. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, Friday shares her passion for acting especially her role in the M-Net TV series ‘Do Good’, as well as her lifestyle and hobbies.
How did you develop the Warri accent being a Lagosian by indigene?
Being born in Ajegunle made it easy for me to develop the Warri pidgin even though the Ajegunle pidgin didn’t sync like that of Warri’s pidgin which comes with a rhythm and differentiates both. For me, Warri pidgin is rhythmic while you are talking, so it was quite easy for me because I normally speak pidgin.
Before Do Good Project, I went online to make my findings, but there was no Warri character I could adopt and nobody doing anything similar, so it wasn’t easy for me, but being born and brought up in Ajegunle helped me. After one year in the ‘Do Good’ project I became very consistent with the Kweve character and it got to the point that I could create my own slangs.
How did you delve into acting?
I got into acting because I love acting; at first I started with drama from primary, secondary and in the university I didn’t have much time because I attended part time at Iscom University, Benin Republic, before doing my B.Sc at Olabisi Onabanjo University. So professionally I started acting in 2010 and I got serious with acting because I realized it wasn’t just a passion for me but a calling. I got a very deep revelation that made be realize I am going to be in this industry, shine and spring forth. The first actress I saw in my dream was Liz Benson and that gave me the assurance that I belong here.
Share with us some of the challenges you have faced in the entertainment scene?
The welfare of an actor is always a huge challenge. When we come of set, where to sleep, good food, most producers don’t put that into consideration, only a few people do and it is really a slap on the faces of those who will leave their comfort zone in search of greener pasture or will I say stardom, even though a lot of people want to just achieve their dreams. The pay too is also a challenge, you find veterans paid peanuts, sad that you find producers treat actors in a selfish manner and hide in the cover of it’s a low budget project.
Share with us your memorable moments on the set of ‘Do Good’, which you mostly known for?
It was a mind-blowing experience with Veterans and super stars on the set of Do Good, especially with Aunty Kate Henshaw who I acted directly with; she is really big, yet so humble and accommodating. Basorge Tariah and the others are all wonderful people. The bond as actors, the moments we created on set and a lot more. It’s an unforgettable role so to say, because it left a mark that can never be erased.
Did you think the series stereotyped your roles?
Yes, the series did stereotype me as a Warri girl and as at that time I did ‘Do Good’, there was no Warri talent and so I started getting jobs and people started seeing reasons to create the character and call me for bigger projects and till date I still get such calls.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on Chronicles of Ejiro, it is on Youtube and I am looking forward to creating more with Nollywood actors and skit makers. I am also working with some filmmakers on some projects that will be mind-blowing. Right now, I am looking forward to Village Headmaster coming soon, a Netflix movie and cinema production too; the scripts are ready and after my vacation it will be work till the end of this year.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is what I love and so for me is doing and wearing what I love and be comfortable.
What’s your style?
My style is everything that has to do with season. So if it’s cold, I am wearing sweater, I just wear what is right for the season. I love to be simple, in my jeans or my shorts (Make breeze for take dey enter everywhere)
What is your most valuable fashion accessory?
I love simple neckpiece with mystic pendants and if I want to add more that should be a wristwatch.
Who are your style icons?
I love Selena Gomez, Kate Henshaw, Rita Dominic, I also like Tiannah, Ini Dinma; I like the way she dresses. I like a bit of Rihanna and Beyonce too.
What are your hobbies?
I love talking to people, winning souls, praying with people, travelling, reading, mentoring, swimming, cooking, resting, looking for trouble, laughing and staying happy too.
What has the entertainment industry taught you?
A whole lot, first never ever depend on anybody no matter the green light they show you, secondly, always appreciate everyone because you never know who anyone will be tomorrow.
What is your life’s mantra?
Put God first, work towards what He has said because it is only his direction that will make you become whoever He has destined you to be and the entire universe will surely align.
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