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Garlands for the essential, gifted Ada Ameh

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Ada Ameh

Social media was agog on Wednesday, May 15. It was the birthday of the talented and inimitable actress, Ada Ameh, and so her fans, colleagues and family members jostled to drop a birthday message on their various social media handles.

One of Ada’s many sisters and a self-confessed huge fan of the actress, Elisha Uloko, wrote on Facebook: “Over your life, it will be honour for honour, glory for glory, beauty for beauty, back to back.

“From today, your best just got better and you become the branch of the almond tree, the bottom is too crowded, you are on your way to the very top. You are a good woman, happy birthday, dear sister. Your banquet is set.”

And that was the tone everywhere, from Twitter to LinkedIn to Instagram, where the constant visitor in nearly every home reportedly has over half a million followers.

No doubt, Ada is popular and everywhere on the silver screen, giving life to roles she is cast to interprete. If she does not reach you in a film or in a standup comedy show, you are sure to feast on her gifted talent on television, particularly on the now very popular family drama series by Native Media, The Johnsons, where she plays ‘Emuakpo Johnson,’ or ‘Emu’ for short, the semi-illiterate wife of the screen character, Lucky Johnsons.

Simple, down to earth and approachable, Ada had her break on screen in 1996 after a significant role she played in Zeb Ejiro’s very successful 1996 movie, Domitilla. Since then, the plumy Idoma native from Benue State has continued to make very good impressions. Not only that, her acting light has continued to shine steadily and brightly.

Born and raised in Lagos, Ada, who was lavish with thanks to Zeb, who is popular as Movie Sheik, for influencing her incursion into acting and the Nollywood industry, was born to an Idoma father by a mother from Akwa-Ibom.

Witty, friendly, humble and amiable, Ada revealled that although she had nursed the ambition of “becoming a singer and later, a medical doctor,” her interest in acting grew whilst growing up at the Naval Barracks in Ajegunle area of Lagos.

“As children, we used to gather after school and engage in all those plays we categorised as mama and papa play, where someone will be asked to play the dad and I will play the mum and so on,” she recalled, adding that she acted so well in some skits she did in early school and later as a member of a church drama group that she got a lot of commendations.

It was on the strength of those commendations that she summed up courage to approach ‘Uncle Zeb Ejiro,’ who was at that time prepping to go on set for his blockbuster movie, Domitilla. So, when Ada met ‘Uncle Zeb,’ she told him she needed a job, since she was already a single mother. “I had a child when I was a teenager,” she explained.

Fast forward to some weeks later, she got a job from the movie sheik, who cast her to feature in the urban telling Domitilla, also starring Ann Njamenze and Kate Henshaw. That was how it started for the actress and later day producer, who confessed that to “make ends properly meet,” and is also into supplies and some buying and selling at the sides.

An actress of vast credit, who said that her parents never objected to her decision to choose a career, has lost count of the number of movies she has done, saying: “I have done quite a lot, but I consider Domitilla as one of my most memorable.

“The story of my sojourn in Nollywood will not be complete without a mention of that movie. That was the movie that launched me.”

In Ada’s creative pouch are acclaimed movies, such as Kunle Afolayan’s Phone Swap, Civil War, 30 Days in Atlanta and The Johnsons.

Asked how she has been able to pull through so far, Ada, who disclosed that she likes to be associated with honest and God-fearing people, confessed that it has not been easy remaining relevant in the scheme of things.

She said: “Surviving in the industry and staying at the top takes the grace of God. It also has a lot to do with hardwork and being at the right place at the right time. We have our ups and downs and we have moments when things will generally look dull.

“It has not been easy, but I have been able to pull through all these years only by the grace of God. The road here was rough. What has helped is the passion for the job and the orientation I was brought up with, which is to love, be truthful and content.

“I also believe that success is about encouraging others and influencing other people and bringing about that change.”

Ada, whose hobbies include cooking, travelling and watching movies, has absolutely no regret being an entertainer. She noted: “I am happy here; this is where I belong, this is where God wants me to be. It has been beautiful so far. To be candid, this has taken me before great men and women.

“I have also travelled outside this country to work. The job has made me popular and has announced me. So, I will be ungrateful if I say it is not rewarding. I only ask for God’s continued grace, because there are a lot I want to do, such as going into production and directing.

“My other ambition is to establish a facility where I can mentor teenage girls. I will never let it go, because it gives me joy. It is not just about the money I am paid, but the satisfaction I get standing in front of the camera and making people happy.”


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