Spotlight is on queen of the Silver Screen, Nse Ikpe-Etim, in London
Tomorrow in London, the spotlight would beam on one of Nigeria’s most sought-after actresses, Nse Ikpe-Etim.
The screen queen, as Nse has been variously dubbed, would discuss her career and the Nollywood star system in a special event, dubbed, ‘The Beyond Nollywood Weekender,’ which was curated by Nadia Denton, in association with the BFI’s popular African Odysseys strand.
Scheduled to hold at the BFI Southbank in London on Sunday, November 20, most fans are looking forward to this special event with the award-winning star actress, who was voted Best Actress at the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards in 2014.
They consider it the right icing on her career cake and recognition of her immense contributions to pushing the acting boundaries in Nollywood.
They agree that Nse is without a doubt, an actor’s actor of not just vast, but quality credits.
A writer, world-class chef and an engaging compere, Nse is a multiple award-winning actress with a strong and loyal following in Nigeria.
Popular for her roles in Mr. And Mrs., Phone Swap, Black November, and Inale, her recent work, A Hotel Called Memory, with Akin Omotoso, and South African film, Shushh, with Meg Rickards, are due for release before the end of the year.
A Theatre Arts graduate of the University of Calabar, where she was known for her outstanding stage performances, Nse has won several acting awards, including the Best Actress in Drama award at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards for playing “Nse” in Journey to Self.
Described by critics as one of the very few versatile actresses that have brought freshness to Nollywood, Nse’s amazing talent as an actor sucks viewers right into the character she interpretes.
She has over time shown ability to immerse herself into her role and bring the character’s essence to life.
Till now, viewers still talk about her role as Kate in Fifty by Biyi Bandele.
Kate it was who battled with a life-threatening illness that plunged her into religious obsession. And Nse played the role to the hilt. She showed stuff and was steady.
When she is not on set, Nse engages in charity work, as well as in humanitarian and mentoring efforts.
She has also lent her time and voice to causes against civil unrest, poverty and malaria.
In fact, she recently received an award in recognition of her contribution to youth development from the Cyprus International University.
Besides, Nse runs an organisation called The Nurtured Ones, which focuses on family and youth development.
Outside all these, she spends her other off work period attending to her husband and ‘cooking.’
She said: “I cook to unwind and most times, I cook when I am stressed out. I love cooking. I have a huge passion for it. It is like a hobby for me.
“I love writing and it has remained an integral part of my entire being. I can’t stop writing.
“Also, I read when I want to relax and I watch movies a lot. Most times, I love seeing my movies just to criticise them and to improve more on places I think I need to do more.
“So, I often take out time to rest if I have a small window to do so.”
Clearly one of Nollywood’s leading ladies, who is sought after by film makers locally and internationally, Nse revealed that though she loves to write, but she loves being an actor more.
As she puts it: “Although I write, I don’t see myself going behind the camera anytime soon. I love being an actor and for now, I don’t have any plans to divert.
“I am comfortable with where I am in acting and I love what I am doing. I love putting a smile on people’s faces.
“We need to remind people that things have happened and it is only acting that reveals that.”
Asked to state her most challenging role yet, Nse simply replied that her most challenging role hasn’t come yet.
She also said: “I am grateful to the directors I have worked with and their impact on me.
“I am also grateful for those productions, but I still think that we can go further. I haven’t reached the point that I will say I can’t do this anymore.
“So, I think I still have the most challenging roles ahead of me. It is still yet to come.”
Described by friends as caring, friendly and amiable, Nse recalled that she spent most of her formative years- primary and secondary schools- in Jos, Kaduna and Ilorin.
“Growing up was very good for me. I enjoyed my childhood a lot because I come from a close-knit family and a lot of love abound.
“My dad and mother encouraged us a lot to always speak our minds. Growing up made me realise that there was no need to polish anything; it is either black or white.
“Also, I grew up at a time when there was nothing like Nollywood. Back then, we went to Calabar to train and study and then I joined the industry, did some work and branched out to something else and then returned and gained acceptance after I played the role of Omoze, wife to super-actor, Ramsey Nouah, in Emem Isong’s thriller, Re-Loaded,” she recounted.
Nse’s career ambition is to continue to live her dreams and to continue to be of service to God and humanity.
“I want to continue to be the best in all I do. I want to serve God and serve humanity.
“I want to mentor people and to help people in any way I can. There is so much I want to do and will do with my NGO, funds and time permitting,” she said.
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