BY SHAIBU HUSSEINI
Who is Nse Ikpe-Etim?
I am a simple girl from Akwa Ibom State. I read Theatre Arts from the University of Calabar; went into banking after school, and then did some work as a broadcaster, sold male clothing and worked a bit as a company representative here in Abuja. So, I have been through a lot of industries—banking, television, among others. I was doing well in the movie industry, but stepped out when I became really scared of my future. So, I took off the same year I did Venom of Justice. However, I came back, did a couple of works, before the offer for Reloaded by Emem Isong and Desmond Elliot, where I played Omoze, came.
When you left…
I had a television programme, the DTD talk show, which I did for Desmond Majekodunmi. I was also at Rhythm FM and then Cool FM for a while. After that, I still wasn’t satisfied, so, I went into banking. And then, after banking, I took a break from everything. Later, Emem dragged me into Inheritance, a television soap. I did that. I went back to banking again, but pulled out. Since then, I have been behind the scene, writing. So, that’s how it has been.
When Emem insisted I act, I chose the character Stephanie Okereke played because I felt that I could relate to the pain and she said, no, I should play Omoze. At the end, I picked up the role and did all the screaming, the shouting and close marking and I won’t say I am like that in real life. I have not had anything close to that. I just bumped into character and allowed the woman in me to play out herself. You know women sense a lot of things. A cheating husband knows his wife knows. She probably hasn’t confronted him. But I did not play myself in the movie. I simply assumed a character and merged two acting styles — Stanislavski and avant-garde — in my delivery. And that is, wearing the shoes of the character and actually allowing anything to happen. I am happy it turned out well. Looking back at the film, I think I was a very troublesome wife. If I had a brother married to a wife like that, I would drive her away personally. But I am just glad that the movie turned out well. At least it earned me a nomination at AMAA and that is because some people felt I did well. Thanks to Emem, who insisted I played the role.
The AMAA nomination
I am grateful to God for the nomination. The nomination is an honour, but I tell you that satisfying my audience is far the biggest reward, ever. I hope to put in 200 per cent for them each time. They should look out for some of the jobs I have done. I did Guilty Pleasures recently with Emem and played alongside Ramsey Nouah and Majid Michael. There is another one Edikan, which is actually in my language. It’s in Ibibio and I am a proper Ibibio lady.
I draw my inspiration from God and from the things around me. I recall once I took a long trip to Aba in Abia State to buy fabrics by road from Abuja and I wrote an article and everyone I showed told me it was okay, and then, Jetta Amata, my friend for over 13 years; now reads one of them and asked where I culled it from. I said I didn’t cull it. I wrote it. That was it for me. I needed something to push me and that happened and I needed someone to encourage me which also happened.
Resistance was from my mum. My mum did not think it was good enough at that time. But as time went on, she understood, and today, I think she is my greatest supporter. She is very happy. She thinks everyone should do what makes him or her happy. So, if you wake up in my house now and you say you want to be a farmer, trust , mummy is going to support you. So I think I got the first support from her.
Jetta Amata and Emem Isong. These two have been on my case. Amata kept harassing me. He kept telling me to leave other industries for the proper industry and I was like what is proper about it. Then Emem Isong came along and applied same pressure too. So, I started from my writing—scriptwriting and screen writing and then to acting. But I write mainly and have little time for acting. I wrote My Brother, My Keeper for Jetta. I also did with a couple of others including Amina, which is what we are actually shooting now in Zaria. Jetta is handling that. And I was honoured Jetta asked me to be his assistant director so now it means I have graduated from acting and I am trying my hands on directing. So I have been around.
To be the best cook in the world (loud laugher). Serious, I love cooking. My story will be the story of that chic that acts and cooks. Cooking for me is art and so it’s all in the same line. That’s my sole ambition even though I love acting. I will sure get to my height if God permits me. I have come to realize that it’s a step at a time. As for financial reward, money will come when it will come. In terms of pains of the profession, I don’t think it is different from the fad; boy meet girl, hey you are cool. It’s left to the girl to say hey I want or I don’t want. I think it is the same thing.
Fashion for Nse and her likes…
I am not one who is so much into fashion. I stay with my style. Sometimes I am sadly bohemian in my dressing. So, it will tell. I just wear what suites me. I like to be the way I am. Simple. It’s a lot easier. I don’t have a favourite food but I love food. I cherish my food. You can catch me eating anything. For music, they say I am not funky. I am not so much of a rap person. I am more of a pop person even though I enjoy music of all genres. For books, I just read. I read everything.