interviewBy Anozie Egole
Chiege Alisigwe came into limelight after starring alongside Ramsey Nuoah in the blockbuster movie 'My Love' in 1998. She has since become one of the most-sought-after actresses in Nollywood. In this interview, the delectable actress talks about her NGO, which she recently set up to cater for the welfare of the less -privileged people in our society as well as her plans to establish a studio among other issues.
You recently set up an NGO. What is it all about?
What I had in mind when I set up my NGO was to use the platform to reach out to the less privileged people in our society. You know, somebody might be looking good but inwardly, he or she has a lot of problems bothering him. So, we really want to see how we can assist them in our own little way.
Have you reconciled with your husband?
I don't know. I hate talking about my private life. But what I know is that I have a child now.
Which part of your body do you like most?
There are certain things God blessed with that make me to feel like a real woman. They are my boobs and my face. I am not saying that anybody who is flat chested is bad, the person still looks good. But if I dress, i will first admire myself before the mirror, I always thank God for making me a complete woman.
Like something you know many are paying to have, I have it naturally. And I thank God the way he made me. I am very grateful, I cannot ask for more.
Like how much can you insure these places you like most?
Money cannot be enough when it comes to those areas. I don't pray for anything to happen to these places. I am ok the way I am.
Are you comfortable with the kind of movies that are coming out of Nollywood?
I am not comfortable at all. Though there are some good movies, the fact remains that Nollywood needs to step up its game in the area of production. Because, majority still need amendments here and there. I want the industry to produce quality movies . I want them to come out with something more challenging.
How has married life been with you?
Well, married life is good. Though there are ups and down, it is sweet at the same time, it is sour. You cannot just say it is all bed of roses but it is good. It is good because when the going is sweet, you love it the more but when the going is bad, you will still be there provided it is not life and death.
Does your married affect your career (Acting)?
No, it does not.
You stopped acting for a while now, what happened?
No, actually, I didn't stop. But somehow, you do not need to act one million movies in a day. You have to advise yourself, I am the married woman that wants to combine my family with my career, and then you have to compromise. You think about your family first. No matter what you do, your family comes first.
How did you start acting?
Well, that was in 1998. When I left secondary school, I took JAMB; and I entered into the movie industry. To me then, it was a sort of whiling away time while I was still waiting for my JAMD result. Not like now you see people desperately want to act. It was not like that for me.
Was it like a passion you wanted to use to pass time?
Number one, I love acting because, I use to act drama in secondary school then. Secondly, I was waiting for my JAMB result so I want to use that to while away time. Because, I don't like staying idle. Even as a child, I used to do one or two things. I have always been an independent person. I would say that I started acting because I hate idleness.
How many movies have you acted this year?
I don't really know but it is not much.
You live outside the country most often?
I live here in Nigeria but most times, I travel out of the country because of the project I'm embarking on. I shuttle between Nigeria and the outside world. There are certain things I need to bring from there to this country that is why I travel most often. Like my cameras, I brought them down from there. Like the house of service I told you, I need some in Nigeria and likewise outside the country.
Like other actors and actresses who have ventured into the music industry. Are you planning to do the same?
I love singing, I have sang so many songs. But, we cannot keep acting all the time. Because if you continue like that, you can never have your time, you can never give your family that time they need. You act, you get another thing to fall back on incase if you are not there.
At the same time, you cut your shot. What I mean is this, if you are the boss of what you are doing, you can say, let me give this time to my family today and your assistance will take over. Also, tomorrow you can say let me go to work/location today. I don't want to spend all my time in working (acting). Where I can be answerable to somebody without being answerable to my husband.
So, you have to initiate something on your own by so doing, you can tell your workers, go and do this thing and you will go and relax. You can also be doing other things that will give you time to attend to your family. That does not mean I would not act for anybody anymore. I will act for people but I can never be the same like when I started as a young girl who does not have anybody to answer to.
Does it mean you choose the roles you act now?
Yes. I choose. I see the script. If I am not satisfied with it, I will tell you that I cannot act the script. If I am satisfied with that, I will go on with the script.
Do you think you still have a chance in the industry considering the number of actresses who are eager to act?
Well, I don't look at people's faces. I believe that whatever you are, it is on your own. If you are good, it is for your own good. I always tell people to be confident in themselves.
If you have self-confidence and a dragon is by your side, you can even say hi to the dragon and go your way the dragon would even turn back to follow your footsteps. Just be contended with yourself, how you act,, do you thing in your own way.
Don't mind how people do theirs. You will find out that a lot of people are out there who are following your footsteps without your knowledge. So I am not scared.
What are the challenges you are facing now?
Talking about my challenges now, I think it is what I am building up that is giving me lots of challenges. The other challenge an actor/actress can face is that professionalism in the field, knowing what you are doing. By God's grace, we have the professionals in the industry. In fairness, I even love challenges so much.
What is your driving force in creating your own studio?
I decided to create my own studio because, I wanted something different apart from my acting. It is a kind of gradual step you have to take when you want to be there. I do not really want to have problem when I am there I will start looking for cameras or anything. I want to gather everything before I start the NGO. So that when I am out, they can finish everything without problems.
What do you intend to do with your NGO?
Ok, we want to reach to people because, so many Nigerians are hungry and I think I am happier if I am eating and the person beside me is eating as well. If am eating and the person beside me is hungry, I feel so unhappy. I derive joy in making people happy.
When do we hope to hear about the NGO well?
Not now because we are still working on it.
Tell us about your background?
I am Chiege Alisigwe from Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State. I am the last in the family of Eleven. I read fine and applied arts. I did my OND at Federal Polytechnic, Oko, before proceeding to IMT Enugu for Higher National Diploma. I did my youth service and now on the verge of doing my masters.