Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: I Had Always Wanted to Be a Fashion Designer - Bayray

Bhaira McNwizu is an actress famously known for winning the Amstel Malta Box Office AMBO Reality show in 2007. Since then, this lady with the sexy eyes has not looked back but has worked tirelessly to carve a niche for herself in Nollywood. She now wishes to be called Bayray for obvious reasons. SAMUEL ABULUDE, writes on her movies and her love for fashion design.

Recently, Bayray, the golden girl of AMBO has been pre-occupied with her fashion line having taken time off to start a fashion and jewellery business amidst going for locations to feature in a romantic drama that is to be aired from next year.

The actress whose name, Bayray, was coined from her name, Ebere meaning 'God First' said, "I have been up to a lot of things, my fashion line, shooting a couple of films and, of course, managing this hotel, Veragon which is for my mother.

For the past one year, I have been shuttling between handling my fashion line BMC and shooting a movie title. So, I have been pretty busy but my fashion line, Bayray McNwizu Classic Collection has taken more of my time and that is why you have not seen much of me at the movies".

This native of Anambra state shed more lights on her recent movie. "The most recent one I featured in is 'Knock Knock' which is to be premiered early next year. It was produced by Ink Blood Productions. It was a big production, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

The accommodation, costume, everything was top notch. I felt like a super star featuring in the film. I have not featured much in movies like my other colleagues. I hear it all the time. I was at the market to buy a fabric and a woman recognized my face and asked why they have not seen me in movies? I purposely took time off to kick start but I am definitely ready now and I promise my fans that they will see me more in good movies soon, if the scripts are good. Whatever production I am involved in, it has to be worthwhile", she said.

Bayray who was nominated for Africa Most Promising Act in AMAA 2009 and also Best Actress in English at the BON award the same year said that her most challenging role so far was the in coming movie she featured in. She is ready to compete with the new artistes that are now in Nollywood.

"On my most challenging role so far, I will say the next one (She laughs). But really, my last movie, 'Knock Knock' was challenging for me. It was a drama comedy centred around four people in love. It featured O. C. Okeje, Zainab Balogun, Adeyemi Okalawon and it brought out the best in me.

The director and everyone on set were laughing at my performance. I didn't know that I could make people laugh. I featured in a movie 'Kiss and Tell', last year. Everyone knows what it is to kiss and tell somebody about it which is gossip.

A lady fell in love with a guy and started talking about it. As fate would have it, it became more than that and they ended up falling in love with each other. I played the role of a friend of Monalisa Chinda, trying to see how we can help her because she had no time for enjoyment. She played the role of a divorcee in the movie and was bitter about her status.

"Now, we see a lot of new and young artistes which I believe is good for the industry. There was a time people were complaining that the up and coming actors and actresses were not given a chance to take part in big movies and grow from there. I am so happy that there are so many new actors and actresses as long as they use it to change their lives and others.

There will always be competition. I am happy about the movie industry and the recognition it is receiving at home and abroad. I just hope the image of Nigeria is projected well. The American movies always portray the black man as violent and wicked but the white man as the good one and hero. Nollywood is supposed to portray not only our challenges but the solution", the AMBO winner said.

Definitely, her experiences at the reality show, AMBO, must have come handy and the actress with a smile on her luscious lips shared how it went for her.

"AMBO was a longtime ago. I am still grateful to Amstel Malta for that opportunity. I remember vividly, I was young and willing to go. Before AMBO, I had come so far and been to so many auditions and was not given the chance to show my acting skills. I was the first to come for the audition and the last to leave the venue. I had this burning desire then and was determined to triumph when I made it to AMBO.

I was competing with so many people that studied Theatre Arts in the house and this motivated me to put in extra efforts. I put in my sweat, blood and everything praying to win. Thank God I did and went away with the cash prize N2.5million. The box office movie, 'Cindy's Note' came with the package. I could not have squandered the money with the kind of parents I have. My dad is late now but then, the money was put into lock and key for a long time. I am very proud of this because it gave me the leverage.

AMBO gave a lot of youngsters the chance to realise their dreams. They are credible. When I heard that the reality show might not continue again, I felt bad for the upcoming ones that needed a platform to become known. I think the management of AMBO has their reasons for not holding the reality show again.

Such shows have helped to showcase budding talents. It has really come handy developing aspiring artistes and others who would have taken to crime as a result of unemployment. A lot of great actors and actresses have come from these TV reality shows", she noted.

Bayray added that one of the movies she acted in is 'C7' which has to do with the seventh commandment of Moses in the Bible, thou shall not commit Adultery. "A married man was messing up with different shades of girls. The film is yet to be premiered", she said.

This actress/fashion designer disclosed that she is single and not searching. "Bayray is such a fun loving person. I am someone that likes to work and I work smart. I like to help people and look out for opportunity to do such. I have received much support from people and I am grateful for having come this far.

I like to read and when I want to relax, I put on good music and shut myself from what I may be preoccupied with. Sometimes, I watch a movie in another language like French because I understand it. One of my hobbies is dancing and I love dancing a lot. I even went to a dance school to learn Salsa".

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