Ndidi Obi is the lady who played a lead role in the Nollywood hit movie, ‘Nneka the Pretty Serpent.’ She starred alongside the likes of Regina Askia, Sandra Achums, Liz Benzon, Hilda Dokubo and Uche Anunobi. After a long absence from the scene, Ndidi is back. Ajibade Alabi had a chat with her recently. Excerpts
We have not heard from you lately. What is happening?
Nothing much; I am fine and okay
Many people know you as ‘The Pretty Serpent’. Are you?
No, I am not. My name is Ndidi Obi, a Nigerian actress from Enugu who acted in the chart-bursting film, entitled Nneka The Pretty Serpent. The movie is what many people now use to call me. The film was shot in the 90s, in the early years of Nollywood; and it was a film that shot me into limelight. I am a graduate of Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos.
How and why did you come into the industry?
I came into the industry for the love and flair I have for the entertainment industry. Zeb Ejiro is the one that gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent when they were screening for Nneka the Pretty Serpent.
When was that?
That was 1994.
Apart from ‘Nneka The Pretty Serpent’, did you do any other job?
I did a lot of jobs like Gentle Solution, Back Stabbed. In fact, they are many.
Who were your contemporaries then?
We had the likes of Liz Benson, Regina Askia, Hilda Dokubo, Sandra Achums, Eucharia Anunobi. In fact, just like I mentioned the ladies, there were Zack Orji, Okey Bakassi and so many I cannot remember their names.
Are you still in touch with some of them?
We still get in touch; we meet once in a while. You know, some of them have since got married, while some of them, like Regina Askia, have relocated to America. But whenever there is an event, we always meet.
Are you fully back to Nollywood?
Yes, I’m back; but I’ve always been there. I’m still in Nollywood and nothing can take me out of the industry. I have a few jobs that are yet to be released, and I’m also working on some right now.
How have you felt not having been actively involved in Nollywood movie-making business for a while now?
The experience wasn’t too good, because after doing Nneka The Pretty Serpent and quite a number of other jobs, the jobs were not really coming like they used to. Not many people are really working as they used to do before, and those that are working would always have specific people they usually want to use all the time.
So there is a clique then?
I don’t know what you call it, but I know there are particular people they want to be using all the time. Some producers say if they don’t see you all the time, they forget about you. Sometimes, they need to see you regularly; but you don’t expect to be seeing me all the time when I’m in Lagos and you’re in Enugu or Asaba. I can’t be everywhere, but I believe that if you have a story and you remember some faces that have done so well in movies, you can somehow go after them. This is very difficult in our industry. They don’t have that patience; they want to work with the immediate people around them.
You are becoming a hot cake in the industry. What’s the magic?
When I started, I was a hot cake, and I don’t think there is going to be much difference now. It is expected. The magic is that I came back better, looking better and, of course, doing what I know how to do better in terms of versatility. It’s not just a stereotype thing. The most important thing is that you should be able to do a little bit of action, drama and so on.
How have you been able to maintain a scandal-free stardom?
Well, like I usually advise the up-and-coming artistes, especially the actresses, once you know you’re talented and focused, the producers will definitely look for you. The directors and marketers will also sort you out. It’s not just having good character and focus as an actress or actor; it entails a lot, because people look up to you as a model. In a situation where you fail to keep to these rules, you must get involved in one scandal or the other.
You’re over 40 years and still looking pretty.
Even above 50 and 60 years, I will still be looking very pretty.
What’s the secret?
The secret of my beautiful looks, like I always say, is good heart. When you have a good heart and you don’t worry yourself with life’s issues generally, you’ll look good. They (life’s issues) will always come but with God, all things are possible. When you carry all your burden to God, you won’t have any problem, because no matter what you do, no matter how you think, no matter how you want to stress yourself up with issues, you will just get hypertension for nothing. My strength comes from the almighty God.
What have been, for you, the sadness and joy of being a Nollywood actress?
Sadness is out of it; it has been joy, joy and joy from the time I started acting. From the time I did Nneka the Pretty Serpent till date, life has continued to be joyful.
Have you ever been harassed sexually?
Never, and it will never happen.
There is no reason for it to happen.
Can you fight because of a man?
No, no man is worth dying for. Come to think of it, why do I have to? No amount of money will make me come so low to do such a thing.
Has any male admirer held your waist publicly, and if it has happened, what was the reaction like?
Such has never happened and it will never happen.
What if it happens (because some men are very daring), what would you do?
No man will ever do that; but if it happens, I’ll be mad and give him the hottest slap.
Any plan to get married?
Yes, of course; but for now, I don t have any marriage plan. I am married to Jesus.
Culled from Tribune