I was born and bred in Ajegunle. Pidgin is the original mode of communication in Ajegunle so it wasn’t difficult for me to flow as a Warri girl in Do Good.
Fast-rising actress, Monica Friday is rocking Nollywood with her rare talent. Her role in the popular TV series, Do Good where she stars alongside Kate Henshaw and Basorge Tariah shot her into the limelight. In this interview, she speaks on her journey into acting and lots more.
Can you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Monica Friday and I’m from Badagry, Lagos State. I’m an actress, comedian and dancer.
Lagos State? But you sound like someone from Warri? How come?
Yes. I featured in the popular MNet series, Do Good as a Warri girl.
But I was born and bred in Ajegunle, one of the most popular hoods in Nigeria. Pidgin is the original mode of communication in Ajegunle so it wasn’t difficult for me to flow as a Warri girl in Do Good.
You are one of my favorite characters in Do Good, have you been acting before the series?
Yes, as an extra, I have featured in a number of movies like Hoodrush, A New Song, Timeless Passion, and October 1st to mention a few. However, I got better offers and opportunities from other people to feature in productions like Dear Mother (series) Murder at Prime Suites (movie), First Lady (movie), Wives on Strike (movie), Abducted (short film), Saviour (short film), Unspoken (movie) and many more.
Have you always planned to be an actress or you stumbled on it?
Do Good was my break! The platform was huge; it was showing in 53 African countries. I have always loved the art, though I never planned to be an actress. I was active in drama and dance from childhood. I started attending auditions after my secondary school but never had a direction, because I was into different things, one of which was football. Acting became my first priority when I had a dream about a Nollywood legend. It’s something I hardly share; it is divine.
Till now you don’t want to share it?
It was just a clear vision that I belong here.
Which movie legend did you dream about then? Pete Edochie?
No. It was actually Liz Benson.
How did the roles come, as you were not so visible in the industry then?
I went for an audition somewhere on the (Lagos) Island, when I was done with reading, a guy told me about another audition taking place not too far from where I was. So, I had to rush there immediately. On getting there, I read and went through rounds of rigorous castings. I later got a call back, and signed the contract after days of fasting, praying and waiting. It was God that did it.
What were the early challenges you faced as a green horn?
I waka tire and (discovered that) the fake filmmakers were more than the real ones. One good thing about me is that I was never desperate.
How many of the filmmakers made sexual advances and offered you roles for sex?
Few people and I flew away like a golden bird.
Did you ever get to tell Liz Benson about your dream? And have you had the opportunity of being on the same movie set with her?
You see why I didn’t want to tell you (laughs).
I believe there are those you look forward to working with; can you mention them?
I look forward to working with Joke Sylva, Genevieve Nnaji, Stephanie Okereke, Mercy Johnson and a lot of amazing talents.
Have you ever had a crush on any actor?
Yes. Tyler Perry.
How about a Nigerian actor?
No, not at all.
Do you see yourself marrying a Nigerian entertainer?
If it’s the will of God.
The quality of Nigerian movies is dropping drastically, what do you think is the way forward?
No, the quality is not dropping; there are fantastic Nigerian movies in the cinemas.
I think Nigerians need to grow with Nollywood. We are getting there.
You have been on set with Kate Henshaw; people often tag her as snobbish, how true is that?
That’s not true. She has got a beautiful soul. You know, as a celebrity you can’t please the world.
Who are the colleagues you enjoy working with?
My Do Good team! It is an unforgettable experience.
Do you have fond memories of your growing up?
Yeah. The priceless moments when we sleep outside the house, leaving the doors open, without the fear of anyone or anything. Life has indeed changed.
What has fame deprived you of?
Since you grew up in Ajegunle, did you ever hawk?
Yeah I did. I hawked beans which people call ‘Ewa Agonyi’. I also hawk Abodo known as Donkunu.
Looking back, do you have any regrets?
I have no regrets because they were phases that gave birth to today. It could have been better but it wasn’t the worst.
What has life taught you?
Life has taught me to be super-productive and wise.
When do you see yourself getting married?
Marriage doesn’t have a particular stage as long as a woman is not below 18. I see myself getting married even before you publish this interview.
What kind of man do you want to settle down with?
The man God desires for me. His (choice) is definitely going to be perfect.
Do you like them tall, cute, gap-toothed, rich etc.?
The blessings of God addeth no sorrow. I am getting a complete man. It’s a total package, oh my dear.
What’s your most valuable fashion accessory?
Bracelets. It has a magical way of adding class to one’s look, and most importantly, the wrist. I prefer bracelets to wristwatches.
Do you see yourself attaining that height of storming Hollywood?
Yes, I see myself doing great in Hollywood soon.