Top-notch video vixen, Vanessa Onu, is a popular face on the screens. Aside being a dancer and actress, she is also an officer with the Nigeria Immigration Service.
The Computer Science & Technology graduate of Wisconsin International University, Ghana has worked with a host of talented musicians, including Rude Boy, Tunde of Styl’ Plus, Koffi Olomide, Peruzzi, Burna Boy, Phyno and Simi to mention a few.
In this chat, Onu opens up on her career and how she combines entertainment with her day job. The Miss Aviation 1st runners-up also speaks on her ideal man, close brush with rape and her dreams, among others.
You have your finger in many pies. You are a video vixen, actress and also an immigration officer. How do you combine all these three worlds?
I was all these before I became an officer, so it took a toll on me to get my balance. My entertainment career dropped faster than I could pick it, but I simply just had to master the art of tie management. I get called up before shoots so as to make preparations and all.
Tell us about growing up. Were you born with a silver spoon?
Growing up was a challenge. My mother died after labour and my father some years later. I guess you can say I became a rebellious child while growing up in a family of 10 siblings. I am the tenth child. I had to battle my way even when it seemed it was given to me on a silver platter. I went all in to stand for myself; sometimes I was given help, but not much moral or emotional support.
You lost mum and dad early, what was it like growing up without your parents?
It was extremely hard, the fact that I had to watch every single one of my siblings and become each of them all wrapped into one personality, which was me.
What was the reaction of your family when you decided to go into entertainment?
They saw what I was doing from the very start. But obviously as Africans, the elderly ones didn’t approve it.
Which of your parents did you get your talents from?
I could say my mother, but then it is probably a mix of both, because I am tough and at the same time nice.
The issue of rape is very common nowadays, and people are really angry especially after the killing of a girl inside a church in Edo State recently. Have you ever been a victim of sexual harassment?
Rape is one of the most terrible things that could happen to a woman. It is quite sad that it is widespread today and very little is being done to curtail it and protect victims, especially against the backdrop of the stigma that comes with it. However, I did come across some moments of it (rape), but it wasn’t for me I believe. I ran the other way and it left some scars (on me) mentally. My condolences to those that have gone through it.
Which is the most challenging video you featured in, and what is life like as a video vixen?
I haven’t really come across any (challenge) yet. It is a simple life honestly. You go on set, switch your personality to suit your character and animate it. It is similar to acting, just less days and no words.
Is being a video vixen paying the bills and has your family finally accepted you?
Not all the bills, but yes, it pays the bills. I mean it goes a long way. And my family understands the many things that I do, so they have given me their support, but not completely.
We understand you are also an actress. Tell us about acting and Nollywood?
I haven’t really made a statement in Nollywood yet; my presence is still up and coming. With movie, I think it is a case of when it is your time it is your time. However, I have featured in some movies like Rising Thunder, Lonely Tears, My Sister and I, Salome, On-locked, and Busted, among others.
As an actress and video vixen, how do you handle your male fans and what is the craziest thing a male fan has done to you?
I really don’t think I have much male fans, but I appreciate the ones I know. Talking about male fans and the craziest thing they have done to me; the question should be not what they have done to me, but offered me. It is funny, but fans once offered me a return ticket for us to meet up in Dubai, and from there go on an all-expense paid trip to Germany, to relax.
What is the secret to your success?
My success power is God, my sisters and handwork.
Tell us about the man in your life and also describe your ideal man?
I don’t have one or maybe we aren’t official yet. But he is the sweetest and kindest-hearted man I have ever known and love. I don’t really have an ideal man, but he shouldn’t be skinny; I mean like really skinny. My ideal man should be hard working, goofy, strict, God-fearing and must love animals and children.
What is your most challenging experience in the entertainment space?
My most challenging experience was when I aced a role, but it was still given to someone who couldn’t work it due to unknown reasons.
What is your advice for young girls who want to take after you?
My advice is for them to consume the work and not let it consume them. Also, be very humble, but strict when needed.
What are your dreams?
I would love to run an organisation for not just children on the streets, but also the homeless women. My dream is to provide them with work and home. Also, I want to be on top of my game and raise a beautiful family.