By Christian Agadibe
From child prodigy to adult actress, the Anambra State-born Shasha Donald a.k.a Bugatti has continued to win the hearts of movie lovers with her movies.
In this exclusive interview, the Insurance graduate of Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, talks about her journey to stardom. Enjoy it.
Can you give us an insight into your background?
My name is Shasha Donald, but people call me Bugatti. I am from Anambra State. I am an Insurance graduate from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu. We are nine in the family, and I am the last.
How did you venture into movies?
When I was growing up, we used to do drama rehearsals. I started as a kid dancer and actor, and along the line in my secondary school and university, I was already a public figure. So, later in life, I decided to start acting and that’s how I found myself in the movie industry.
Can you recall some of the movies you acted as a kid?
Oh no, I cannot remember because I was very small then.
How was the transition from being a kid actor and grown up actor?
Everything about me was about acting then. As a matter of fact, I loved entertainment such as singing, dancing and acting. So, the transition was so easy for me.
Did you have any formal training in acting?
No! I started reading novels and watching foreign films. And I featured in magazines too. So, one day in Asaba, some people looking at my pictures in a magazine began to motivate me. They asked if I would love to give acting a trial. This gave me a lot of encouragements to fully go into the movies.
What was the first movie you acted in as an adult?
It was ‘My Worst Enemy’ where I played alongside Ini Edo, Ngozi Ezeonu and other stars. It wasn’t just a ‘waka-pass’ kind of role, but a real role for a first timer.
Which of the movies would you say announced you?
I have done quite a lot and I cannot say this is a particular movie that announced me, because people would always commend my roles in movies. My current film is ‘Boy Make Money’ and people are already going crazy about it.
Going into the movie industry, did you have the support of your family?
Of course, they all supported me except my dad who said he thought I wanted to be a footballer. Like I told you earlier, I am highly talented in almost everything entertaining. So, he thought I was going to be a footballer. But then, I had nobody to train me or sponsor my soccer kits, so I had to withdraw from football to pursue my acting career.
Did you encounter any challenges when you first came into the industry?
Of course, nothing was easy. That was why when I started, at a point, I felt I wanted to stop. I just had to pull back and complete my studies. So, when people tell me that they would like to be an actress, I always tell them to cool down and finish school first.
What would you say is the biggest sacrifice you’ve ever made for your career?
I slept in a car overnight when I came from Enugu to Asaba for a movie role, only to discover that the shooting was going to start the next day, and I didn’t have anywhere to stay. I remember someone said I should come and sleep in his room, and I said ‘no, I’d rather sleep in the car till the next day’.
Tell us your sex-for-role experience?
It wasn’t that bad, because as a fine girl, men were always asking me out. They would tell me: ‘if you do this, I will make you a star’. And me, I have always been a stubborn person because I know I’ve got the acting talent, and that was the reason I didn’t fall into the sex-for-role trap.
What’s the project you are currently working on?
I just finished the one I did with Sly Mmadu. It is an action film where the characters are bad, killing people and all that. Later on, they got converted, but due to their past evil deeds, some ended up with deadly diseases as a consequence of their sins.
Aside what we see on screen, who exactly is Shasha Donald?
I am an easy-going person; a selfless being and people always want to be around me because they like my vibes. I do not bear grudges; I do not compete with anybody but myself, I just want positive people around me.
Is Shasha single and searching?
Yes, I am single. I am not in any relationship at the moment.
What are the qualities you would want in your man?
He should be trusting, good-looking and financially stable. He should also be lovable and be able to take good care of me because I like to be loved. I am the last born in my family, so I like to be pet and cared for. I always show love but I never get love in return.
Does that mean you’ve had a fair share of heartbreaks?
Can you share the experience?
It is one of those things you experience in a relationship. Something that cannot break you will make you.
If the man comes back begging, would you accept him?
No, not at all.
Do you have ladies trying to toast you?
Yes, sometimes. They always say ‘I love everything about you, can I be your friend?