Everything Amanda Ebeye touches literally turns to gold. The actress and filmmaker is regarded as the exceptional TV girl since she cut her teeth in the TV world with City Sisters in 2009.
In this interview, Ebeye speaks on the inspiration behind her new project, effects of COVID-19 on the industry, her love for the camera and reasons she’s not seen at major events.
You have become famous doing TV than movies. How exactly did you get on TV?
City Sisters was the first TV show and first major production I ever took part in. It was in 2009 and Gregory and Debbie Odutayo produced it. I went for the audition and Debbie asked what makes me think I am the best person for the job, and I said, ‘it’s because I am a good actress’ and she laughed. I think she liked the fact that I am confident. Indeed, I got the role and we travelled to Ghana to shoot City Sisters.
You have a new TV series, It’s A Crazy World, what inspired it?
It’s A Crazy World was inspired strongly by social media. We all know the pseudo lifestyle that goes on in that world, the competition. I wanted a series that would not just be funny, but also educate girls and boys growing up. I wanted it to cut across all African homes, and impact on both young and old. I wanted something that would teach values, morals and educate them on the plagues of social media.
Social media is a blessing and a curse at the same time. People often post only their happy moments and their fans on social media get inspired. Those who admire the happy people also forget that there were times they were sad. We forget that it is no perfect life and that’s what It’s A Crazy World has come to do – to reveal what went on before those perfect photos and videos were taken. I want the series to educate, entertain and make us laugh. I was in film school when I planned it; the same time I planned my short films, horrors. It’s A Crazy World is now showing on STV and NTA. It is going to worth the while.
From the cast, it looks like a high budget production. How were you able to fund it?
Yes, it is a very high budget production and my partner and I had to go all out for this production. We couldn’t compromise. From pre-production, actual production to post-production, it was a lot of investment, honestly. From the beginning of the series, I knew that Bob Manuel-Udokwu was going to play Don. I have never met him, but I was so certain about that. I went all out to get him to be part of the team. Kunle Coker too, I knew he would be the best to balance it up. There is this classy carriage about him. Grace Amah, Treasure Abbasi, Francis Odega, and all, it was a good balance.
In what ways is it different from the other works you’ve done?
The other film I had shot was a short movie. Horrors was a 40-minute movie. I have also collaborated in other productions, but they were not fully mine. It’s A Crazy World is different because I had to deal with a larger cast and a high budget. I shot Horrors in Canada and the television series in Nigeria. It was really tasking.
You’ve been in front of the camera and behind. Which experience do you enjoy most?
I’ll say both, in front I’m delivering, behind I’m creating. As a filmmaker and artiste, I enjoy both equally.
In spite of your good looks, you are one of the few celebrities hardly seen on the red carpet. Why is that?
The combination I have inside of me is rare. I love to be in front of the camera, but when I’m not rolling, I could be shy and more of an introvert. I’m not much of an outing person or red carpet person, but I go once in a while.
As a mother, how do you joggle work-life balance?
As a mother, I multi-task naturally, so I do both quite well. After I gave birth, I never stopped working. In fact, having a child even made me work harder. It pushed me further due to more responsibilities. Now, I am thinking for two. It is a beautiful experience.
How do you keep yourself radiating?
Honestly, for beauty routine, I always wash my face with water. I don’t sleep with make-up on. I drink lots of liquid (not water). I am not really a fan of water.
What have you missed most since the lockdown?
Leaving my house, seeing friends and family, now all we do is talk on the phone. I just miss things being normal, but atimes things like these make you appreciate things you regularly would take for granted like making out time to see loved ones. I miss moving around freely. However, the lockdown makes you appreciate and value family more. We miss handshakes, hugs and all the bonds. They are all gone for now. COVID-19 makes us realize little things that matter that we had taken for granted.
What lessons would you say the COVID-19 lockdown has taught you?
I have learned to treasure family, friendship and family time the more. Right now, they are memories. We can’t come in contact with large family, and it takes a lot away from us. Every moment we get to see each other, we should treasure it because we don’t know tomorrow. It is best we make good use of our today.