By Rita Okoye
For working relentlessly, Belinda Effah’s career is on the steady rise. The actress, who made her debut in the 2005 TV series, Shallow Waters, took part in the reality show, Next Movie Star where she honed her acting skill.
Effah later appeared in flicks including Refugees, Blood in the Lagoon, and The Folly among others. In this interview, the single mother of one talks about her career, passion for food, and her stand on domestic violence. Enjoy it.
What would you say is your best achievement in 2017?
As an actress, I am getting the right kind of jobs. It can be frustrating sometimes, but I have been blessed to work on great scripts. It can only get better. I’d rather grow in the ranks.
You recently launched a food store, what prompted such move?
It is important not to depend on just one source of income. It’s very limiting. I have always been very business conscious. I was waiting for the right time to establish something. I am also equally passionate about food. Food is a basic necessity, hence my interest in it. The kind of vision and dream I have, I have to diversify into several things to make the kind of money I need. I love to work legit for my money. I love to earn money the right way.
Most actresses would rather go into fashion and beauty business, why did you go for food?
Food, like I said earlier, is a basic necessity. I don’t follow trends. I am very real. I didn’t want to put my money into a business that is seasonal. Food business never runs out of fashion, it’s constant. People must eat everyday. Whether you have money or not, you will somehow have to find money to eat. Food is a need. I decided to be a solution provider for people’s needs. I also like to use this initiative to encourage our young ones not to depend solely on job hunting but establish something of their own. I pray to grow this business into something big that will encourage our younger generation not to lose themselves, but to work hard and be self reliant.
How has it affected your acting career?
It has not affected my career in any negative way. Rather, people reached out to me that they are encouraged by my move, and they are highly motivated. My career is on the steady rise. I am a constant working actor. I have my family helping out and they are the best, I am grateful to them.
Are there chances you would leave acting for food business?
No. I will delve into other businesses which is the norm for our foreign counterparts. They open restaurants, clothing lines, perfume lines etc. I just decided to do the grassroots thing. As they say, tiny drops of water make a mighty ocean.
Do you intend producing your own movies?
Yes, in the nearest future by God’s grace.
What has fame deprived you of?
My privacy, that’s all.
If you have the opportunity, what would you change about yourself?
What can’t you leave home without?
Tell us your kind of man
He must be God fearing, disciplined, clean and well dressed. He must be mentally, spiritually and emotionally clean. I can’t stand dirty environments or dirty people.
What’s your stand on domestic violence?
I stand against domestic violence. If a man hits you once, he will hit you again. Don’t let it happen. I am against divorce but if a man hits a woman, I advise she separates from him for a while, for him to return to his right senses.
What inspires you?
Ultimately, it has been God. I’m a very spiritual person. And I believe it was my calling to be an actress. He guides me and orders my steps on how and where I should be. I also draw inspiration from the people around me, my environment, the things I see and lots more.
You sound so spiritual; does your spirituality affect the kind of roles you play?
I’m an actress, so that I’m spiritual doesn’t mean I can’t kiss in movies. If it’s a good story, then why won’t I kiss to tell the story well? The character might start as a bad person who later turns good. That’s a good story line. Everything or everyone mustn’t come out clean. As long as someone is employing me to play a role, because they know I can do the job, then people expect me to turn the job down because I am spiritual? In this industry, once you reject a job, thousands others are willing to grab it. I also have to show my professionalism. Some doctors have to do something to protect their career, but they can’t come out and say it. But all eyes are on actors; people judge every move we make. Sorry to disappoint you people, if I have to kiss in a movie, I’ll do it well because I am a professional. I can kiss but I can’t do nudity because that’s like the extreme.
Would you say you are a jealous lover?
Everybody has this iota of jealousy inside of them. So, if you say you don’t, then I doubt if you are a human being. I guess I am, but with time, I have learnt how to control it.
How far would you go to protect your relationship?
I’ll only be in a relationship with a matured mind, someone who knows the kind of job I do and understand me well. We would have mutual respect for each other. Whatever happens, I’ll always respect my partner and whatever issues we have, we’ll settle it indoors.