Canada-based Nigerian filmmaker, Ogeh Cynthia has a lot up her sleeves. She’s currently mentoring and shaping the future of young Africans in Canada. According to her, Africans are often associated with ineptitude and economic backwardness; but she’s trying to change the narrative.
“We are equipping these young minds with skills and leadership qualities that will propel them into management positions,” the producer said.
In this chat, Ogeh speaks on life as a Nigerian in the Diaspora, reasons behind celebrities’ marriages crash and what she misses most about her fatherland. Enjoy it.
Can you tell us more about Ogeh Cynthia?
Ogeh Cynthia is a fabulous daughter, a committed mother and a dependable partner. Her admirers call her ‘The Lion Queen’. She is a movie producer and businesswoman who is devoted to serving God and humanity.
You have been scarce in movies, what has been happening?
I have been very busy working behind the scene. We now run a production company that produces drama, marketing campaigns and advertisements. We are working on a major TV series for African cinema.
How have you been coping as a Nigerian in the Diaspora?
It is not easy living outside of your home. Trust me, I miss Nigeria all the time. There is no place like home. The western society is structured and very straightforward. Anyone who is determined and ready to put in the work will definitely make it. I am comfortable here but I miss my Naija.
Do you have plans to shoot your own movies anytime soon?
Yes. We are currently working on some quality projects.
What do you miss most about Nigeria?
I miss the freshly harvested and cooked meals. I miss family and friends. I miss my village in Anambra State. I eat almost all the Nigerian foods that I love. What I miss most is my inability to cook with freshly harvested vegetables. In Canada, Nigerian vegetables are either dried or frozen.
How have you been coping with running an NGO in this poor economic state of the country?
We have been fortunate so far. We are blessed with remarkable human beings who are committed to our cause. They volunteer their time and support our programmes with resources. We are currently working on a major healthcare intervention for our people.
As a relationship consultant, what do you think is responsible for the increase in the crash of celebrities’ marriages and baby mama syndrome?
Marriage or any kind of relationship requires deep commitment and maturity. Committed relationship is a contract and a covenant that is binding. The parties involved must keep to their own side of the agreement. Marriage crash is as a result of a default in such agreement. These days, people are more conscious of avoiding exploitation.
Baby mama, on the other hand, is a derogatory term created to shame and demean women. I find the term very irritating. I will rather use the term ‘single motherhood’ to describe them. Single parenthood is not an easy thing. I will not degrade anyone working hard to raise responsible children.
You started Black and White Gala Ball in Canada, what happened to the event? Why the pause?
The Black and White Gala Ball Canada was a pet project created to bring Africans together in an environment where they are respected and recognised. We ran it for two years before we moved to other projects. We are presently mentoring and shaping the future of young Africans in Canada. Africans are often associated with ineptitude and economic backwardness; we are increasingly changing that narrative. We are equipping these young minds with skills and leadership qualities that will propel them into management positions.
You seem to have some kind of special love for Anambra community, what’s behind that?
Anambra is home, and home is where the heart is. I want my people to access some of the beautiful things I have seen in Canada. Anambra State has a reputation for industriousness and business acumen. Anambra State is blessed with wealthy men and women who can do great and mighty things for our people. We can do better. We should do better. We must start it now. We must change the trajectory of our society.
Looking back, what fond memories do you have of your hometown?
I have many fond memories of my hometown. I love moving from town to town. I love learning about each town and how their customs differ from our own. I adore the wealth of our humanity and the richness of our culture.
How fluent are your children in Igbo language?
They understand Igbo language but they are not fluent speaking it. They mix their Igbo with English. We are working on them speaking Igbo more fluently. I will admit that our progress has been slow. We will keep trying until success is achieved.
Should more women venture into politics?
Absolutely yes. I’d love to see more women in politics, doing wonders for the nation. Every Nigerian female should be encouraged to take up space in every sector of our society. We need women occupying leadership position in business, banks, entertainment, politics, markets, manufacturing, real estates, and religion.
What life lessons have been instrumental to your success so far?
One of my greatest inspirations is the bible verse that says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’. My mum endorsed the significance of education. She is my strongest inspiration.
Would you say you’re a fulfilled woman?
I am a woman who is contented with her life. I am a woman in fullness of her agency. I love me because I am original. I love God and I love humanity.
What’s next for you in terms of projects?
Firstly, we are seeking for partners with visionary ideas. Secondly, we are working on new campaigns for our charitable work. Thirdly, we have some new products coming into the market soon. Creating and making things is a big part of our identity.