By Damilola Fatunmise and Ebuka Ubah
The name, Naomi Nkechi Emmanuel, may not ring a bell. But the actress, popularly known as Nurse Titi in a television drama series, Clinic Matters, is an icon in the movie industry.
A graduate of Lagos State University, she is currently working on her latest production, entitled The Interview, due for release towards the end of this year. In this chat, the actress, who is already wrapping up her wedding plans, talks about her career, love life and how she met her fiancé. Enjoy it.
Can you briefly tell us about yourself?
My name is Naomi Nkechi Emmanuel, but people call me Nurse Titi, because of my role in Clinic Matters. I am from Anambra State. I am a graduate of History & International Relations from Lagos State University. I am planning to go for my Masters degree either in Film Production or Law.
When did you develop the flair for acting?
It’s been a long time. I would say the talent has been growing, but it took me a while to discover it. I discovered the talent when I was in church and my mum actually supported me. I was 16 then and I went for several auditions. I later went to the National Arts Theatre to make enquiries and I was told to pay certain amount to register. I paid and the whole thing started from there.
What was your first movie as an actress?
It’s ‘When You Are Mine’ and it was a blockbuster. In the movie, I played alongside numerous artistes and that was when I acted as a nurse for the first time. When the movie came out, people said I did well and that was where Mr. Paul Igwe, the producer of Clinic Matters saw me and gave me a chance.
Are you saying you started acting professionally with Clinic Matters?
Before Clinic Matters, I had done some drama series on NTA, but this brought me into limelight.
Is playing the role of a nurse the best you can do?
In fact, I am sick and tired of playing the role of a nurse. I have acted in several movies as a nurse and I keep telling the producers that I am not born a nurse, and that I can do other roles.
Have your fans ever mistaken you for a real nurse?
No, but people always advise me to take nursing as a profession. They would say ‘why don’t you take it as a profession?’ But I can’t because I don’t have the flair for it.
What project are you working on at the moment?
I have just produced a movie that I am trying to put up; it is called ‘The Interview’. It is my personal project.
What would you say is your greatest achievement in the movie industry?
I would not say I have gotten to where I want to be, but I thank God I am someone that can walk on the streets and be recognised.
Have you ever been embarrassed by a fan?
I get embarrassed almost everyday. Recently, I was somewhere and people were like ‘she is an actress’ and someone said ‘which actress?’ and that they don’t know me, so I felt bad.
Aside acting, what else do you do?
I do photography modeling. I am a model; I do a lot of adverts.
How do you relax?
I love to exercise. I love to swim. I love to hang out with my friends. I watch movies, listen to music, read gossips online and I love to drive as well.
Why are you still single?
I am not single anymore. My bride price has already been paid, and soon my church wedding would take place.
Can you describe your man?
He is everything I wanted in a man. He is everything I have always asked God for. He is a man I love so much.
Is he a Nigerian?
No, he is not a Nigerian. He is British.
Why a Briton and not a Nigerian?
Nigerian men came for me but they didn’t possess the qualities that I want in a man.
Was it love at first sight?
No, we met on location. The whole thing started like a small feeling, and it later blossomed.
What is your view on domestic violence?
It is 100 percent wrong and I advise people that they should not create a cause for domestic violence to take place.
In case you encounter domestic violence in your marriage, what will you do?
I like to give people opportunities. I won’t just rush out of my marriage, I would take a break and let him realise his mistake.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I gave myself a target of two to three years, so five years is above my dreams.
If your husband asks you to drop acting, what would you do?
He can’t ask me to drop acting, because he is my number one fan. He is also in the industry; he’s a movie director.
What advice do you have for the up and coming actors that see you as their role model?
You have to be strong; you have to work hard because it’s not easy. You have to be focused and determined. Also, don’t lose your shape because I believe your body is your first market. Aside this, you have to be very prayerful.