“He’d say ‘all these oil companies have killed our environment’. I promised him I’d set up a foundation to correct some of the issues our people experience.”
Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State-born actress and producer Matilda Lambert has revealed the reason she floated a non-governmental organisation.
According to the entrepreneur and president, Tilda Goes Green Foundation, the main purpose of the NGO is to fight environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region. She also opens up on sundry issues in Nollywood. Enjoy it.
You recently floated an NGO, what is it all about?
My people are professional fishermen, who are facing the problem of oil spillage. The environmental degradation in the Niger Delta is heavily affecting their occupation. I grew up with the mentality that one day, I would help my people in the little way I could. Hence, Tilda Goes Green Foundation. We are educating the people on the dangers associated with oil spillage and the environmental degradation we are experiencing in this area, and also teaching them what they should do to avoid the dangers.
Tilda Goes Green Foundation is set up to enhance or help grow the Niger Delta economy to become great. This is because we live in an era where oil spills have reduced our environment to nothing. It was not like this before. Some of the people who live around the riverine areas are not conversant with health epidemics, problems that are around them. That is one of the reasons behind Tilda Goes Green Foundation, to educate and enlighten people. I have about 12 groups. Each of these groups explains better what the Foundation is all about.
How was your growing up?
Growing up was not that fantastic. I am not from a super wealthy family, neither am I from a very poor family. I am just from an average family. But I have decided to be useful to the society and myself, just like the saying, ‘charity begins at home’. I am from Andoni Local Government Area and the major occupation of my people is fishing. And being somebody that really loved my grandfather, because when I was growing up, anytime my grandfather went for fishing, he always reserved the biggest fish for me. That gesture brought me close to him.
A couple of times, my grandfather was sad and I’ll ask, ‘grandfather you are sad, what is the problem?’ And he would reply that he went for fishing but the outing was not good. He would say ‘all these oil companies have killed our environment’. One day, after saying that, I promised him that, when I grow up I would set up a foundation to correct some of the environmental issues our people experience. Many of our people are not educated enough to know the health implications of their environment and how to tackle the problems when they occur. That is where Tilda Goes Green Foundation came from.
Can you tell us some of your experiences as an actress?
Being an actress or actor is a big challenge. It is not easy to take up a role and translate yourself into what the character says. It takes time, money and yourself to bring out the originality in you, to match what the character wants to be. It takes a lot of things to come up to that challenge. To be a good actress or actor takes a lot of commitment. In fact, it has been God all the way, because it has not been easy at all.
What are your likes?
I like people who are honest and truthful, irrespective of how bitter the truth is. Just tell me the truth; I don’t want to discover the truth myself. That is my life. I also like people who are very supportive of one’s vision; people, who know that this young girl has a vision, she is industrious and hardworking, and they are ready to support and encourage her. I don’t want to get to that super high position in life. I love people who are very truthful and out to support you. Most importantly, I love people who fear God, because I love God a lot.
What are your dislikes?
Are you married?
Who is the man in your heart?
(Laughter) That’s supposed to be my private life. When it is time, members of the public will know.
What advice do you have for the up and coming actresses?
My advice for the up and coming artistes, especially the females is that, they should know what they want in the industry. They should be able to ask themselves if they are really prepared to go into acting. If they have conviction, good. Then, they should pray for God’s direction and guidance. They have to be steadfast. Nollywood is a very big industry. The things they see in the industry should not carry them away. It is a flashy industry whereby if you don’t control yourself, you’ll find yourself doing something you didn’t want to do. At the end, you’ll regret. If you have the talent and you fear God, you will excel. You do not need to sleep with any man to succeed. It is God that makes one a superstar.
What legacy do you intend to leave behind?
I want to be a very good example to the younger ones. I have lots of people who are looking up to me, including the younger ones in my family.