She came into limelight with her scintillating performance in a chart busting film titled “Nneka The Pretty Serpent”. Destined for the top, she became a top celebrity in Nollywood through her exceptional interpretation of roles and versatility. She has subsequently performed in lots of A-list movies. Ndidi Obi, the beautiful actress, alongside the likes of Regina Askia, Sandra Achums, Liz Benson, Hilda Dokubo and Uche Anunobi dazzled the Nigerian movie industry faces in the early days of Nollywood. After a long absence from the movie scene, Ndidi is back to business as usual. Ajibade Alabi caught up with her at the just concluded AMA Awards held at the Eko Hotel, Lagos.
Who is Ndidi Obi?
Ndidi Obi is a Nigerian actress from Enugu and a graduate of Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos.
We have not heard from you for a while now, what is the reason for your long absence?
Nothing much, I am fine and okay
Can you give us an insight into why you ventured into the movie industry?
I got into the industry because of the love and flair I have for entertainment. Zeb Ejiro gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent during the screening for ‘Nneka The Pretty Serpent.’
When was that?
That was in 1994.
You have really changed?
Can you look back at 1994 and calculate how many years it is from that time to this period? I am very sure that you were not like this at that time. Moreover, I have never been a slim person; I have always been on the plump side; so naturally there must be a change.
I have added many years and of course a lot has changed about my body build. I am also a mother of two, a boy and a girl, so there must be a change. It is expected, but like you said, there are a lot of changes.
Apart from ‘Nneka the pretty serpent’ did you do any other movie?
I did a lot of movies like Gentle Solution, Backstabbed… In fact, a whole lot, they are many.
Who were your contemporaries then?
We had the likes of Liz Benson, Regina Askia, Hilda Dokubo, Sandra Achums, Uche Anunobi and also male actors like Zack Orji, Okey Bakasi.
Are you still in touch with some of them?
Yes we still keep in touch; we meet once in a while.
Are you fully back to the industry?
Yes, I am back; I’m still in Nollywood and nothing can take me out of the industry. I have a couple of movies that are yet to be released and I am also working on some others right now.
What are the titles of the films that are yet to be released?
I can't dislose that for now, because producers would change titles during the course of production.
How has the experience of not being actively involved in Nollywood for a while been?
The experience was not too good, because after ‘Nneka The Pretty Serpent’ and a number of other movies, the jobs were not really forthcoming as expected. There were a few jobs in the industry then and the owners of the job had specific persons in mind.
Is it a clique thing?
I do not know what to call it but I know there are particular people they prefer to use all the time. Some producers said if they do not get to see you all the time, they tend to forget about you. They want to see you regularly which is not possible.
If I am in Lagos and you are in Enugu or Asaba, it would be practically impossible to see all the time, but I believe that if you have a story and you remember some faces that have done well in movies, you can find a way to reach them.
This is very difficult in our industry though. They don’t have that patience; they want to work with the people closer to them.
You are becoming a hot cake in the Industry, what’s the magic?
When I started, I was a hot cake and I do not think there is going to be much difference now.
Then, what’s the magic?
The magic is that, I came back looking better, as well as, of course doing what I know how to do best in terms of versatility. It is not just a stereotype thing. The most important thing is that you should be able to do a little bit of action, drama and so on.
How have you been able to maintain a scandal-free stardom?
Well, like I used to advise the upcoming artistes, especially the actresses, once you know you are talented and focused, the producers will definitely seek you out, the directors and marketers will also come after you.
It is not just having good character and focus as an actress or actor; it entails a lot because people look up to you as a role model. In a situation where you fail to live up to the rules, you risk getting involved in scandals.
You are over 40 and still looking pretty.
Even when I am over 50 and 60, I will still be looking very pretty.
What is the secret of your ravishing look?
The magic of my beautiful looks like I always say is having a good heart. When you have a good heart and you do not worry about general life issues, it would show in your look.
There will always be issues, but with God, all things are possible. When you carry all your burdens to God, you would not have any problem because no matter what you do, no matter how you think, no matter how you stress yourself, you would only get hypertensive for nothing.
My strength comes from the Almighty God.
What has been the sadness and joy of being a Nollywood actress?
Sadness is out of it. It has been joy, joy and joy from the time I started acting. From the time I did ‘Nneka The Pretty Serpent’ till date, life has continued to be joyful.
Have you been harassed sexually?
Never, and it will never happen.
Any plan for marriage?
I am married to Jesus.