Can you tell me about yourself
I’m Chloe Aladi Toka fondly know as Chloe Coko. I’m a multi-passionate Creative. I was born in Kaduna State Nigeria. An Idoma + Hausa by tribe as I’m paternally from Benue State and maternally from Katsina State. I’m the second child amongst 7 siblings. I’m a wife, a mother and a mentor. I’ve been a Film Producer for almost 10 years now . I really like it because I get to be involved with every aspect of the production, from the story creation, to screenplay, to hiring crew, casting for roles, etc I’ve been privileged to have produced TAKERS, HANDKUFF, IKOGOSI, FALLEN ANGELS, SALIM, UNDERBELLY, KADA RIVER etc Last year I debuted my first short film “ZAFI” as a director and was a big step in the right direction. I’m really looking to produce and direct more African themed films that tell our stories especially Northern Nigerian stories.
How was growing up for you and where ?
Growing up, I was the infinitely happy and goofy child” because I was super upbeat all the time, sure life had it’s ups and downs but growing up in a Northern Nigerian community/household was amazing .
I was born and raised in Kaduna State. My parents were separated for “religious reason” before I could say my first words as an infant. I grew up knowing only my paternal grandparents and family because they nurtured I and my elder sister.
I was separated from my biological parents as an adolescent and raised by my Uncle and his wife until I was 13 years old then I moved in with my dad and the large family he had built which was an eclectic mix of orphans and fathers and my siblings.
Anyway, life at my dad’s wasn’t as fun as I had at my uncle’s. I was a movie addict at my uncle’s, he had a collection of cassette films from war, to action, adventure, horror – my favorite, romantic films; you name them. Neighbors borrowed from his collection. And the music, I mean I was into all genres of music cause my uncle was a fun, hyped rasta man with a turn table and vintage Sony speaker that was louder than a horn speaker lol.
So back to it, my dad was a Pastor so it was bye bye to fun and hello to books and church. No tv and no “worldly music” as they were deemed “sinful “. It took me a long time to warm up to the new environment filled with restrictions and much NOs! But it opened me up to my spirituality, my purpose and to God.
I started writing songs, poems and creating stories for stage plays in school especially those third term school party events. I loved being behind the scene and telling my classmates what to do in the drama scenes and watching them deliver was fulfilling.
Through my tertiary education in Kaduna Polytechnic I started teaming up with a few MCs to develop shows and bring in artists like Psquare, Faze etc. I also organized music and dance youth programs in church and used that platform to find talents that were encouraged to join trending music or dance groups back then.
Growing up life dealt a lot of grief blows at me. I lost my grandparents at a really young age and I became an orphan in my twenties while dealing with depression. But having that God presence has helped to form and shape me to the person I am today.
How did your journey in venturing into movie production begun ?
I started producing films after I married my husband who is also a filmmaker. We registered an entertainment company Evolution Studio 66, Ltd and I manage the day to day operations of the company.
Your first project, what was the experience and challenging was it ?
My first film was produced and shot in Ekiti State. Firstly, we had a beautiful holiday story built around a group of friends. We had found a wonderful location at IKOGOSI Warm Spring Resort in Ekiti State. Now the challenge was we didn’t have enough resources in terms of funding for the type of camera we wanted to use, so we had to downgrade the camera and we also couldn’t afford the cast we wanted. So after serval calls and negotiations with actors we got a good cast and moved them to Ekiti for the shoot.
How have you and others been able to overcome the challenges of insecurity in your field of operation – Kaduna ?
Because of the insecurity we resolved to creating almost every single set we use within a safe location. I mean even villages are being built to avoid traveling into unsafe terrains. It’s challenging cause building from a scratch isn’t cheap and that really does affect production budget.
Have you been able to connect with Kannywood ?
No I haven’t! Although I’ve done a few Hausa film like SALIM and my short film, ZAFI.
Which movie you produced or project did you first realise your ROI ?
IKOGOSI, my first major production. It was an amazing feeling receiving those alerts from distributions.
How did you operate during the pandemic ?
After a few weeks of being home, I learned to cope with the uncertainty of the situation. One of the things that helped me the most was structure. So with that, Myself, my husband and the team came up with a really secured mode of operation, got security permission, reached out to few actors and got back to work taking necessary breaks from set to reboot and stay healthy. TAKERS & ZAFI were both produced and shot during the lockdown.
How do you relax after working assiduously?
I take a long warm or hot bath with music in the background. Then watch a really breathtaking movie ..
What is on your bucket list ?
Hmmm! I have a lengthy weird itemized bucket list but the top would be to perform a kind surprise deed to someone who really needs it. Also, I want to start one of my many passion enterprise. Lastly, go skiing and skydiving (it gives me goosebumps!!)
Can you memtion 5 things people don’t know about you ?
- I absolutely hate to eat/drink some things that most people love
- I love traveling a lot even though I appear as a loner.
- Watching football bores the crab out of me.
- I changed my given name to a name that best defines my life.
- I speak for female rights but I’m not into the “feminism” trend. I Stand for God’s order of hierarchy.