This week, Glitz Plus Magazine is all excited to present to you Mrs Blessing Efiom Egbe, Nollywood phenomenon and ex-model. We can rightly say that Mrs Blessing is one of the greatest export in the Nigeria film industry and she is leaving a mark in the industry that will stay with us for many years. What more do you need, to induct one into the Hall of Fame, if not talent as an actor/actress or skill as a producer; alas, Blessing has both.
While a model, Blessing’s height is something to behold and her beauty is all natural to admire. She quit modelling for Nollywood and family, a fantasy many ladies abhorred (do not ask me how I know, I can see through your heart, yes you…lol). In a chat with Oluseye Richard, the national and international award winning producer and writer, Mrs Blessing told us how she started, how she is managing her career, family and what her thoughts are on piracy, a cankerworm eating deep in the creative world.
Amidst the preparation for the premier of her newly produced movie, The Women, to be premiered today, 20th of September 2017, Blessing Egbe still manages to talk to me on a couple of things as regards her career.
I really wanted to know how growing up was like for Blessing, a woman with enormous talents like this should have a fabulous experience; I was right. According to Blessing, “growing up was fun and happened rather quickly. My immediate family members are closely knitted and we stand by each other through thick and thin”.
Mrs Blessing had her secondary education in Edgerley Girls Secondary School and Holy Child College (I think I should say this, Mrs Blessing is technically my sister, as she attended a sister school of mine, where are the St Gregory’s College boys here?). After her secondary school education, Mrs Blessing proceeded to the University of Calabar, where she obtained her first degree in Theatre Arts. She also holds a certificate in Script Writing, from City Varsity College, Cape Town, South Africa.
There seems to be something about ladies and modelling and we wanted to know what inspired Mrs Blessing into modelling. Somehow, I thought she was tired of being referred to as a model, she responded by saying; “I have never said I am tired of being referred to as model. I am proudly an ex model and will never denounce that. What I have said severally is that I got tired of modelling at some point because I wanted more out of life”. But again, I was wondering, why did she leave modelling despite making a success in it, as she has featured on billboards and a lot of commercials in the US and Europe, Blessing simply said, she “wanted to be more than just a body and face for adverts”.
Acting can be so engrossing, that you might stay comfortable just being an actress and not a producer or director, but Blessing is both. We at this time inquired on which films has she featured in and worked on, the ones produced by her or another producers. Blessing started as an actress with ‘Before The Vow’. Then she moved on to cast in ‘After The Vow’, ‘African Queen’, ‘Working The Lane’, ‘The Rivals’. Blessing is the producer of these successful TV Series; ‘Two Brides and a Baby’, ‘Lekki Wives’, ‘This Thing Called Marriage’, ‘She Drives Me Nuts’, ‘One Room’ and ‘The Women’ (a new stunning movie to be featured in Cinemas across the country from September 29, 2017).
Apart from her films, Blessing acted in a few movies. Notable is ‘Caught in the Midst’ by Charles Novia and Cynderrella by same producer.
She further said concerning challenges; “I haven’t quite met a lot of challenges along the way except for peculiar challenges that come with working in a terrain like Nollywood. But we manage them the best way we can and put out the best we can, all things considering. With time, I believe the industry will evolve to a place where challenges will only come from bad planning and not the environment per say.
Mrs Blessing is not in the news for any controversial issues, especially that that concerns her career and personal life. As we all know, celebrities these days really find it hard to avoid being lashed and unfairly criticised by the media or fans, they are in the public eye and any little thing can be blown out of proportion by the media. So we figured we should ask her how she has managed to handle this, this was what she said;
“I have managed my personal and career well so far because I try to balance both worlds well. One must not take from the other I am blessed with a supportive family” (apparently, considering they cope with her staying away from home most times due to her love for movie production).
Lekki Wives was a big project and really loved by many movie viewers in and outside the country, so I wanted to know what birthed such a wonderful script and the story behind the story.
I wasn’t surprised when Blessing mentioned that Lekki Wives was born from a place of need. “The need to reach a market directly. The need to tell stories with no boundaries and fear of censorship and hold backs.”
Mrs Blessing is a source of inspiration to many women out there, as she is influencing people around her, especially the younger ones coming, by giving them a story to tell and helping them tell it?
In a short response to our query on her support to the younger ones, Blessing said; “I believe I do my best in that area. I give my attention to young people when they need it. I mentor the ones I can”.
Mrs Blessing is one of the women changing the game in Nollywood, so we asked her what she thinks need to be done more, to be able to put the industry in the same par or better than International contemporaries, like Hollywood, Bollywood. I also asked her to share her challenges with me. When she spoke, you would be convince that this is an intelligent woman.
“The industry needs more professionals. More cut throat but truthful critics. More avenues for distribution, more monetary reward for quality content makers and most of all, laws to check piracy”- she says.
Nollywood is not the only victim when we talk of piracy, top industries like Hollywood are also battling with this menace, but the situation here is very gory and one can’t say Nigeria has gotten it right or is on the road to doing so. However, Blessing has this to say concerning the situation in the country.
“Just like a lot of issues we face in this country, Nigeria is far from getting the issue of piracy right. Still a work in progress through and through”.
Mrs Blessing is a perfect example a black bold woman, who doesn’t get limited by circumstances or societal norms. She is the kind of woman who wants something and goes all out to get it – a goal getter. A hardworking woman and mother, and off course wife. We want to wish you all the success you need in life, because you are making us proud in many ways. Thank you Blessing.