Enado Odigie on the Inclusion of African Women in the Nollywood Industry.


Tell us about yourself

Hmmm!!!! Let me see. My name is Enado Odigie.  I’m a Tv personality and Nollywood actress. A Nigerian from Edo state. I’m passionate about connecting with people both one on one and through the art of storytelling and performance. I’ve played leading roles in many Nollywood films and series. I love to travel, laugh, dance, listen to good music and spend time with my loved ones. I love a good book, a good conversation or a captivating story. I love a good laugh, like a really good tears rolling down your cheeks, can’t breathe, can’t see, can’t keep a straight face, sit still or stand up straight, maybe even pick your friends off the floor kind of good laugh.

The production of “Flawsome” was truly amazing, how was it like for you?

It was amazing. I was thrilled to be playing a character that I was totally in love with. I was delighted to be cast in a show telling the stories of the Modern, contemporary African woman, not just in the light that the African society has tried to force on us but  in a light and tone of what we really are; strong, independent, fierce and that we can literally be and do whatever it is we think we can be and do. 

It’s a lot of hard work, though, because you work  grueling hours but thankfully I’ve been blessed with a career that is also a passion hence it doesn’t feel as hectic as it can actually be sometimes because you’re having a lot of fun. Plus, the cast and crew were amazing to be around so it fun work most of the time. 

Through your movies, you’ve been able to tell the stories of the ordeals of African women, what has been the inspiration?

The story being told and the character being played are always the inspiration. You ask yourself what and who is the character? What is their back story? What is their personality type/temperament? What are the things that have come together to create this personality that makes them perceive life the way they do and make them respond to things the way they do during the course of the story?

Next is to look at the story. What is this story trying to say? What is the audience meant to be feeling when they are watching each scene and what is the end goal when the movie/show is done? Irate, sad, confused, empathetic, joyful, inspired? The answers to these questions are what inspire my performance 

What’s your take on the inclusion of African women in renowned movies?

More and more, Women a taking up more space within the industry. These days it’s more common to find women within almost every type of position within the film industry, from Executive positions, to Directing, Lead roles, Producers, Continuity, Editors, Distribution etc . You name it, you’d find us there. In fact , most of the highest grossing films in Nollywood presently were made or directed by women. However, as always, there’s always room for more

As a film producer, what would you say that the African film industry is lacking generally?

 The Answer to this would be Government support. While the industry has improved immensely, there’s still a lot of room for growth in-terms of quality both in performance and the finished product/film. However, that is, most times hinged on funding. Great quality just costs what it costs but many independent film makers put out what their individual wallets can afford not necessarily what they have the potential to actually create. Using Nollywood which is the largest film industry in Africa, as an example, the economy, at this time is still not the most supportive/favorable for businesses and industries even though there have been efforts here and there in the past. A lot more still needs to be done. We need the support of the government in terms of policies, financial grants, tax rebates etc that favor film makers, film making and the industry.

We believe that the Nigerian movie industry can do better in telling the stories of African women, what do you think about this and how can it be properly executed?

I agree that the industry can do more and I think one of the answers to this is REPRESENTATION. More women need to step to the plate and or be given the opportunity to do so. While the job of telling stories (that of African women included) belong to everyone, both male and female, no one can tell the story of the African woman like the African woman because her perspective is unique to her. No one can paint her like she can; in her true light or see the way she sees. To see her right, you must look through her eyes and see the world through the color of her own lenses. So Fund and Support the female African storyteller. Tell more stories of the African woman, her trials, travails and triumphs. 

So, whenever you’re producing movies or acting, what else would you be doing?

 Mostly, I try to stay focused when I’m shooting. I avoid anything that would distract me mentally, physically or emotionally while I’m In work season. The mindset while on a production is that anything that is not a necessity becomes secondary. So it’s Laser focus while it’s work season 

When I’m not working, I like to travel, read and spend time with friends and family. 

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