In The Footsteps of Genevieve Nnaji Enters Sochima Ezeoke
Sochima Ezeoke has been through her share of hard times in her acting career in the Nollywood scene… from unfounded rumors to downright slander by her detractors. But this young actress refuses to bow down to the pressure of giving up on the higher goal she set out to achieve. In this comprehensive interview, Sochima Ezeoke talks about her acting career, hard work that continues to pave way for her, and her plans for the future. Ladies and gentlemen, in her own words, here is Sochima Ezeoke.
ON HER ACTING CAREER:
Daisy Nandeche (DN) : Basically, who is Sochima Ezeoke?
Sochima Ezeoke (SE): Sochi is a strong, intelligent woman who believes so much in hard work no matter how difficult an undertaking is. She keeps working until she succeeds.
DN: You are now a household name in Great Movies Industry considering that most of your movies are done there. How did it start?
SE: I got there through the Great Movies Talent hunt. Since then, I have been opportuned to work with them. But that is not to say that I can only work for them. I work for other producers as well.
DN: What are the benchmarks of a film that you can star in?
SE: Any film with a good story line will do for me.
DN: Are there any roles that you can not take no matter what is offered?
SE: Yes. Roles that require me to go nude or something close to that.
DN: Are there any similarities between Sochima Ezeoke and that characters that you have played?
SE: Yes, some similarities exist between me and some of the characters I have played. LONELY PRINCESS as ‘Ego’ and Royalty to Royalty as ‘Ijeoma’.
DN: Palace Slave and its sequel, The King’s Bride was and still is a much talked about movie among Nollywood fans. Did you envision that kind of reaction from the audience?
SE: No. I never anticipated that kind of reaction from the audience especially since some people had already given negative criticisms before the movie was shot; they didn’t want me to take up the role because I was new. All thanks to God because He made it happen. And God bless Sunnycollins Nwatu for believing in me.
DN: What in your opinion sets Nollywood apart in Africa?
SE: Its deep roots in ‘Africanism’. Whether we accept it or not, every Nollywood film addresses Nigeria’s problem and that of Africa as a whole. This approach has enhanced globalization and it has also shown that there is another world outside what Hollywood creates.
DN: Is there anything you would want changed in the way Nollywood films are done?
SE: The only thing I would like to see is film makers working harder in order to attain a near-perfect shape in their work no matter how simple or complicated a film is. Also young talents should be given chances so that our movies won’t be filled with the same faces all the time.
DN: I am just curious, do royalties exist in Nigeria?
SE: Royalties exist but mostly in the rural areas. I didn’t grow up in the rural area so I can’t say much about them.
DN: Where do you work currently?
SE: I am working with Justice Development and Peace Commission on a project that aims at helping and empowering the rural poor. It is an NGO under the Catholic Church.
DN: Who are your main influences in Nollywood?
SE: Genevieve Nnaji and Bimbo Akintola. They only get bigger and better and that makes me admire them more and more. I also love Genevieve’s sense of style; she can do no wrong in my eyes (laughs).
The female lead character in Palace Slave