Interviews | 29 January 2014 08:58 CET

My joy as an actress – Grace Amah


Grace Amah is an actress with over a decade experience in Nollywood. In this encounter with TOPE OLUKOLE, she looked into her life as an actress, the state of Nollywood, as well as her immediate goals.

You seem to participate more in soap operas than in regular movie. Why is that?

I wouldn't say I participate more in sitcom than movie. I do more movie than soap operas. There is no particular reason why but I just find out that I appear more in flicks. I don't think I have participated in more than five soap operas. Movie, to me are more profitable but fame-wise, soap operas are better than movie. The pay is usually low in soap operas except in those that have international status and are shown only on pay TV.

As an actress, are you impressed with the present state of Nollywood?

I am not impressed because we are supposed to be moving forward but it seems everything is getting worse by the day. However, all hope is not lost because there is nothing that does not have its ups and downs. I am not impressed at the moment but I know that sometime in the future, we will pick up and pick up for good.

As one who is actively involved in Nollywood, what would you say is wrong with the industry?

To start with, the unity is not there. We are not united in Nollywood and this has made us lose a lot of things. Also, the government is not fully involved in our activities. They do not impress us in the sense that they are supposed to lean their support on the industry for it to stand. If we depend on individuals alone, we cannot move forward. It is supposed to be a collaborative thing.

If you find yourself in position of power and you have to change something in Nollywood, what would that be?

I will improve on the quality of our film production by putting in place quality production materials. I will make sure that films are shot on celluloid so that in years to come, we can still watch them. If such issues are taken care of, in years to come, movie that are shot today will still be interesting to watch.

What heights do you hope to achieve in the industry?

My highest goal would be to shoot an international film. When I mean international film, I don't necessary mean shooting it overseas but doing a movie that meets international standards. Also, it might not be shot in Nigeria, but it should be within the Nigerian or African context. It is not about us imitating the western world but it should be our own thing.

Talking about imitating the western world, these days our movie are fashioned along the lines of foreign movie. What does that tell of the industry?

Imitating the western world is not peculiar to the movie industry in Nigeria. It is a general thing. The society in general tends to copy the western world and so that is what we play by in the movie industry. In a movie where one has to play a western role, the person has to look westernised. If it is a cultural role, the person has to look cultural as well. It is not like it is a movie industry thing. It is a general thing but the truth of the matter is that when foreigners see our outfit they adore it so much and they flaunt it everywhere as if it is their own thing so I don't see any reason why we cannot be proud of what we have.

If we are to follow your argument, don't you think stuff like pornography might creep into the industry?

I am not saying we should copy what they do. That is why I talked about the government earlier on. The head has to pull everything together. If the government steps into the industry then definitely there will be rules guiding what comes out of our movie that will be strictly adhered to. If we have to do our movie our own way using our language and costumes, then it means that we might end up doing only epic films because come to think about it, everything has become westernised whether we like it or not.

Of all the movie you have done, which do you regard as the biggest and why?

I have not done my biggest movie yet but I can mention one of them which I have high regards for. It is titled The Concubine. It was an adaptation of Elechi Amadi's novel that goes by the same title.

What will you rather be doing if you are not an actress?

I would rather be a fashion designer and you know, I am taking serious steps to making it a reality.

Who is Grace Amah?

Grace Amah is from Ebonyi State. I am the first child in a family of four children. I am a graduate of Creative Art from the University of Lagos. I am a humble, quite and easy going person who likes to make friends but I like to do my own thing in my own way. I am not a loud person.

How did your acting career begin?

I went into acting in the year 1999 when I just got out of secondary school. I had written JAMB then and while waiting for my result, I decided to go into acting. I always loved acting and I had always wished to be an actress.

Since you started out, what would you regard as the high point of your career?

I am still aiming very high so I am yet to get to the high point of my career. However, I could say a little because I am not the way I started. A lot of things have changed about me. I get really excited when people recognise that I am an actress. It means that people appreciate the fact that what I am doing is not in vain. It also means that people appreciate my work. As for my glory moment, I am still working towards doing a hit movie that will be something to reckon with, years after release.

© 2014

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