Nollywood actress, Liz Anjorin is a single mother. The Badagry-born thespian and mother of one, in this interview with Wole Adepoju spoke about her new flick, ‘Kofo the First Lady’, and why she does not appear in all movies. Enjoy it:
How fulfilling was 2013 for you as an actress?
It was a beautiful year, a good year. Last year, I achieved some things, shot multimillion naira movies but above all I am thankful for good health, because that is the most important thing. When you have good health its then you can begin to talk of money and every other thing that follows. So, I am grateful to God for giving me good health in 2013. Last year was a wonderful one for me.
What are your projections for this New Year?
Yeah, I have a lot of projects at hand for this year. Firstly, I pray God grants me good health and secondly, on top on my list is the premiere of my movie, ‘Kofo the First Lady’ on April 6. Also, I intend to take my business to the next level and probably adjust or perfect certain things I feel I did not do properly in the year 2013.
You did a movie, ‘Kofo Tinubu’, which is centered on a great woman and the latest one, ‘Kofo the First Lady’ seems to be a similar thing. What inspired you to do this kind of movie?
What inspired me to this story line is that people don’t really see any potential in the physically challenged or special people. In Nigeria when you are physically challenged, people tend to believe you are useless and that you cannot do anything. But to me, being physically challenged
is not being mentally affected, because these people can actually do a lot of things if we can give them support and show them love. That is why I did ‘Kofo Tinubu’. In ‘Kofo the First Lady’, Kofo is an adult and not a child unlike in ‘Kofo Tinubu’ so, what we are driving at here is that since the challenged person cannot be elected, they could be fortunate to find themselves in the status of a First Lady and the likes, and also we try to show how determined these people could be since they are aware of societal disposition towards them.
So what are you going to do differently from the premiere we have seen?
We are really going to entertain people, it’s going to be a buffet; people are going to enjoy themselves. Also, all my old movies will be made available and we are going to show them from A to Z. It won’t be a situation where they will come for a premiere and they can barely view the movie. Very important people from all walks of life are equally going to be present, it’s basically going to be fun filled premiere and launch where lovers of my works can actually encourage me to do other mind blowing movies.
One would have expected you to have a Foundation to care for the special ones since you believe in them?
Of course, we do have Liz Anjorin Foundation, and it’s going to be launched alongside the movie in April. We have been moving from school to school to identify and lend our support to these special kids in the little way we can. But we have other interesting packages for them, therefore we need to solicit support so we can get these things done, and these children will feel and know that they are not isolated but part of the society.
You don’t appear in other productions but virtually your own movies, what is responsible for this?
What happens is that pirates are killing our works. When a producer invites you to do a job for free and says that he will give you money for fuel, by this you start appearing in films and at the end of the day, you don’t have anything to show for it. It’s the same set of people that will later say ‘look at Liz, there is nothing for her again and stuffs like that’. And being the kind of person I am, I have always known how to arrange and do my things in a way that my status will not drop, so I know I have to give much time to my business and the remaining to the film industry. I still do my acting…for instance, I have been to about nine locations in January, but by March, I may decide not to honour any invitation to any location because that could be when I will have to travel for my business so, it’s in and out thing.
Some say our movies are not good, the locations are not worth it, they can predict what will happen in our films and by this they say they prefer films in other languages, but the question is where and how do we get money to do all these when we don’t get all we spend on a job let alone make profit. That is why I decided to face my business squarely so I can get the resources to shoot good films. I love good things and there is no way I can measure up if I don’t work hard. Another thing is that I don’t believe in appearing in all movies doing the same thing, because it will get to a stage when the producers will get tired of you and they will feel there is nothing special about you anymore. If it’s three or five solid scripts I can get to interpret in a year, I’ll do it well and my value remains evergreen.
Producers of Yoruba movies are beginning to embrace obscenities like in Ghana. As a producer, what do you think of it?
Different people with different opinions and ideas, so, I don’t have much to say concerning that because it’s their own idea and story. You see, people who are watching our movies are not stupid; they know what to take home and what not to take near their homes because we are people with culture and values. Tunde Kelani is respected today because of his works, after all, he was not the only producer when he started earning peoples’ respect, and we see how high he’s still being held, it’s because he knows the right thing to do. If someone says she wants to shoot a movie with pants and bras alone, so be it, but I won’t condemn anyone because I am also not perfect.
How do you react when you read a story you consider not pleasant?
(Mild laughter) Before I used to worry but now I don’t bother anymore. Either good or bad, it doesn’t bother me.
What good thing would you say acting has done for you?
Acting has no doubt brought me fame. People now recognize me even in the crowd, it has also made people to respect and of course love me.
I read it somewhere last year that you would be getting married soon but nothing suggests you are thinking about that now?
Don’t mind that. I think someone wrote a story along that line when I went to an event and they said my attire looked like that of a bride, maybe it’s the person that wrote the story that wants to kiss the bride (laughs).
It has now become a trend for ladies especially actresses to want to remain single after having a child or two out of wedlock, and more so, when they are financially comfortable. Is it the same thing with you?
My belief is that as a single mother you still need a man. The kid or kids also need a man, either their father or stepfather, someone to tell them you are my daughter, you are my son and I don’t want this or that. It’s true that being single is so sweet and interesting but as a woman a time will come when age will tell and the whole thing will clear off. If you want to remain single or something, it will get to a stage that loneliness will set in because by that time the children would have grown and gone. In my own case, I don’t love to be a single mother, so I will surely settle down with a man, it’s just the time so I won’t rush out when I go in. If you think you want to remain single because of the freedom you enjoy, the freedom will turn to another thing when the time comes.
Is there the likelihood that you will marry this year?
If God says so, no problem, but there are no plans for that now. I believe there is time for everything and I am an advocate of being happy always, so I am happy right now and when the time comes for that I won’t hesitate to embrace it and be happy.
What changes has your conversion to Muslim have on you?
Let me start like this, people have been saying different things since they learnt I went to Hajj, but the issue is that I also have a Muslim background because my mum was a Muslim. Besides, whoever has seen me go worship in a church in the last fifteen years should come and say it. Going to Hajj, is one thing I decided when my mother died because I love my mum so much. Islam is not what I just woke up to embrace even though my father was a Christian and my name is Elizabeth. Now to your question, there is nothing serious that has changed about me other than the fact that I am being careful with what I do. I respect myself and the fact that I am an Alhaja because people are watching and waiting to crucify me.
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