Saturday, November 2, 2013
I left Barclays Bank job forNollywood –KC Ejelonu
'Nonye Ben-Nwanko about her
career since she came back to Nigeria
Why are you called Bugatti?
I wonder where you got this from or
who must have told you about it. I am
surprised you even know this. But it's
a pet name my close female friends
gave me and I can't say why they call
You are one of the many young
ladies who returned from abroad to
pursue a career in the
entertainment industry in Nigeria,
do you regret that decision?
Not at all. I am doing what I love and
getting paid for it; what more could I
ask for? Nigeria has the same
opportunities if not more compared to
the UK. So, just because I lived in the
UK is not like living in heaven and
having everything I want. My decision
to return home is a great thing and the
decision to follow my dream is the best
and nothing compares to it.
And since you came back, has it
been worth the while?
Definitely, it has been worthwhile. The
number one fact is that I am in love
with my job. It's been a great
experience. I have the good and bad
days but I make sure the bad days are
turned around into something good.
Moving back to Nigeria has been
wonderful. However, sometimes I get
irritated with things like lateness, but I
guess it's a Nigerian or African thing as
they always say.
Some people are yet to come to
terms that you could leave your
job at Barclays Bank in the UK to
come back just to be a part of
Nollywood? What really prompted
Just be part of Nollywood as you put
it, is a major career progression for
me. Some people still think I am crazy
and have lost my mind. Forget
Barclays Bank, yes the money was
fantastic and my position was one that
came as a surprise when I completed
my Master's programme. But if you
know that feeling when you are doing
what you love and making it and
getting paid and recognised, then you
wouldn't think I am crazy. Nollywood is
a growing industry and it's just a
matter of time, a lot of people would
want to rub shoulders with us. I believe
in the industry a whole lot; Nigerians
are known to have hope and what I
have for the industry is hope and faith
because I see the good things and
You have got a couple of
nominations in some movie awards
in Nigeria and you are yet to win
any, could it be said the winners
are better than you?
I don't see it that way and to be
honest, I still get shocked when I get a
nomination. In my head, I always think
no one knows who I am. But I am
recognised and getting nominations; it
simply means I am one to watch. To
get a nomination after getting into the
industry barely two years ago is an
achievement. It means I am doing a
How come you went to film school
even after you have somehow
become an established actress?
You always need to improve, gain
more knowledge and skill and I got
into the industry with little knowledge
on acting. For every individual in any
field, he/she has to learn a new skill to
progress. Established actors still need
training, Michael Jackson before he
passed on had a voice coach and
dance instructor to remain relevant
and be able to give the audience
something different for every album.
Same goes for actors. As an actor, if
you feel you don't need training, you
are not ready to tap into your inner
We hear you are doing stuff for Mo
Abudu's Ebony Life TV, how did it
I featured in three movies due to show
on Ebony Life TV. I went for the
audition she had last year, did my best
and I guess the rest is history. The
movies I did are 31st, A New You and
How come a number of people
perceive you as a snub?
Do they? This is quite funny, but until
you have walked up to me and said hi
and if I ignored you, then by all means,
you can perceive me as one. But I have
never ignored anyone who walks up to
me to say hi. So, I don't know where
being a snub is coming from. If I am
sitting in a bank and maybe busy on
my phone and you smile at me, I
would smile back because it is polite to
smile back. And walking up to me to
say hi is fine, I won't bite.
We read somewhere that you had
crush on Naeto C and Don Jazzy.
Would you date anyone of them?
Yes I have crush on them, but not the
type of crush where I want to date
them. Naeto C is a married man and
Don Jazzy is my big brother. They have
this manly feature about them which I
admire and love. But no, I would not
date Don Jazzy simply because I see
him as a big brother, I have known him
since I was 16 years old. And I don't
intend to date anyone within the
So who are you currently dating?
My private life stays private until I feel I
need to let anyone into my space.
Are you thinking of marriage?
Yes and kids too. It will happen in
future but now, I am focused on work.
You once said that you are yet to
see a Nigerian movie where the
actors really kissed. Given a role
that would involve you to kiss
passionately, would you do it?
I was given a role where I had to kiss
passionately, and I think I did a pretty
Now that you no longer live under
your parents' roof, are you
enjoying the freedom?
I still stay with family members here in
Nigeria who keep me grounded. I don't
intend to stay alone in Nigeria, I don't
feel it's safe for me and I will definitely
get lonely. So, I might just wait till
when I get married.
Back to the movies, is there
anything you really do not like
The industry is a growing one. Before I
got into the industry, I had a few
things I did not like, but working in the
industry now, I know it is not easy. I
see things a bit clearer.
So many young actors have come
up, same time as you did, are you
No, they do their job I do mine. At the
end of the day, it's up to the director
and producer who they want to use in
their movies. And the industry is big
enough for us all. I have my niche and
another actress has hers. We all have
different goals and mission.
Which movie brought you to the
The TV series, Tales of Eve Season 2.
Do you have a role model in the
Kate Henshaw, Rita Dominic, Carol
King, Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade
and Omoni Oboli, I love these ladies so
much and they never go wrong in my
What do you hope to achieve in the
To produce my own projects, help
young actors who have a passion,
talent for acting. Work scandal free in
the industry, and work hard towards
my dream of becoming an