‘Only a real man can approach me’

Amina Ndim may not ring bell in the minds of movie lovers. However, she is one of the upcoming actresses who knows her onions and has created a niche for herself by the way she interprets her roles. Amina, who says she is a Nigerian, is the fourth child among six siblings. In this interview with Saturday Sun, she talks about her life and challenges in the industry.

Why do people call you all kinds of name?
 I have so many nicknames aside real names. My father called me Heart, Mama by my lovely mother, Hajiya by some of my fans and colleagues, Nyarinya by Onyinye Okenwa and Aboki by some friends.

Why Aboki?
 Yes, even some of my family members and siblings call me that, because, I don’t hold the world tight. No matter what happens around me, I forge ahead with my life. The funny thing is that when you let go easily, some people would think that you are foolish.

What was your child-cum-teenage state like?
 In those days, I never knew what it meant to suffer. My father was such a caring father who never liked seeing people suffer, let alone his children. I attended Army Children School Azare. I was in the same primary school with my closest brother and a husband in quote who has deviated from the family faith and is now a pastor. In my family, we are six, and we came a girl after a boy. So, we are closer to the boys we come after. I was always with my brother, playing with his friends, riding bicycles with him and my father too was taking us to the cinema.
 During my primary school, I was popular. I was an athlete. No female could beat me in 100 to 400 metres. Apart from sports, I was a good dancer, singer and I participated in school debates and my school emerged winner. After my primary school, I went to Federal Government College, Azare and still participated in all those activities I was involved in, in primary school. My father was very proud of me that he would say that I took after him. My growing up was real good.

How has it been as an actress and model?
 So far, everything is in the hands of God. I strongly believe that things would work out fine according to His will. I am at peace with any occurrence, whether negative or positive. I am not desperate in anything I do. I have done some good jobs in the entertainment industry.

How did you get into the industry?
 It was the jobs I did in the past that exposed me. A woman by name, Kate Udoh Olawoyin after watching my stage performance, introduced me to Dulphine Roberts for a soap opera. She and her husband saw the lead role I played and encouraged me to register with Actors’ Guild of Nigeria. She gave me AGN’s office address and I went to register. Before my arrival, she had called Lugard Onoyeimi and told him I was coming to meet him. He received me and told me all that I needed to know about the industry. I got my membership card after some days and began to go for auditions and casting till date.

How do you feel when you don’t get roles after an audition?
 Personally, I believe in destiny and I don’t care what it means to another. No matter your struggle, what will be will be. Before I go for an audition, I say a simple prayer. God, there is an audition today and I hope to be there by your grace. Please, let me be part of the casts if it pleases you. After the prayer, I will just believe but if it turns out the other way, I go home with no hard feelings. I must not be in every production after all.

What are your achievements so far?
 I have achieved a lot, not just in the acting field but also in modelling and music. They are interwoven. For modelling, I have modelled for Audio Visual Company at Oshodi displaying their good in a magazine. I have also modelled for Asaba Radio Aluminium Company and I am the new face of Boska, an analgesic but it is more in the Northern part of the country. For musicals, I was in ‘Omalicha’ by our present Chairman of AGN, Lagos Chapter, Emeka Rising Ibeh, Akwa Nwa by Remmy Jess and some others directed by Ifeanyi Onyeabor. More so, because I have passion for issues of women dignity, I featured in Ladies Affair Magazine. It is a new magazine, yet to be out. It has a niche. The magazine has evolved a kind of revolution for what today’s woman needs beyond fashion and other common interests. Our core sexual health matters, emotional needs as well as relationship factors are issues that would attract anyone to the magazine. I have played some major roles in some soap operas and movies as well.

 You don’t have a smiling face. Why?
 I don’t have and I know that I don’t. It is my nature and I took after my dad. However, I can make one laugh. We jest a lot in my family and I can laugh too but it doesn’t show on my face.

Does it scare people away from you?
 It does sometimes but I like it that way. With that, it is only a real man that can talk to me but for all these chewing gum boys, they cannot.

Why did you choose acting among other careers?
 Acting naturally, is in me. I started acting right from my primary school days. I acted while in secondary school. Even at university level, I acted. I believe it is a natural thing in me. I was in school drama team and we used to come to Lagos then to compete with other schools and the stories I wrote for my school that we acted, gave us victory.

If you had not gone for acting, what would you have gone for?
 I would have been a worker. I love teaching. So, I would have gone for a teaching job.

What would make you quit acting?
 I have not seen what would make me quit, but I can still do other things to complement it. If I see a good white collar job, I would go for it. I searched for one after my graduation, but I did not get, because of some reasons.

What are the reasons?
 The issue of submitting your body before a job is given to you, pisses me off. It is so disheartening that some men would ask you to submit your body to them before they would help you. It does not make sense to me. If you want to help someone, do it without asking for something in return. Some people when they want to employ you, would ask you out. It is something I have vouched never to do. People who knew me were telling me to go into the entertainment industry but they also told me that without sex I would not get roles. To be frank, I have not seen it. I have got so many roles without anybody harassing me sexually.

Does it mean you opted for acting as an alternative?
 Is it because I said I looked for a job? I won’t agree totally to that. Remember that I said that acting is in me.

How many jobs have you done so far?
 I Have done quite a number of movies and soaps. I may not be able to remember all but I can remember just few. I took part in Tarima, Pupa, Priavte Sector, Iyare, Alero, Ije Uwa, Tears For Tomorrow, Heart Menders, Toritori Kolabi, Wazobia Estate, The Patriots, Hills and Valleys, Secret Mission, Ogbuagu, The Destitute, The Fake Prophet, Too Late, Wealth Aside, Oh! My Sister’s Son and many more.

How lucrative is acting job?
 For now, it is not that lucrative because, I am not yet a star. Some productions will pay well and some would not pay well. It depends on who is in charge. Some would even beg you for a free job, but it is not by force. If you are willing to, you do I, if you are not, you go your way.

What are your challenges in the industry?
 My challenges are not much but you should know that it is not everybody that would like you. There are four guys in the industry that hates me with passion. I don’t know why. Whenever there is an audition and I go, once they are there, I would not get the job. I don’t even give a damn because I am not desperate. I believe that what would be would be. They don’t give me, but other people do.

What could be the reason for that?
 I don’t know. Just as I told you, you mustn’t be liked by everybody.

How often have you been asked to come to a hotel room to pick a script?
 I beg your pardon! Let me throw more light on this issue of sex in the entertainment industry. Our industry is not as you people out there see it. It is just like other organizations and even quite morally better than many others. As a graduate of University of Jos, with good grades, I went in search of a job. For six consecutive years, I passed every interview or oral tests but getting appointment letter was based on submission. Even my father’s friend that was in a position to employ me did not because, I refused to sleep with him. It pisses me off when people talk about Nollywood. The entertainment industry is a decent industry and there are so many people who get jobs on merit. Everything in life depends on what you want as an individual.

Ever done something and regretted it?
 I don’t regret things because, I believe that whatever comes my way is the will of God for me. I have not done anything that I should regret.

Between your mum and dad, who were you closer to?
 I was like a girlfriend to my daddy. My mother knew about it including some of our family friends. I was my father’s favourite. My mum was such a lovely woman but I must be closer to one than the other and that was my daddy. Then, if I had misunderstanding with my dad, I would not be greeting him. I will be carrying face until he apologised by way of gift. Any time he wanted to apologise to me, he would buy a very hot mini gown or skirt for me. Once I receive that, I would forgive him and become cheerful again. My mother did not find it funny but there was noting she could do about it.

What turns you off and on?
 I don’t like people that do not mind their business and I like free minded people.

Who is the lucky guy behind this beauty?
 Please, keep that aside. I am peacefully single for now. My creator is in total control.

Are you saying that no man is in your life?
 I have told you that I am single and I do not wish to discuss that any further.
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