IT’S a busy year for Rita Uchenna Nkem Dominic Nwaturocha, who is currently the Glo Ambassador and new face of the stylish Nokia 97 series phone. Rita admits that it will be a loaded year for her, saying: “Besides acting and endorsements, I will be working on my biography. It will be a fun book to read and I hope, it will motivate younger people to go for their dreams. I am writing it with Joy Bewaji and we are hoping to attract and encourage Nollywood fans to read it.” She continues, “the writing phase is taking longer than I anticipated, but I am hopeful that it will turn out great.” The University of Port Harcourt theatre arts graduate reviewed her works in 2009 with a plan to formerly launch her production outfit. The Imo-born Rita, however, stressed that she will not be distracted by some unnamed persons, who circulated damaging text messages about her person late last year.
It was a busy period for me, even though I shot lesser films than I used to do. Anyway as you know, for two years now, I have been trying hard to do more challenging works. So getting the Globacom deal last year helped me more not to accept shoddy and uninspired scripts. Glo flew us to South Africa for a week to shoot a major television advert with all the West African Glo Ambassadors. Throughout last year, I worked for Glo on several events and photo shoots. That kept me and has continued to keep me busy. I also visited beautiful Malawi courtesy of DSTV within the year, which was another boost for my acting career.
Nollywood is massive in so many parts of Africa, but it is so frustrating that our government does not see this as a source of revenue, re-branding and job creation.
Anyway towards the end of last year, Nokia made me a brand ambassador for the stylish Nokia N97 and I had to attend promotional events for them. I starred in a couple of movies last year. I shot movies for Izu Ojukwu, Tchidi Chikere, Ifeanyi Onyeabor, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, Donald Okoli, Kingsley Okereke and Iyke Odife, but only Tchidi’s was released. I know Ifeanyi Onyeabor’s Fulani was premiered towards the end of year, but I am not sure if it has been released to the market. My fans should look out for me in 2010 as I have a few projects to do in the year.
Why she named her production outfit after Audrey Hepburn and Joke Silva
My business partners and I wanted to name the company after people who have excelled in their movie careers, and still embodied values that can be emulated. Aunty Joke came up, so, did Meryl Streep and Audrey Hepburn. We settled on Auntie Joke and Audrey, which is why we called it The Audrey Silva Company. We are still going through registrations and we should be launching out pretty soon. We have five scripts we are considering and it has been so tedious deciding, which two to shoot. There is a fantastic story by Dionne Jemide, but we have to partner with some Hollywood special effects people, so, we have shifted it to year end.
To my detractors
I truly had a fantastic December in spite of some people threatening to kill me and writing all sorts of malicious stories via sms texts. The only thing that bothered me was the threat to physically injure me outside getting the numbers of some of my fans that called me. It is still being investigated, so, I do not want to talk about it. I don’t know the perpetrators, but for they not threatening me three years ago, shows I must be doing something good that have attracted the attention of some people. I hope they are ready for 2010 because God has not finished with me. I wish phone companies would start registering sim cards like they used to, when GSM phones just came out. It will reduce these deadly games people play with them.
Why I’m always on Izu Ojukwu’s set
I made it a rule a long time ago to work with only directors and producers, who take movie making seriously. So, if you find me working with Izu Ojukwu severally, then it is because he takes movie making seriously and I am happy working for him. Though, he is not the only director I admire his works. I love Tchidi Chikere’s works, too. I shot Be Not Afraid with him and it is out in the market now. I would love to work with Tunde Kelani because I love his works. In February, I am going on set to shoot for Adonai Productions. Izu Ojukwu is directing it and Ramsey and Chidi are supposed to be starring as well.
No, I can never stop acting. The Glo deal was in February and Nokia came in September. Acting and endorsements complement each other, when it is done right. It is nice to know that corporate Nigerians are beginning to understand the power of using known faces to help sell their product. I am very serious about working for the products.