Nollywood, screen goddess, Monalisa Chinda, is no doubt, a beauty to behold any day. She is talented and diligent when it comes to attending to pertinent duties. Little wonder, she has become the rave of the moment and she is sizzling hot especially now that she is a Glo ambassador. Lisa, who broke up with her husband barely some months ago bares her mind, in this interview, with FUNMI SALOME JOHNSON on the challenges of being a single mother, her career and the lessons life has taught her. Excerpts:
How glowing has life become ever since you have became a Glo ambassador?
Well, nothing much really in terms of my career only that I have to go out for more outings concerning Glo.You know being an ambassador, you have to go their events and programmes. It has also made me realise that I am not just an actress, but that people are actually watching me.It has again given me an added worth of self that I am being noticed and appreciated for what I do. I see it as a privilege.
Does that explain why you have been scarce on the set over some time now?
I wouldn’t say it has affected me career wise as much because the reason why I have been off the set for while now was because of my newly born babyI had to stay back to care for the baby and allow the child grow a little before getting back to work. And then, I had to work on myself to get back to shape. Honestly, being a Glo ambassador has not in any way rubbed me off on my acting career.
So what are those things that you engaged in to keep you back in shape?
As a rule, I gym four hours everyday. Two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening, four hours of work out everyday. I visit the gym as early as 6 am in the morning after which I go back home at 8.15 am to take my daughter to school. Usually, as I am taking her to school, I am also dressed up to go out on days that I will be going out. That is how I joggle it.
Are you a designer freak?
I love good and quality things, it doesn’t have to be tied to a particular name. There so many beautiful things out there that are not tagged to any name and you have some stuffs too that are good and made by designers that are not popular and they are really good stuffs; so for me, good quality is my watch word, not really the name of the designer on it. Besides, I love colours. As you can see my house, is a reflection of who I am. I am a very colorful person and I am an interior person. I love pitch, pink and colours of that nature. I love babyish colours; I have always loved that since I was a child
What is your favourite food?
I love beans a lot but because I am on diet now, I eat more of fruits and vegetables.
Which is your favourite TV programme?
Comedies, that’s my favourite. Because I love to laugh a lot, I prefer watching more of comedies. There is one programme they do that I love to watch all the time.You know as an adult, there are certain things a child will find easier to do but that an adult will still have some difficulties at doing; he has to crack his brain to get answers to. So this programme, they ask adults some certain questions that a primary five pupil will easily get but adults find hard to attempt.I love the programme a lot. Such things freak me.
Tell us the most beautiful experience you ever had?
Having my baby is the most beautiful experience I have had.
What is the craziest thing a fan has told you?
Do you know that I am yet to come to that. The only thing I can actually remember right now is when a six year old baby, probably he must have watched one of my movies the previous night, where I may probably have acted like a bitch and he did not like that part, so immediately he saw me, he just sat opposite me starring at me thinking of what to do to me, he now rolled a piece of paper and threw it at me. When the mother saw that, she was mad at him, he then came close to me and said ‘Aunty, I am sorry’.
What made you think it was as a result of a movie he watched you in?
I just knew it is, or what could have made him acted that way, it certainly has to be because of a movie he saw me in.
Can you tell us the greatest challenge that you have had to face in life?
I would say that the challenge right now is the fact that I am a single mother which is not exactly very rosy. Of course, there is a mixed feeling when you are out there alone with the child because of the different ways people see single parenthood. What really bothers me most now is the fact that the child does not have a father figure at the moment; it is quite a challenge because I grew up with my two parents living together and what has happened to me is something I never could have thought would happen to me. But I had to take a drastic decision because of my life. I am happy to be where I am however and I do not have any regrets.
If your ex-husband turns a new leaf today, would you still accept him back?
It is not something I want to talk about; I really do not want to talk about that .
You seem to be the rave of the moment in your career at the moment, could that be associated with the fact that you are now on your own and with some degree of a peace of mind?
Yes, I am more peaceful with myself now, I am at peace with my creator and I have no fear of anything that is going to happen. I am as free as a bird to do anything good that I want to do. I already started up my charity work which I was not able to do when I was in bondage. Right now, I am more pleased with myself, more creative and stronger. I have finally confronted a long-standing fear. Before now, I was stiff scared of the next moment but now, I have taken the bull by the horn and I am bolder, more confident that there is no occurence that is capable of making my legs wobble, no! I will stay strong. I think that is it.
In recent times, good things have come your way, the Glo deal, the awards and all the rest, how do all these make you feel?
It makes me feel great and loved and it it also makes me realise how important I am to the society; I feel honoured.
Can you throw more light on the kind of charity works you do and how far you have gone with it?
It is just taking off. Like I said earlier, I had been involved before I got married but the challenges of marriage made me stop. But right now, I just got back to it. I wouldn’t say much about it because nothing much has been done on it. Some days ago, I visited an orphanage with a presenter and I just offered them what I had. I felt so glad to be able to put some smile on the faces of these needy ones. It was very small but I realised that a lot of people are suffering and it gladdens my heart to be able to make them happy. I hope that before the end of the year, I would have done a lot in helping the needy ones.
Do you have a registered NGO for that?
I do not have any registered foundation yet because like I told you, I am just starting.
So, what was your childhood like. Were you born with a silver spoon in your mouth?
Well, to a great extent, yes, whatever that means. I did not have to struggle for those things that would make a child comfortable. We were not given things that we wanted but we were given things that we needed. Being the first child, I would say that I was over pampered and that is natural with first kids. I was a little bit spoilt, but I grew out of it because my mother was the hard one while my father was the soft one, so there was a balance.
What kind of a child were you? Were you the stubborn type?
I have always been on the quiet side and I still am.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Port Harcourt.
Going by your skin colour, one can easily say you are of a mixed blood. Is it safe to conclude thus?
Not at all. I guess it is the gene, it is not that I have any ancestral lineage that is white.
What kind of roles would you turn down no matter how much the fee is?
The only role I know I can not play is to play nude. I will not do that because I can not show my private parts in the name of doing a movie, I can not. I also can not do sizzling hot romance; I can not do all of that.
But why, is it not acting?
It is acting for some people but it is not acting for me.
Apart from acting, what other things do you do?
I have a lot of projects in stock. I am planning to start a talk show, and I am getting more involved in the charity thing. These are some of the things I am working on.
Any intention of going into music too like some of your colleagues did?
I can not do that because I am not a musician, I am an actress. If you are not into music, there is no way you can go into it. It is easier for a musician to get into acting but not an an actress becoming a musician.
How is your daughter adjusting to single parenthood?
She is fine but I really don’t know how to answer the question. She is there and she is fine but I don’t know how to answer that question.
Does she not ask after daddy?
She does not know who daddy is.
Yes, she doesn’t know who daddy is.
What advice do you have for the upcoming actresses?
My advice for them is to be themselves, to be real and also to take each day of life as it comes.
How soon do you think you can remarry?
Do you know that I sometimes ask myself that question, but I doubt if it will ever be. I am okay the way I am. I really do not have an answer to that question right now.
Is it a case of once beaten forever shy?
I really do not have an answer to that question now.