Since winning the third edition of the reality television talent hunt show, Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO), Bhaira Mcwizu has not relented in progressing with her career.
In this interview with Reporter, Ovwe Medeme, she talked about her aspirations for the industry, her music career, as well as her passions.
How has your acting career progressed since winning AMBO?
It has progressed tremendously. After I won the competition, I got to play a lead role in the movie Cindy’s Note. The movie got great reviews all over the world. I was nominated for the most promising actress at the 2009 edition of AMAA (African Movie Academy Awards). Since then, God has given me the grace to come before great men in the film industry. As a result of that, sometimes I don’t have to go for auditions; they just simply give me a script to work with. I don’t think any other reality show would have pushed me that far and I thank Amstel Malta for all that.
Aside Cindy’s Note, what is the biggest flick you have featured in?
There are several of them but currently, I am working on one. I also featured in the ongoing edition of the popular TV Sitcom, Super Story. I have also been working with names like Emem Isong and Desmond Elliot.
From movies to sitcoms, don’t you think your status as an actress is being reduced?
I don’t think soap operas are actually small screen. It is a test of one’s artistic ability because your audience can get to analyse your performance more critically as opposed to a film that is a one off thing. If you are talking about Hollywood, I might agree with you but there are some sitcoms that are really big. Take Keiffer Sutherland as an example, he is known more for his role in 24 than for other bigger movies that he has done. In any case, it was a blast for me and I will do it over and over again if I have the chance to. I get the best of both worlds. I am doing movies; I am doing series so I can’t complain.
What do you put into role interpretation?
Just like any other job, you have to do research. Sometimes, I put myself in the place of the cast I am playing thereby becoming the role I am playing. That is the only way I enjoy what I am doing. If you just do it for financial gains, it would be obvious.
How do you handle the fame that comes with stardom?
First of all, it is simply by the grace of God. Secondly, they say teach a child the way he should go and he would never depart from it. I owe a lot to my mother, who did a lot in trying to bring her children up the right way. Trying to follow the footstep of people I think role models in the society and trying to lead a good life. Because I know I am now in public life and people are watching so I am not just living my life for me anymore. I have people who are looking up to me. All of that comes together and so I try to model my life in the best possible way.
Aside acting, is there a passion you would like to pursue?
There are several passions I would like to follow but I am taking them one step at a time. Being a philanthropist is something that is really close to my heart. Also, putting a stop to child trafficking and child prostitution will make me happy because I believe that way, I will be putting smiles on the faces of children who have nobody to defend them. Child adoption is one thing I have great passion for and once I get an avenue to pursue it, I will do it with all of my heart. The music thing is already in the wraps. I decided that last year. I know all of that will come but I am taking it one step at a time but the philanthropy thing is something that is really close to my heart.
How soon will we hear from you in that regard?
Very soon. I think that timing is the issue here. Once I get a channel that is open to that I will take it. The UN is seriously talking about aid in Africa and once my hands are less full I will launch myself fully into it not just for the sake of publicity. When you get to read about these issues, you will know how bad things are in out society. By the grace of God, it will be soon.
Why haven’t we heard from you in terms of music?
My acting career is taking all of my time. When I look at big names in the music industry like M.I, Banky W, Beyonce, Shakira and so many others, I realise that they made it big because they put in all their time and resources into what they do. I don’t want to do a flash in the pan kind of thing. Music means a lot to me. I started music before acting. I got to learn the piano and the guitar but I don’t want to go into commercial music where I will just come in and make noise. I want to make something serious and meaningful out of music but the point is that I don’t have such time right now because I am jumping here and there, doing movies. Once I can create the time, work with good artistes and get good tutelage from them, then I will be good to go in terms of music.
Will there come a time when you will take a break from movies and go into music fully?
I think I will have to settle with doing both side by side. That means that I will have to create ample time to set it off on the right foundation. Once that has taken off, I will take a jump into music and then come back to movies at will. All over the world, it is being done. Will Smith is doing it perfectly. Jennifer Lopez, Stella Damasus and a host of other foreign and local artistes do it well so I don’t see why I can’t. All I need to do is find a balance.
When you launch fully into music, what genre of music will you be into?
I hope to go into a nice blend of music including rhythm and blues, hip hop and then a little bit of soul. I also write music so the kind of music I will do will depend on my mood. I have written over 20 very good songs out of which I have recorded four. My music has to be funky so that people can dance to it while thinking about life. It has to be cool.
What forms the themes of your songs?
I want people to first and foremost draw the message of peace from my songs. Also, there is the fact that life can actually be fun so we don’t have to take it too personally or too seriously. I want people too feel well when they listen to my music and forget the fact that life can be very complicated. I want people to relax and unwind when they listen to my music.
Who really is Bhaira?
I am Bhaira Mcwizu, winner of the third edition of AMBO. I am an actress as well as a musician among other things. Most of my growing up was done here in Nigeria and abroad. I come from quite a large family though I lost my father in January this year. It was fun growing up though we had our normal ups and downs. I hold a degree in philosophy from Lagos State University (LASU). I have been learning all my life. I have learnt the French and Spanish languages. I also did something on music at the MUSON Centre in Lagos.
Are you in a relationship?
It depends on the kind of relationship you are talking about.
Is there a man in your life?
My father has always been the man in my life though he has passed on. But for whether I am single or not, I can’t indulge you. That is my personal life and I want to keep it that way.