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Genevieve Magazine had a sit-down interview with four female Nigerian entertainers (Presenter and actress, Sika Osei, actress Adesua Etomi, actress Beverly Naya and singer Mo’Cheddah ) to hear their thoughts on popular entertainment misconceptions and bias. They talk about their career misconceptions, finding love, divorcing a cheating husband and much more.
On career misconceptions
Beverly: That ‘actresses are hoes looking for money all the time’ Or that because you have foreign accent, you are a snob.
Mo: If you are successful you must be sleeping with someone… My biggest issue is not being taken seriously; getting paid for an appearance and being pushed to perform. Honey Boo Boo, this is my livelihood! A performance is different from an appearance!
Adesua: Or because you are ‘yellow’ you are snobbish. And once you are dark they say… We can’t lighten you. You are too black.
Sika: I have had many people tell me to brighten up a little
On the pressure to look a certain way
Mo: I never used to wear high heels but someone told me to always wear heels because I am quite short. I did and, truthfully, people started addressing me differently. I went to get pizza with my aunt once and begged her to help me go get it because I wasn’t looking great. And she wouldn’t. I was wearing just a face-cap and t-shirt. One girl walked up to say “MoCheddah is that you? You are ok in person, sha”
Beverly: Someone said same to me once. ‘You are so ugly on TV but you’re fine o’.
Adesua: That’s such a backhanded compliment though. I look how I want to look. Some people ask me if I am not tired of this natural hair thing. So what grows out of my head isn’t acceptable? I also had to fight against being the yellow girl with the weave. Now they have grown to understand that and at photoshoots they help me get a natural hair stylist.
Sika: I feel like who I was the first year I was here has changed. Now when people tell me they like me, what they refer to is not how I look. They have moved past my exterior. Even in Hollywood. The movies we are obsessed with don’t have conventionally gorgeous people. We see talent. People will always want to put you in a box, but the ones who break out are the ones people pay attention to.
On splitting the bills in a marriage
Mo: The couple should decide, beforehand, who does what.
Beverly: I am traditional and I think a man should pay the bills but there are times that financial situations can change and I may have to pay the bills. You are paying the bills and I am taking care of the family, making sure that when you come home there is something for you to eat. It is not a struggle, it’s a partnership. That is how a marriage should be established.
Adesua: I think a man should always be a provider; that is what he is created to be. The woman is the helpmeet, and one cannot do without the other. The fact that women are more liberal doesn’t change the fact that a man is meant to be a provider. But when you get into a relationship, figure out what works for your relationship. It might be a bit naïve to go into a relationship expecting everything to be the way it is in your head. It doesn’t work like that. You are getting with someone else and he has a completely different thought process. For me, we could have a joint account which we both fund for certain bills, while maintaining our individual accounts. It’s a partnership, but it doesn’t negate the fact that the man should be the provider and a woman, the home maker.
Sika: I think the most dangerous thing to do is to take a man’s purpose from him. Relationships where men are emasculated are the most toxic relationships.
To see more of their conversations, visit Genevieve Magazine