From Doha, The Lens Zoom In On Talented Kate Henshaw

kate

Kate Henshaw

THERE is good news from Doha, Qatar, the operational base of the international broadcast news network Al Jazeera. The international broadcast network has just announced the launch of a documentary series titled ‘My Nigeria’.

Promoted as a first-person accounts from Africa’s largest economy, the documentary which will formally premiere on Al Jazeera English on August 24 is a series of six half-hour documentaries that pulse with the energy of Africa’s leading economy telling the human story from the perspective of every day Nigerian heroes and celebrities including Bright Okpocha aka Basket mouth, the actress Kate Henshaw and the clothier Deola Sagoe.

Shot across Nigeria by the award winning directors Brian Tilley and Clifford Bestall of Big World Cinema and with production management assistance provided by the hardworking Bose Oshin, each film focuses on one central character and they take their turns to invite viewers into their world, sharing their story in their own words and in the environment where they work or do business.

Producers of the series explained that “it is to hear the human story, and to get beyond the clichés of Africa as there isn’t a better place than Nigeria,” that inspired the production of the country.

So, for every week from August 24, the series as the team from Aljazeera explained, will focus on these individuals to see first hand how Nigerians are busy making a difference.

It is the series on the stand up comedian Basket Mouth that will begin the ‘My Nigeria’ narrative on August 24. But following the episode on Okpocha that is titled ‘Trash Talking’’ will be the series on top Nollywood diva Kate Henshaw.

Titled ‘Playing a Part’, the series will run on August 31 and it will follow the life of the amazing actress and show host who having featured in countless stage and screen productions and who recently decided to leave the fictional world and run for a seat in Nigeria’s House of Representatives to change how people are represented in her hometown in Cross Rivers State.

Fans of the Nollywood diva all around the world will have the opportunity of coming up close and personal with the Efik princess who the television described in a short piece on the series as a personality that ‘has always been known as one of the Nollywood stars with integrity’’.

And those who have been following her eventful career and life story agree. They say that the description by Aljazeera was just apt. In fact one of her fans said on facebook recently that if she is allowed to pour superlatives on the delectable actress and later day fitness instructor, she is likely to fill ‘a 100 leaves hard cover book’.

An actor’s actor who has continued to put her talent at the disposal of directors of the first rank, acting was not on the career wish list of acclaimed African screen diva and princely daughter of Etubong Etim and Theresa Henshaw of the Henshaw royal family.

She wanted to become a medical doctor but her career swivel chair turned along the line and she became so fascinated with movies. She loved films and could watch a whole load back to back.

With support from a colleague J.T Tom West of blessed memory, Kate found a voice of expression in Nollywood and pronto she grabbed a role in the ground breaking urban telling When the Sun Set.

It was from that point that she developed an unquenchable passion for acting. Said to be caring and down to earth, it took that debut outing for Kate to be convinced that she could make a head way in the art of make believe.

And as her passion grew, the Microbiology graduate of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), sought for more movie outings and as she did, producers found the star of movies like ‘Girls in the Hood’, ‘A million Tears’, ‘To love and to Hold’, ‘Dangerous Silence’, ‘Blood and Ice’ and ‘Emotional Hazards’ a ready hand for their offerings.

Today, Kate whose parents initially objected to her engaging the movie run way because of their fears that she may be carried away by the glamour of the trade and so would not eventually concentrate on her earlier career choice, has through dint of hard work; dedication and discipline earned a top place in the movie.

Indeed she has with boundless passion and a stubborn determination to succeed risen to become a leading force in the Nigerian movie culture liberally dubbed Nollywood. Kate whom many new entrants consider a role model is also said to be in the class of the highest paid actresses in the Nigerian movie culture with a conservative movie credit estimate ‘of about 100’.

Of all her movie appearances, Kate who spends her off screen periods ‘working out at the gym’ or spending quality time with her daughter Gabriella and friends and whose greatest wish is to live a role on the set of a Hollywood movie considers her role in the movie ‘Yet Another Day’ as one of the most tasking.

She also lists ‘Scars of Womanhood’ and her debut movie performance ‘When the Sun Sets’ as some of her numerous all time favorites. For every ounce of success achieved there is a price to pay.

One of the prices that Kate has had to pay is what she described as the undue attention, most times negative attention that has come with being involved in the movie.

The other challenge is how to keep the home front closely knit while trying to honour the many invitation she receives. An ‘acting aunt’ to a couple of new entrants, Kate, an ambassador of several brands including being the face of Onga food seasoning for several years running now, admonishes new entrants to look beyond the financial gains and fame that comes with being major players in the movie and instead focus on making an impression that will lead to greater opportunities.

Kate still has plans of running a successful production outfit and plans to participate in future electoral process. Although she failed in that attempt to represent her people in the House of Representative, she maintained that she is still desirous of representing her people.

She also expressed a strong desire to establish a charity that will take destitute off the streets of Nigeria and give them hope in the best way possible. The rest of the Kate Henshaw story to the top is on Aljazeera on August 31.



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