Make Way For Adesua Etomi, New Princess Of The Silver Screen
SHE is nicknamed ‘Sunshine’ and that is exactly what this new acting dynamite Adesua Etomi brings, to any picture she is cast to feature in. From an appearance in her short film, ‘Brave’ to a leading performance in that engaging telling by Royal Pictures Academy, ‘Knocking on Heavens Door’ and the ground breaking television series ‘Gidi Up’, Adesuwa has shown stuff and has proven that she is that actress any good producer should engage if he or she wants an actress who can live a role believably.
Born in Owerri, Imo State to a father who is from Edo State and a mother who is Yoruba, Adesua acts with a lot of depth. She throws herself into a role and makes every role she has played seem as though it was written with her in mind. Indeed, most directors who have worked closely with her since she returned from abroad to join the industry after her university education affirm that she is good and that the humble, friendly and amiable actress who also sings, has brought some spark to the Nigerian stage and screen acting firmament.
An old pupil of Corona Primary School, Victoria Island, Lagos who studied Physical Theatre, Musical Theatre and Performing Arts at the City College, Coventry, United Kingdom, Adesua decided on a career in acting at the age of seven. Inspired by the great works that her teachers at Corona did with the drama club, Adesua, the youngest of three children, joined the Corona drama club where, as she revealed, she learnt the technique of expressing herself. So when later she moved to the United Kingdom, she decided it was ‘acting or nothing else’ in terms of a career.
It was to prepare herself for what is today a lifetime career that Adesua enrolled at the City College. She graduated with distinctions and not done studying yet, Adesua enrolled to study drama and performance arts at the University of Wolverhampton where she bagged a first class honors and the prestigious ‘The Foursight Theatre Award’.
Adesua practiced a bit in the UK but mainly on stage, took a 9 to 5pm job just to get bye but she soon quit the job because, like she quipped, she ‘grew discontent and restless’. It was acting or nothing and since there was a vibrant movie industry back home in Nigeria she thought it was time to return to further her career. She returned in 2012, planned to ‘visit for just three months’ but it has been three years now on home soil for Adesua.
Although she returned to find that there were so many new entrants on the sidelines looking for an opportunity to be cast even as extras in a movie, she wasn’t discouraged. She knew that it was a matter of time and that it will take a bit of persistence for the sun in Nollywood to shine on her.
“It was tough in the early days of my career back home in Nigeria”, she recalled. “And it was mainly the challenge of being given an opportunity to show my acting skills. But I knew I had so much to give and I knew that by my training, I could take up any role and run with it. But people needed to trust you before they can engage you and thankfully the opportunity came through the great lady and talent spotter and developer, Emem Isong and since then, things have gotten better. I am glad I took the decision to remain steadfast. I am glad I refused to take a back seat even in the face of discouragements and I thank Emem Isong for the opportunity. The opportunity was awesome”, she said
Unlike some of her peers, Adesua who is attracted to honest and God fearing people has had the benefit of playing different roles and she revealed that each of these roles have challenged her emotionally, particularly playing Muna in ‘Falling’ and Debbie in ‘Knocking on Heavens Door’. She explained: “Those roles have challenged me emotionally. They were nerve- cracking. I just focused on my craft and forgot myself and got a lot of encouragement from Emem Isong and Desmond Elliot. Another role that has challenged me is playing Amaka Obiora in ‘Lasgidi Cops’. I played several characters on the show. But I think that every role is somewhat challenging in their own right’’.
A huge fan of some accomplished Nigerian actors such as Richard Mofe Damijo, Rita Dominic, Nse Ikpe Etim, Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Ekeinde, Kate Henshaw, Ini Edo and Kalu Ikeagwu, Adesua is also inspired by the acting runs of some international actors like Daniel Day Lewis, Meryl Streep, Leonardo Dicaprio and Julia Roberts. “I am inspired by what they have achieved for themselves as actors. They inspire a lot especially the Nigerian actors who have helped to grow Nollywood. This industry is huge and it continues to grow. I am proud to be a part of the industry and I am itching to do more work”, she said
A gifted performer who revealed that she loves God and was a member of the church choir for 10 years while in the UK, Adesua has also featured in numerous theatrical productions and musicals including the riveting ‘Saro, the Musical’, ‘The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s wives’, ‘Anatomy of a Woman’ and ‘Shattered’. “I have had quite some credit on stage but I have a hunger to do more because that is where it feels intimate with the audience”, she said
A movie buff and a home buddy who is easily drawn to a movie with a good story, realistic dialogue and believable characters, Adesua’s decision of wanting to only be a part of great projects with great “stories that inspire or heal people” is the reason her movie pouch is not over flowing yet. “It is not about hopping on set for the fun of it. There must be a motivation and one is that it must be a good script and it must be a story that will touch lives”, she said.
Two questions and the free-spirited Adesua wasted no time to answer them. First is the question about the man in her life and Adesua retorts: “I have men in my life…. But first of all, Jesus is number one man in my life, followed by my father and brother and then seriously now, I have a man in my life that for me is the definition of love. He understands me as a person and he is completely supportive of everything I do. He is not in the industry so you can’t guess. But my man is awesome. I am learning so much from him and I am looking forward to our settling down pretty soon”.
Secondly, we asked if she has found acting very rewarding and she cuts in: “I am happy. It is beyond money for me. I am completely passionate about acting. Acting is a calling in my opinion. It chooses you and you can’t get it off your mind. So when I talk about my projects, it is like I am talking about my baby. The money will come. I just have to be patient and also pay my dues. But it has been rewarding, I can’t lie. Theatre has been very kind to me. I have been only been here for like three years and God has been so faithful. It has been great”.
Adesua’s career ambition is to continue to improve as an actor and to contribute in making the world a better place. “My ambition is huge. We may not end this interview if I begin to state them. But let me just say that my immediate goal is to continue to improve as an actor and to, in my own little way, make this world a better place for me and everyone. I want to act as long as God permits. I also love to be an established actor who is recognized all over the world. I know this would be a bit too ambitious but I want to dominate the world of performing, take part in a couple of international projects, produce my own stuff and call the shots”, she surmised.