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Actress Nse Ikpe Etim is the cover of the latest issue of Guardian Life Magazine.
Also called “The Silent Tsunami”, the 45-year-old actor has gained acclaim for her role deliveries and interpretations.
In this cover, she shares insights into her journey to becoming who she is today.
Read excerpts below
On how she has become the woman she is today
“To get to this point in my life, it took years of unlearning that which we are conditioned to believe, relearning new things, accepting people for who they are, and appreciating the little things. In my career, it took never thinking I know it all. Constant learning is key. To be this version of me, it’s taken all my life.”
On how she has mastered her craft over the years
“I am a bibliophile. I am one person who believes that you only stop learning once you die so I am open to learning from even babies. I soak up almost everything without judgment, but then I’ve mastered the art of filtering and differentiating between what truly aids my growth and what diminishes it.”
Anyone who has doubts when pursuing their dreams hope for that moment when they can be sure that they are on the right track. As an all-round actor who has grown over the years and made her mark in the film industry, she flashed back to the moment that she knew she had made the right choice.
“My moment of awakening came after I was nominated for different awards even when I thought I did not deserve them. That, combined with the joy acting gave me, was all I needed to know that this was what I wanted to do.”
On mental health
“It’s funny that you ask about mental health seeing that it’s a topic that is not regularly spoken about in Nigeria or maybe Africa as a whole. Taking from a tweet I saw from Jemima Osunde recently, we all need therapists. And that’s like saying if you have malaria, you treat it by seeing a doctor. Right? So, I guess that’s how to handle it. When I feel depressed, I also change my diet or look for a safe haven which is mostly meditation for me.
“I gave a TEDx talk a while ago and I started with a slide of happy faces. Guess what the title of the talk was? “This is what mental health looks like.” And that’s the truth. Depression does not start with a morose face. We all mask it with smiles and laughter which becomes increasingly difficult when you are on my side of the divide.”
On highlights of her career
“The times I got with critics all over the world as a member of the juries at different international film festivals. I get to watch films from around the world and see other people’s great works. For me, it highlights the things that I should do better.”
Another striking thing about the actor is the way she exudes confidence. While many yearn for when they will become recognised Internationally, she succinctly explains the International is right here waiting to be grabbed by the wise, passionate and hardworking actor,
“Hasn’t the international come to us? My take has always been, “Hone your craft, conquer your home front and enjoy the journey.”
On equality and feminism
“I am a feminist. I believe in equality and this is what we ask for. We ask that a nation like ours doesn’t throw us under the bus because we are deemed lesser than the man, we are all humans and deserve equal respect. Lawmakers owe us this and so much more.”