She is a force to reckon with in Nollywood having garnered various
awards and accolades. But once upon a time things were so rough and
tough for actress, movie producer, blogger and model, Judith Audu that
she almost quit the motion picture industry.
However, the AIFF 2016 Best Female Actress opened up to TONY OGAGA on
her challenges at the Silverbird Galleria, Abuja, venue of the 13th
edition of Anglophone Africa’s longest running film festival, AIFF,
founded by Fidelis Duker.
“My husband has been very supportive. I would say he is the reason why I
am standing here today,” the thespian who is renowned for her role as
Mofe in Tinsel gushed moments after winning her award. “At a point, I
actually thought I couldn’t take it anymore. But he was the one who kept
pushing and saying I had to do what I loved doing. He is highly
supportive and is always pushing me to be better.
The star of House Apart further recalls: “The level of unprofessionalism
was alarming back then. And because I had a master’s degree, I felt
like I could always go get a job. But deep down inside I knew I did not
want to get a job. I wanted to be an actor, I wanted to be in the
industry because this is what I love doing.
“I never really wanted to be a celebrity. I am here because this is
where my heart is. So, when it got really bad, I was like maybe I should
just go and do something else, maybe I should just quit. But then, my
husband always encouraged me and I picked the pieces together again and
However, due to persistence, hard work and dedication, luck finally
smiled at her. Recalling the events that redeemed her career, Judith,
who hit Nollywood in 2004 stated: “I had to question God at a point
because I couldn’t get my mind off acting. I said ‘God, if I have to go
back to the industry I have to be sure what I am getting into’ and that
was how I got on Tinsel in 2010. That was my turning point! And then I
got another job and yet another and then the jobs just kept rolling in.
That gave me the assurance that I was in the right place.”
Though, this is not the first award the actress is winning, she is
grateful to the organisers. “There is this exquisite feeling that comes
with getting recognition and being accepted in the industry,” Audu says
as she describes her joy at winning the 2016 Best Actress award. “So, it
means a lot to me to be recognized as best actress among a host of so
many great acts that were nominated in the category.
“I am trying to look for the right word to express my joy. I guess it
means that I am doing something right and I am on the right path. This
is a challenge for me to do better and step up my game.
“I want to say a very lovely thank you to Uncle Fidelis Duker for this
award and for putting up such an awesome platform for filmmakers to meet
and also to say thank you to every single person that supports the
motion picture industry, because if not for them, we won’t be here. I
just want to say thank you. They should keep supporting us and we will
keep getting better.”
Today, Judith is happily married. How does she strike a balance between
her career and the home front? Hear her: “I just try to find a balance.
My marriage comes first and then my acting and then my producing. I
just find a balance and then I try to prioritise. I don’t let any
suffer. However, I call myself a lazy blogger now because a lot of
things have been happening and I don’t blog like I used to anymore.
Judith says she is living her dream and does not plan to quit any time
soon: “It has always been my dream to be in front of the camera. How I
will get there I did not know. It is funny now that I am in front of the
camera and now I want to go behind the camera. I have always wanted to
be a broadcaster but I used to be really shy, so somehow I found my way
here and here I am.”
Are you a youngster out there dreaming of becoming a TV star? Judith has
a word of advice for you: “Be very patient and consistent. Be hard
working, humble and never for any reason stop believing in yourself.”
Despite the success she has recorded so far, Audu is not resting on her
oars. She is currently working on a couple of projects that include a
documentary that will take her to five states.
“It is an all female crew affair and it will be shot in five states. It
is huge. I am currently sourcing funds for the project. Nollywood buffs
should watch out!”
*At a safe house, wives of insurgents share stories of the men they married.
A few dozen women sit on mats under the shade of a tree. Their
giggles rise with the hot dusty air as they sketch elaborate designs on
their hands with henna.
Some of the women wear abayas; others wear short-sleeved blouses with
long skirts and hijabs. They talk about their children, their hair, what
they will cook in the evening after breaking their Ramadan fast.
After a while, the conversation turns to their husbands.
“Oh, my husband, I love him so much,” says Aisha the Amira.
The flamboyant 25-year-old flings her head back as she laughs. In a
flowing gown and a tall, majestic head wrap, she radiates the nobility
of her title, Amira, or princess. A reddish-orange stone...