Popular actress, Shan George, once ruled the movie industry for many years until she suddenly left the scene, with many people asking about her whereabouts. The light-skinned diva, who made her come back to the industry a few years back with blockbuster movies, was engaged by SEGUN ADEBAYO, as revealing how she has managed to stay afloat.
It has been a long time coming for you in the movie industry. Even though you have not been frequent in movies, how does it feel being one of the most respected thespians in Nigeria?
The feeling, for me, has been good. Looking back at how it all started and the journey so far, I feel very happy to have come this far doing what I love to do. In spite of the challenges, the experience has been awesome.
You have not been appearing in movies for a few years and many people were wondering what could have taken you away for those of years. What took you away and how have you been coping?
I have been away from work and the movie industry at large for the past six years. I had to leave because I needed to take care and still taking care of my aged mother. She has been bedridden for some years now. She needed me around her and I have been there with her to make sure she feels loved. I have been taking care of her. I didn’t want to leave her with other people. I wanted to be there myself to take care of my mother. Thank God she’s getting better now. I love my mum so much and I couldn’t just let her be there because I am an actress. Now, that she’s getting better, I am very happy.
You can be regarded as one of those who paved the way for the new generation of actors. When you look back at how far you have come on the job, how does this make you feel?
The feeling is great. I am very happy that the industry has grown in leaps and bounds. It feels very nice seeing what the movie industry has grown into. The growth over the years has been superb and excellent. Many people are coming into the industry because of its growth and expansion. The growth makes me happy and I am super excited.
Would you agree that your long absence from the job has caused your popularity to wane and you may find it hard to get back to that top level. What do you think?
Well, that’s a narrow way of viewing it. Your influence and popularity can’t wane because you have been committed to it for years. For me, the fact remains that my good works are still out there and people love them. In fact, many people still call me to appreciate my roles in some of my movies. So, it’s hard for d popularity to wane. My jobs are still out there making reasonable returns. I am grateful to God. It’s not possible for the name Shan George to be forgotten in the industry. Even after I die, my good works will speak for me.
Some of your colleagues have argued that the crop of actors pervading the movie space these days are not deep. One of them described them as social media celebrities, who only came to reap the benefits of the hard work of some of you, what is your reaction to this?
I am not going to conclude like that. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. I believe that in every industry, there will always be those who would pave the way for others. They call them the trailblazers. These people are not going to be there forever. Some new set of people will come and take over from them, but that does not mean those who cleared path are no more relevant. It is just like a circle of life.
There were people in the industry before Shan George came in, and there will be people when we leave. I see it as normal circle of life. I don’t think there is something strange or new about that. I usually call them the millennium celebrities. They are bigger and better. They are doing very well, based on logistics. They are doing fine with what they have at their disposal.
But are you truly happy about how things have turned out for the industry since the millennium celebrities took over?
Let me say that asides the bandwagon or what some people call copy culture that is happening these days, I think we are fine. I have observed that those with big monies block those with small monies. And, at the end of the day, they usually end up copying the works of those with small monies and lay claim to another person’s intellectual idea.
Would you like to name anyone who belongs to this category?
The time is not right. I will soon start to call them out one after the other.
Not many people know how your journey into the make-believe world started. What was that thing that lured you into acting?
It was not as if there was something special that lured me into acting. I joined the industry when I gained admission into the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and I was looking for a part-time job that would take care of my school bills at that time. You may want to ask why I wanted to pay my tuition myself. The reason is simple. I trained myself in school.
For somebody who lost her dad at a very tender age, how would you describe your growing up without him?
I lost my father when I was five years old. But, I never felt I didn’t have a father. I have always had uncles who played the role of my father at different stages of my life.
You got married early in life, what prompted your decision to be married at that age?
It is a very common thing from where I come. Girls were not much considered for anything else but marriage and bearing kids. That has changed anyway. My mother was fine with my decision. Those days, if a girl is not married or engaged at that age, she is considered wayward or a leftover girl.
You have experienced failed marriage twice, what would say you have not been getting right about marriage?
Failing at marriage twice simply means I didn’t get it right one way or the other. I really can’t point at one thing that didn’t make it work. Let us just say incompatibility.
Would you give love another chance if it comes calling again?
I will certainly keep giving love a chance until I get it right.
What project are you working on at the moment?
I got back to work recently and I am currently producing movies like One Good Man, Ayade, Lunatic and Grey Shadows. These are movies I want people to watch out for. They will be released very soon.
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