“I Became An Actress Because I Didn’t Want To Get Married” – Nse Ikpe-Etim

Award-winning Nollywood actress, Nse Ikpe-Etim took us through her journey into Nollywood as a fresh graduate of theatre arts in 1996.

The thespian in a chat with the Inkblot’s Meet and Greet team disclosed that she ended up as an actress after attempting to flee from her parents in a bid not to get married early.

She said she got on a bus and instead of heading home, she went the other way towards Badagri. Then, in some village along that road, she saw cameras, So she jumped down and that was the first time she met Kate Henshaw, and the genesis of her movie career, and as they say, fate aligned the rest.

Narrating her career journey, Nse Ikpe-Etim said,

“After school I didn’t think I was going to be an actor. It wasn’t the first thing on my mind. I did it in a bid to run away from getting married early. I ran away from home with a backpack, it was the second time ever I had gotten on a bus. So I got on a bus and instead of going to Satellite Town where we lived at the time, I went the other way towards Badagri cuz I wanted to run away. Then, in some village along that road, I saw cameras. So I jumped down and that was the first time I met Kate Henshaw. That was 1996, when I graduated. That’s how I met Julius Agwu, Francis Agwu, all of them were on that set. The movie was called Scars of Womanhood I think but for me it was not so much about the work, it was that I wasn’t home. I got down from the bus and I told them I read theatre arts. They said oh okay, she (Kate Henshaw) needs a friend. I met her (Kate) and we formed a bond that has lasted till tomorrow.

Meanwhile my mother was looking for me. I got back home after about two weeks and my mother started washing me, “You are going to disgrace me!”. I said “Ah, I don’t want to marry.

I didn’t tell her about the movie set, I just told her that it looks like I’m going to (be an actress) and she said “Over my dead body.”

But I never wanted to be an actress. Even when I was studying theatre arts, they teach administration which is where I said I would do admin work which is like a producer, I’m not doing acting. But they said you have to act (because you need to learn all sides before you can get a degree). I argued and argued. Eventually, I did my first stage play which had a lot of soliloquy. I refused to go for rehearsals. I didn’t go for rehearsals till 3 days to the show and I thought I was going to fail. Somehow, I got a standing ovation which I still don’t get. Then they told me to do a second night and I said no I’m not doing it. The first one was for my degree. I refused but they forced me to do the second night. And then I did that but after that I said I’m never getting back on stage.

I really didn’t want to be an actor and I think it shows because I struggle with everything that it comes with apart from just my work.”

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