Nollywood Actress Clarion Chukwurah Reveals Shocking Secrets, This veteran actress, Clarion Chukwurah took a break from acting to tour three countries following her position as a special UN peace ambassador. The veteran actress, producer, director, philanthropist and mother of Clarence Peters in this interview shared light on her humanitarian project, UN peace envoy award, childhood and life after 50. Excerpts…
You are regarded as one of Nollywood pioneers. How does that make you feel?
I feel honoured to be one of the pioneers of a good thing, an industry that is a blessing to Nigeria throughout the world. I am glad to be one of those that persevered and never gave up. I am also honoured that the grace of God has been with me with the support of my fans and that of my family. 35years in the industry, I am still relevant, in fact an authority in the Nigerian acting industry, the film industry and the arts as a whole in Africa.
How did it all start?
It began when I was a child. As far back as when I was five years old, when my father had the habit of taking us to the Nigerian Television house in Victoria Island which later became NTA. We go there to watch the Art Alade Show recorded live. All those shows were recorded live with live audiences’ way back then. We used to be taken to the cinema too. I was struck quite early by Michael Jackson’s shows and Elizabeth Taylor on the movie, Cleopatra, that she starred in. I had all that forming in my mind. By the time I was six, I had my father buy me the posters of Michael Jackson to use as wall paper in my room. I had a very exciting childhood. I was exposed to entertainment deliberately by my father.
So when did you actually started acting?
I started acting from my primary school, All Saints Primary School, Montgomery, and I played Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist. In my high school, Queen of Our Rosary School Onitsha, I played Mary Magdalene. This was when I was between ten and fourteen years. Then I joined Odu Themes, the Prof. Bode Sowande’s theatre group in the University of Ibadan from late 1979. From there to NTV Ibadan, then to my first family series ‘Bello’s Way’ in the University of Ibadan Performing Company, then to Drama school and then I starred in ‘Mirror in the Sun’ and the rest of course is history. When I was in drama school, I did ‘Money Power’ which was my first film and this won me my first award in 1984. I was the first Nigerian actress to win Best Actress at the All African Film Festival at Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso for African films that spanned the decade of ‘74-84’. Since then, I have won several awards, too numerous to mention. SEE MORE ON PAGE 2