Rita Daniels: I Nurtured Regina Daniels, My Daughter To Become A Nollywood Star
For many years her face have graced many movies churned out of Nollywood. With decades of experience in the movie industry, she has continued to make a mark. Ebullient, graceful and methodical, Rita Daniel has transformed from being an actress to a politician, an entrepreneur and mentor. The mother of four has been able to nurture one of her kids into becoming a rising movie star. In this interview with Oge Ezeliora, Daniels shares her moments in moviedom, the politics and the intrigues
• I Started Acting as a Kid in Anglican Church
• I Have Nurtured My Daughter to Become Nollywood’s Star
Aside acting ma what else do you do?
I am a very busy woman. I am into so many things. First, I am the chairman of Actors Guild of Nigeria, Delta state chapter, (AGN). I am a politician; presently, the majority leader and counsellor, Aniocha South Local Government Area. I hail from Ogwashi-Ukwu town. I am also the managing director of Last Point Resort; the CEO Reginal Daniels Children Foundation; the CEO, Chris Daniel Nigeria Limited; an officer in Director Guild of Nigeria; and a producer.
People feel you pushed your daughter into acting because of money and that you want her to take after you an actress?
Not really; nobody makes one a star. It’s only God that has the power to lift from nobody to somebody. Yes, I am a good actress who is also talented. But my daughter started when at the age of seven. She loved watching movies and acting at home. Though I didn’t allow her to watch Nigerian movies because of her age, she followed me to locations and made friends with a lot of actresses and actors. Anytime she saw little children on locations, she would beg me to allow her be part of the cast but I would refuse. She kept on pestering me until one day, I allowed her to act in a movie. She was very happy. She started practising at home. Everything my daughter knows about acting I taught her. I encouraged her not to be nervous and she listened to me. She started as low as N5,000. She still acts for free to date if I want her to act. She is humble and very obedient.
How often does she get movie role?
She is a lucky child. She is always on set. I just thank God for everything. As soon as she is concluding a particular movie, they are calling her for another one. It got to a point that I had to plead with some of her directors and producers to allow her concentrate on her studies. If not, there is no week that she will not be on set. Has your celebrity status deprived you of anything in life? I believe it is a normal thing for you not to be everywhere as a star. But, I am not mindful of that. I have a business I run. So, I still go to the market to public places like every other person. I am not affected by celebrity status. If you don’t go out how will you meet people? Even when my fans are screaming, ‘Mama Regina! Mama Regina! Mama Regina!’, I will just smile and hail them back and continue what I am doing. I am a politician and I am used to crowd.
How have you been able to lead famous actors and actress in Asaba as the AGN chairman?
It is not easy. I must be sincere. But God has been faithful in every way. I thank God that Delta State is the hub of Nollywood actors and actresses. After my tenure, I don’t know who the next person will be at all. It is saddening that we don’t have an office. I mean Actors Guild of Nigeria Delta State Chapter doesn’t have an office. That is the major reason any actor can come from anywhere to produce a low-standard movie or an x-rated movie. They don’t care if it will teach morals or not. You see Nollywood short films turning to porn movies and you will wonder who licensed such movies. It is so painful. Our movies needs to monitored, licensed and properly cross-checked before going public. Everyday our girls are acting in porn movies, calling it Nollywood movies. It is a very big shame to our industry.