In the early nineties, Ego Boyo held the entire nation captivated with her magnetic persona and brilliant performance in the then Tv series of the moment, Checkmate.
Well respected, accomplished and with a lot of heart, she has worked in various capacities in: the co-orporate environment, as a movie producer as well as being at the helm of major charitable endeavours. She is still extremely relevant in today’s ever changing fast paced world of entertainment. A veritable Icon by all means, we are super excited to bring her to you all as today’s Friday column!
Please read and be well inspired!
Ezinne Chinkata: You started off as one of the pioneer actresses in a series; Checkmate, how did acting happen?
Ego Boyo: I studied theatre arts and so after graduation it was something I thought would happen but was not actively pursuing. I had met Amaka Igwe through my Father who was friendly with her late father. A year later she knew I was out of school, she called me on my landline ( no mobiles ?) and asked if I was interested in acting in her series.. I was then visited at home by her team, read a script to them, and they offered me the part of Anne Haastrope.. The rest as they say is history…
Ezinne Chinkata: In the nighties, taking on a role as an actress in Nigeria was not quite the norm, did you struggle with this decision?
Ego Boyo: It was the 90’s, everything seemed possible.Checkmate premiered in 1991 on tv and I didn’t struggle at all. It was Comfortable, my area of expertise I felt and there were a number of shows prior to ours so. It wasn’t traditional, but I truly was up for it.
Ezinne Chinkata: What do you feel made Ann Haastrope, such an Iconic figure.
Ego Boyo: The fact that there was no character like her on Nigerian TV. A woman in charge, A woman in the top corporate position. In a position of power. A young woman taking over her father’s company, Chosen over her brothers. It was a first. The first time a woman was taking the position on TV, and I believe it helped to empower a generation of girls and young women to believe they could do this too!, here in Nigeria.
E.C: What was the one thing you looked out for in a movie script?
E.B: Characters. My character. That’s who people will see, get behind, love or hate, I always read focusing on how the characters were developed and what they said or did, how they advanced the story..Then language, dialogue etc etc
E.C: You quit acting quite suddenly. Tell us a bit more about this bold move!
E.B: I had the opportunity to produce Amaka’s first film Violated which I also acted in, and it took me over! I loved the decision making.. actors, locations, finding potential partners and eventually financing. Loved to make the deal. ( perhaps Anne rubbed off on me too?) to me that’s where the power lay, organizing, making the film happen before the creative took over. When I started getting stereotypical roles that were ” Anne Haastrope” clones, I just focused on Producing instead of acting.
E.C: What do you feel is the one quality needed in a young woman for success in her chosen field?
E.B:Determination and a clear focus
E.C: Any invaluable tip for an upcoming actress?
E.B:Know your craft. It is not about being a star, it is about doing the work. Understanding the role and what is required and delivering that! giving your audience your best interpretation of each role! Give it your all! Do the work!
E.C: What are your tips on juggling a very busy career life with motherhood and marriage?
E.B:Priorities. Marry/be in a relationship with the right person for YOU! who understands you, your career and is a support and helper.
My marriage and children became my main priority and so I ensured my work revolved around them and their schedules. Try this: I made sure I also got good help ( mum, sister, friend or domestic helper) and made sure I set certain family goals i.e. Take kids to school, or pick them up myself, do homework with them myself, be at all school functions ( at least one parent) eat a meal (at least) a day, with my husband, and choose a day to spend together sans kids, sans work etc You need to determine what is your priority and focus on that. I am lucky my work is at my own pace, so each individual has to focus based on their own priorities.
E.C: How do you unwind?
E.B: With a book, or gardening and binge watching my fave tv series
E.C:I absolutely love your style! How do you stay consistently in classic silhouettes?
E.B: I have learned what works for me and I stick quite closely to that. Sometimes I go out of my comfort zone but I try to stay true to my style
E.C: What is your one consuming passion at the moment?
E.B:IWS and charity/advocacy
E.C: Acting, Producing, Fashion Connoisseur, Charity Work. What other 4 words could be used to refer to you?
E.B: Gardener, Art Appreciator, photographer, Advocate
E.C:Who is your all time movie star crush?
E.B: Denzel Washington all day everyday
E.C:What in your opinion is a fulfilled existence?
E.B:One where we are able to love who we want, work at a job that fulfills and challenges and rewards us and give back to people that are underprivileged.
E.C:Thank you for this! Any parting words for the young ladies and young professionals reading this post?
E.B:Take care of yourself! Keep focus, keep striving for sure, but ensure and work on thriving ( mental health week very much on my mind)
Instagram Account: @officialegoboyo