In this interview, Etinosa whose marriage to a military personnel crashed due to domestic violence shares her lessons, challenges, mistakes, love life and plans.
How has life been generally?
Life has been filled with ups and downs, challenges and victories. Life has been good to me. My life has been filled with the grace of God and a lot of miracles. My life is a testimony, right from my birth to my travails. And of course, my present career has been nothing but a miracle.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm actually working on two projects at the moment. One is 'Charlie Charlie' by Charles Uwagbai. The other is 'Game Up' directed by Okechukwu Oku aka 'The Oracle'. 'Charlie Charlie' is an action-comedy that seeks to create awareness on immigration malpractices, money laundering, human trafficking and so on. "Game up" is about a very notorious couple who scam people for a living, until they also ended up getting scammed.
How would you sum up the journey so far?
The journey has not been without its challenges. I would say it has been very fast, which is like a miracle, like I said earlier. Every journey is in stages, from the lows to the highs, probably with some hiccups on the way, especially if the journey is in Nigeria, with bad roads (Laughs), you'll experience gallops here and there. I thank God for grace and that success is not a destination.
It is a continuous journey and my journey keeps getting better and better. I wouldn't really say there's been any setbacks, I would say mostly lessons learnt. In terms of challenges, pushing and promoting a brand is not usually very easy in Nigeria, because so many parameters are set for you to just fail. Unfortunately, bad news and unfortunate events sell more and are promoted more. Negativity is given more push. Pushing a brand can be really challenging, but with the grace of God we are able to pull through.
When did the big break come for you?
That would definitely be the release of my movie "The Washerman" in August last year. It completely changed my life. It changed my career status and promoted me so greatly. I would say the release of "The Washerman" did that magic for me.
What has fame robbed you of?
Fame has robbed me of the chance or the room to play and be myself freely in public and even in private. Because of fame, sometimes I want to dance in a public place and my friends will remind me to "package". Now I have to think about how my actions would be misconstrued and so I just respect myself and not dance. Normally, I like to be free, to play and interact with people, even those I don't know from anywhere in a controlled environment.
What's the worst rumour you've heard about yourself?
That would have to be me hearing that when I was in the university, I had series of abortions and I was like Haaa! How?! (Laughs) Till now I have never had an abortion. That rumour was too crazy, because you know "In every rumour, there's an atom of truth". But there was no atom of truth in that at all. Sometimes, I sit down and ask myself who sat down to construct this kind of story. Some people are jobless oo...
I don't have any regrets. I only have lessons learned. I feel everything that has happened to me in life was destined to happen. They were pre-arranged towards a certain purpose. I don't regret anything. If I were to go back in time, I don't think I would change anything. I would probably change my bank account balance (Laughs).
What are lessons learnt from your failed marriage?
Character, attitude, behaviour, habits that come around to ruin a marriage, don't just come from nowhere in a marriage. They've always been there. We've always known that this person was like this. We all see the signs before we get married, but I don't know if it's pressure or the butterflies in the tummy, that makes us overlook them and be like "Let me just manage this one". You keep managing and then, one day, you wake up and realise that you are about to die, you can no longer manage and you want to leave.
The lesson here is : You see the traits in a person before getting married to that person. You know yourself, what you can take, what you don't want and what can kill you. If you see those traits, it's best to walk away before it gets ugly, while everybody is still in love and friendly with each other. "Find your level/square-root"! Don't go and force yourself when you're seeing the bad characters/things and ugly pictures of that person and still believe you'll make it work. No, you'll just kill yourself or end up with a shattered marriage. "A stitch in time saves nine". My own is, you walk out in time saves your body.
Are you in talking terms with your ex-husband?
No, I'm not in talking terms with him.
Are you in a relationship at the moment?
I'm dating at the moment. I won't call it a relationship, but yes, I'm dating.
Regarding the controversial nude live video with MC Galaxy, how were you able to handle it and move on from the scandal?
With the support of friends and family, I put aside all the noise around me and negative backlash and I focused on my work. Thankfully, I'm a very busy person, I have a lot of things to keep me busy and not things to remind me of who I was, but who I am. Circumstances around you should never ever define you. Irrespective of what has happened, I'm still who I am. I'm still a great person, a star and a content producer. So I focused on doing just that, doing my work and minding my business.
How did it affect you personally and your career in general?
Emotionally, yes it affected me. Psychologically, maybe, yes. It had positive and negative effects, mostly positive and I'm happy about that.
Do you still share a cordial relationship with MC Galaxy?
May 2nd was his birthday. We are in touch and I wish him well. We are good, we are friends. No bad blood.
Moving on, what's next for you?
Like I said, Charlie Charlie is going to be released in the cinemas hopefully in September, so I'm working very hard with Charles Uwagbai to make sure this comes through. I'm also working on my TV series which has been on the down-low as well. Also, there are a couple of brands I represent and work with closely right now for promotion and that's what is going to be taking most of my time from here on.