NGUMIMI HAAGA is a budding actress who said her movie, THRIVE, has been scheduled for airing on DSTV. In this exclusive interview with LUBEM GENA in Abuja, she bares her mind on the journey into the entertainment industry and what the future lies ahead of her so far as Nollywood is concerned. Excerpts:
It is nice to be with you for this interview. Kindly give me a peep into who you are.
My name is Ngumimi Haaga. I am from Gboko local government area of Benue state. I was born in the 90’s in Kaduna state. I speak 4 Nigerian languages.
Good. Why did you choose to step into the Nollywood?
I grew up admiring the professional and acting prowess of actresses like Joke Silver, Sandra Achums, Liz Benson and a few others and I wanted to tow their line.
Since going into Nollywood full time, how would you describe the journey?
Am still trying to get into mainstream Nollywood. (laughs). Generally, it is been auditions after auditions. But am not the type to give up on my dreams. I took a break from auditions to try my hand on my own project. I am definitely still open for auditions. So I would say the journey continues. I am far from the destination.
What are the fundamental challenges you have faced in the industry and how are you working on surmounting them?
Breaking into mainstream acting has always been a challenge. You go for auditions week in week out and you don’t get call backs. It’s a very competitive industry as you well know and Nigeria is blessed with a lot of unique talents and everyone wants to showcase theirs.
After trying for auditions for a number of years, I decided to try my hands on movie productions. I had picked a few friends along the way so I tapped into their knowledge, expertise and skills and produced my first movie. It featured Yemi Blaq, Chita Agwu Johnson, Norbert Asikhia, Blessing Onwukwe to mention a few. Incredible guys I must add. They made the production stress free for me being a first timer.
Be that as it may, what would you say is your other source of encouragement or motivation?
Finding motivation can be sometimes very difficult but I always have it at the back of my mind that nothing good comes easy. You get a lot of “no’s” in this industry as also life in general, but you learn to dust it off and move on to the next project or strategy or plan and even phase.
I believe a seed is planted in the soil where it’s completely secluded from the world and no one sees it. The moment it sprouts and starts to bear fruits, people will then admire and come to it for what it can offer. I believe am still in the soil and soon and very soon, I will sprout.
You are the producer of a movie titled “Thrive”. Why this title and what central message are you conveying?
Yes, “Thrive” was my first feature movie under MimiHagz Production. It’s a movie that questions early life decisions and how they can come back to hunt us. Also tackles issues bothering of peer influence among youth and their constant quest for validation from the virtual world.
Since rolling it out, how would you say the public perception around it is?
We concluded arrangements to feature it on mainstream television three months ago. So, any moment from now you would be watching it. Stay glued to Africa Magic on DSTV.
It is interesting to hear the movies is scheduled for airing on DSTV. When is it likely going to be aired?
This satellite television stations are overwhelmed by the content coming in on a daily basis and it sometimes takes a long time before they view your movie. We were able to get African Magic to view ours and they loved what they saw. So like I said earlier….stay glued to African Magic.
After “Thrive” what next should we expect from you?
My production company is working on a very unique project and principal photography will start before the end of the year.
In the next 10 years and beyond where will Mimi Haaga be so far as the entertainment industry is concerned?
We have a plan to showcase our unique story telling through our movies and take them to major festivals around the world. Hopefully, I hope to pick as many awards as possible and accolades along the way.
Great. What is the message to your fans as you navigate the way to the zenith of your chosen career?
The road may be tough and sometimes it looks as if you will not see any light at the end of the tunnel. But you must find the tunnel. Just keep moving. Keep your head up and keep being positive. That is the Mimi philosophy. To my fans, all I can say I Love u guys a lot and will continually count on your support to get to the zenith of my career.