Former Big Brother Naija housemate Pepper Dem season, Venita Akpofure is one of the lead actresses on ‘Unmarried’, a show currently streaming on Showmax. ‘Unmarried’ explores the relationship among three females and the challenges they face in their respective love lives. In this interview with MUTIAT ALLI, the mother of two shared what attracted her to the script, life after Big Brother Naija and other issues.
First, what has been the best and worst thing about being a Big Brother ex-housemate?
For me personally, and I know some people still struggle to understand this, but I was on my own personal journey of rediscovering myself and that was the best thing for me. You can’t put any money on that.
Also the option of having more opportunities in terms of business, especially in my line of work, is one of the good things that have come from my time in the house.
On the flip side, the worst thing about being an ex-housemate is having to deal with thousands of opinions on what you should be doing, what you should look like, especially with being a single mother of two. It’s not fun.
They like to take my matter to town but I’ve been in the industry for quite some time so I’ve developed a certain layer, I would like to think. Once in a while, I’m a troll too. I like to troll people who come for me. I’m as human as any of those behind the keyboards so it is what it is.
What made you accept the ‘Unmarried’ script?
I’m a firm believer in connecting with women and this kind of script is very relatable and a lot more common than society likes to present. It’s always been my prerogative to be part of that voice that speaks to them, so when I was called to try out for the script, I was really excited about it.
The ladies on the show have a solid friendship. What’s your take on the notion that women are their own worst enemy, and how does one go about building a solid support system?
As women, we’re criticized on so many fronts more than our pale counterparts. I don’t think I agree with that notion that women are our worst enemies because I’ve had both good and bad experiences with women in and out of the workplace.
Women need to trust each other more because that way it’s easier to create what can be a foundation for a solid support system, be it an organization or a personal relationship.
It’s difficult to trust another woman in an environment where society puts so many restraints on you as a woman but by and large we’re adapting and girls are coming through.
Do you see similarities between Venita and the role you playing as Nengi?
With most roles that I’m given to play, there has to be an element of something I can connect to otherwise I’m not able to translate that role properly, so there definitely are some elements I connect with but I’d like to keep that private. But I can say that every girl gets her heart broken and every girl has a fairy tale dream that didn’t quite work out.
What projects are you planning with ex-housemates that your fans can look forward to?
We’ve actually spoken about it briefly but there’s nothing concrete yet. We need to sit down and plan but I’d love to do something with Queen of the North (Diane).
I’m going to leave it at that for now but that’s probably something that is going to happen because we’re in the same field. I do have other things I’d like to do with other people but it’s based on timing so I can’t speak too much on that.
How about from Venita solely, any projects fans should look forward to?
Since coming out, I launched my beauty line, Ivie Lux. I also auditioned for something pretty big and I’m waiting on feedback for that. On the whole I just want to progress and expand and the best way is to remain consistent.
What are you looking forward to doing once the lockdown is over and how have you been passing time?
Getting back to work! I think most of us have been spending a lot. I’m so idle. I need to get back on set work because that’s the one I’m very passionate about. I enjoy the other work but set work is where my heart is.
Sadly and ironically content creating is what has been taking up most of my time. I would have thought I’d spend the time doing something more holistic or whichever but with the isolation, online activity has exploded.
So brands and influencers are taking the opportunity. I’m also taking a healthy amount of time reconnecting and reaffirming some bonds I haven’t been keeping in my life but content creating is the buzz now.
Any tips on how parents can keep their children engaged this period?
As a parent, I’m appreciating the value of a teacher. What they do is huge, so first of all kudos to anyone in education. But I don’t want parents to put too much pressure on themselves.
It’s okay not to understand; it’s okay to be tired sometimes; it’s okay to stress – you’re human too but just try and engage your child in an activity when you’re in a good place.