Monalisa Chinda talks career life, new projects and more
Nollywood’s super star, Monalisa Chinda-Coker, is set to make a grand return with the Season four of her TV talk show, You&I with Monalisa, this is in addition to the opening of her Film Academy in Port-Harcourt.
The elated actress shares with Allure Vanguard her inspirations, excitement as well as challenges of successfully running a seasonal TV show in Nigeria.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen you on the big screen; tell us what you’ve been up to?
You’re correct in that. I haven’t been in as many films as before.
However, I have starred in some recent cinema hits such as; “Night Bus to Lagos”, “LovePolice” and a TV series called “Entrapped”.
Incidentally, I’m starring in the much anticipated “Bling Lagosians” by BAP productions which premiered last weekend, Sunday, June 16.
Of course, the rest of the last year has been spent preparing and shooting the Season 4 of my TV show – “You & I with Monalisa”, in addition to opening my Film Academy in Port-Harcourt.
Also coincidentally, the first set of students in the process of shooting their first film, which I can’t wait to see, which will be their final project followed by graduation.
As you can probably tell in my voice. I’m very proud of each and every one of them and also the whole team.
It’s fair to say we can now add “TV Show Host” to your profile, tell us about your show “You&1 With Monalisa” and how long has it been on TV?
Yes, please go ahead. It’s a deserving accolade considering we are now in season 5 of a show that many thought I couldn’t pull off. But God had other plans and my wishes and prayers were aligned with His plan for me. From as far back as I can remember. I have always wanted to host my own TV Show. To have a platform where I can hold conversations with everyday people, explore their journeys in life and business, and also get to hang-out and have a good chat with my friends and colleagues from the industry. It is a dream come true! We are about to launch Season 5 and its still feels like a dream. I am inherently grateful to my sponsors for continuous belief in me, which has been both encouraging and uplifting. My talk show also gives my fans an overview of things and subject that matter to me.
Where can your fans watch it?
TVC and it will be in screen from July through to September.
The trailer of some of the episodes from the new season, looks like a fun and youthful vibe? What informed this new direction?
I think it’s time for my fans (both young & old) to see the fun and youthful part of Monalisa. I also wanted to add my little bit to promoting young Nigerians. There are two segments in the show that’s purely youth-centric. 60% of our population is made if up under 30s, so it would be foolish to ignore such a large chuck of our population, a lot of whom are also contributing to the GDP and expansion of the job market in Nigeria especially in the digital space. It’s also inspiring for other young people to see what’s going on in the country and strive to create their own legacy. I strongly believe we have a nation that’s overwhelmingly ambitious, ingenuous, tenacious and driven. It’s called the Nigerian spirit, so let’s celebrate it!
You have a segment on entrepreneurs; where you feature SME’s whose business is on the digital arena?
As I mentioned before, I believe we need to support the efforts of our young people in this country. The world is changing, Africa is shaping, Nigeria is a part of that newness. Our young people are the custodians of the future, they are the ones that will set the path, and water the fields for a new Nigeria; the Nigeria that I want for my daughter and all our children. So whatever I can do to support young entrepreneurs, is always my pleasure. Luckily for me; my objective is also very much aligned with my sponsor’s (Fidelity Bank) who were awarded the No1 SME bank in Nigeria.
You also have a segment which I particularly like called TOP of THE POPs, tell me about that?
I love music. In particular I love Nigerian music and I love dancing. I adore the Nigerian classics such as Hi-life (Rex Lawson, Bobby Benson, Osondi Owendi etc) and of course the jazz-funk-Afrobeat of Fela etc, but there’s a compulsive energy to the new Afro-pop or Afro-beats genre that’s engaging and addictive. You can’t ignore it, even if you don’t agree with the lyrics, as a Nigerian, there is no way you will won’t dance. So as a creative, I know how hard it is to get that all important breakthrough. Every showcase, platform or stage is critical since you don’t know who might see your performance. My TV show is watched by millions, my fans as well as colleagues the creative industry. Hence we came up with the TOTP segment to showcase up and coming &unsigned music artists in Nigeria. We took the name from the old British music show; Top of the Pops which back then was the No 1 was a music and dance show for young people.
How long will this new season of “You & I” be on our screens?
12 weeks starting from July this year.
Read more on this inspirational interview tomorrow as she graces the cover of Allure Magazine Sunday, June 23.