Eucharia Anunobi: For Gospel & Screen
Eucharia Anunobi is a veteran Nollywood actress who came into limelight after featuring in multiple, award-winning movie, Glamour Girls 2 (1996). The charismatic actress whose conversion to Christ took the industry by storm some years ago, has been in the business of making movies and winning souls for Christ.
Eucharia Anunobi who holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Pastoral Leadership from Redeemer’s International Leadership Academy, last Sunday, added a feather to her already decorated hat, when she bagged a PhD in Christian Education and Ministerial Art from Kingdom Life Bible College International, Lagos, Nigeria.
In this interview, Dr. Eucharia Anunobi, Filmmaker, actress and Minister of God, takes us through her world, touching on challenging moments as a Minister of God.
What inspired you to broaden your knowledge in bible school?
I was inspired by the fact that, in life, you need to keep honing your skills, improving yourself and evolving so you can remain relevant and be able to weather the storm, and whatever life throws at you. If life throws you lime, you’ll make lemonade, if it throws you orange, you make orange juice.
Now, a PhD holder, what is expected of you?
I am expected to do more, educating my generation, to see things better, upgrade themselves, and to ensure that I contribute my quota in the educational system. I can become a visiting lecturer or a full-time lecturer in any University of my choice, within or outside Nigeria.
Many people believe filmmaking is worldly and Ministers of God should not be involved in it. How do you balance the two?
Well, it is an unfortunate thing that a lot of people believe filmmaking is worldly and Ministers of God should not be involved. I want to say, first and foremost, everything about the world we live in is worldly! Everything that we see upon the face of the earth came from God. But people began to digress and to do things that do not glorify God. Be that as it may, filmmaking is a mighty platform through which the gospel can be preached. So, I think it’s a wrong notion for people to think and believe that filmmaking is worldly.
In the book of Genesis chapter one, in the beginning, “the earth was without form and void.” So, out of all these things that didn’t make sense, that were unbefitting, that had darkness, that ordinarily didn’t look like you’d see something good out of it, God’s spirit, intellect, essence, moved over these things and began to make something out of it. So, invariably, some part of the film industry may be worldly as it were, but that is not a reason why Ministers of God should not be involved. Filmmaking can be used mightily to propagate the gospel of God so that those who cannot read the Bible, can watch it and understand it.
Misconceptions about the Holy Bible can be cleared when the word of God is translated and put in film format. So, filmmaking is a medium that Ministers of God should embrace, to propagate the gospel, so that the layman can understand by just watching it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Ministers of God, Pastors, Bishops, Apostles like myself, Doctors like myself getting involved in acting or making films. film making. Let us not forget, God makes something out of the seemingly unbefitting things. So, while others may be worldly in whatever they are doing, as Ministers of the gospel, let’s distinguish ourselves and be different.
A movie set is often a complicated setting where clashes of egos, anger and other excesses by cast and crew are likely to happen. In the light of your new reality as an Evangelist, how do you now handle such excesses from others compared to how you handled such in the past?
Well, to the glory of God, it’s been 10 years since I was ordained. So, it is not a new reality anymore. But I have the spirit of truth, the spirit of love, which comes from having our minds renewed. So, in such cases, no matter what is happening, we are meant to exhibit the fruit of the spirit and try to broker peace.
How have you been using films as a tool for evangelism?
Producers who write scripts that are faith-based call me to act in most of them. That has been a means of propagating the gospel. That way, people can watch the movie and have the gospel broken down for them in pictures. Apart from that, our daily lifestyle, my daily lifestyle of showing love, of forgiving quickly, of trying to make amends, of trying to be more understanding, of apologizing quickly when you have done wrong; all these are ways of evangelizing.
What have been some of your challenging moments as a Minister of God, actress and filmmaker?
One such challenge is when people assume that as an actress or filmmaker, you cannot also be a prophet or a vessel for God to use to bless people. I want to say to the glory of God, I’m bringing a change in the narrative. I am becoming a trailblazer to changing the dynamics of how people see artistes, actresses or filmmakers. I am changing the narrative for them to see that yes, one can be an actress or a filmmaker, and can also be a great vessel of honour. If you studiously fine tune yourself and lay yourself at the feet of God, hear from Him, live according to His principles, be a great minister of the gospel, over time, people will now learn to know and see that there is no area of life in terms of career or profession that God cannot use. There are doctors, teachers, engineers who are Pastors. So, who said and who is saying that an actress, actor or filmmaker cannot also be a pastor? Be that as it may, if that has been the mindset of people, well, God is saying that I’m changing the dynamics and narrative through my daughter, Apostle-Doctor Eucharia Anunobi.
As an actress, you are expected to be able to interpret any role. What are the roles you would rather not take now because of your status as a Minister in the church?
Well, as an actress, I’m supposed to interpret every role that is assigned to me because if one decides not to do the job, some other actor will take on the job. However, as an Apostle, even others who don’t have that title or status, there are some roles they would not take. So, as much as I would act in every role as long as it’s going to give out a message of reconciliation and informing the people, roles that have to do with me drinking alcohol, I may not take. Also, any other role that would require undue exposure of the body, I would not want to partake of it because even prior to when I became born again, and before I got ordained, I also didn’t take on roles where there was an unnecessary exposure of the body.
What guides the type of roles you accept?
I must ensure it has a good storyline and that the story and the roles have a message to pass to the audience because two major things expected of any movie is that it should be entertaining and it should be educating. So, these are the things I watch out for before I accept any role.
Since being ordained as an Evangelist, are there new insights you have gained about life and your profession?
Well, before and after ordination, to the glory of God, I’ve always had a very intimate relationship with God. It is through this intimate relationship that I understand that in life, for you to make it, for you to rise, for you to know what you want, you need to be close to God and have fellowship with Him. It is in the closeness and fellowship with God that I got to understand that whatever you do and do very well, it will bring you before kings.
Generally, when a person gives his or her life to God, the eyes of wisdom opens unto you, and it helps you to know how to talk and make right career decisions. It helps you in practically every area of your life.
You are one of the veterans of Nollywood that is still active in the industry today. What are the changes you would like to see?
I’d like to see us paid better. I also would want more financiers to come into the industry because; this is an industry that needs money for it to operate. Sponsors should come in, the government should enact laws to protect the literary contents of producers and the writers. Government should put structures in place that would give us an enabling environment to function, to produce the movies and above all, to ensure that persons who have laboured ceaselessly in the industry are truly honoured.
Will you consider giving marriage another shot?
Sure. I would like to get married. I’m looking forward to getting married. I believe it will happen in the fullness of time because God has already said that it is not good for a man to be alone. I’m single and looking. So, if you have anybody who loves or likes me, and feels that I’m the woman of his dreams, please bring him.
What do you look out for in a potential suitor?
The Bible says, “do not be unequally yoked with the unbelievers”, darkness cannot mix with light. You cannot be someone who likes music and want to be with someone who doesn’t like music, it will not work. You have to complement each other. As an academician, I would also want someone educated and enlightened. Someone who has an open mindset, someone who loves education and knowledge as much as I do, and who is romantic. He should have the fear of God, and hold the things of God sacred, has the consciousness of heaven and lastly, someone who has a mind of his own, who would respect me and who loves humanity like I do.
You have held your own as a fashionable actress. How would you describe your style?
Thank you for the compliment. Well, my style is about class and elegance. I love my clothes to be fitting, nice, comfortable and classy. I do not wear things because people are wearing them. I create my style to suit my personality. Let me give an insight; because I am a preacher who is always on the go, if I have to be on the altar, I will not want to have hairstyles that have strands flying all over the places. So, I’ve created the unique afro hair style that everybody now knows as my style.
For me, it’s convenient and it doesn’t get in the way. My style doesn’t necessarily have to be what’s in vogue because what is in vogue today, may not be in vogue tomorrow. My style is about wearing what flatters my body.
How do you relax?
I relax by reading, dancing. I also relax by doing exercises, watching people, and meditating.
Where is your favourite relaxation location?
My favourite relaxation location is America; on the beach and walking through the parks.