If you’ve been an avid follower of the Nigerian social scene lately, you would surely not have missed seeing the beautiful Nollywood actress, Susan Peters always making a statement. With a great sense of style and a curvy body to go with, she always looks well put together and is one to watch out for.
But that is not all Susan Peters is known for. The Benue state born actress attended Airforce Nursery and Primary Schools and FGGC Wuse Abuja. She also studied Computer Science at Asman English School, Kaduna and further studied TV & Film at Video Waves & Camera Film School, Kaduna.
Susan started modelling as well in 2003 and has appeared in many advertisements; from billboards to TV commercials, Press ads, Handbills and many more. The City People Most Stylish Actress for 2012 has also won some awards for her acting including the Best Of Nollywood Best Supporting Actress Award in 2011.
The 30th of May 2013 was Susan’s birthday which also happened to be the date of our interview. I got to the Beat FM Studio in Lagos, venue of our interview some minutes before she arrived sporting a tomboy look. Dressed in a white shirt, black pants and red bow tie, she brightened it up with a beaming smile and a delicious cake for everyone. Soon after a brief on-air chat with Olisa on the Morning Drive, we sat down for an interesting interview.
The Birthday Girl!
Happy Birthday Susan.
They say we ladies don’t ever tell our ages but I’m thinking you might be an exception. How old are you marking today?
I’m adding another year. That is all you need to know darling.
What are you most grateful for on this special day?
I’m thanking God for where He has brought me and where I came from. For all the things I achieved last year and hoping that this year I would achieve greater heights. I’m thanking my family for supporting me through it all, through the good times and the bad times; my friends that have stood by me and my fans that have been praying for me. I thank them a lot for always being there.
Do you have any other activities or party planned to celebrate your day?
I’ve been to the Beat FM to give a shout out. I’m leaving here now for Surulere to the Pacelli School for Special Children and after that I’d come home and have some lunch with some friends. Later tonight, I’d put on my dancing shoes and have a party with some friends.
The Real Susan Peters
So Susan, let’s get to know you better. Who is Susan Peters off the screen?
I keep pretty much to myself. I love watching movies, cooking and doing my house chores. Even though I have people working for me, I still love to do my work sometimes. I love sleeping, I don’t joke with my sleep. If I’m sleeping and you wake me up, I would be cranky all through the day. On a day that I don’t feel like going out, I stay indoors.
What else do you do professionally apart from acting?
I have a salon and a boutique in Kaduna. I also do interior decoration, make up and contracts to supply building materials.
How is business in Kaduna and how do you manage it all the way from Lagos?
Kaduna used to be a very peaceful and quiet town before all the fighting. The crisis has really affected the town, so business over there is really frustrating. I’m looking forward to moving the salon and the boutique down here.
Did you grow up in Kaduna?
I didn’t really grow up in one place, we were always moving but pretty much most of it was in Kaduna.
Her Journey to Fame & Stardom
Tell me about your journey to fame. How did you get into acting?
I think I just stumbled on it. I wanted to become an air hostess. I loved the way the female British Airways cabin crew dressed with their smart outfits and short skirts, looking very prim and proper. But it didn’t work out. We were supposed to go for a course but at that time the airline said they weren’t willing to train people except we train ourselves because when they train people, most of them don’t stay with them and they go to other airlines. That was when I opened the salon and boutique. Shortly after that, some people came to use my store to act a series and offered me a small role. When they finished, the Director asked me if I had thought about acting and when I said no, he told me that there was a film school in Kaduna I could go to if I wanted to learn how to act. And that’s it. I graduated with a distinction, the best overall female student in my class and after that, we came for a two-week excursion in Lagos, and here I am.
Coming to Lagos for the first time and experiencing life in the bustling city takes some time to adjust to for many people. Was it the same for you?
At first, I couldn’t deal with the chaos. Lagos was too rough and rowdy for me. The way the danfo drivers drive was too crazy and I felt I wasn’t going to be able to stay in Lagos. I used to fly in, do my movies and fly back. At some point, Olu Jacobs advised me that in the industry I needed to be constant; that I should be at one point so when I am needed, I can easily be reached. That was when I decided to relocate in 2002. I first of all lived in Victoria Island, later I moved to Ikoyi and I’ve been there ever since.
Did you have any crazy experiences as a new comer in Lagos?
It was tedious! I lost my phones several times in taxis, my car got scratched by buses, it was crazy.
Career, Style, Relationships & More
Back to the movies now, how many movies have you featured in so far and which ones are you most proud of?
I’ve done 80 movies and counting. The thing is most of the movies I’ve done don’t really get enough publicity. But some of the recent ones that have given a boost to my career are ‘Domino’, a series I did with Tajudeen Adepetu; ‘Sound Of Poverty’ and then ‘Bursting Out’, an Emem Isong production. I’ve gotten a lot of recognition and awards for that movie.
Earlier this year, an entertainment website named you one of Nigeria’s most ‘red carpet party goers’ of 2012. It seems you’re living up to that title as you are spotted at almost every major red carpet event in town. Do you really think you’re everyw?
I go to events when I’m invited, I don’t just stumble on events. When people respect you, they look for you and give you an invite so it’s only natural for you to respect that person and go for their event so that when you are doing yours, people will come. I don’t just go to red carpet events because I don’t have anything I’m doing and it’s not every red carpet event I go for. And the thing is, I make a statement on the red carpet so people always want Susan Peters to be there. So if people have issues because I go on the red carpet, well sorry, too bad. They will be seeing more of me.
Talking about making a statement, you caused quite a stir with your Indian outfit to the “On Bended Knees” movie premiere. What inspired that outfit?
I was away in Paris when Chioma pinged me saying I must be at her movie premiere. Because she is a friend and a senior colleague, I wanted to honour her invitation. Usually when I’m going for an event, I prepare for it either with my stylist or by myself. But for this, I didn’t have anything I wanted to wear. Then I remembered that a friend of mine bought me Sari from India. The premiere was the next day so I called her in the morning and went to her house in Festac to pick it up and gave it to my tailor that day who sewed it overnight. Everybody liked it but then some group of people were asking why I should wear Bollywood in Nollywood. Are they for real? Why do we wear English clothes? Should we be wearing our traditional prints all the time? Some people just sit in their homes and without thinking, decide to write whatever they want to write. I’m trying to grow a thick skin. The day I decided to join the movie industry was the day I sold myself to the world. So, whatever that comes with it, let it come.
Do you work with a stylist whenever you make appearances on the red carpet or at social events?
Toyin Lawani of Tiannah Styling does most of my styling. Zizi Cardow does some of my styling as well. I have a French designer, Asabe. She is the one who did the Indian Sari and most of my native attires. And then Exquisite Style gets me some of the readymade red carpet dresses.
Last year, the popular blogger, Linda Ikeji’s post on you acquiring a Blackberry Porsche didn’t go down well with you as you went on a twitter rant to complain about her readers’ comments. Why?
Anybody who knows me knows I love gadgets. I even buy gadgets before they come out, that is how bad it is. I order online because I want to be the first to buy it. It’s just like when they said I was a lesbian, I am not. The fact that I sometimes dress boyish does not mean I am a lesbian. People who know me know that I have a soul mate.
But what happened was that someone saw me and said “oh, you’re one of the first nollywood actresses to get a Porsche”. He just wanted to use it for his story but then she twisted it and allowed her readers to put malicious comments.
Most of the good things we do, people don’t really put it out there in the media. I do charity, I’ve been doing charity even before I joined Nollywood but it’s not out there. I made my millions even before I joined Nollywood so somebody who doesn’t know me from nowhere cannot just sit down there and think I’m like this because I joined Nollywood!
But she tendered an apology to you on Twitter…
She did that because her sisters came to my Twitter page to insult me. Who does that? I had to tell them to stay off, to back off. And then she made an apology privately. Why would she do that? If she knew the thing they did was wrong, she should have tendered it openly. People do that. She then made another blog post about the apology and people who had been looking for ways to insult me just trooped there.
More and more Nigerian celebrities who acquire expensive stuff now post it on social media. Do you think this is a show off?
It’s not showing off, that is why it’s called show business. Show business is indirectly saying showing off but that is not what I call it. If you are in it, you have to be able to be out there and that is the truth. In Hollywood, they buy things and they put it out there so why is our own different? Last year, I got two new houses. Why didn’t they put that on the blogs? I got awards and nominations. Why didn’t they publish that? I have built my brand to this level so somebody can not just come from nowhere and just poke it like some balloon. I am made of steel, they should know that.
Have you met Linda Ikeji since then?
I haven’t. I don’t even know how she looks except someone points her out to me. I don’t visit blogs.
Not even BellaNaija?
It’s only when someone sends me a link of something that was published about me that I click on the link to read it. I don’t even read the news, I’m that bad. It’s only when I hear people talking about something then I go and google it.
You were also obviously upset when on Twitter again, you responded to an allegation that you made a comment on her blog…
At some point, someone went to her blog using my name to make a comment and a friend of mine called and told me about it. Why would I do that? I have three Facebook accounts and a fan page, two Twitter accounts, Instagram, Keek, Path and I’ve not been able to keep up with all of them. Why would I go to any blog to go and write stuff? Like, who does that? People would just say “oh, she is the one” and then come to my Twitter page to insult me. It’s wrong. People should learn to celebrate people.
At BellaNaija, we’d love to celebrate you. I understand you are a UN Ambassador of Peace and you have a charity foundation. What is it called?
‘Susan Peters Foundation, Benue Pikin’. It’s focused on children, and also creating awareness about Asthma and Diabetics.
Why Asthma and Diabetics?
Because I used to be asthmatic and my Dad is diabetic but thank God we’ve survived it. I am no longer asthmatic.
I remember reading a while ago that you adopted a child. Is that true?
Yes I did. She is in Ogun state, and I have other children in other states, not just her. I love kids. Even before I joined Nollywood, I’ve always loved children. I used to take care of children in my area in Kaduna and when I did, they won’t want to go back home. It’s something I grew up with. I think I learnt it from my Mum because she is a people person and I’m just like her.
What are you going to do with the kids at the Pacelli School for Special Children later today?
I’m taking some stuff to them and I just want to spend time with them.
Why do you call yourself the ‘Duchess of Idoma’?
Because I am from a royal home.
This is on your Twitter profile but you’ve been criticized about the self-proclaimed title.
I am from a royal home, I don’t really need to explain myself. If they want to find out, they should go to my village. My Dad is from a royal family so automatically I am a Princess.
Let’s talk about some mushy stuff now. Are you in a romantic relationship?
If I say I’m not seeing anybody, won’t you say there is a problem with me? Of course I am.
Great to hear that! Are the wedding bells ringing soon?
Don’t worry, you people would be the first to know.
Tell me more about him, is he in the movie industry? What attracted you to him?
He is not in the industry. I was attracted to his calmnesss, his intelligence, his down to earth nature and he is very humble.
For BellaNaija readers, tell us two things that most people don’t know about you.
I’m pretty much very very intelligent. You could teach me something that I don’t know and I can pick it up in five minutes. And I love cooking, especially traditional dishes. I learn how to cook dishes from other tribes and I do it perfectly. But I love Ogbono soup and pounded yam.
On a parting note, what would you like to say to your fans.
I’m just going to say thank you to everyone who loves me, who loves my work and has supported me all through. To people who have been sending messages and prayers, without them I won’t be where I am. I’m also telling people that they should never give up. If they have a dream that they want to achieve, they should keep pressing forward. And above all, love God because without God, you can do nothing.
It was great chatting with Susan and from BellaNaija, we wish her the very best! Keep it locked on BN for exclusive photos from her birthday party.
Susan Peters Showreel
Photography: Moussa Moussa | Makeup: Jiyde | Styling: Susan Peters & Tiannah Styling