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Nollywood Actress Adesua Etomi Says ‘There is the prejudice of being light skinned’

Adesola Ade-Unuigbe

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Adesua EtomiNollywood actress Adesua Etomi, who released some gorgeous promo pictures recently, had an interview with weekly tabloid Encomium and talks about her current project, moving back to Nigeria, the idea that light-skinned actresses get more movie roles and more.

Read excerpts from her interview below.

On moving back to Nigeria: I wasn’t planning to move back to Lagos when I did. Frankly, I quit my job over there because I grew discontent and restless. The idea was to visit for three months, but it has been three years. I stayed because Nollywood welcomed me and my love for acting refused to take a back seat anymore. It is a decision I’m glad I made.

On challenges in Nollywood: In the early days of my career, it was the challenge of being given an opportunity to show my acting skills. Thankfully with time this has gotten better. Now, maybe it would be the challenge of type-casting. It’s very easy to find yourself in a box because of a previous performance. I have so much acting to give and I would love to show how diverse I can be, if given a chance. An actor lives to play different people. And last, there is the prejudice of being light skinned. There is a school of thought that says Nollywood likes light skinned actors, so a few mischievous people will allude to that being a reason for the amount of work that has fallen on my plate. I wish this was the case and while everyone is entitled to their opinion, no Director has told me I got a role because I was light skinned.

On her fans: I have the most polite fans ever, there is no weirdness. They say the nicest things to me and I haven’t yet had any reason to feel any fan has been intrusive.

On having a man in her life: Yes, Jesus is the number one man in my life. My father and brother are also men in my life. I could go on, but it only goes downhill from this point.

On staying grounded with fame: God first and then my fantastic support system, which is a mix of family and close friends. Aside these, I have an outlook on this fame business that keeps me very grounded. My journey has only begun and it would be a bit premature to celebrate when I know that this is only a tip of the iceberg, so that thought also keeps me focused and it is easy to stay grounded if you’re focused. The actor is never bigger than the job. The moment I think Adesua is a celebrity, the acting takes a back seat and I’ve lost my way. I never want that to happen.

On also being a singer: I love music but I just haven’t had the courage to pursue it professionally. I was in the church choir for 10 years while I was in the UK. I didn’t join the choir when I moved back to Nigeria because acting takes you away and I would miss so many rehearsals that they would probably have to kick me out. I will do something about using my other gift singing very soon, I promise.

You can read up her full feature here.

Photo Credit: Bella Naija/Aham Ibeleme Photography

Adesola is the BellaNaija Head of Content and Digital Ventures. She is a BN stan.. Yes, things are that serious for her when it comes to BellaNaija.com. She's a lover of gist, novels, music, and food. She's constantly trying not to take life for granted. She spends most of her time either keeping up with the world on the Internet or sharing some acquired knowledge about digital media. She is passionate about using her voice to speak against injustice, especially towards women. To communicate with her directly, you can hit her up on: Instagram - @adesola.au Twitter - @Adesola_AU

61 Comments

  1. Locs of life

    June 24, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I just want to know where she did her hair…

    • RIFF RAFF

      June 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      me too, love that hair; tired of the light skin dark skin ish

  2. bruno FIERCE

    June 24, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    first of all sweetheart, u came back to nigeria cause you’re a failure. u couldn’t get any acting jobs vause lets face it, u have zero talent and the industry abroad is very tough unlike nigerian entertainment industry, where they will welcome u if you’re light skin (eku) or have money and connections (Dj cuppy). so pls just save this ur story for ur kids in future cause you are not fooling anybody.

    you are complaining about being light skin, gurl, if u were not light skin will u be where u are today in nollywood. who would pay u any attention is you were black, when I say black, I mean charcoal colour.
    u better stop being ungrateful and count ur blessings that nigerians worships the fair complexion. look at eku, do u see her complaining. she herself knows if she wasn’t fair in complexion she wont have those hosting jobs and actings jobs.
    ungreatful woman. I don’t even know who u are but u sound so pretentious.

    • nene

      June 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      gbam.

    • me

      June 24, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Bruno…Smart people realise there are opportunities in a fertile land. Why should she stay abroad hussling, when her talent can be realised earlier in Nigeria? Tiwa succeeded because she came back, and so did Seyi shey, even ikechukwu…

      It is really sad that an unfaced human like you can publicly rant about someone you have not seen perform.

      Adesua is a brilliant performer and there is nothing you can do about it.

    • Tony

      August 7, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Don’t mind Bruno who is a nobody. This is the attitude displayed by people suffering from Pulling Down Syndrome (PDS)”.

    • concerned

      June 24, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Lol Bruno,have you no chill? You have killed the poor girl oooo

    • BRIGGS

      June 24, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      BRUNO YOU HAVE THE GUTS TO OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND CALL GOD’S CREATION A FAILURE? WOW. YOU MUST FEEL PRETTY NASTY INSIDE. IF THIS IS HOW YOU WANT TO BE FAMOUS THEN IM IN AWE…. BRINGING SOMEONE ELSE DOWN DOES NOT TAKE YOU HIGHER, THE FACT THAT YOU DON’T RESONATE WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S IDEA DOES NOT MAKE THEM A FAILURE. LOOK IN THE MIRROR FIRST… THEN EDUCATE YOURSELF A BIT OKAY? AND IM NOT TALKING DEGREE I MEAN KNOWLEDGE…. READ… LOL… YOU ARE SO FUNNY… CHILEEEEE……..

    • Spreadlove

      June 24, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      I did not pick up a complaint about being light skinned and she was doing stage plays back in UK same thing she started with when she moved back home. Adesua is far from being a failure, she could have stayed within her comfort zone but did not. I saw her stage plays and i think she is very good . Gosh your bile level must be high

    • Amiira

      June 24, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      But what sort of a person are you? So cruel, so crude, so mean. Can you not state your feelings without being callous and unrefined? You really need to purge yourself of hate and meanness. Sometimes your comments are right but you just kill the objectivity of your comments with hate. No wonder your last lover just left you disrespectfully. You ooze of all manners of evil

    • Ada

      June 25, 2015 at 8:07 am

      C’mon shut up! Monkey!

    • Madamsofo

      June 25, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Genevieve, mercy Johnson, ini Edo, Yvonne okoro etc are all dark skinned actresses. So she will probably get the job regardless of her skin complexion. You can write a comment without being hateful and condescending.

    • bbz

      June 29, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      … and if someone calls you a faggot for being gay, you go all crazy. So how dare you speak out with so much hate and disgust for your fellow human being.
      I am sure you are going through so much and you bringing other people down is the only way you can be happy. I just pray you do not end up hurting yourself at the end of the day, because that is how bitter and angry people always end up.
      You better Change! A word is enough for the Wise o!
      Am sure there is more to you please find that happy and positive side of you before its too late. .

  3. Self-Sufficient

    June 24, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Good interview. Wishing you all the best. Regarding the topic of complexion, can naturally light/fair skinned AFRICANS get a break??? Haba!!!

  4. prince

    June 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Just seeing her for the first time tho. what movie has she acted?

    • Paloma

      June 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Gidi up …..

    • onetallgirl

      June 24, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      What character did she play in gidi up. I don’t recognize her.

    • Lynda

      June 24, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Gidi up, Brave & Knocking on Heaven’s door. I think she a great actress, definitely one to look out for.

    • nkem

      June 24, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Knocking On Heaven’s Door

  5. Bey

    June 24, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Your acting is just there..

  6. Tuu

    June 24, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Can we please move away from the light/dark/bleached skinned topics…. Gosh! It’s so exhausting, everywhere you turn, that’s what you hear or read, there’s m ore to life than just looks. I think Adesua is a brilliant and beautiful actor though. More grace dear.

    • Tomilola

      June 24, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      While I understand where you’re coming from, Tuu, I have to say that it’s really a topic/Issue that is not going anywhere. I am a part of the industry, albeit as a writer, but I will categorically tell you that light skinned girls are given more opportunities based on their complexion than dark skinned girls. I have been on set before, sitting behind the scenes with the Director and the Assistant Director and the two characters on set at the time were both light skinned and guess what the conversation between the Director and AD was? “Nothing is better than shooting a scene with fair skinned women” As silly as it sounds, that actually did happen and while I launched an argument about why that should even be uttered at all, I knew there was no winning it. It’s there for real. Unfortunately. So while you might be tired of hearing or reading this, it actually does exist. As for Adesua, no one would tell her she got a role cos of her skin color.

  7. Annie

    June 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Adesua Etomi, one honest question…..Are u naturally light skinned?

    • Word

      June 24, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      I am from the Etomi family. Yes, she is naturally light like my mum and some of our aunties! Mum, some sisters and Adesuwa all look like our Grand Aunt (Bernard Etomi ‘s elder sister) .

    • kay kay

      June 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      yes she is…..went to secondary school with her and she is actually darker now than she was back then

    • Lin

      June 24, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Ode! She is and it’s obvious. Not everyone is bleaching, Light skinned people deserve to be called beautiful as much as dark skinned ladies. Allow people to love themselves the way they and don’t make them make excuses for the way they are.

    • jide

      June 24, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Yes she is

    • Spreadlove

      June 24, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      Yes she is, their grandma could pass for an albino maybe that gene got passed down, haba ppl stop hating now

  8. bn lover

    June 24, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    We don hear. But pls can this light skin dark skin grammar just rest?

  9. Beeeee

    June 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Great interview but sweetie, if a director gave you a job because of your complexion, he won’t tell you that. Come on now!

    • gia

      June 24, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      exactly!!!!!
      -.-

    • nene

      June 24, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      exactly.

  10. cindy

    June 24, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Sounds like whites shouting reverse-racism lol.

    • Ada Nnewi

      June 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      You must hate your dark skin…

    • cindy

      June 24, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      @ada whatever………biko ignore my comment if you have nothing intelligent to say. I made a humorous comment with no intent to hate because her words sounded familiar. You on the other hand have made this personal and have tried to attack my sanity, but I’m sorry my self esteem is not that weak. I am dark-skinned and I am proud to be. Hence, take your bullshit and shove it up your ass.

  11. somto

    June 24, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Hmmm issorait but you told a “Friend ” that you work a lot because of your complexion and she’s not busy because may be she’s too dark. Hmmmmm!!

    • polypoly

      June 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      somto darling!!! get back in here and spill that tea…..chillleeee, so she is forming for the blogs huh…lol

    • Somto

      June 24, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      @polypoly that is a triple gbam to the highest order. Blog forming!!

  12. I no send

    June 24, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Enough of this skin debate abeg

  13. Paix

    June 24, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Adesua,, one of my best new/ upcoming actor in nollywood.. After Nse Ikpe Etim, Adesua is my next best female actor. She is really good, on stage and on screen. She was so fantastic in “Knocking On Heaven’s Door”. Keep being the best Adesua and continue to be better than your last best.

    This is just the beginning, the world beyond Nigeria will celebrate you as an actor.

  14. bruno FIERCE

    June 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    bellanaija u have eaten my comment, just know u have eaten rat poison also. I mixed my comment with rat poison.

  15. keke

    June 24, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    people ehn! biko, pls enough of this colour skin thingy. Na wetin..

  16. Girlbeingreal

    June 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Nawa ooo… Everybody moved back from somewhere. I think it kinda ups the CV… I only moved around. I like to think am still cool.. Hehehe

    • Ebiere

      June 24, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      Thank you! How about discrimination against naija breeds….everywhere I turn some JJC Is in the country getting jobs that they don’t deserve 70% of the time…they get better ratings for doing practically nothing other than breeze in with their over priced accents…especially in the entertainment industry…are we saying that we don’t have good actors raised in Nigeria??? Are we saying that one must study abroad just to be an “OAP”? These are issues that ought to be discussed rather than black and white skin victimization…every woman is beautiful agreed…CAN WE MOVE ON?

  17. Amh

    June 24, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Who cares. Am naturally very fair. But i dont agree to the norm
    They are lots of stunning dark skin girls with hit shape. Dont think it matters really. As per eku i really dont get how she made it in nija. Shes talentless and very bland. I presume she hustled and someone took a liking to her. Funke fowler is dark skinned and stunning. Nike oshinowo. AGBANI. geneivieve. OSAS. ibidun Ighodalo. The elegant toyin saraki. Mrs Ojora. The list is endless. PLS stop hyping youself cuz you r lightskinned. Moreover you are a wack actress.

  18. nene

    June 24, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    she sounds pretentious and looks it too. she’s a good actress but i get a bad vibe from her.

  19. natu

    June 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Slavery and colonialism has been for a minute now over but the white man still got these niggers in pockets!! I find it very interesting on how white people convinced Africans to hate their God given features. That ish amazes me.

  20. me

    June 24, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Okay for those of you who are not filmmakers… let me help. Lighter skin is easier when lighting a scene…. shikena. But Dark skin when lit properly is sweeter…. all depends on the budget.

  21. bruno

    June 24, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    so bellanaija it is now u are posting my comment, when the article has gone cold. nice one

  22. Tlae

    June 24, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Bruno how Do U sleep @ night? Are you ok? You just want to be perceived as the evil one? Sometime ago ii wondered if Bruno was just something bellanaija came up with to get controversial discussions, but Boooooooy! Am just tired of this Bruno character !!!!

  23. chy

    June 24, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    adesua or whatever the truth is i hvnt seen u in any movie or probably i dnt do much of nolly movies.before i can say anytin to u madam,show us ur childhood pix cos frm what i m seein u look like dencias biggest customer

    • Word

      June 24, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      Chy, you are sick. She is naturally light. She is part of my family!

  24. Slayer

    June 24, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Adesua please shut up and enjoy Royal Art Academy’s gift to a learner like you.

  25. BRIGGS

    June 24, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    FOR EVERYONE TIRED OF THE LIGHT SKIN DARK SKIN TALK, I THINK YOU ARE ALL VERY RIDICULOUS. ARE YOU KIDDING? LIKE SAYING YOU ARE TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT RACISM OR TRIBALISM. DON’T BE STUPID. IF YOU ARE SICK OF READING/HEARING ABOUT IT, PLEASE CLOSE YOUR EYES/EARS. ITS CRAZY THAT IN 2015 CRAP LIKE THIS STILL GOES DOWN DECADES AFTER SLAVERY. SO NO, IT WONT END UNTIL THE PROBLEM ENDS. WHATS WRONG WITH Y’ALL? LIKE TF?????? BUDGET OR NOT. LIGHTING OR NO LIGHTING. JUST SILLY EXCUSES. DUMB AF TOO LIKE…..SIGHS…. I WONT RANT TODAY.
    ANYWAY…. SHE IS AN AMAZING ACTRESS WITH A BRIGHT FUTURE IN THE INDUSTRY GOD WILLING. WE ARE TIRED OF THESE PETTY $1 MOVIES THAT TAKE 1 MONTH TO WRITE AND SHOOT AND EDIT….. ENOUGH OF THE HATING MY PEOPLE. EDUCATION IS KEY…. KISSES

    • cryingneversolvedanything

      June 24, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      thank you for this. People think if they ignore it, it would disappear. That is just them being obtuse. A snake would not refrain from biting you because you ignored it. It would when you kill it.
      Make una dey continue to dey act like ostrich. All of you would get your nigger wake up call very soon.

  26. b

    June 24, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    pls bellanaija should filter bruno’s comment or ban him or her from this space already. You should have some respect when addressing even if you are erring your opinion.

  27. D.K

    June 25, 2015 at 7:56 am

    I saw her in Gidi Up, i think she did great. I would love to see more of her.
    You are beautiful Adesua and i wish you the best in your career.

  28. Ada

    June 25, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Toh, if she is the girl on knocking on heaven’s door o then she is a good actress o! She slayed that role. Plus looking at her she is naturally fair. I don’t get why bellanaija peeps always believe someone is bleaching!

  29. thehermit

    June 25, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Please, what hair is that? Who knows anything about the hair she used? I really love it

  30. Gloria

    June 25, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Dear Adèsuwa,
    If you are reading this, I want you to know that you are super talented. I saw u on Knocking on heavens door and you interpreted ur role as if you were born into it.
    I’m very hard to impress but I can tell you that you are gonna rise to number 1 actress in Nigeria someday.

    More greese to you Miss Awesome.

  31. bebe

    July 29, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Adesuma is so good nd very talented,she beautiful too

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