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Kate Henshaw, Karen Koshoni, Chioma Ude & Oona Priddy are ‘Fifty & Fab!’ on the Cover of ThisDay Style’s Latest Issue

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For ThisDay Style’s latest issue, Azuka Ogujiuba had a riveting encounter with these beautiful women, Kate Henshaw, Karen Koshoni, Chioma Ude and Oona Priddy on how they feel turning fifty, especially looking as good as they do where they can pass for women at least a decade younger!

50 is the new 30! Seeing this bevy of women, we can safely say that without putting a spin on aging, age is just a number. There’s also something special about the number 50; it represents the expression of freedom with an abundance of confidence, appreciating good things and having a healthy lifestyle.

Kate Henshaw, Actress

What things have you learnt about turning 50 that you probably didn’t think much about when you were 40?

Things I have learnt is that being yourself is imperative. Living life to the fullest is non-negotiable.

Everyone usually has a bucket list. What boxes are you yet to tick so far?

The boxes I am yet to tick are being an air hostess even if for a day, (laughter) and running a full marathon.

You look very good for your age and could easily pass for 40. No doubt, older men as well as younger men are bound to admire you. Have you been approached by younger men and if so, would you ever consider dating someone 5-10 years younger? 

Yes, I have been approached by younger men. Yes, I would consider it, especially if the mind is mature and God is the source.

As an actor, between “Talent” and “Training”, which do you believe is most needed to succeed in the movie industry?

Training. You get to learn, relearn, hone your craft and skill.

What is your secret in perfecting your movie roles? Your versatility is often remarkable, in some movies where you’re the victim, you cry, in movies where you’re the victor, you’re mean. In all, you blend perfectly, how do you achieve that?

By watching other actors both local and international. I also believe that mine is a gift from God which I owe to myself to keep the fire burning.

What is the hardest decision you have had to make in life?

Getting a divorce.

Karen Koshoni, Interior Designer

What things have you learnt about turning 50 that you probably didn’t think much about when you were 40?

A certain consciousness of who I am, what do I stand for and what am I giving back to society and what’s the legacy I intend to leave behind, 40’s for me was very much about establishing myself, business and finding my footing as an independent woman etc. Now, in my 50’s I’m more aware of what I can represent as a person.

If you were to advice younger women who look up to you, how best will you advice them about being in a good place?

Number one advice, Do you. Don’t look at what anyone has, or require validation to be who you are. Saying that, get involved with groups and platforms that encourage, help and drive your ambition to build your confidence and skills. Keep good friends that will stand with you no matter what, support you and encourage you. Last but not the least, mind your business and be quiet.

You have a long list of reputable establishments as your client, how do you get them to believe so much in you and what your establishment stands for?

I work at understanding the needs of the client and being able to interpret their needs and the design aesthetics they want to achieve, I’m also very patient with clients and never want them to feel under pressure, it’s a process that must be made enjoyable or comfortable for the client whether it’s a corporation or a private home. Urban Living stands for Quality, Design & Excellent Finish.

You are a mother of four lovely daughters, how are you able to able to combine your role as a C.E.O of Urban Living and a mother knowing how much  your daughters look to you for guidance, advice and direction in the world?

It’s definitely not an easy task, as a woman, you have to work doubly hard to make your mark, so a lot of time is spent working, but I have made sure I’m always there for my girls. I’m disciplined as a mother but I’m also a friend to each one, I encourage them to talk about anything with me (as much as they would allow).

We do a lot of things together, holidays, eating out. Interacting with your children is important. People who know me, know how close I am to my girls and how fiercely protective I am of them. I will drop any and everything for them and they know this. My daughters are my no one priority.

As a member of the Interior Design Association of Nigeria (IDAN), what would you say has been the major role of the organization to the growth of interior decoration in the country?

IDAN has definitely given accreditation to the industry in Nigeria, the confidence to work to principled guidelines and value to the work we do as Architects, Interior designers, interior decorators, manufacturers and artisans. It has definitely put Nigeria on the global platform, the current President of IFI, which is the international federation of interior Architects/Designers is our very own Titi Ogunfere.

You are 50 now, are you in a relationship and finally is your door still open to romance and marriage?

I’m definitely open to romance, courtship and marriage, it’s a blessing to be part of genuine love and make a difference in someone’s life. Although I must say, it’s an area that I tread very carefully, as I don’t want anything to jeopardize my children and I emotional stability. All in all, I’m happily and comfortably single. If the right person comes along, great, if not, great all the same.

Chioma Ude, Filmmaker

What things have you learnt about turning 50 that you probably didn’t think much about when you were 40?

One of the amazing things about turning 50 is that you can leave many cares and worries behind and embrace life. Of course, new problems and ailments are bound to come your way, but that is the case no matter what your age. A person at age 50 can create better health habits and become even healthier than earlier in life.

So to me, it wasn’t so much about learning, it was about taking conscious decision of letting certain things go and deciding to guard my space on who I let into my inner circle. It is imperative that you take extra effort to master a new discipline in maintaining and enhancing your overall cognitive health. Turning 50 means positive energy and loads of laughter.

You have been tagged the First Lady of African media as a result of your progressive and steady rise in the media space. Does that mean the journey has been free of challenges? If there have been any, how did you overcome them?

I mostly overcome my challenges with doggedness when I bite I don’t let go till it comes to fruition. I usually identify potential obstacles. So I start by determining exactly what’s standing between me and my goal, educate myself and learn all I can about the challenges ahead of me. There are a million strategies I can put on the table but the truth is that my journey has been divine.

God has always sent me an angel in all my times of need and despair! I promise you that’s the story of my life. So, I worry less now about how problems will be solved, I celebrate big and small victories and surround myself with a great team while focusing on the next big exploration. F.Y.I. I am one of the most positive people you would ever meet in your life.

As the founder, Africa international film festival (AFRIFF), would you say the festival has played any role in changing the narrative in filmmaking as long as Africa is concerned?

1000000%. Where do I start? AFRIFF is a world-class showcase that presents a complete immersion into the world of filmmaking with participation from local and international filmmakers and professionals, celebrities, actors, directors, film critics, buyers, distributors, visual artists, film students, amateurs, equipment manufacturers, and international press.

Over the years, the Nigerian film practitioners have been a big benefactor to the great programs that AFRIFF offers. Considering the fact that the Festival always held in Nigeria; African film practitioners benefit more from local and international masterclasses, first-hand film exhibition of local film, networking with International filmmakers, opportunities for international distribution; in a nutshell, Nollywood and Africa takes up 80% participation and all access to most of its other festival activities.

The festival exists for Africa Film practitioners to network with practitioners from all over the world. To broker distribution deals after the film has been screened in front of acquisition executives, talent scouts and to win awards; to sit on panels at workshops or seminars with the purpose of sharing ideas and experiences while getting honest feedbacks and criticisms; to cultivate new business relationships; and for the film lovers visiting and in state to enjoy the multitude screenings curated by a superb team. At AFRIFF there is always something for everyone.

What legacy do you want to leave behind; what you would like to be remembered for?

I would love to be remembered for being a great impact to many generations. To be seen as someone who truly made a difference. To be a significant innovator in the creative industry.

Most of all, I would love to be remembered as that person who always carried around some amount of sunshine to brighten the day. It’s a cold world out there.

Would you agree with the notion that Nollywood from all conceivable standpoints has grown to match up with other international movie industries like Hollywood comparatively?

NO not at all, but I would say we are intentionally and strategically headed there. The Nigerian Film Industry (Nollywood) is globally recognized as the second largest film producer in the world. Now we are building the African Global cinema, a platform where the African stories and filmmaking can match the best of the rest of the world We are getting there gradually. Watch this space.

You are 50 are you in a relationship and finally, is your door open to romance and marriage?

Yes I am in a committed relationship.

Instinctively my answer for marriage will be “been there done that” but hey…

Oona Priddy, Marketing and Property Consultant

What things have you learnt about turning 50 that you probably didn’t think much about when you were 40?

Turning 50 was much easier for me than turning 40. It is a chance to revaluate your life and your past and let go. An opportunity to move on and not be limited by our minds. To be more positive and grateful for what you have. To have the courage to say ‘NO’ more often, and not swayed or guided by obligation or what others will think. The realization that I do not have to like everyone and they do not have to like me. It is a time of reflection and an opportunity to reinvent myself for the better.

I lost my parents in the last ten years so death awareness has become highlighted. It has made me realise the importance of how I spend my time and with whom, prioritising my life in a way that is more meaningful.

Everyone usually has a bucket list. What boxes are you yet to tick so far?

Visit every continent, Learn Spanish. Island hop around Greece. Learn a new skill every year. Go on a long cruise with my family. Find a new passion. Master Yoga. Own a home in Spain. Learn to meditate. Become a millionaire. Vacation in the Maldives. Find my soulmate.

If you were to advice younger women who look up to you. how best will you advice them about being in a good place?

I would say that you need to rely on yourself for your own happiness, having a select group of friends who support you and tell you the honest truth. You need to focus on the ‘effort’ in everything you do rather than the outcome and finally, when things are tough, you need to remember that whatever challenges you face ‘it will pass’.

What inspires you to carry on; what is your greatest source of strength?

My parents, it is important to me that I continue to carry on their values and make them proud and my greatest source of strength is my daughter. She keeps me grounded, focused, inspired and hopeful and through her, I am learning more about myself and the world today.

What achievement has given you the most satisfaction, and why?

Being a mother is my greatest achievement. I had a long and hard journey to motherhood and was blessed with a miracle. I have been forever grateful and motherhood changed my life forever. It pushes your boundaries, enables a love and dedication never experienced, a commitment that never ends, responsibility, patience and I am forever learning and growing.

You are 50 now, are you in a relationship and finally is your door still open to romance and marriage?

I am not in a relationship and yes I am open to romance (I am actually a romantic at heart) and marriage if it is with the right person.

Read the full interviews on ThisDay Style.


Interview- @azukaogujiuba
Photography: @kelechiamadiobi
Hair stylist: @ferdinandshair
Hair : @Stylenesthairr
Makeup: @bimpeonakoya @ameriecode @beautybyluch
Location: @sidewalkvi

Shoot Coordinator: @gypsyelvis