Connect with us


Why is Anita Eboigbe Passionate About Nollywood and Media? Find Out in Today’s “Doing Life With…”



Doing Life With… is a BellaNaija Features series that showcases how people live, work, travel, care for their families and… everything in between. We are documenting the lives of all people and ensuring everyone is well-represented at BN.

Did you miss last week’s conversation with P.Priime? You can catch up here

This week, we’re doing life with Anita Eboigbe, the Chief of Staff at Big Cabal Media and co-founder, In-Nollywood, a film journalism platform. Enjoy the conversation!

Hello Anita. How do you feel today?

I’m fine. I’m very tired, but I think that’s pretty usual. I’m generally fine. Nigeria is happening, but I’m fine.

Give us a peep into your background

I grew up in a small town in Edo State. Life was pretty relaxed, and everyone looked out for each other. It was an interesting life, but you had to seek out inspiration because there weren’t many people, especially women, to look up to at that time. So, everyone just did their own thing but still supported each other. I emphasise the look out for each other part because as I got older, moved out, went to university, and travelled, I realised that people don’t look out for each other as much as I believed growing up.

I come from a very art-inclined background, but I was going to study medicine because I was the only one in the house inclined towards science. However, my dad is a lawyer and my mom studied English and Languages, so there were a lot of books. My father used to put me on the table every time he wanted to read and would read his books to me. The first thing I remember reading was law reports because my dad would read them to me. I also used to follow him to court.

My first job was as a legal secretary, and I did a lot of law report reviews. Many of my core memories revolve around reading and arguing about books with my mom. When there’s a stranger around us as a family, it’s easy to tell who the stranger is because we are likely going to burst into a very engaged conversation about anything and everything. Along with books and conversations, there was music. There was always music in my house. My mom used to be a singer when she was younger, and I have a brother who is into music as well. Putting it all together, you’ll realise I grew up in a very artsy home, and that has influenced the way I have grown.

So what did you later study?

I studied mass communication and journalism. I went on to do a bunch of certifications in media, media products, and business along the way. I’m a lifelong learner.

What’s your childhood introduction to film?

A neighbour of mine owned a video club. When I was young, my mum would give us money every Friday to go rent a film there. It was how I knew the weekend was coming. And I still do it today. On Fridays after work, I just put on the TV. That was really my childhood and it was a lot of home videos. The video club was a big part of it.

What kind of films did you watch then?

I’ve always loved Nigerian films. I struggled when I was younger to get into foreign films and my parents and siblings couldn’t understand why. I think it was because when I was watching a Nigerian film, I could relate – films shot in small towns like ours, the dynamics and I could point out places that we had been to and stuff like that. I just enjoyed looking at what I could relate to.

So you could say your childhood experience spurred your interest to co-found In-Nollywood?

It was just a no-brainer for me. When I started my career in data journalism, I was curious about a lot of things, but primarily I was curious about how much Nollywood was making. I think that was my first curiosity. And then it turned into a curiosity about just where the money was being distributed. I love numbers and money and figuring out what money does and how to make money. So I was like, “Hey, let me just look at it for Nollywood and see where it goes”. And that’s how I started dumping into my personal blog which led to me and Daniel merging our efforts into what has now become In-Nollywood.

That’s really impressive, Anita

Thank you. It’s so fascinating to see that it’s all happening. There’s still a lot to do. And our mission is really to solve one critical issue in the industry at a time.

So, everything you do revolves around media but is different in specifics. How has the interplay of these roles helped each other?

Yes, media is my life’s work until further notice. But the interplay? It’s not very different. At BCM, I’m in charge of business operations, ensuring that we do the things that we say we are going to do, that we’re strategically thinking about the future and that we are strategically implementing what we need to implement today. Also dealing with other people and performance management, ensuring that everybody who works at BCM is on the same page at the same time every day. And it’s essentially the same thing at In-Nollywood but I’m more involved over there. I am more involved in what are we publishing and I see it as a personal mission to make sure that when people come on board, saying that they want to learn, we make the experience as seamless as possible. I think the interplay is that media is media for me and they’re both very strategic roles. It’s just that one is smaller and one is bigger. I take a lot of learnings from how I have run In-Nollywood into Big Cabal, especially in the projects.

You do a lot o. What’s a typical day in your life sef?

I used to wake up in the middle of the night before I stopped because it was unhealthy. But I’m typically up by, say, 4 a.m. I do a lot of thinking between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock.

Think for 1 hour? Why? 

I just like to think in that time. I want to think and spend time in my mind and just review what I need to do for the day. It doesn’t matter what I’m thinking, but I like to think. I like to spend my mornings in quiet reflection, reviewing my thoughts and planning for the day ahead. I used to have a regular breakfast routine, but lately, I’ve been caught up in various projects, so I often forget to eat. So I do yoga and get ready for the day. I make an effort to prepare for the day as if I’m heading out of the house. I sit in my home office and start by checking my to-do list. From the time I wake up until 9 a.m., I try to avoid interacting with anyone as much as possible because I believe that once you say hello to anybody that’s outside of your immediate space, you open your day up to the world.

I spend the early hours reviewing my to-do list, which I always prepare the night before. I also review the events of the previous day and make notes of outstanding tasks and people I need to speak with the following morning. I schedule messages and calls if necessary. A significant portion of my day is spent in meetings, communicating with others, and writing. I engage in discussions about project status and brainstorming sessions to ensure we are not missing anything important. I also spend time writing strategy documents and conducting research with stakeholders.

Some days, I find myself in the field, meeting with people externally and executing tasks. My schedule varies depending on the day. I generally close my laptop at 8 p.m. I strive to maintain a consistent routine for the sake of my health and well-being. I may spend an hour watching something or reading. I have a daily reading goal that I need to meet, so I make sure to do that before wrapping up for the day. At the end of the day, I review my accomplishments and update my to-do list for the following day. And the cycle continues.

What are the things in your everyday life that bring you joy?

I have several hobbies that I enjoy. I have a collection of Lego sets that I display in my living room and dining room. Sometimes, when I’m bored, I like to work on them. I also have a bubble wand that I use to blow bubbles around the house when I need a break. On weekends, I enjoy kayaking. I like watching predictable films, especially during the workweek when I don’t want to think too much. I appreciate cinematic art and it inspires my creativity. Yoga is a crucial part of my life, as I believe everyone should have a physical activity they genuinely enjoy. I also like getting my nails done. The process gives me endorphins and I genuinely enjoy it. I have many small collectables and toys around my house, including a mini arcade set and miniatures, that bring me joy. There are many other things I enjoy, but these are some of my favourites.

What is the perfect Nollywood movie to introduce a foreigner to Nollywood?

Is there a perfect one? Maybe The Meeting. There’s nobody that I have introduced it to that did not immediately fall in love. So The Meeting, Eyimofe, Isoken for rom-com girlies and guys, and Dika Ofoma‘s short film, A Quiet Monday.

How would you define success?

If I die today, I won’t be unhappy. It’s not a morbid thing; it’s just that the things I said I was going to do up to this point, I have done most of them. And every time I reach a goal, I dream an even bigger dream. So, for me, success is the privilege of being able to dream as big as possible, and the conviction that, no matter what happens, I will find a way to achieve those dreams. It’s not a destination; that’s how I define success because no matter where you get to, even if you’re looking for money, you’re going to want to do more and more. But what really differentiates people who feel successful from those who feel like failures is that one group no longer has the conviction to dream bigger than where they are, and no longer has the privilege or the conviction to actually chase those dreams. If you still have those two things and you still have the privilege of being able to dream as big as possible, and as crazy as it seems, you still have the conviction to start chasing some parts of it, then you are more successful than most people ever. And that’s how I define it.

Do you have an unconventional thought that people might not agree with?

I think people can be different things and that you can hold all the different parts of them in your mind and be okay. You don’t need people to be very good or very bad or either good or bad. You can be aware of somebody being good and wicked in a lot of areas and be able to hold those thoughts in your mind and be okay with them. Now, how you decide to move on with them is your problem. But people are multifaceted. I know that a lot of people say it, but I don’t think that a lot of people actually understand the depth of it when they say it. People are multifaceted and you can hold all the sides of them in your heart and be okay. Just pick the one that works for you. I think the other one is that I don’t think that there should be an afterlife. Whenever people ask me, do I want to come back? I’m like, come back to what? It’s not about being born in Nigeria. I just don’t want to come back anywhere.

That’s quite packed.

You can say.

Who is Anita beyond the media person?

Anita is funny. This is the one thing that people are usually surprised to see.

And in three emojis?


Thank you for being on Doing Life With…, Anita

Thank you for having me, BellaNaija.


Many thanks to Anita Eboigbe for having this conversation with us and answering all our questions – and swiftly too, we must add.

Do you love this content, have any feedback for us or want to be a BellaNaija Features contributor? We’d love to read from you. Shoot us an email: [email protected]Join us on Saturday for the next episode!

Star Features