Screen diva, Sonia Peace Urhiefe who is also a registered nurse in the United States of American in a recent interview with TOMI FALADE, she speaks on her childhood, growing up, becoming the woman she is today and her deep passion for everything entertainment.
Tell us about your early years, what was growing up like?
Growing up was not particularly easy because I was born into a family of four and I am the first child of the family. As a first child, you have to go the extra mile and it is not always easy. We lived at Mushin at first and you know how rough it can be to be raised in that kind of environment. Growing up in Nigeria was really tough and I had to struggle before I could make it.
Where did you get your formal education?
I got my formal education at Methodist Girls Primary School then my secondary school was at Wesley Girls Secondary School from where I proceeded to the Universal College of Technology, Ife, now Ife Polytechnic where I studied mass communication. I later went to the University of Imo State where I studied business administration.
Were you always interested in showbiz and entertainment?
Yes, I have always been interested in showbiz and entertainment. I remember back in my primary school days; I was the leader of the cultural dance group and my teacher knew me for that. I have always loved dancing and entertainment, I can’t imagine my life without entertainment. In secondary school, I joined the drama group and was also the best dancer back then. We did stage acting, went out for shows and all that. Later on, I used to do a bit of Facebook entertainment. The truth is that it has always been a great deal for me to be involved in the showbiz and entertainment
How did your entry into the film industry come about?
I wanted to join the industry for a very long time, but it wasn’t easy, especially with my responsibilities as a first child. During my time in the US, I met an old friend who was already in the industry, Dosu Mayowa. We used to dance together back in those days so when I got to America she knew my interest in entertainment and showbiz generally, she took me to TAMPAN where I registered. That was how I started acting and joined the industry.
Which of your movies are you most proud about?
The movie called ‘Insane,’ which I co-produced with my friend Dosu Mayowa is a very nice movie and a lot of people knew me through that movie. It featured stars like Doris Simeon, Toyin Adewale and many others. It was released in February 2021.
How many movies would you say you have starred in?
I have stared in so many movies, ‘Revenge’ by Idowu Akinsade, ‘Koro Koro’ produced by my friend Dosu Mayowa. I also featured in another movie called ‘Inu Eda’ produced also by Dosu Mayowa, ‘Medina’ by Olabisi Ajayi and so many others. I co-produced the movie ‘Insane’ with a friend and the other one which I produced personally which is titled ‘Ashete’ which would be released next month, and then ‘The Mission’.
Speaking about accepting movie scripts, what’s a deal-breaker for you?
A deal-breaker for me, accepting any script is the inability to pay my fee. Once you are able to pay my fee, I don’t have a problem accepting a movie script.
Any side hustle or does showbiz pay the bills?
Aside from showbiz, I run other businesses on my own and I also work as a nurse in the US, a registered nurse.
Would you agree that Nollywood as an industry amplifies voices and gives people a platform to speak against injustices?
Yes! Nollywood gives you a voice to speak against ills in the society, given the fact that you are a celebrity. People would want to listen to what you have to say because of who you are. Nollywood exposes you and you can use it to your advantage to pass your message.
The ‘me too’ wave that swept over Nollywood in recent times seems to have unearthed a lot of unpleasant sexual predatory experiences by a lot of women. Tell us, have you ever been a victim of sexual harassment as a result of your passion?
So far so good, I have not been a victim and I have heard stories of my colleagues getting harassed but personally, I have not experienced such. It happens on set where cameramen, producers, SMs, directors harass, but I have never experienced it. Maybe because I produce most of my movies myself, so I don’t lobby for roles or scripts so much. If you call me for your movie fine, if you don’t, cool.
Tell us about your latest movies. When can we expect to see them?
My latest movie is ‘The Mission’ and it would be coming out in the next couple of months. ‘Ashete’ would also be coming out next month produced by my humble self.
How do you handle attention from the opposite sex? Does it ever become too bothersome?
I don’t really feel too bothered when the opposite sex has an interest in me because you never can tell. I have so many friends of the opposite sex. So, I don’t really count it as anything when they give me that attention.
Your advice to younger women with a passion for acting like you?
When you have a passion for something please go for it, don’t be discouraged even when you’re not paid for it. No matter how long it takes, keep pushing and do not let anything stop you.
Living outside Nigeria and maintaining a fanbase in the country can’t be easy. What’s your secret?
I try my best because we are somewhat restricted unlike those who are actors here in Nigeria. Regardless, we are pushing and making sure we live up to the standard.