I am Monalisa Chinda, an actress. I am the first child in a family of six and I got all the attention, especially from my father. My parents were very strict, especially my mother. I had this very unusual colour and all eyes were on me. My complexion? It’s a mixture of my parents. My maternal grandmother is from Bonny, Rivers State and she got married to my grandfather, who is from Imo state.
My name, Monalisa
I don’t know why my father gave me that name. Maybe it was borne out of his love for the painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. He grew up in Germany and he was quite exposed to the arts.
The new Nollywood
There are changes. Now, there are better locations, the artistes are well paid, and the equipment are different. Although I still prefer the scripts of the old order— they were more realistic, more cultural and in tune with the way we live. Now, things have changed all over the world, we now have computers and the Internet. Movie-making has also changed and our stories have been affected in the process.
If I wasn’t an actress
I would probably just be a housewife; I would have been happy going to work from nine-to-five daily, having children and taking care of my household.
An actress and marriage
A lot of actresses are married and they have been unable to come out to show the talent that God has given them. They are restricted to just doing the little they can before retiring home to face family life. I believe a lady, from the outset, should state clearly to whoever she is dating that she has other interests. He should know who she is and what she stands for. I also want to speak to the ladies to be disciplined. You cannot give what you do not have. Nobody is perfect, but as long as you know where to draw the line, that would help. You must be able to strike a balance between your work and your home. On the other hand, men also pretend a lot when you meet them. They could appear to accept everything until when you enter the house, they now show who they truly are. A woman will have to apply wisdom.
Style is what you are on the inside. I am very babyish and playful in my thinking. Sometimes, I do not act my age. By God’s grace, I will be 40 soon. Style is simplicity. Simple things are just beautiful. I do not like too many things around me.
I am not obsessed with anything. If I must have anything that I cherish, that would have to be jewellery and they have to be diamonds, gold etc. That does not mean that I can’t do without them.
I just don’t like people who are not straightforward, who want to be who they are not.
My plans in the next five years
I will be a motivational speaker and my talk show will kick off by the grace of God. I have been talking about the talk show for a long time now but it will come to pass and I will be dealing with deep social issues which people are not willing to talk about especially on women and children. I may not have the looks but I am a deep woman. I just do not like to be boring. I like to take up challenges. If I do not excel in acting, I can excel in every other field of entertainment.
Advice to younger women
They can’t be like me; it takes a lot of discipline and selflessness to be like me. It involves you not looking at yourself as being beautiful even when people tell you that you are beautiful—God has bestowed very unique features upon me. Young ladies should be as good as they can to everybody.