Having been in Nollywood for many years, Shan George’s name rings a loud bell although she now regards herself as old. She shares what she is up to in this interview with REPORTER, Adedayo Odulaja.
Can you please react to the recent ugly incident that occurred during the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) bungled election in Edo State?
I felt terribly bad when I heard of it. I did not expect such incidence in our industry. I thought we were one big family and when it comes to choosing someone that will represent us we should not have squabbles over it. We have known each other in the industry and we ought to have a peaceful election that will bring development into the guild, but some of us were too desperate.
You will premiere your new movie next week
I tell people that I am about to find goodluck because that is the title of the movie.
Is goodluck missing?
No, that is just the title I chose. The title is Finding Goodluck. I spent so much on the movie.
How much did you spend in producing it?
I am not one of those who inflate the amount I spend in producing a movie. I am not going to add or subtract. I have spent not less than N34million.
Are you sure you will be able to make profit considering poor distribution network of our movies and piracy?
I did not do the movie just because I want to make money. It is a movie that has to do with promoting the image of the Nigerian police. I want to make a point about the Nigerian police.
Going by the title of the movie many will think you are indirectly seeking President Goodluck Jonathan’s attention
I was not called for his campaign and the word has been in existence long before he became a politician. It is natural for people to reason that way because one would think the movie has something to do with him. The movie is not about him.
You are one of the few actresses who sing. Why are you combining acting with singing?
I believe that anybody can do anything if she puts her mind in it. Music and acting are in the same genre because they are both entertainment. It is not strange and this is happening all over the globe, there is no big deal in that.
Would you say that is what influenced or inspired your son into music?
Honestly, I do not know. You may ask my son. He is doing his stuff there now, but when he is done with school abroad he will surely do music. He started singing when he was about six years old. He is studying engineering and production there.
Here in Nigeria?
I am not sure but anywhere he is he will definitely be proud of Nigeria because that is his root.
It sounds like your children are schooling abroad
We have been living abroad for over 10 years and we have our home there. It is not just about schooling there; we live abroad.
I am sure you are the one doling out the sum to pay their school fees
That is nobody’s business. If you have a child, you take care of the child and where the money is coming from is nobody’s business.
You once said you would like to be a lawyer, do you still nurse that ambition?
I am too old for that now or what do you think? Sometimes you wish to be somewhere but your destiny takes you elsewhere. I wanted to become a lawyer because as at then I felt the only way I could correct some norms was by being a lawyer. I am comfortable with where I am now and I am happy. Destiny brought me here and I am correcting some ills even though I am not a lawyer.
You recently organised a bikini birthday party
It was a private pool party with 10 of my girlfriends. We just decided to go and have a drink and swim because of the movie project I have been doing for over 15 months. I did not have enough finance to throw a birthday party. My friend suggested we throw a small in-house party and it was great fun.
You use to have a boutique known as Shandel, is it still in existence?
I do not run it anymore because it got to a point where I had to leave Nigeria for the United Kingdom to stay with my kids. I let go of the business in order to have time for my kids.
How true is the tale that you will soon become a grandmother?
I am looking forward to that seriously.
Most of your colleagues are brand ambassadors and you are not. As human, do you not sometimes feel bad about it?
I do not feel bad about it because I believe those things are things you are called to do, one should not advocate for it. I believe if I work hard and make impact enough, I would be contacted. I believe I am still at the working stage.
Are you insinuating that you have not worked hard enough to become a brand ambassador?
Maybe I have not, although I have won awards abroad for my contributions to the Nigerian movie industry.
Your mum now stays with you here in Lagos
She comes and goes but she still lives in Calabar. I am her only child so she has no other place to go. She has not been feeling too well and I had to rush down to Nigeria from America where I went for a promotional tour recently to be with her.
You have had your own share of bad press too
Yes, it has been mostly bad press. In those days when I just started, it used to hurt me a lot. There were headlines like, ‘Shan George is pregnant for two men’, ‘Even pastors love my boobs’, and other negative headlines. Then I used to cry a lot when I saw such evil headlines. It is only natural for one to react in such manner when one is hit many times but now I am used to it. In a manner, one is naturally hurt when one is hit with that but I am not bothered about it anymore. I always look forward to it now. It is a necessary evil associated with stardom. Not too long ago some wedding pictures where circulated in the media saying I just got wedded meanwhile the wedding was in a movie. Bad and good press is all part of it.
How true are recent reports that you still hope to get married just because you want a daughter?
Whoever wrote that must really be kidding. I never said that. Me? Looking forward to getting married is only natural as a woman. We are all in halves and we need the other halves in our lives. It will be really nice to find a good man but it will not be because I want a girl child.
In other words you are a grandmother in the making, who is also looking forward to getting married?
I am still looking forward to finding a right man but I will not still bother if I do not. I am not desperate for marriage but I am greatly looking forward to become a grandmother.
Do men still make passes at you?
That is too intimate for me to talk about. I am just a woman and men make passes at women. I am sure men are still making passes at my mother.
What do you consider before picking up a script?
I consider first and foremost a very good story, highly entertaining with great content. I also embrace scripts that address ills in the society.
Despite your age, you still have a very lovely skin.
Thanks. It is a blessing from God because my father was a Briton.
There was a time you said you wanted to look out for your late father’s relatives in Manchester
He died when I was five. I decided to go back to my root as an adult to see my father’s relatives. I went to where he worked as an expatriate in Nigeria and I got some information about him. I went to Manchester where I saw only one relative of his, who was a very old man; he was extremely nonchalant in meeting a half-black woman who happens to be his niece. I just left.
Do you still intend to search further probably for some of your cousins abroad?
The old man did not have any child and I am my father’s only child so there is nothing I am looking for again. I am also very old.