Controversial star actress, singer and producer, Shan George, is very bitter with Nigerian journalists. Her reason? For years on end now, they’ve delighted in portraying her majorly as a man and sex lover. Which she doesn’t like. During a courtesy visit to our office in Ojodu, Lagos on Saturday, May 19, 2012, the mother of two boys and a native of Ediba in Cross River State poured out her heart to us…
What has been happening to Shan George?
We have been working on a film for like 15 months now, titled Finding Goodluck. We premiered the film on the 25th of May, 2012 at Terra Kulture (on Victoria Island, Lagos).
Does the film have anything to do with President Goodluck Jonathan?
(Laughs) – You will find out when you see the film. I’m not telling you.
Not even a little, like who and who you featured, what makes it different from others and so on?
Actually, it’s a film that generally has to do with the image of The Nigerian Police, home and abroad. It’s a story that borders on the kinds of crimes that we are having in Nigeria these days which is not something that we are very used to in Nigeria, like assassination, blackmail, kidnap. Those are crimes that we are not really familiar with and how The Nigerian Police is to go about curbing those kinds of heinous crimes. That is like generally what the whole story is about.
Who are some of the people you featured in the film?
My lead actor is Kalu Ikeagwe and there’s also Ekerenkangha Anderson, Florence Johnson and Shan George, etc.
Nollywood has been experiencing what could be tagged a lull for sometime now, what do you think is responsible for that? What do you think is Nollywood’s greatest challenge?
For me o, in my own opinion and what I’ve observed so far, when there’s no money enough to do things that are supposed to be done, there are always issues, quarrels and pressures. So, the number one problem I see in Nollywood is financing; followed by poor marketing. We don’t have marketers. And I think that’s just it. If you have people who will help you to satisfy the customers that you are not able to, the industry will improve. So, I think that the marketing aspect should be well looked into. I would actually advise that marketing companies come and see if they can actually do something about marketing Nigerian movies. There’s so much money in it that they are losing. As for the politics inside Nollywood, I’m not a politician. Not even inside Nollywood, and I don’t think politics should be a do or die affair and honestly, I’m feeling very bad about the fact that the politicians in Nollywood cannot get their acts together. I really don’t know what is going on…
How do you feel about what is going on in AGN (Actors Guild of Nigeria)?
I really, really feel very bad, because I expect that we all should have the same goal and it should be about building Nollywood. So, we should come together, join hands to move the industry forward. We should allow the people who have interest in contesting for positions, to come out and do their campaign and let us, the floor members, make up our minds, who we wanna vote for and let’s have a normal election that everybody will vote in and whoever wins will rule in harmony. We are not PDP (General laughter). There shouldn’t be rigging in the whole thing.
What makes a good actress?
What makes a good actress, first of all, is someone who is able to interpret a role very well. If they ask you to come and play a role of a Muslim, you should be able to research, if you don’t know anything about being a Muslim. You should be able to have a question and answer session with a good
Muslim so that you can know a few of those words that you can use and adlib to whatever the script already says.
Why do most actresses fail?
Don’t forget that in everything we do, there’s also destiny attached to it. I believe in destiny. I believe that what will be will be, because the Bible says before I was born, He already knows what I’m going to be. So, at the end of the day, destiny can have a whole lot of part to play in why some people fail. Not just in acting, but in different areas of life. There’s also laziness, because this job is a very tedious job. Sometimes you have to go into the bush and stay for days. Sometimes you are in places you can’t see any chair to sit on; you sit on the floor. Sometimes you are working very late in the night, 3am, people are sleeping, you are still working because most of the scenes we do are at night. Another thing that makes most people fail is laziness. When they are like, men, this work is too much, I’m tired, they don’t wanna try, that’s another thing that makes them fail. And, well, I wanna say some of them when they are not passionate about what they do. They are seeing it as stress, because they don’t love it. Maybe they just strayed into the industry or they have other reasons for wanting their faces to be on TV. Not really being a successful career actor.
Why do most actresses swim in scandals?
Well, because press people won’t let them not swim in scandals (General laughter). To be very fair, I don’t see what any actress is doing that other normal women are not doing. An actress is dating a guy, every other woman out there is dating a guy; an actress has abandoned the guy she’s dating, may be because of one thing or the other the guy did and she doesn’t want to do again, every other girl out there is doing the same thing; an actress is being dumped by a guy, I mean, other girls are also being dumped. So, I wanna imagine that the only reason they swim in controversies is because the Nigerian press has created the swimming pool for them to swim in. Basically, that is the reason (smiling).
Most actresses find it difficult to sustain their marriages, what is responsible for that?
The truth is that a lot of people find it difficult to sustain their marriages, men and women likewise, in every other sphere of life, not just in the entertainment industry. So, I won’t know the reason for that. Everybody has their own different reasons. Besides, don’t forget that Satan is all over the place trying to look for who to devour; someone to destroy and devour.
In one of your recent interviews, you were quoted to have said you are in need of a man, have you found the person?
Actually, I was totally quoted out of context. I’m not in need of a man, but I’m still open. If I meet a good man, I will definitely want to settle down. That’s just it. I haven’t seen the paper you are talking about, but lots of people have called me. In fact, I have like thousands of suitors right now (Laughing). I’m looking for that guy who wrote that story so I can strangle him (Still laughing).
You said that you have thousands of suitors…
(Cuts in) – No, no, no…you too, don’t misquote me. Not that I have thousands of suitors, I’m only saying that the story has generated a lot of misconceptions, which has led to a lot of guys actually thinking that maybe I’m looking for a husband. And
so I’m getting all kinds of mails on a daily basis about marriage.
What exactly does Shan want in a man?
I want a man who will treat me the way he treats his mother’s child. That’s basically what I want. I want a man who would treat me like his sister, simply put. You know, get angry with me when I’ve done something wrong, forgive me when I apologise, take me the way I am, just like you will take your own blood sister, no matter how much she has offended you or no matter how bad you feel about maybe what she’s done to you. You can’t just throw her away. You know that this person is your person for life.
child. That’s basically what I want. I want a man who would treat me like his sister, simply put. You know, get angry with me when I’ve done something wrong, forgive me when I apologise, take me the way I am, just like you will take your own blood sister, no matter how much she has offended you or no matter how bad you feel about maybe what she’s done to you. You can’t just throw her away. You know that this person is your person for life.
Why do you think that love has not been fair to you?
Honestly, I won’t say anything like that. That’s a very wrong way to put it. I can’t say love hasn’t been fair to me, because when you say love, are you talking about romance? Love! I’m so loved by so many people: my family members, my friends, my colleagues, including you, my paddy. So, I won’t say love has been unfair to me. May be you are referring to love in the romantic way, because I think I’m so highly blessed and highly loved, by both colleagues, friends, family members and neighbours. So, I won’t even imagine that love hasn’t been fair to me. A couple of relationships that I’ve found myself in, in this life, didn’t work out, but that wouldn’t automatically translate to love being unfair to me.
Shan George seems to prefer younger men, why is that so?
Well, that’s because they (the press) have it all wrong. Each time they see me with anybody, they just assume that the person is somebody I have something intimate with. Because when you talk about this Shan enjoying having relationships with younger men, they’ve even written that my son is my boyfriend. I think they just got it all wrong, they just assume because it’s something that happens to every other actress. They just see you with a guy and they just conclude that you are having an intimate relationship.
But there’s been one or two instances where you truly dated younger men?
Yes, but if you did something once or twice in your life time, it doesn’t actually qualify it to be that this person really enjoys this thing. I’ve been married twice; none of my ex-husbands is a younger person. So, now, where did they get the quote from; that she enjoys it. What makes the younger men better and how come I haven’t married one yet? If you enjoy something, you should be able to do it often. So, I don’t think it’s correct. Most people in the press don’t get their facts right before they begin to write. They just assume and write. It’s a wrong notion, totally wrong.
What’s Shan’s definition of love?
Love is to me somebody that you know enough and know their s..t and you don’t mind the s..t. That’s basically what love is. To me, love is forgiveness, love is letting going of any encumbrances that will cause you not to want to be with that person any more.
What is that singular thing that you want from love, but has not been able to find?
The truth is nothing! Nothing like that. It’s not on my mind. What’s on my mind is basically work. So, there’s no time I’m like looking for one thing; I’m looking for this love, I want to find it and don’t find it. Everything I wanna find right now is good luck (Laughter).
We like that! Now, are you going to give marriage another shot?
Certainly! Why not? Ah! What do you think? You think I’m not good enough? (Laughter). Actually, sometimes, I sit down and I wonder. I’ve been in the movie industry for 15 years now. I entered the movie industry and two years later, I started producing my own movies and since 1998 that I started, up till now, everything I’ve produced is at least 20 movies. And I’ve also done two music albums and let us be fair here, this is a lot of work. Now, besides having to write and produce at least 20 movies so far, I’ve acted in over a hundred movies. This is a lot of work. It just amazes me that people just sit down and when they wanna talk about Shan George, they just throw away all those hard work. All that hard work, all that time put into this work and make it look like the only thing Shan George does is just sit down and look at men’s arses and choose which d..k she thinks is gonna be sweeter. It’s so bad, and I always ask myself, is it really, really that bad that Nigerians don’t know the volume of work, not just me, that is generally put into making just one movie. Every actress who does movies very often is a prostitute. Meanwhile, this person doesn’t even have time. There are times when my nails are so bad and I don’t even have time to get to the salon to do something about my nails or even my hair and somebody is just sitting down there, portraying you like all you are doing is thinking about a man and which one to find. Is it bad belle? Because I don’t get it.