Chinonso Arubayi is an actress media entrepreneur

Chinonso Arubayi is an actor, Tv host, and producer. She started her career in Media by creating and producing content for Consolidated Media Associates, owners of Sound city, Trybe Tv, Spice Tv, etc., where she developed a keen eye for media production, writing and producing shows such as On The Couch / Project Swan/ You’ve Got Issues amongst others. After years of acting and producing for Tv, in 2018, Chinonso went on to study the Business of Film Making for film producers at the School of Media studies at the Pan Atlantic University. On April 1st, she will be making her producer debut for the big screen, with her latest project, I am Nazzy, available in cinemas 1st of April 2022.

In this interview with the editor, Lehle Balde, she speaks about her latest movie project, I am Nazzy, coming to cinemas on April 1st, Nollywood as an industry, and what it takes to create a film for the big screen.

Excerpts below

Lehle Balde

1) Congratulations on your film production debut; what was this experience like for you?
Thank you so much; I’m being intentional about enjoying this moment; I will never make another first film. Working with limited resources and wanting to put my best foot forward was challenging. I experienced moments when everything was falling apart, but I’m very thankful now; I can smile about this entire experience. This is my attempt at getting involved in the creative filmmaking process, and I’m simply enriching myself with all of the knowledge. This has been a long time coming, in 2018, I took part in the Executive Programme on the Business of Film for Film Producers at the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University, so I have always nursed the idea of producing my film. I have learned a lot of things on this journey, and I am grateful for the experience.

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2) What is the premise of I am Nazzy?
Be the best version of yourself because everyone else is taken, and the best you can be of someone else is a copy. I am Nazzy is a romantic comedy that touches on important issues such as prioritizing your well-being, mental health, and dealing with anxieties. Emotions we are all too familiar with. In this movie, a fast-rising music artiste is in the middle of a scandal; she has a meltdown and trades places with a counterpart to catch her breath. Her life goes haywire while her doppelgänger is having too much fun being someone else.

3) How was it being both actor and producer on this project?

It was nerve-wracking especially playing in front and behind the camera. The hardest part was learning to be present and be in character while certain things went wrong from the producer’s angle. It helped me be in good company, working with a good team brought together by Kayode Peters, a Director with several years in the industry and many blockbusters to show for it. Before acting, I had worked as an associate Tv producer at Spice Tv; naturally, producing a movie was something I knew I would do; I didn’t realize how challenging it would be.

4) Biggest lesson learned on this project?
I learned not to compromise, especially when getting the picture, characters, and story angle; when you compromise or cut corners, it comes back to haunt you. I also learned to embrace the journey and that it takes a village to make a film. I can never overemphasize the importance of having a great team, not compromising on your team, and always banking on yourself and going with your guts.

6) As a woman actively working in the Nollywood industry, do you have any advice for up-and-coming actors and producers?

You can never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone. Don’t rush, be strategic, not desperate, prioritize growth over fame, and your time will come. Focus on your lane, on your journey, hone your craft, attend workshops, and more importantly, be disciplined, your talent will open the door for you, but discipline will take you further.

7) Are you working on anything else? What can we expect from you?
There is so much to expect from me, but I just want to breathe and take this all in for now. I look forward to creating more opportunities for women in film and telling more of our stories.

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