Nollywood Actress Ada Ameh Talks About Weight Loss, Career, Family In New InterviewNollywood Actress Ada Ameh Talks About Weight Loss, Career, Family In New Interview
Popular actress, Ada Ameh, in this interview speaks on her life and career.
How has your experience been on The Johnsons sitcom?
It has been very beautiful and that is the most I can say about it. I would not tell a lie, it has been quite stressful as well. As it is right now, I hear that it is one of the most viewed shows in Africa, so it means that the workload is more for us. We shoot every day like the usual 8-5 job but it has been beautiful.
In the show, you speak pidgin English so well. Do people look shocked whenever you speak fluent English?
Sometimes whenever I speak fluent English in public, some people are usually shocked so I have to remind them that I have to understand English to some certain extent before I can read the scripts given to me. To be honest, speaking pidgin is not very easy and I feel that it is easier for you to speak English than pidgin. To read and write pidgin is not very easy.
How do you feel whenever you watch yourself on the television?
I tell myself things like, ‘this woman no well o,’ depending on the character that I am playing. For example, whenever I watch The Johnsons, I criticise myself and learn about ways that I can improve on myself and my craft. I watch myself to criticise and learn.
You recently posted a message on your Instagram account where you were crying about the killings in your hometown, Benue State. What elicited the post?
The truth of the matter is that the killings in Benue State did not start this year. Sometimes last year, they killed about 300 people in Agatu local government. It was very bloody. I am an Idoma woman, my mother is from Akwa Ibom but my father is from Benue State. I was born and raised in Lagos State. Aside from the fact that I am from Benue State, we are humans and it is absolutely wrong for people to be slaughtered like that; it is just wrong. I relocated to Lagos about two years ago because of The Johnsons. Prior to the time I relocated to Lagos, I was coming from Benue to anywhere to work. Benue State is a very peaceful place and I am not saying this because I am from Benue State. One of the most accommodating people in Nigeria are Benue people.
If you were born and raised in Ajegunle, at what point did you relocate to Benue State?
About 13 years ago I relocated to Benue State when my elder brother became ill because I needed to take care of him. It was actually two of my elder brothers that fell ill and I needed to take care of them, those were the dark days of my life. They are both dead now.
At a point, you lost a lot of weight, was it intentional?
At a point, my lower body could not carry my weight and I got tired easily because of that. I started doing some exercises. I used to be a ’foodie’, apart from the fact that I love cooking, I loved eating as well and one of my best meals was rice and fish. I love eating fish a lot. I could eat a whole bowl of rice and still go back to eat after a while but when you reach a certain age, you have to start working on your health because your body begins to change. I had to change my diet and exercise. I remember the good old days when you would eat fruits after a meal but no one practises that any longer in Nigeria.
But some people felt that you lost weight to look more appealing to men…
The truth of the matter is that I have been chubby from my childhood. When we shot the movie, Domitila, I was just 22 years old and by that time, I was weighing 145kg. I was very big and my bum as well was big and that was like my trademark. I would not lie, sometimes, I still miss that physique because it is very intimidating but there are some men that like women who are that big. When it comes to my style, I make sure that I wear what suits me. When I was big, I had about 40 pairs of jeans and I still have that number of jeans. My weight loss has nothing to do with who I want to attract to my life. Before anyone looks at me, I know that I am beautiful and that is how I perceive myself. It was time to lose the weight and it had to go for the benefit of my life and health.
But have you always been comfortable with your weight especially when you were growing up?
I have always been comfortable with my weight. My father made me feel proud of myself and he always hailed me because of my weight. Whenever he saw me coming, he would hail me in our native dialect and say something like, ‘a woman is supposed to be well rounded especially when her man is holding her and when she is sleeping, her husband is not supposed to look for her on the bed’. While growing up, I had always felt comfortable. Everyone knows that I am a big lady and I have a big bum, I hear such comments every time. Till date, whenever I meet a colleagues that we have not seen for a long while, they are always shocked at my weight loss. They say, ‘Ada, is that you? Turn let me see if it is really you.’ Immediately they see my bum they shout, ‘yes, it is truly you.
Don’t you feel offended or insulted that some friends and fans see your bum as a trademark?
I do not feel offended and when they make jokes about my bum, I thank them for the compliments. The first thing I do is to let them know that I am very comfortable with my body. Some people die of unnecessary depression because they want to kill themselves in the sense that they want to be like the next person. I would never aspire to have the same physique as Genevieve because it is not who I am. A person like Genevieve has been able to maintain her physique because that is who she is but that is not who Ada Ameh is; I am a chubby woman even though I have lost some weight. You have to love yourself first and if you appreciate yourself, there would be no issue.
What are your hobbies?
I love to cook and it is like a tradition in my home. My mother sells food and she has been in the business since 1984. Aside from that, I like experimenting with my cooking, I love watching the food channel and know everything that has to do with cooking. I just love food.
Since you said you love children, are you hoping to have more kids?
Yes, I would have more kids and I would still adopt more children by the grace of God. If it comes, I would have more children.
You have always said it was tough raising your daughter alone, each time you see her now, what goes through your mind?
All I feel like doing whenever I think about my daughter or see her is to dance. I just dance and thank God. I do not know how to explain it. I wake up in the morning sometimes and I tell her that if I did not give birth to her, I probably would have killed myself. Yes, it is true, I probably would have killed myself because people are going through hard times in our industry but they are all pretending as if nothing is amiss. It is a lie. Sometimes, the situation would make you want to kill yourself if you are not careful but one of the saving graces I have is my daughter.
If you and your daughter are best friends, do you discuss your private life with her?
Yes, I do, we talk about her relationships but we draw the line when it comes to sex. The only thing I cannot discuss with her is how I make out and she cannot discuss that with me but we talk about every other thing. She is an adult, a grown woman so we tell ourselves the truth. If a relationship is not working out for her, we talk about it and I advise her to change her approach. She talks to me more and when I am down, I confide in her. I battled depression for a while due to some things I was going through in my family and other aspects of life and it almost got me killed but she talked to me and it helped a lot. If I am holed up in my room, she would come and lie beside me and begin to advise me.
Are you open to love, relationship and marriage?
Why not? Just because I do not talk about it does not mean that I am not open to such prospect. The truth of the matter is that I prefer keeping my private life, private. I don’t just like bringing my relationship to the public glare. I love to love someone and I would love to get married someday. I would love to have more children both through natural birth and adoption.
Don’t you nurse fears that if you get married, the love you have for your daughter might go down?
My daughter is an adult already; she should go to her husband’s house, she should get married. On a serious note, if I have a child now, my daughter would be very happy about it. She really loves children as well especially the girl-child. However, we try not to interfere in each other’s private life except it is something we really need to talk about. She has her own calling and she is ministering in her own right. One of the beautiful things about it is what she wishes for me; she wants me to be happy all my life. As I am, all I await is the day she gets married and I would dance very well. I am eagerly waiting for the day but everything is in God’s hands and it would happen at the appointed time.
Do you enjoy going to parties?
I have got tired of doing that. Besides I am not a party person. I only attend parties when I have to. I am one of those people that believe that stardom should be used to affect other people positively even though in our society when you check the social media, people say things that they ought not to say about other people. I stay around people that I am comfortable with. I like to keep my life private and I believe in my family. I love my old friends and I like making new friends. Most times you would catch me in my sitting room lying down while I face the television. I watch cartoons to relax and I listen to music. I have a lot of nephews and nieces and whenever I go to visit my relatives, I cannot change the channel, so I watch cartoons with the kids and I actually enjoy doing that.
Whenever you want to pamper yourself what do you do?
I go to the spa to pamper myself. My daughter and I also go out for a lunch, brunch or dinner date, eat together listen to music then come home to sleep. I go to the club once in a while but the best way I enjoy myself is when I am with my family members. I like children a lot as well. For me, life is meant to be very simple.
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