A presenter, and an actress, she is someone you would have to take a second look at if you happened past her, because of her hair. She is Elma Godwin, from Abia State, born in Lagos. She studied Business Management in England for her undergraduate and Strategy and International Business for her Masters in Birmingham. Talking about her journey into entertainment, she said, “I had nothing to do with entertainment” she says, “I came into the career early 2014 and since then, I have being loving it.”
Getting back into the country after her Masters, she first started off working for her father which didn’t really work out well for her. When asked how her father took the fact that she was leaving his company to work as an actress, she said, “My father is a cool guy, he is an education forward person, so I knew that I had to get an education, and even before I left for my tertiary education, I had done a few commercials, I had a few billboards, and so he always knew that I had a thing for on-screen”. According to her, he just wanted her to be happy and so when she brought the contract document from Consolidated Media Association, he even helped her look through and helped her pick out where changes needed to be made.
According to her, she started presenting first before acting, “I was at a party and Abayomi Hazeem, came over to meet me and he asked if I would love to present and he gave me the address to the office, Consolidated Media Association, which is Sound city, Spice TV, and so he asked me to come there the next day, so I went there the next morning, did some test run and then I saw that it was interesting and he asked me to come back and then little by little, I started training”
When asked how acting came into the mix, Elma Godwin said, “Since I was a child, I have been playing roles, I was always in drama club, even in university I got into stage performances. I have always had that flair for acting, I just wasn’t sure if I was going to blend in.”
“I realized that it wasn’t just all movies I wanted to be in, also there are a lot of movies I would love to do, but I may not just have the connection”
On her most recent movie, she said, “Yomi Black came to me and said there was an action movie he was trying to plan, it was his first movie” According to her, she read the script and it was quite interesting, so she decided to take part in it. Though, that was not her first movie, her first movie was “Bandit” which is on Iroko TV.
Speaking about Yomi Black’s movie, Bandit, she said “We shot in an abandoned oil factory field, with fake guns, shooting etc. We had practice for a month” According to her it was challenging and since she was the only girl bandit, she had to jump off a fence wearing heels and so she broke her leg and had to go off set for three days. “I was the only girl bandit, and so nobody had the opportunity of jumping and breaking their legs like I did. But it was fun. The cast was Timini Egbuson, Adunni Ade, Elma Godwin and a few others”.
Apparently, she doesn’t mind watching herself on television as she said, “I am not one of those actors that say they don’t like watching themselves on television. Maybe it is because I started presenting before acting because to build your presenting skills, you need to watch yourself constantly so you can know your mistakes and correct them.”
On whether or not she thinks the media world is saturated, she said, “Yeah there are a lot of presenters but I don’t think we are enough. Because everything now is on screen, nobody wants you to write a book for them to read anymore, everybody just wants to watch it.” To her the competition only makes you better.
On her plans for the year, she plans to start looking out for acting schools in New York, and Los Angeles. “I want to get trainings from different parts of the world, but I am not ready to be away for such a long time, so it is just going to be a 12 week course. Also, after the course, I would love to go into live shows hosting, I would also love to do a lot of contracted red carpets, and expand my presenting skills”
Speaking about her experience in presenting, she says, “I never thought I was the kind of person who could even pair clothes, but working with them for years, I have seen the improvement in my personal style, I can dress myself, do my own hair, do my own makeup, so I have learnt a lot from Spice TV. Also, from Sound city, I have learnt a lot from working with my mentors, Adams and Moet.
Talking about her hair, “My mum said when I was born, she thought it was a stain so she kept asking them to wash me, and when it wouldn’t go away she just said, and maybe this is a birthmark, and growing up, I didn’t like it because my classmates always made fun of me”. Adding that as time went on, her face expanded and it probably became smaller in size. “Most of my red carpets, I am always on my natural hair” she said. “It would interest you to know that I get messages from a lot of people in different parts of the world because of my hair”. She brought to remembrance a lady from Ethiopia who messaged her about having the same type of hair like she did but she was not being comfortable with it. “I gave her some advice, told her she was gorgeous the way she was and now, she rocks her white hair even better than I do mine”. Also she adds, “Moving back to Nigeria now, it has become a sort of signature”
When asked about relationships, Elma Godwin laughed and said, “I don’t have any hope of getting any ring any time soon”
First published in Issue 15