Alcohol made it possible for me to show people my naked body —Actress Etinosa Idemudia

On a day to day basis, Etinosa Idemudia represents one of the celebrities whose social media accounts are frequented for entertainment and motivation. She is the originator of the Instagram challenge “Chop This Life”, a social media initiative promoting food consumption and happiness especially among women. Although she kicked off her career after a stint in skits and short movies making, the Edo State-born is best known for her movie roles including a self-produced cinema project, entitled Washerman. She is, however, not controversy shy. Recently she was entangled in a viral Instagram nude video call with singer, MC Galaxy and has been accused of attention seeking. But in this interview by Newton-Ray Ukwuoma, she shares some intimate details of the controversial video call among other things. Excerpts:

What project are you currently working on?

I am working on a movie entitled,“The Women in our lives” by Ola Abraham. I am playing the role of a wife, who blames the husband for all the woes in their marriage and vice-versa. You know the situation in marriages where everyone contributes to their woes, yet blame each other. In this movie, this couple comes to realise their flaws; they come to realise that no one is perfect: you have your flaws and I have mine. They take responsibility for their own fault and try to make it work.

You recently started the production of the movie, Charlie Charlie?

Yes. Charlie Charlie is a project I am partnering with Charles Uwagbai. It is a movie that raises awareness on child trafficking, examination malpractice, money laundry and other related vices. It will be shot in two different countries. We have a mix of Ghanaian and Italian feel on this one. We recently concluded the Nigerian shoot involving Omoni Oboli, Chioma Akpotha, Alex Ekubo among others. For the Ghanaian acts, we have Juliet Ibrahim, Chris David Ochei, who is the Charlie Charlie. The Italian angle is in the wrap for now.

In one of the scenes you shared on Instagram  you were trying to scale a fence. What led to the high fence jumping scene?

It was the behind the scene of Charlie Charlie. My character was fleeing from captivity. She was captured. I will not tell you the story. But my character is a gangster.  

You are the originator of the Chop This Life challenge. How is that going for you?

My belly don big o. But it is helping my skin. My skin has become radiant. I know it is the food that is making it to shine. Apart from that, it has given me the opportunity to reach out to a lot of women, who have concerns about their bodies, women who are insecure about their bodies. I have met some women, who told me that their husbands showed them my video and that they were going to chop this life. People make their videos and send to me that they are chopping this life. And I am happy that I am able to make people happy and entertained in a subtle way, as well as make people eat well.

You seem to have moved on beyond the incident that happened two weeks ago. Some people would have shut down their social media pages, but you have over 20 posts after your nude video went viral?

Let me start by singing this song, “Pour water for my head o. I cannot come and kill myself. Iyanuasele.” It would have been a very bad practice to shut down my life because some bad things happened. Life goes on. I must forge on. As long as there is life, there is hope. As long as I am not dead, the story of my life is not over. I must keep writing. If I cannot go back in time to erase some pages, at least you can double the effort to write better story.

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That is exactly what I am doing now. God who did not take my life, who gave me a second chance, will be very disappointed in me if I shut down my life on the people I inspire, who I entertain daily. These people will be disappointed, God will be disappointed, and I will be a great disappointment to myself if I cannot show the people who believe in me in real life that there is life after turbulence and calm after every storm. I will be a failure and no real role model

Is this a cue to people who are going through some crises in their lives because it is possible to contemplate suicide during this time?

“Whatever happens in your life can either make or mar you. Nobody should resort to suicide. It is difficult sometimes. I wouldn’t lie. There are sometime only you go just dey and one voice go dey tell you, “Go do am. Go do am. All of us go die one day. Why not just go now. Why must people insult you, you go through all this shame? Why not go and rest?”

 I know it is easy to give advice. But you need to fight the wrong voices. Remind yourself of who you are, remind yourself of your achievements. If you can channel your thoughts to your past successes, it works a lot. If you cannot do it on your own, call somebody. Given what had happened to me in December, some issues I had with my ex, I was really down in January. I was fed up. At that point, self motivation did not work. I had to call my friend, Mr Chike, he is a motivational speaker. I am so grateful to have a friend like him because he kept reminding me of who I was. You see, when you are going through tough times you forget how good your life had been. The devil or your mind will show you a lie. But you need to equip yourself with the truth about yourself, that you are an overcomer, more than a conqueror, that you are amazing.

During this period was there a time you thought of taking your own life?

People were throwing stones at me, insulting me and all that. Thankfully, there were those who were defending me. I must give them credit. But the jabs were really harsh. I am a human being. And to think that most of them were people I had sacrificed my life for was more painful. It was very hurtful. At some point, I thought that my life was over.

I thought that the people I work for don’t like me; that I was done for. There were thoughts in my head. I was in Toyin’s [Abraham] house when the thing happened. She lived in the sixth floor. Something was telling me to just jump. But luckily for me, as I got to the balcony some people were looking for me and they quickly held me close. But I wouldn’t lie, I had suicidal thoughts. But as God would have it, I had many people around me. I started focusing on the positives. I received so many positive DMs that I couldn’t finish reading. My family and friends gave me courage. I didn’t care anymore what anyone else said.

But you know there are those who feel the nude video was staged?

Yes, a lot of people said that. If I was going to stage that kind of thing I won’t go that far. My normal Instagram fight carries more weight than this. I can stage a fight with a fellow actor, but to go that far isn’t me. I am not that desperate.

What words do you have for MC Galaxy? Some people also blamed him.

No. I do not support those people. I love MC Galaxy so much. He is a dear friend. And the first time he got under fire because of one girl that went nude I supported him. I made an Instagram post fending people off him. I take full responsibility for what happened. Everybody get en own cross, make me sef carry my own cross.

Has he reached out to you after then?

Yes, several times. We have spoken. We are okay.

When did you realise it was a mistake?

That was the next day, when my eyes cleared. I slept till 4pm of the next day. I was knocked out. When I woke up, that was when they asked me to sit down and they showed me the video. You know, how family members gather to tell someone that their papa don die? That was the picture I met in the sitting room. They were like, “Sit down. Have you eaten?” I was given something to eat. As I finished, they gave me the phone. Oh boy, Toyin(Abraham) held my head to the phone and made me watch it till the end. That was when my misery started. All of a sudden my mood changed. Me, weydey shout Chop this life, I could not eat again.

What did you take that knocked you out like that?

I don’t want to be doing brand ambassador for any brand, but I will say it. It is a brand of Tequila with dark chocolate flavour. When you are taking it, you will think it is just a chocolate drink.

How many of it did you take?

I drank two bottles. I started from 1pm. I had this bottled water that I mixed the chocolate drink with. If you saw me you will think I am taking coffee or a chocolate drink. I had been with Arole at ICM that day before going to other places all the while sipping the drink until I went to Toyin’s place. I didn’t know I was gradually going off.

It is true. It is like the Bible saying, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. That brings me to self control. Self control does not say you cannot do it, but you should not do it because it is not right. There are things we want to do but because they are not right we don’t do them. And this is where alcohol comes in. When alcohol enters the system, it loosens that control allowing you to do what you wanted to do without the inhibition. I am obsessed with my body, not that my body is magazine standard, but in my own eyes, na me fine pass, na me beautiful pass.

I can stand in the mirror to admire my naked body. In fact, I don’t even wear clothes when I am in the house. I love being naked, I love expressing myself with my body. But you can’t be nude especially in Nigeria, although some societies practice nudity.  But our society does not permit that. So, self-control involves you being clothed whenever someone else is around. I like wearing bum shorts, I like wearing bikinis, I like exposing my body. But self-control makes you hide your privacy. It makes you not to want to reveal your breasts, or your vagina or bombom. Normally I will just show you my legs, my hands, my bum and my fat big belly, but when self-control went out the window, I showed everything which was really messed up. Yes, I agree that it is something that has been in my head. I love to show my body because I am beautiful. And by the way, I love the shape of my breasts.

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