Ogeh Cynthia is a Nigerian filmmaker and movie producer in the diaspora. Based in Canada, the Anambra State born also runs a PR and entertainment outfit, LQP Image Consulting and Ogeh Cynthia Entertainment in both Nigeria and Canada. She is one of the Nigerians creating more opportunities for investment in Nigerian entertainment industry. In this interview by Newton-Ray Ukwuoma she discusses important aspects of her journey in both entertainment and business world. Excerpts:
How do you describe yourself?
Ogeh Cynthia is a fabulous daughter, a committed mother and a dependable partner. She is called The Lion Queen by those that loves her. She is a movie producer and a business woman who is devoted to serving God and Humanity.
You have been scarce in the movies. Is business taking you away from the movie industry?
Before movies, I was doing business. I’m an entrepreneur who is on the lookout for great investment opportunities. My partners and I are into general merchandising like, events and entertainment productions, marketing and advertisement, content creations, relationship counseling, car importation, advocacy, and charity work. Nevertheless, I have been very busy working behind the scene. We now run a production company that produces drama, marketing campaigns and advertisements. We are working on a major TV series for Africa cinema. You probably should stay tuned because I am coming back with a bang.
How do you connect with Nigerian movie industry living abroad?
It is not easy living outside of your home. Trust me, I miss Nigeria all the time. There is no place like home. The western society is structured and very straight forward. Anyone who is determined and ready to put in the work, will definitely make it. I am comfortable here, but I miss my Naija. Regarding the movies, technology has made that connection easier. I make all negotiations from here and I travel when necessary.
Do you have plans to shoot your own movies anytime soon?
Yes. We are currently working on some quality projects.
What do you miss about Nigeria?
I miss the freshly harvested and cooked meals. I miss family and friends. I miss my village in Anambra State, Nigeria.
Is your NGO in Nigeria still up and running?
Yes! We have been fortunate so far. We are blessed with remarkable pair of human beings who are committed to our cause. They volunteer their time and support our programmes with resources. We are currently working on a major healthcare intervention for our people. We will let you know as soon as we are ready to launch. Donors and partners are welcome.
As a relationship consultant, what would you say about marriage among celebrities?
We must take to cognisance that marriage of all type (celebrity or no) evolves. What we knew of marriage years ago is not the same today. Roles also have changed in marriages today. And when it comes to celebrity marriage, we must, first, before we criticise it, understand what these partners have to deal with on a daily basis. Being a celebrity is sometimes an albatross that hangs on a person’s head. But one thing I know and that I can freely talk about is that marriage or any kind of committed relationship requires deep commitment and maturity. And in spite of how we see it, we must understand that committed relationship is a contract and a covenant that is binding on all involved. The parties involved must keep to their own side of the bargain. Marriage crash is as a result of a default in such agreement. These days, people are more conscious of avoiding exploitation than making their marriage work. And I think the term baby mama is derogatory and is created to shame and demean women. I found the term very irritating. I will rather use the term single mother to describe the resulting effect of most broken promises in marriages. But I know that single parenthood is not an easy thing. I will not degrade anyone working hard to raise responsible children, but will advice potential couples whether in the entertainment industry or elsewhere to put maturity and commitment in their character bag before negotiating the bend of marriage or relationship.
You started the Black and White Gala Ball in Calgary, Canada. What happened to the event?
The Black and White Gala Ball Canada, was a pet project created to bring Africans together in an environment where they are respected and recognised. We ran it for two years before we moved to other projects. We are presently mentoring and shaping the future of young Africans in Canada. Africans are often associated with ineptitude and economic backwardness, we are increasingly changing that narrative. We are equipping these young minds with skills and leadership qualities that will propel them into management positions.
You talk about Anambra State in most of your posts on social media. Why are you particular about the state?
Anambra is home, and home is where the heart is. I want my people to access some of the beautiful things I have seen in Canada. Anambra State has a reputation for industriousness and business acumen. Anambra State is blessed with wealthy men and women who can do great and mighty things for our people. We can do better. We should do better. We must start it now. We must change the trajectory of our society.
Looking back, what fond memories do you have of your home town?
I love moving from town to town. I love learning about each town and how their customs differ from our own. I adore the wealth of our humanity and the richness of our culture.
Do you miss core Nigerian foods?
I eat almost all the Nigerian foods that I love. What I miss most is my inability to cook with freshly harvested leaves. In Canada, our Nigeria vegetables are either dried or frozen.
How fluent are your children in Igbo Language?
They understand Igbo Language but they are not fluent in speaking it. They mix their Igbo with English. We are working on them speaking Igbo more fluently. I will admit, our progress has been slow. We will keep trying until success is achieved.
Should more women venture into politics?
Absolutely Yes. I’d love to see more women doing wonders for the nation. As a people, we must pull down all visible and invisible walls socially constructed to limit and restrain women. Every Nigeria female should be encouraged to take up space in every sector of our society. We need women occupying leadership positions in business, banks, entertainment, politics, markets, manufacturing, real estates, and religion.
What life lessons have been instrumental to your success so far?
One of my greatest inspirations in life is the Bible verse which said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. My mum endorsed the significance of education to me. She is my strongest human inspiration.
Would you say you’re a fulfilled woman?
I am a woman who is contented with her life. I am a woman in fullness of her agency. I love me because I am an original. I love God and I love humanity.
What’s next for you in terms of projects?
First, we are seeking for partners with visionary ideas. Secondly, we are working on new campaigns for our charitable work. Thirdly, we have some new products coming in. Creating and making movies is a big part of our identity. Don’t worry, we will continually keep you updated.