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‘We have responsibility as adults to impact the next generation’

Beverly Naya with AMVCAs Best Documentary Film award for her work, Skin

In what marked her debut as a producer, actress Beverly Naya, final yr, launched a documentary movie, Skin, which broaches the bleaching and colourism issues in Nigeria. Directed by Etim Effiong, the movie explored the true that means of magnificence in varied shades of black.

Less than one yr after, the Delta State native is reaping the fruit of her labour from the advocacy undertaking. Just final Saturday, Skin gained Best Documentary Film award on the 2020 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award. Skin edged out Aderogba Adedeji’s Hidden Euphoria, Aderemi Davies’ Against All Odds: A Tale Of Resilience, and Tunde Oladimeji’s Ibadan: Yoruba Heritage to clinch the award.

“It feels fantastic; it definitely means a whole lot to me. Skin is a project that I birthed to inspire young people to appreciate their black beauty, so, to win Best Documentary is truly humbling. I pray this win inspires people to keep going after the their dreams knowing that they are enough just the way they are,” Naya mentioned in a chat with The Guardian after the award.

Naya is at the moment on a tour of faculties throughout Nigeria and Africa to share the message and mentor younger African ladies on the necessity to withstand peer stress and be themselves.

“I’m in the middle of a youth tour; I’m taking it to different secondary schools, universities in Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of Africa as well, just to push the message and inspire young people. The film focuses on colourism, which is the hierarchy of beauty according to complexion, just a conversation around that. It just teaches young girls to love themselves for whom they are; just appreciate that black beauty. That’s really the message in the documentary and it has gone far and wide.”

She continued: “I just got back from Abuja; I went to base University to speak to students about love, about the negative effects of colourism and stuffs like that. I’ve been doing that for a while now; Ford Foundation supports it. We need to empower them while they are young; we need to teach them about self-love, about confidence so that they can grow up loving themselves,” she mentioned.

Beverly’s determination to shoot the documentary had one thing to do together with her private expertise rising up as a toddler.

“I got bullied for having asthma and it really affected my self esteem when I got older; I just didn’t feel beautiful at all. I really had to make a choice, ‘did I want to be that person that is miserable and lacked confidence or did I want to work on my confidence and become a happier person?’ I chose the latter. The more I worked on my confidence, the more I realised that it was important to teach young people how to do the same so they don’t grow with the same insecurities that I had as a result of me not working on my mind from a young age.”

So far, it’s been an unimaginable expertise for the actress working with younger ladies on the marketing campaign.

“They are so inspired and empowered every time I speak to them,” she famous. “They are so interactive, inquisitive and engrossed from start to finish; I really appreciate it. I’m happy that I’m impacting these young people’s lives. I know I can’t change all of their minds and how all of them see themselves, but I know I’m at least speaking to a good percentage of them. We have the responsibility as adult to impact the next generation. I just feel like it’s selfish to hold all that knowledge to yourself and not impact anybody,” she mentioned.

Meanwhile, Beverly lately performed lead function in Kathryn Fasegha’s film, 2 Weeks in Lagos, which is ready to display on the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. An uncommon love story set in Lagos Nigeria, the film parades different distinguished actors, together with Mawuli Gavor, Joke Silva, Jide Kosoko, Toyin Abraham, Shaffy Bello, Tina Mba and others. It captures the thrill and vibrancy of on a regular basis life in Lagos and displays its complexity.

“It feels really good to be part of the production; it’s a fantastic movie. It tells the story of two people that meet and fall in love in Lagos. It’s also filled with other conflicts that they experience because both families don’t see eye to eye. I really enjoyed working with the cast and crew; I feel everyone did a fantastic job. Shaffy Bello played my mum and Jide Kosoko played my dad,” she hinted.

On how she obtained the function, the lovable actress defined, “I was sent an e-mail regarding a reading for this film; I honoured the request and went for the audition. When I got to the audition, that was actually when I met the directors, Kathryn Fasegha; I was contacted a week after that and I got the role.”

However, the scrip was charming sufficient to draw the Rodhampton University educated actress.

“I definitely connected with the script; I connected with the character and love story. I love the way romance was projected in this film; it was tastefully done and beautifully told as well. I love everything about the script,” she enthused.

Sharing her expertise onset of two Weeks In Lagos, Naya mentioned, “It was really enjoyable; it was an ensemble cast. We had some of the greatest people in the industry today in this film; there was never a dull moment. We had different kinds of personalities and it was just always fun; it was good bonding with all the actors in this film.”

To film followers, Beverly mentioned, “Expect to see a fantastic film; it’s a love story but told in a very unique way. You will definitely enjoy what the story deals with; it touches on everything in the society right now. It touches on marriage, romance, religion, culture and societal issues as well; there are so many things to enjoy. There’s conflict in this film, there’s love, there’s comedy… there’s something for everyone. Secondly, it’s very relatable; you watch this film and you feel there’s something to take home,” she mentioned.

Born in London to Nigerian mother and father, Beverly was six months outdated when the household relocated to the United States the place she lived in Atlanta and Chicago. Just as she clocked eight, the household moved again to London the place she spent a greater a part of her grownup life.

“I’m the only child, so, I had a bit of a quiet childhood; but I have loads of cousins and they always made sure I was happy and kept me company. I have some beautiful memories from my childhood,” she enthused.

Though a Nigerian, her first go to to the nation was on the age of 15. At that point, the music of American hip-hop star Sisquo was making waves and Beverly was a giant fan.

“At that time of my life, I was obsessed with Sisquo, so, when he came to Nigeria, I had to go and watch him. My Mum knew how much I loved him and she arranged for me to go to Sisquo concert. I was fortunate to meet him backstage and I was speechless; I just kept staring at him and at one point he started looking at me like I was crazy,” she confessed.

Eventually, Beverly managed to utter the phrases, “can I take a picture with you?” And simply because the digital camera flashed, “I kissed him on the lips! He was completely shocked by that. Only to get home, try to develop the picture and they were not there. All of them were gone, so, I lost that memory forever. But I’m over Sisquo now,” she smiled.

Right from her childhood, Beverly has at all times proven indicators of taking part in huge within the arts, although with out a particular course. Initially, she needed to sing, then toyed with modeling, however lastly settled for appearing.

“I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted to do, but I’ve always been an arts oriented person and I knew I was going to do something in that direction. As a child, I just loved to enjoy life, but the older I grew, I started to set goals for myself and realising where my passion really is, especially when my parents told me I couldn’t sing to save my life.”

“They said, ‘your voice is horrible, don’t sing.’ So, after that, I realised maybe that’s not where I needed to go. I’ve always known that I have the ability to act; my parents believe that’s the area I should go and they have supported me since then.”
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Beverly made efforts to formalise what began as a ardour. She studied Drama in College for 2 years and obtained a distinction for the few performs she carried out whereas at school. Later, she took a three-year break to the college, the place she studied filmmaking and scriptwriting, and graduated with a second class higher in Filmmaking and a firstclass in Scriptwriting.

Her first encounter with Nollywood was in 2012 when she featured in Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen’s Home In Exile. After finishing research, Naya took a daring step to relocate again house and pursue her appearing profession.

Looking again to her journey within the trade, she mentioned, “It’s been a lot of work; I’m very grateful for how far I’ve come in this industry. I won’t deny the fact that there had been times when I felt, ‘oh my God, I can’t do this any more.’ But seeing it through has really paid off; I’m in a place in my career where I’m just very content and very happy. I’m diversifying as well, so, it’s exciting for me,” she enthused.

Though she has featured in lots of movies in Nigeria, The Wedding Party appears to Beverly’s favorite.

“I mean, it was huge for everyone that was involved; it did well for each and every one of our brands, I can’t deny it. It was very well received; practically, the whole nation got to see it. It was that main project that exposed me in a way that other projects hadn’t,” she famous.

On her motivating issue as an actress, she mentioned, “I would say definitely the passion; the ability to become someone else and just playing a totally different person, brining someone else’s reality to life. I think that’s always fascinating and enjoyable.”

While some feminine practitioners would lament about how their male counterparts are dominating the trade, Beverly is extra targeted on actualising her desires.

“I just focus on being driven and achieving all of my goals; I don’t really pay attention to what’s going on outside. Am I persistent, yes! Am I consistent, yes! Am I determined, yes! Will I achieve my goals, absolutely yes! So, that’s the mindset that I choose to have in business and in life; that’s what has got me this far,” she mentioned.

Meanwhile, Beverly is among the many rising record of younger Nigerians, who imagine in having a number of streams of earnings.

“I just fell like there’s a massive world out there; if you restrict yourself to one thing, it gets a bit boring after a while. Secondly, I believe in having multiple streams of income. Relying on one source in this part of the world, relying on acting alone is not lucrative enough for me. For that reason, it’s just important for me to have multiple streams of income. And to really challenge myself beyond being an actor, ‘Okay, Beverly, what else can you do? What else can you succeed at? That’s basically the space I’m in right now.”

No matter the profession one decides to pursue, the actress believes consistency is vital. To her, it’s the secrete of survival.

“I stayed consistent, disciplined and determined; I juts allowed myself to grow in the industry, I didn’t force anything. But the main thing is consistency because it’s very easy to give up. It’s very easy to say, ‘I’m going to take a break and then come back.’ But the thing with making that choice is that you could come back and discover that so much has happened; that’s why I didn’t do it. I decided to stay consistent on this journey and it paid off. I believe in myself wholeheartedly; I believe in my abilities and capabilities. I think that has taken me this far and obviously having God on my side,” she mentioned.

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