Says, “ I need to study my man for three years before marriage”
Nollywood damsel and former Miss Delta State, Lizzygold Onuwaje has been around long enough in the industry to know what works and what doesn’t. When she decided to take the plunge into movie production, our vision was very clear. All she wanted to do is to tell her own story in her own way. So, with the success of her debut effort in ‘Bubemi The Warri Girl’, she returns with another banger Just A Night’, this time, for the cinemas, unmasking the monster of domestic violence.
Why did you decide to become a producer?
I’m not a full time producer, I’m still an actor. I went into production because I realised there are a lot of stories that are yet to be told and I think I can only tell these stories by producing them. There are so many stories in my heart that I believe if I don’t tell them no one will.
You just produced your second movie, was it the success of your first movie that led to the production of the second one?
My first production was a success, so I decided to produce the second one. The title of the first one is ‘Bubemi the Warri Girl’; I decided to try something that will go into the cinemas, so I produced ‘Just a Night’.
When I had the story in my heart, I called my scriptwriter and told him what I wanted, he came up with the script and immediately I read it I knew the perfect cast that will fit the story. I had Majid Michael from Ghana, Femi Jacob from Lagos and other actors.
When you get actors of such caliber in you movie do you pay them their true worth?
Yes, I pay them their money. In this business there is no sentiment or colleagues, everybody collects their entitlements and what is right for them. If I work on somebody’s production too, I will collect what is right for me, I don’t do friendship or sentiment.
There is this trend evolving in Nollywood, every actor wants to be a producer, why is this?
A lot of people go into producing because they are usually not given the opportunity to interpret what they can interpret. There are talented actors that don’t have the opportunity to express themselves, so the only way they can express themselves is to go into producing. Funny enough, a lot of people are going into producing but not everyone is doing it right; there are so many low budget productions. Producing a high budget movie takes a lot of money; it’s no child’s play.
What do you consider as high budget?
From the actors, to crew, to location, post production and logistics, everything must be on a high budget if one is going to produce a high class movie. For a movie that will go into the cinemas one will spend a lot.
Your two movies are cinema movies, aren’t they?
My first movie wasn’t a cinema movie; I only took it to the market and television houses. My second movie is a cinema movie.
What is the difference between shooting a cinema and a DVD movie?
The equipment used in shooting a cinema movie is different from that of a market movie. Details are very important when making a cinema movie; so much attention is paid to cinema movies, for example, the sound. Sounds are very important that when a pin drops on the floor in a cinema movie it must be heard unlike an ordinary movie, people don’t really care and don’t pay as much attention. A cinema movie must be close to perfection although nobody is perfect.
Is it true that when people produce cinema movies they don’t make up to 50% of the box rate?
That is not true, it depends on the publicity, if you make a cinema movie you have to do a very good publicity for it because if you don’t, people will not hear about it and your movie will only be in your cupboard. The only way people can hear about it is for you to do massive publicity, with this, people will definitely go to see it. Nigerians now go to the cinema to see Nollywood movies.
With so many good movies out there, what makes ‘Just a Night’ unique?
‘Just a Night’ is centered on violence. A lot of people think domestic violence is only when a man raises his hands on a woman but domestic violence is far more than that. It also includes when one uses abusive words on their partners, threatening them and going as far as making their lives unbearable. In marriages today domestic violence has become a norm. If you watch ‘Just a Night, you will know how to address the issue of domestic violence, and you will also know how to sense it when you see it coming. ‘Just a Night’ is a family movie that everybody should see; single ladies should also watch it so that when they get married they will know how to address such issues.
Don’t you think women also violate men in marriages?
There is no crazy woman as there is no smoke without fire. Before a woman will abuse her husband verbally the man must have pushed her to the wall. No woman will just wake up and start violating her man, it’s not done. Every reaction you get from a woman is based on what the man does; some men don’t know how to take care of women. It’s not just about getting married; people get married and don’t know what to do. When you get married you have to take care of your wife, pay bills and do a lot of things. Some men live carelessly and expect their wives to always dance to their tune, domestic violence these days is caused by the men.
If you will agree will me, do you know people will question your authority on this issue of domestic violence because you are not married?
I don’t have to be married to be educated on this issue, I’m experienced in the sense that I learn from people’s mistakes. I don’t have to be married to know what domestic violence is about.
Why are you not married?
I’m not psychologically ready for marriage. Marriage is a lot, it is not something you just jump into.
When will you be ready for marriage?
I will say in three years.
What will you do if you find yourself in a violent relationship?
I don’t think I can find myself in a violent relationship because before I decide to get married to a man I have to study him very well. In fact I have to study him for a year to three years before marrying him. If I sense an atom of violence, if he tries to raise his hands or voice at me I will move out.
Do you believe that some men raise their hands on their wives purely out of love?
I don’t think so; I think a man that hits his wife is doing that out of hatred. There are other ways a man can prove his love like buying her gifts, taking her on a trip and all.
There is a disturbing trend in the society these days, women are becoming more of baby mamas, what do you think is responsible for this?
I think people are starting to realize that aborting pregnancies is wrong and illegal. These days when women get pregnant they want to keep it and bring up the child even if the father is not interested. Women are just more enlightened, also there is this saying that when a woman turns thirty and above her chances of getting pregnant reduces, so most women when they attain this age all they want to do is keep their pregnancy no matter what in order not to lose the chance of being a mother.
Some women say they don’t want to live under a man so they prefer to be baby mamas…
That is what they want; every woman is entitled to her opinion and freedom. Some women don’t want to be under the roof of a man.In our culture except in few cases, a woman is expected to do everything while the man provides the money, some women can’t through such especially career women.
After this new movie of yours, what is your next plan?
By the grace of God there are a lot of stories that I will definitely come out with, I will also release a comedy series after the premiere of my new movie.
What do have in store for the premiere of ‘Just a Night’?
A lot of my colleagues will be coming from Asaba, Lagos and all over Nigeria to attend the premiere. The sole aim of the premiere is to raise awareness for the movie and also to address the issue of domestic violence and other things.
What has life thought you?
Life has thought me to be very patient and there that there is time for everything. I attended an acting school before I went into acting, I was prepared for it and I was never desperate. For you to be successful never be desperate because if you are desperate you will make lots of mistakes. A lot of girls and guys fall victims because they are desperate. Be patient, work hard, pray and keep believing in God and you will get to the top.