Thirty four (34) year old Genevieve Nnaji is beautiful and has been touted as one of Africa’s biggest stars by Oprah. Overall, we have seen her interview quite well during her television and radio appearances for many years now, locally and internationally. But, have the questions been too easy and on the surface? Perhaps?
During the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last year, Nnaji made an appearance at TIFF, She also made an appearance on the George Stroumboulopoulos show. On the show, she was simply asked about the post independence time i.e. 1960s and whether Nigeria went through a hard period during the time of the Biafra war. The answer would have been a simple, “yes.” There were no details required from her of what happened in the Biafra war, or even what year the war occurred. It was a straightforward question.
Blame it on nerves or just Nnaji being plain ill-prepared. Either way, she came back with an embarrassing “I’m young,” as her response. Common, Ms. Nnaji. What has your age got to do with the question? Nnaji is 34 not a 20 something.
Given she was part of the cast in ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ film and frankly stole the thunder from the cast at the TIFF show, and that she informs the host that she is Igbo, and she is a veteran at interviews, she could have really made more of an effort with her response.
I think, at least to me, that her response may have been digestible except she then added that we need to have the Biafra history incorporated into our schools. Again, common Ms. Nnaji. It is one thing for you not to recall or read to stay informed. But, please do not put the schools and teachers of your youth on the chopping block like that. It is unfair. Yes, we should teach the Biafra war history in our schools, if we are not currently doing so, but Given Nnaji’s age, it would be undisputed that Nigeria had some of the best schools in the 70s and into the 80s, with dedicated teachers.
Indeed many of its citizens where offered full ride scholarships to study abroad, a part of history explored in the many Nollywood films Nnaji has acted in. It wasn’t until the late 80s into the 90s when we begin seeing a steep decline in educational quality that continues today.
Nnaji’s looks, fashion styling, and diction is on point. Now let’s sharpen the basic substantive aspect of her presentation. You are not expected to know everything Ms. Nnaji, but do try a bit harder i.e. prepare better on the next interview.
AML MEDIA INTERVIEW TIP
Talents, especially of Nnaji’s caliber, you can ask the host or media prior to an interview you will give, to give you an idea of topics or topic areas they will be asking you questions on. They may or may not grant your request but these days, majority do. If your host has a great interview, it is good ratings for him/her, the network etc. It is also, needless to say, a good look for you. Exercise that option, even if it is an international interview and is on a platform you really want to appear on.
(Side eye on her comments. Gotta match the beauty with the brains sis.)
“I learned a lot about the past from this present movie that I did… I learned a lot about our struggles, especially as easterners. I’m from the east, we’re called the Igbo tribe and we were greatly involved in the war.
“You do realize there were a lot of restrictions that aren’t there now. And as children we weren’t told — and I think people, our parents, tried to shield us from the truth that they faced.
“But I think it’s a good thing if we knew a bit of our history. Hopefully that’ll be cultivated into the schools.”
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