Breaking into the Nollywood industry in Nigeria today is not a child’s play. It requires a combination of talents, hard work and grace. In this conversation with GberaTV, Debbie Shokoya who has featured in a number of top notch Nollywood films such as Oyenusi, Ayeloja, Ayelabowo, Sikemi, Limelight, “So Wrong So Wright” etc shared an insight into her background, career and what she intends to change in the industry.
GberaTV: Can we meet you?
Debbie Show: My name is Debbie Shokoya, mostly called Debbie Show by my family and friends. I am an actress, A movie producer, an aspiring director and presenter. In summary, I am an entertainer. I was born into a family of 10 and am the 8th born, of a father and a mother not polygamous family. I am blessed with lovely parents that do the needful when needed. I hail from Ogun state, Ijebu to be precise. Am a Christian and I love God so much….My educational background is cool, I attended both primary and secondary, am a graduate of The Polytechnic of Ibadan where I studied public administration
GberaTV: When and how did you start acting?
Debbie Show: I started acting 2012, I was in a caucus owned by John Olakunle Dasilva. He’s my boss, my first channel in the movie industry…I have always had passion for acting right from when I was young but I never really took it serious but I love it cause back when I was in secondary school, we had a drama group but I don’t really like acting in any of the drama except am force to and that was because am a shy type. All I use to do then was direct; I direct and tell each character how they are to act their role. But In a nutshell, acting as always been part of me since I was young because almost all my life was acting
GberaTV: What is your inspiration?
Debbie Show: My Inspiration? Sincerely I don’t really know but I will say God because sometimes when I do things or think of ideas, I do wonder how come I thought of such. I will say it’s God, it’s a gift, it is His blessing. But I love positive people too
GberaTV: What exactly do you hope to achieve with your acting
Debbie Show: I don’t see myself acting because of fame, my aim is to reach out to people through what I do. To impact and inspire people, I just want to build lives positively not just for fame
GberaTV: What have you learnt in the movie industry that you think everyone looking forward to acting should know?
Debbie Show: Good Question….I learnt that it isn’t easy like I thought before I entered the industry, it requires lot of hard work cause there are lot of competition and everybody wants to be at the top which is not really possible so it requires lot of hard work. Set standard for yourself, only you know what you want, don’t just dance to every tune (smiles)
GberaTV: What aspect of your background or education has been most helpful to your experience as a young actress and Producer?
Debbie Show: My background has really helped me in my field, because I was born into a family of “no nonsense” that doesn’t allow idleness. My father is a very strict man that accepts no shit and my mum is a queen of style and dignity. My family should be named “Stand Out” We believe in uniqueness, my love for standing out was strengthen by the advice of one of my elder sister, her name is Blessing Shokoya. She often advises me about been unique among my friends and always stand out. Am so grateful to her because her advice has helped me till date. I love doing my things differently, I don’t believe in the normal customs that are common and everybody is doing it, I love been unique
GberaTV: What were the defining moments for you when you started acting?
Debbie Show: I had lot of defining moments; these moments weaken me sometimes but I must say, am strong! Because at these moments, I stay strong and avoid been negative, I just think and try hard to pull through and all thanks to God, I have always overcome those moments. It isn’t easy u know? But u have to stay positive if u truly know what you stand for
GberaTV: What movie will you say brought you to limelight?
Debbie Show: Ayeloja where I played the role of Fatty, they call me “Abebelube”. That is where I got the name Fatty Abebelube, The movie made people know me and love my acting more. That is why am grateful to the producer Sharafadeen Olabode for believing in me so much, God bless you Mr Aye!!!
GberaTV: Tell us some of the movie you featured in / Produce
Debbie Show: To mention few…Oyenusi, Ayeloja, Ayelabowo, Sikemi, Agbede Meeji, Omo Ibadan, Limelight, and many more that I can’t remember. I also featured in English TV series, Tales of Eve, So Wrong So Wright and one other one I can’t remember….I produced 2 movies, Omo Agunpopo and Ibale Mi (My Virginity) with the help of two wonderful producers that believed in me
GberaTV: As an Actress any effect of Recession on you?
Debbie Show: This Question is funny (laughs)…Actress Ogini? Actress What? Not just as an actress ooo! As a person and also as a person living in Nigeria, recession has affected me badly ooo (Laughing) but all thanks to God we are surviving, I pray God help our country so things can be normal again
GberaTV: Have you won any awards, honors or special recognition as an individual or on movies you produced?
Debbie Show: Just one award from the Polytechnic of Ibadan, Public Administration Department as Most Influential ….I know awards are coming by God’s grace but all I pray for are good awards, awards that worth it that people will say “Yes! Truly she deserves it”…I don’t want the award that will just be for “famzing” (Laughing) Oscar award awaits me by God’s grace
GberaTV: What would you describe as your secret formula for success?
Debbie Show: For me! My own formula for success is been Unique…I love uniqueness, I appreciate anybody that is unique, in fact I find myself attracted to people with unique voice. That is why I love Adekunle Gold, Jaywon, Qdot, to mention few…I love been Unique, that is my formula
GberaTV: In and outside the movie industry who is/are your mentor (s) and why?
Debbie Show: I can’t really specify who my mentor is apart from God. But I appreciate positive people; I appreciate people that believes in positivity and make things happen no matter how hard it may look like. This kind of people motivates me so much, they don’t need to encourage me by their words, their doings alone make me love them no matter the relationship maybe we talk in person or not
GberaTV: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Debbie Show: My greatest achievement for now as always been part of my dream, my greatest achievement is that I got some people who look up to me and call me their mentor and role model for inspiring them. This has been one of my goals right from time, I love inspiring and motivating people with what I do…So that has been my greatest achievement so far.
GberaTV: What were your major obstacles during the initial points of acting?
Debbie Show: Firstly am a shy person, so I had to work on that Cause it was one of the things hindering me and also financial aspect cause I had to buy lot of things I need when called for a job. The financial aspect almost discouraged me but I got a wonderful mother that got my back. Gosh! She’s everything, in fact she gives me money for transport fare not thinking that when am coming back to the house I won’t bring a penny (Laughing) She’s amazing, She’s a full support system.
GberaTV: Tell us one interesting thing that many people don’t know about you?
Debbie Show : I don’t think there’s anything people don’t know about me cause am simple but it’s funny that sometimes you can’t predict me, and also I look gentle and cool but truly am little bit troublesome, that I know (laughing)
GberaTV: What’s the weirdest thing has fan has done for you?
Debbie Show: Nothing serious ever, Am always cool with my fans and I avoid offending them because they are my second family that’s why I call them “FANmily”.
GberaTV: Could you tell us the part of your job you enjoy the most?
Debbie Show: My job is very interesting .The most interesting part I love is that it makes me to act anything, it makes me to be different person momentarily. You get to see the Posh Debbie, Gentle Debbie, Crazy Debbie, Funny Debbie and more. I love my job so much
GberaTV: What the effect of New Media on Nollywood
Debbie Show: It has really helped, It has helped in rebranding our marketing and puplic perception of what we do. It has also bridged the gap between the entertainers and the fans
GberaTV: What are your plans for the future?
Debbie Show: Lot of positive plans….And the future is now because as for me! Am already working towards the future, I have my brand name which is DEBBIE SHOW HOUSE OF ENTERTAINMENT, There will be lot of great things under this brand and aside from entertainment, other business in mind too. May God help me
GberaTV: What kind of legacy do you want to leave?
Debbie Show: In simple word “Legend”…All I live my life for is to be a legend throughout my existence and afterwards, That is my aim in life…My name and impacts should remain in minds of many, just like our Father Abraham . I want to be a Legend not just a celebrity
GberaTV: Can you act nude? No
Debbie Show: Nude ke? You want my parents to disown me? (Laughing) No I can’t act nude! You ask why? My private part is not called Public part, I will get married someday. I pray to be a responsible wife, wonderful mother and role model to my children like my mum did, and also I got fans that look up to me. What am I teaching them? I can’t act nude…Some people say nude help you to limelight, Really? “Wehdone ma”! I wish all those people best of luck! As for Debbie Shokoya, It’s a No! No! No!
GberaTV: Do you have any advice for young/ aspiring actors/actresses?
Debbie Show: Firstly I wish them all the best. Stay focus, believe in yourself, work hard, set standard for yourself, stay positive and above all be prayerful.
GberaTV: To what extent do you think Nigerian youths are creative?
Debbie Show: Ah! When you talk about creativity, Nigeria is endowed with lot of creative youths. When I see some creative people especially when they showcase their selves on instagram, I be like woooooow!
GberaTV: How has Nollywood and acting generally improved your life and that of your fans?
Debbie Show : It has helped, it has helped me showcase myself and made my fans know who bears the name Debbie Show and also exposed me socially a bit because me am not social.
GberaTV: Are you single or into any relationship?
Debbie Show : Yes, am single…..Nothing serious at present
GberaTV: Can you date or marry an entertainer?
Debbie Show : That question jacks me up! ..I don’t think I can, I would appreciate a private life whereby my marriage is aside my work but if I find genuine love in an entertainer and God says that is my husband, I get no choice but I will always pray hard and make sure that things never falls out of place with us cause it’s a little bit hard though
GberaTV: Are you crushing on any artist?
Debbie Show : Crushing ke! I don’t even understand my crushing life, I can see a musician or an actor today and say am crushing on the person whereas it might just be the person way of acting or simplicity I like. I don’t have anybody am crushing on for now.
GberaTV: What is your reaction to the constant break and divorces in celebrities’ marriages?
Debbie Show: Is not nice or something good at all because it is making some people think that is the way celebrities are and that they can never have a peaceful home. But that is a lie! It is all about individual, these celebrities I believe they are the ones that can’t handle their homes well. Think well before you walk into marriage, marriage requires lot of understanding and patience, there is no home without ups and downs, the woman should be able to hold her home no matter the storms and be prayerful. I wish all of them well and people should stop using collective noun for all celebrities’ marriage, it’s based on individual. Those who are celebrities and are happily married still exist.
GberaTV: What project are you working on presently
Debbie Show: Lot of project under ‘DEBBIE SHOW HOUSE OF ENTERTAINMENT’, but shooting pretty soon is “The Contractors” and “Love At The Darkest Hour”. Also planning on a TV series. Something big is coming from this small girl
GberaTV: Do you belong to any clique or caucus?
Debbie Show: No not at all, am a freelance, I work with anybody
GberaTV: How do you relax?
Debbie Show: If not at location, I might be home writing scripts or thinking of ideas that can help me more or if not that, I might just be home relaxing. I don’t really like visiting people, is not part of me and I don’t really like going to parties or events (Smiles)
GberaTV: Thank you for having this conversation with us
Debbie Show: You are welcome, Thanks for having me….Oya! Gberaaaaaa