As the first season of HONEY TV’s Nollywood Queens draws to a close, Nigeria’s Uti Nwachukwu sets the scene for the first reunion special.
The media personality is popular across West Africa as a reality TV favourite turned host. The series features prominent Nollywood actresses and businesswomen Venita Akopfure, Mercy Isoyip, Nuella Njubigbo, Mimi Orjiekwe and Grace-Charis Bassey.
In the two-part reunion special, Nwachukwu sits down with each of the women to reflect on the high and low points of the first season. Nothing is off limits as they discuss the tensions, the explosive fights and the unseen feuds. We sat down with Uti for a catch-up.
How did your role as host of the reunion come about?
There I was in Abuja taking some time out and minding my own business eating rice and peppered stew cooked by my friend Belle. As usual I was making fun of everyone at the table and asking for takeaway packs for the Afang soup when my phone rang. It was one of the show’s producers (Ms. Priscilla) on the other end of the call. Told her I had to consult my oracle and in less than an hour I called back and boom! It was a done deal. I’ve always wanted to do a show like this because I am a huge fan of reality TV.
What's the most enticing thing about Nollywood Queens as a show?
I’d say the diaries. Watching the women react to everything happening on the show is just a blast. You start to feel like these are your actual friends. It’s so darn addictive!
How did you get your start in the entertainment business?
It’s no secret. Big Brother. The 2008 series was my debut but I won the All-Stars edition two years later.
What kind of place do you think HONEY TV has in African television and storytelling?
I think they occupy a very important space. Watching international television and observing how we have come to fall in love with people thousands of miles away just goes to show you how influential television actually is. It’s time Africa had a channel that’s completely dedicated to telling our stories exactly the way they are. Africa is gold, and HONEY TV is the miner.
Which African countries have you been to?
My first was Ghana and then South Africa. Followed by Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius and Morocco. Does it count if you have had transit flights through some? Lol because I’ve been in the airports of Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt.
What are five things you can't live without?
Food, definitely. I drink a lot of water. I love ginger and garlic (that’s part of food so scratch this lol). Good people, my family and music.
What is one thing that people don't know about you?
The reason they don’t know is because I don’t talk about it, right? Good.
What does the future look like for Uti?
Too bright. I’m about to drop another corny line so brace yourselves (clears throat). My future is so bright that y’all are going to need sunglasses. There I said it. On a serious note, I want to do more TV. I premiered my first talk show called Behind The Glam With Uti. It provides a safe space for personalities to speak their truth without it being manipulated for clicks or views. I hope to host more reunions, of course, a few movies and hopefully celebrate a global career.
Catch the Nollywood Queens two-part special on the 9th and the 16th of July on DStv 173. WAT 20:00 | CAT 21:00 | EAT 22:00.