Mulatto star actress, Shan George – Nwaosisi is a child of destiny specially created for the top.
At the tender age of 15, she was given out in marriage as a rustic village girl in her Cross Rivers State.
And as fate would have it again, the marriage after producing two lovely boys crashed woefully some years after.
And instead of giving up on life for these early misfortunes that befell her, the award-winning actress gathered the pieces of her shattered life together and headed straight to Lagos where fortune and fame eventually smiled on her through acting and hard work.
Aside being a top actress, producer and international businesswoman, undeterred and very focused George is today, happily married for the second time to Tony Nwaosisi:
“He is my love, dad and everything. He was ordained for me by God. No regrets about my first failed marriage. It was destined to crash,” maintains the star of many hit movies and producer of, “All For Winnie, Just Once, Made In Heaven and A Second Time”.
From ’96 when George sauntered boldly into Nollywood with late Jennifer Ossai’s “Thorns of Rose, she has not rested on her oars.
The Mass Communication graduate of University of Lagos has also been commended and criticized by many for her roles in movies.
She says: “I don’t know why controversy trails every of my move within and outside Nollywood. They don’t weigh me down, further re-affirms the star of the very controversial movie, “The Outcast”.
Sultry George, who lost her British dad at the tender age of five, also bared her mind on other vital issues within and outside Nollywood.
Enjoy the interaction!
Shan, you are quiet these days. Is your new status as a married woman responsible for your lying low?
Not really. It is also not a matter of lying low; I’ve not been around for a while. I’ve been in London for almost a year. I ran a programme on Ben TV., in London while there, but the programme has been rested. It was a programme that focused on what Nigerians were doing abroad. I produced and presented while my husband directed. I rested it when I left London for Nigeria, I may still resurrect it later. Currently, I’m working on my new movie; tentatively I have two titles for this new movie that I’m about producing. One is, “An Affair To Remember and Pure Agony”. At the end of the day I will surely settle for one title. This will be my fifth movie as actress cum producer. I started with All For Winnie, Just Once, Made In Heaven, A Second Time and this recent one. I’m hitting location soon.
How many movies have you starred in since you returned from London?
Due to the upheaval in the industry, I have done like four films since I came back.
After so many years of being single, you finally got married again, the second time. What is the feeling like?
I’m more mature now, because I feel I’m more stable to be married again. God has been so faithful, at least I was able to find a man to accept me the way I am, and nobody is perfect… It’s really been wonderful.
What got you attracted and tripped for Tony Nwaosisi, your new husband?
I wouldn’t say I got tripped. What happened is that I’m a very spiritual person? I did not just fall for him. I was moved by his down to earth nature, he is my kind of person. He has the fear of God in him. I got spiritually involved with him before my physical body took over.
Can you still remember the exact words he used in begging you to marry him?
We met in London and it was very dramatic. The ring I used to wear on my left finger got missing for two days and I was really mad about it…He was not bothered. Two days after he came to where I was sleeping on the couch with a box in his hand and said he wants to grow old with me and asked if I would like to grow old with him. He ended it by saying he wants to live with me for the rest of his life… That was when I realized he was actually the one who took my ring. (General Laughter).
He is based permanently in London while you are here. Are you not scared?
Well, living apart as couples has its own problems, but we are coping for now, but it will not be like this for long. We are working on how we can be living together. Sincerely speaking, sometimes, I get scared that we are living apart because he is a very good-looking man. I’m a realist. My trust and faith in God are what I’m holding on to. I don’t really shake, I trust my husband a lot, and he could be naughty a times.
Where is the place and position of your two sons from your first marriage, in your new marriage to Tony?
Hmmh! My children will always be my children. They have not been displaced from where I have always placed them. I love them and their place in my heart can’t be filled with any other person except them.
Do you sometimes regret the fact that your first marriage failed woefully?
Well, I’m the kind of person that don’t regret past events. I like learning from my mistakes. And most times, you have to learn the hard way, which is the only way. I take things the way they come.
You got married at the tender age of 15 then. Was it by your own volition or you were forced into it?
I was not forced into it and it was not really by my own making. It was the normal custom that goes on in my place, even till now.
As somebody who has been there twice, what would you say is the biggest lesson you have learnt from the marriage institution?
Well, as far as I’m concerned this is my first marriage. The first one was like a norm that I had to follow. I obeyed tradition because I was too young to even know what marriage was. I won’t tell you lies, marriage is a very complicated institution. We have two people from two different backgrounds and cultures coming to live as one. It is not a very easy thing but one has to cope. In marriage, love conquers all.
Will your new status as a married actress slow you down in terms of the kind of movies you would be featuring in now?
Not really! Aside my wacky roles, I have also done good roles in most of my movies. I’m a professional actress, so somebody must play these wacky roles. I’m not wacky in real life; we are only trying to correct some anomalies in the society with these roles.
A lot of you top actresses have not really come out to speak on the one year ban placed on some of your colleagues, why is it so? Also, what are your views on the ban?
Actually, I don’t know why most of my colleagues have refused to speak on the issue I was not in Nigeria when the ban thing happened. We are yet to receive an official statement… To me, it is still a rumour. I don’t know what to say about it because I still consider it a rumour.
Let’s assume your name was on the “rumoured” ban list, what would you have done?
As a human being, I cross the bridge when I get there. So, if my name were there, I would probably know what to do. (Laughs) I don’t react before the action. But I thank God my name was not there.
As a top actress, what in your own views is the biggest problem facing Nollywood today?
For me, our biggest problem is the fact that the government is not getting involved fully with Nollywood. They should give us access to some government property whenever these things are needed as props in our movies. For example, we hardly get real guns and uniforms from the police stations. We still use plastic guns in our movies. Government should please give us props. In Hollywood they shoot in the White House. It is not so here. While I was shooting one of my films, it was difficult getting LAWMA, to approve the use of one of their trucks. It is not supposed to be so. Such things make us restrict our visions as writers. We are just moving but not making progress.
If given the opportunity, is there anything you would like to change about yourself and why?
Like I told you earlier on, I’m not the type who likes regretting. I’m just okay the way I am now. The way I am now is of God’s making. But on habits, I have a habit of not caring so much about my dress sense. I’m too comfortable with my jeans and T-shirt. I feel uncomfortable with corporate wears. So, I want to change my bad habit of wearing jeans and T-shirt always.
In life today, what would you say is your most prized possession?
It is natural for every woman to cherish her children. So, my children are my most prized possessions. From experience, aside God, it is only your children that will never let you down or turn their back on you. Honestly, I cherish them as my most prized possessions.
You have achieved a lot as a top actress, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Nollywood today?
As far as I’m concerned, achievement is having a good heart. So, my greatest achievement as an actress is knowing Christ. I’ve found so much peace and happiness in Him.
But why is that controversy trails every step of yours in Nollywood?
(Laughs). Me self bow o! I don’t know anything about these controversies. I believe they trail me, because I’m a very free-minded person.
Do these controversies sometimes weigh you down?
The truth is that things like that hardly weigh me down. Whenever I read things that are not true about me in the media I only laugh. I’m like whoa! Why do some people like disturbing themselves about Shan, when she actually feels unperturbed? That is how I see the whole thing.
You got married to Tony Nwaosisi sometimes last year. What kind of a husband is he?
I will only use one sentence to describe my husband. He is what I refer to as an angel. He is a true angel sent by God. I love him so much.
What are your goals for the future?
Like I always say, I keep everything I do in the hands of God. I only follow his directions. He puts in my mind whatever he wants me to do. As a human, sometimes I wish this and that for myself. But at the end of the day, I settle down for the things God wants me to do. I really love to get involved with the big, big pictures. I dream Hollywood a lot with my movies.
You are rich, famous and now married to the man of your dream. Is there any other thing you want God to do for you?
(Thinks) Honestly, I know that if there are things God still wants to do for me, he will surely do them at the appropriate time. But the biggest thing I want from God now is to take me to the big pictures in Hollywood.
As a mother, actress, housewife and a businesswoman are you fulfilled?
Well, like they say, nobody is truly fulfilled. You still set goals as long as you are alive. And you also keep working hard to achieve these goals. So, I’m still working, I believe the only fulfilled human beings are the ones that are six feet below. Struggle continues as long as you are still alive, so you can’t be fulfilled because of the too many things calling and struggling for your attention.
You must have also had some low moments in life, which among them still lingers on in your memory?
Honestly, God has been so wonderful to me; I don’t see any draw back weighing me or my morale down. I don’t brood or feel low when things do not work out for me. So for me, they are not low moments. I have had situations where things don’t work out for me, but they don’t bother me. I see them as the challenges of life. They are also phases, which I believe every human being must pass through in life.
Most of your colleagues are going into politics. Do you have the intention of doing that?
I don’t know o! In fact, I’ve never thought of that all my life. But if God decides to take me there, who are mine to say no.
Aside God, what other things keep you going?
I draw my strength from my husband since we met. My husband has tried his best to see that my career is still moving on fine. He also supports and encourages me always.
(Cuts in) What does he do in London?
This interview is for Shan George. He will tell you that when you are interviewing him. He works over there. But I have dragged him into movies. He financed our last movie. He also helped in making the movie a reality. In fact, he acted in the movie (Laughs). He is a very private and quiet person. I will be very honest with you, after God, he is the next person I draw my strength from. He is my love and my strength. He keeps me going.
In your next world, do you still want to come back as Shan George?
If truly there were anything like re-incarnation, I would still love to come back as Shan George. The only thing I would like change about me in my next world is my sex. I want to come back as a man, so that I will have a taste of what it feels to be a man together with the experience.
Your late dad was a British, what do you miss most about him?
Well, right now, I actually miss not having a dad a lot. I have had moments where I wish I had a dad to talk to or run to for advice. Especially, when I need male advice on some issues. This also brings us back to the issue of my husband being my everything. He is also the only dad I have now. He has been playing the role of dad to me so well since I met him. I really don’t know much about my late dad. He died when I was five… I really don’t know much about him.
You came into Nollywood in ’96, which was your first movie?
Thorns of Rose was my first movie. Late Jennifer Ossai produced it. May her soul rest in peace. But Blessing Eremi, brought me into Nollywood.
You used to act in a lot of TV soaps in the past, but suddenly stopped. Why?
It is because of lack of time. Then I was actively involved because I was an undergraduate at Unilag and also had the time. I will definitely return as soon as I have the time again. I love soaps a lot.
FIRST PUBLISHED, 2005