Stephanie Linus is not a stranger to us, she has graced our TV screens for over a decade with well over 40 hit Nollywood movies and numerous awards and accolades under her belt.
In the midst of an already successful career she has brought her passion for helping humanity into her movies and work in Nollywood.
Her undiluted passion and commitment to helping others is what strikes one and could amount to the reasons she remains the industry’s sweetheart to many and counting. Her latest movie, “Dry” tackles a disease most women shy away from talking about, set to be released later this year “Dry” tackles the issue of Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF). She is also working on a new television show “Make Me Fabulous” that aims to help married couples in Nigerian remember the important things in life like family and bonding with loved ones…
All of her humanitarian and philanthropy lead to her being the face for Dutch wax brand VliscoWomen’s Month campaign- “Dare To Dream”.
Today, we have the actress on our fashionable hot interview seat, she gives OnoBello.com the scoop on her new reality television show were couples write to her and send reasons why they should win a special date. The lucky winner is then treated to some hair, beauty and style transformation that is sure to get her partner excited.
Not only does she talk about her reality show, Mrs Linus opens up about a whole lot more…
OB: You are such an inspiration to women of colour across Africa and beyond. How do you do it?
SL: I don’t know really. I just go about doing the things that I do bearing in mind there are people who are also looking up to me. So I also have to be careful about the things that I do. So I think that’s it.
OB: How do you get the inspiration to keep telling stories interesting stories and keep your audience captivated?
SL: Well because they need to be told and I think honestly to my career, you just have to continue doing more meaningful stories that can also help shape our society more. Although, we’ve been doing it but let it be more; like a consciousness in you that this is what you have to do and you know that’s what we’ve been doing.
OB: Your most recent movie “Dry” is centred around a well known societal ill. Please shed more light on it?
SL: “Dry” is a film I’m using to campaign about the maternal health issues like Vesicovaginal fistula we have in Nigeria and also in Africa and the demeaning experiences that a lot of young mothers go through and so many other things that affect us as women – you know some of the cultural practices that are not favourable to us, women – just to bring it to light and create the image so that people can see. You know sometimes when people hear about certain things, they think it’s so far away but when you present the image to them, they can understand that it could be you and can relate to it. So that’s what we were able to achieve with “Dry”.
OB: What triggered the move to make a movie like “Dry”?
SL: It’s just when I heard about women who go through childbirth with the problem and I was shocked and then the issue of early marriage is a concern most of the time especially as a lot of young girls don’t have a choice and are looking for someone to give them a voice so I just wanted to use this platform to give that voice, make it heard and see how certain things about it can be corrected and what each and everyone of us have to do to make this environment favorable for us.
OB: Do you think more and more women are open and ready to talk about and tackle the issue, unashamedly?
SL: I think if there’s an avenue like “Dry” yes, women will open up and talk about the issue and tackle in unashamedly. And if there’s a lot of people speaking about it you find out you’re not alone. So sometimes people are scared thinking Oh, I’m the only one who’s going through this situation; who’s going to support me but if there’s a support system, you’ll find out there’s an avenue to share your story because it can help someone else who’s also going through the same situation and at this moment, we not just making a movie; it’s more like a movement. That’s what I call it. And also because of the fact that we are also getting people to know more about it and also see ways they can support. You know that’s how we even got the support from Shell and NNPC to partner with “Extended Hands”which is our foundation to repair women who are going through this condition and we’re even planning to repair more women. You know so it’s giving the opportunity to talk about the problem because if you don’t, you can’t begin to propound solutions to it.
OB: You are currently working on a new TV show due to go live soon, can you tellus about that?
SL: The Nigerian environment is hard enough with just work, work, work and then we forget the most important things in life like family, bonding with loved ones… and situations like that have a lot of marriages crumbling because they hardly have time for themselves. So the show, “Make Me Fabulous” provides a relaxing atmosphere thathelps the couple feel better about themselves and their relationship and re-evaluate the things that matter to them and that’s we’ve been able to do with this platform and we’ve had different personalities and responses and we show just what the couple give us. The treat is basically taking the woman off her usual day-to-day activities and getting her relaxed that whole day. It involves pampering, shopping… and things you can build on in their lives when they leave the show that might not necessarily be this glamorous. Be it little or not, it should matter to them both.
OB: With what you have said, we see “Make Me Fabulous” as a major giveback to society. At what point did it occur to you to contribute this way to lives and why?
SL: For me, I don’t think there has to be a reason for me to contribute to lives. It’s just natural. I look around and observe and see how I can give little gestures to make people’s lives better because I know love is the most powerful thing. Even if someone hates you and you show them love, they just can’t resist love. That’s something I know. And I’m one who loves love and romance and it’s also good that people find that in their relationships and treat each other nicely. It’s an amazing feeling.
OB: Apart from producing, in what other capacity are you contributing? Are you making an appearance on the show?
SL: I am not very sure at this time, that’s what you have to see when it comes out.
OB: What’s the most important lesson you hope for the couples to go home with at the end of the day?
SL: To be able to create time to value each other continuously because sometimes, work just wears you out and people have gone through so many deep things. We had a particular couple where the man kept apologizing to the wife. We don’t know what he did but that atmosphere made him realize he had to put in more effort because sometimes we take certain things for granted and forget the ones we love. It’s just a little bit of awakening. It’s more like giving them an experience. It’s something that you normally won’t do. In life, I think you need to create wonderful experiences that are memories that you can actually relish and look forward to, think and talk about. That they can build on themselves, no matter how little.
OB: Ok, now to your style, what casual daily look do you feel most comfortable in?
SL: It depends. Just like now, it’s so hot. I don’t think wearing a pair of jeans is the coolest thing I want to wear. I just want to throw something light on me because it’s so hot. But it all depends on the weather and how I’m feeling but you know, you can’t get away from jeans. It’s so easy. You put it on, throw on your t-shirt and you’re good to go maybe with your lovely handbag and shoes. I could do that and you know some free gowns because it’s just so hot. So depending on where you find yourself at the time.
OB: What fashion trends appeal to you right now?
SL: It all depends again but you know I love to be comfortable and I feel sexy and comfortable with what I’m wearing.
You know if you don’t feel confident in what you’re wearing, it’s going to show. So it’s always good to wear something that fits your body and enhances your features. I love vintage stuff, though. Style actually is dependent on what you’re feeling at the time but at the end of the day, you want to wear something that is you not necessarily what is in fashion. You have to be comfortable too.
OB: Who is your style icon?
SL: I just have a lot of people. I won’t know where to start.
OB: Are you into high-fashion designer brands?
SL: I’m into everything. If a designer wear looks good, I buy it; if it doesn’t, I won’t. So I’m not going to buy something that doesn’t look good just because it’s a well known brand but doesn’t fit. I don’t believe in that; anything that looks good on me, I just collect.
OB: What next projects(s) do you have lined up for the year, any movies to look out for?
SL: Yeah, “Dry” is coming out. That’s one of the movies. And then I have this TV show that I’m doing. After that, I have another show I want to come out with, and we’ve got other events for the year so as they come, you’ll get to see them. Sometimes when I talk about things I want to do, it usually like slows me down. I usually don’t like doing that so when everything is ready, I just move fast and I can openly talk about it.
Behind-The-Scenes From “Make Me Fabulous”
|Lynda and her husband arriving at the hotel|
|Lynda and her husband relaxing|
|Lynda getting her her done by stylist Nancy|
|Lynda ready for her spa pampering|
|Lynda shopping for clothes & getting tips from Stylist Ebun Aboderin|
|Lynda shopping for clothes for a makeover|
|Lynda's waiting for his wife to arrive for the dinner date|
Watch Trailer to “Dry”, starring Stephanie Linus, Nollywood legend, Liz Benson, comedian Klint the Drunk.
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