SAMBASA NZERIBE: UNFOLDING GENERATION
Sambasa Chiedozie Nzeribe is an actor, poet, model and music entertainer. The award-winning AMVCA 2016 Best Supporting Actor studied Creative Arts at the University of Lagos. His first movie role was Suku in the multiple award-winning, A Mile from Home by Eric Aghimien. Described by many as a captivating performer and dedicated artiste, he was introduced to acting by his late mother, who was a drama and choir teacher at church.
You had your debut as a screen actor in Eric Aghimien’s movie A Mile from Home, what was the experience like on your first film set? The experience was awesome. Working on set with the very intelligent Eric. The experience was awesome. Working on set with the very intelligent Eric Aghimien, was an intriguing, interesting and demanding adventure. The movie was a low budget one and both cast and crew swapped roles at different times on set. We worked as a team, exchanging duties continuously as we faced different challenges. The multiple award-winning movie was shot when I was in my third year in the Creative Arts Department, University of Lagos, and it will always be a reminder that you can achieve success and a quality performance if you are determined, believe and work for it.
You were nominated and won Best Supporting Actor at the AMVCA 2016 for A Soldier’s Story. How did you fare on the set with all the training you had to go through?
I want to commend the producer and director of the movie Martin Gbados and Frankie Ogar, respectively for creating an enabling environment for both cast and crew to deliver their roles professionally and successfully. I tell you it was a very challenging and tough project to work on, I even injured my shoulder on set when I did a flip-stunt while shooting. After receiving medical attention on set (though I nursed the injury for about five months), we had to continue shooting because we were chasing time while trying to overcome so many constraints we had. I didn’t want to stall the production so I had to soldier on with the pain while receiving treatment. I thank the producer, director, and the cast and crew for the experience I had with them. Winning the AMVCA is ‘our win’ and I am also grateful to all those who voted for me.
You seem to play the villain in most movies you have featured in. Don’t you think you run the risk of being typecast and are you open to other roles?
I can understand. I get this question all the time because of my notable and amazing performances in a couple of movies. However, I think I’ve done only just a few of these so if you are a filmmaker out there, bring it on! One thing we have to understand is that every investor wants to reap back what he or she invested, as well as make a profit. Being a filmmaker in our Nigerian system is very tough, so one must always have the mindset to make a hit movie to be commercially successful. Therefore, when you feel a certain actor can bring the same or, even more energy and quality of performance to your story/script, then you should think of employing his or her services. The truth is that as an actor, I am open to other roles; romance, comedy, action, drama, horror, and sci-fi. Acting is not a one-way thing, and Sambasa will never be put in a box. Filmmakers and even the viewers ultimately understand that all you see of me on screen is an act.
For the full interview, watch out for Omenka magazine Film Issue…
May 20, 2019