Beautiful and talented, Chacha Eke has featured in more Nollywood films than you can keep up with.
If you go back to the first movie you saw Chacha Eke, you would instantly notice that she was the true star in it.
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With the expanding world of entertainment in the Nigerian film industry, it is unavoidable that lots of actors end up not getting the recognition they deserve. And Chacha Eke is one of those actors.
Chacha Eke caught my attention with her role as Udoka in the movie "A Dance for the Prince" which starred her alongside Ini Edo, Mercy Johnson, Yul Edochie, Patience Ozokwor, Eve Esin among others. Her interpretation of the role was my first inkling that a star has emerged. She landed her first major role in the 2010 movie "The Bank Job" - directed by her now husband, Austin Faani.
Following the success of "The Bank Job," Eke has featured in numerous Nollywood movies including "Mirror of Life," "The Village Girl I Love," "Greedy Soul," "Love in Paradise" among others. She has also given back to the industry with the reality TV series "Dare to Dream Talent Quest" - an avenue created by the actress and her husband for up and coming actors to hit the peak of their career and showcase great talents.
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It's not Chacha's beauty, filmography or reality series that should earn her the rich respect and recognition she deserves. It's the talent and impeccable range with which she brings any character to life. Her facial expression, her body language, her expression of rage and her every gesture defines her as a talented actor.
She has the ability to completely disappear into roles in a way that makes you forget you’re watching a movie with no story or no plot. There have been days Eke was the only interesting part of a movie. Somehow, she has what it takes to make one sit through a bad movie.
Good girl, bad girl, a villager, princess, prostitute, it doesn’t matter, because Eke can do it all, and usually does so with so much ease.
She is as popular as they come. Eke could be called a proud member of the 'Asaba Nollywood' - a 'division' popular for producing the quantity of movies Nollywood is known for worldwide. Movies featuring the actress stands a better chance of reaching most Nigerians than most 'cinema movies.'
But she deserves more than the popularity that comes with featuring in straight to DVD/VCD movies. She deserves awards from prestigious award platforms. She deserves to cover reputable magazine covers. She deserves endorsements. She deserves a platform to be showcased to a wider audience.
I am yet to see a movie featuring the actress in a cinema. Chacha is yet to get an Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award nomination. She is yet to win an Africa Movie Academy Award. There are only so many slots for magazine covers, and often the same group of actors continuously grace these covers.
Maybe the media is not doing enough - they are not putting her in our faces and pulling the 'you must be an A-list' move. Maybe the quality of her movies do not meet the required standard of most award platforms, maybe she is a victim of a supposed divide 'Asaba vs new Nollywood,' maybe she isn't doing enough to brand herself. Whichever is the case, Chacha Eke is one actress whose talent and versatility deserves more recognition.
Maybe Chacha Eke doesn't want the attention, but it is one she deserves.