Thursday, 24 March 2011
In Nigeria today, women are expected to marry, never mind if they have to drag the man screaming to the altar, they are also expected to stay married, never mind if the man is beating here everyday and may soon send her to her grave. And should you decide to go against these traditional beliefs and remain single or get a divorce, then all hell will break loose. You’d think it’s a criminal offence in Nigeria to be 35 and above and still single and worse to be divorced. Our society seems to hate it when women succeed without men beside or over them as the case may be.
But in spite of this, some single women have continued to rise in their chosen careers.
From Funmi Iyanda who was recently honoured by the World Economic Forum as a 2011 Young Global Leader.
To Peace Anyiam Asigwe who runs one of the biggest African movie Awards.
To Emem Isong who is one of Nigeria’s most successful producers.
To Evelyn Oputa, the managing director of Bank of Industry, to mention but a few.
Monalisa Chinda is one of these women, having gone through a messy divorce where her ex husband granted interviews to as many press people as he could, she’s still come out with her head held high.
When asked why she didn’t respond to any her ex-husband’s allegations, she very simply replies that she has a daughter to protect and that the truth was very boldly written between the lines of his allegations, if anybody had cared enough to look.
‘Catwalq is one of the biggest things I have done professionally; it’s not a comeback as I never went anywhere in the first place. When you’re divorced or sometimes even widowed in Nigeria, people always find ways to make it the woman’s fault. You’re expected to cower in shame and fear for the rest of your life. But for God, good friends, fans and family who have been with me through all the pain and hurt, I, too, like other broken women, may never have been able to hold my head high.’
Catwalq tells the story of three ladies who run a fashion magazine. It follows their work, passions and travails. Lisa plays the role of a single mother in the movie but insists it’s not the story of her life. ‘I wasn’t even part of the story writing’ she says.
Catwalq has something for everyone, it was important to me that we didn’t leave anyone out.
Asked why she chose to invest in a soap as against a movie, she responds that the soap opera ,Heaven’s Gate brought her to fame and it was only natural to produce one, perhaps as a way of giving back to the society that had given her so much.
‘I also wanted to discover new talents to whom I can one day pass the baton. In soaps, you don’t necessarily need to use stars, the entire cast of Catwalq were newcomers to the industry.’
On her last words to the newcomers in Nollywood, she says: ‘Hard work, hard prayer, hard faith.’
Catwalq will hit TV screens in the 2nd quarter of 2011.
Enjoy some pictures from the set of Catwalq below.