Kindly tell us your name, a bit about yourself and what you do for a living?
I am Lydian Onyinye John Adikaibe. Popularly known as Lydian John. I hail from Imo State. A graduate of English and Literary Studies from Anambra State University. I was once the National Director of Socials and National Vice President of Students of English and Literary Studies, and also Head of Socials, SUG.I am a Thespian. I have been for over 15 years. I directed and performed “Things Fall Apart” in Chinua Achebe’s house, at his wake-keep. I’ve also directed and choreographed over a hundred Actors in the play “The gods are not to blame”.
I began my journey on screen in late 2013.And it’s been amazing so far. I am also a multiple award winning Dancer, a TV Presenter, Motivational Speaker, MUA and an MC. I am fun-loving and I believe in the true essence of life, which is love. I’m not a fan of liars, hypocrisy and injustice.
ON HER PERSONALITY
Tell us briefly about your childhood days, what you loved doing, your hopes and dreams.
My childhood was Fun. Growing up, I loved to engage in a lot of games, you know, “police and thief”, “catcher”, “ten ten”,”suwe”. Lol. I could go on and on. I also loved to take pictures, Read fairy tales and watch a lot of cartoons, dance and choreograph dances, act and direct plays, sing, write stories… Yes… I write too. I hope I can contribute in making the world a better place. I also wish to become a Great Actress of repute, a voice and a helping hand to many.
How would your close friends typically describe you?
Crazy!!! Mad!!! Funny!!! I get that a lot…lol…and then they won’t forget “deep” and “filled with God’s Grace”
Describe a day in high school, what were you like?
I attended Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School, Lagos. I was quite active, participating in literally every social event (dance, drama and even debate competitions). .I eventually became a social prefect. There were really interesting times back in school, however, the day I’m least likely to forget was one rainy day, when we had our biology practical. So we had to go in search of earthworms, which was the specimen. I couldn’t touch “mine” when a friend handed it over to me. I can’t forget how I cried in disgust. I could have sworn I fainted with my eyes wide open and all teary…… I do hate them… Really creepy.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced?
The war within me to choose to be better than I already am, each time the opportunity presents itself and the patience that comes with waiting for time and chance. It can really be frustrating.
Tell us how you manage challenges associated with being famous. Do people now treat you differently?
Ehen… I’m famous? Nice one oooo… Lol.
I do know a lot of people. Some reach out to me and say really beautiful things about my art. I appreciate it all. I’ve however tried to prepare my mind not to focus on the challenges, and not to forget who I am when the ovation is high and the applause, deafening, that way, I get to truly enjoy life, famous or not.
Describe your personality, what do you represent and stand for?
I stand for truth, love and happiness. If it were up to me, evil will no longer be popular and good will take the lead. The Utopian world is my dream. But as a realist, I’ve accepted what is obtainable, but would not hesitate to right things the moment I get a chance. I do believe one can effect positive change if in the corridor of power.
If you could change a perception people have about you, what would it be?
I can speak ENGLISH…lol. It’s unbelievable and I find it rather amusing that some people who watch me on HUSH, and THE AUDITION, where I played a Yoruba (ADURA) and Warri (NOSA) character respectively, believe that I do speak that way off screen. And the expression on their faces when they realise I’m Igbo and also when they hear me speak English is literally PRICELESS!!! I’ve heard a lot of times. “Wow… Adura can speak English and she speaks really well too.” It makes me laugh, and they say it’s because I was true to the character……. I appreciate it. But please my people, I can speak ENGLISH…… LOL
Tell us about some of the challenges you have gone through to get to this point in your career?
I have had to go for countless auditions, under the rain, sun, with hurting feet from the stilettos and beating heart out of fear of not being chosen. I have had the unbearable waiting moments of “when would the next job come?” I have had to deal with sexual Harassment and I remember someone once said “it’s because you’re a fine lady”. I still remain disgusted each time I remember that statement. I have had moments of “Am I really in the right profession, or shouldn’t I get a “proper” job? “I’ve seen skepticism from people over my choice of career. I have had someone tell me that “I’m not fit for the industry” and I still remember the shock on the person’s face when she saw me come to collect a script at Africa Magic office. And there are times when I feel helpless if “in my mind” I didn’t interpret a character how I would have loved. Hollywood style na… “Ghen Ghen Element”.lol!
What motivates you the most, determination or ambition?
Ambition. It helps me remember the goal, while determination helps me stay focused on achieving it.
ON HER CAREER
What inspired your career in acting?
My love for the arts is deep. Trust me. I always knew this is my path. The feeling of fulfillment I get from it is Inexplicable. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It became even clearer when I got older and realized being a Renowned Actress would put me on the spotlight, give me a voice for many and could be used as a tool for social justice. One of the reasons I also wanted to study law.
What has been your biggest role in a movie and how challenging was it for you?
I treat all the roles I get as Big and thankfully, I’ve been able to overcome the peculiar challenges that comes with each role. I focus more on my delivery to give each role the distinct flavor it needs to come alive.
I hear you’re also a makeup artist and dancer. How do you manage it all?
The same way I use my eyes to see and my ear to hear. It’s a part of me. Whenever the need arises, it manifests naturally.
What other movies have you starred in?
The Audition, Evasion, Mutual Suspicion, Poison Ivy, Cloudy Mirror, Zone 222. I have featured in quite a number of Movies, TV series and skits .I also co-produced and starred in HARMED.
How long does it take you to get into character?
From the moment I get the script to the second of my delivery. This of course differs from role to role.
If Nollywood made a movie about your life, who would you pick to play your character?
I’d love for me to play it, but if I really have to choose someone, I would pick Scarlet Gomez.
Tell us about your experience in the just concluded TV series – HUSH?
Ecstatic! To think I was on the verge of dropping the role when I first got the call, only for it to become such a huge blessing… I haven’t taken such a role on screen before and I also wasn’t sure I could pull it off. I’m also not fluent in Yoruba. Getting to work on my facial expressions was a bit weird and uncomfortable at first, but when I eventually embraced it, it became fun. I still remember laughing at myself sometimes. It’s a good thing I got to explore yet another interesting side of my art. It is testament to the fact that we never know what lies within us, until we set out to do something new. I had an awesome time working with the casts and crew. They laughed, advised and encouraged my art.
The fans are also an important part of the journey. The love was overwhelming. I must commend Native Media and Africa Magic for a job well done, especially in their investment in new faces.
In all, it was quite rewarding and I saw God’s hand on it…. Continue Reading
Photography by Ellis Mbeku for EMSTUDIOSng