My name is Helena Nelson, from Ugep in Cross River State, Nigeria.
I love to talk, travel and meet people. Most people say I’m an extrovert but I feel otherwise. I’m a music lover and will always want to dance to a tune.
I’m an Actress and a TV Producer.
Helena Nelson – HER PERSONALITY
How was growing up as a child, what you loved doing, your hopes and dreams?
It wasn’t easy for me because I had to shuffle between two parents. My parents didn’t get married so it was hard. I always thought I became an adult really early because I had to depend on myself for almost everything.
What’s your educational background and how did it prepare you for a career in acting?
Lol. Education never prepared me for acting o. I studied nursing in the university but I didn’t finish the course because it wasn’t my calling. When I have the time I’ll get a degree, but for now it’s acting all the way.
What life-changing experience have you faced and how did you manage to deal with it?
I have had a lot of experiences growing up, from almost being raped in my father’s house by my cousin to being sexually abused at age 6 by my mother’s then-boyfriend and beaten to a pulp by an ex-boyfriend. The thing is most experiences actually shape us to who we are today. I have been able to deal with them. And it’s cool now.
I would also like to mention the time a soldier beat me up at INTELS, Port-Harcourt just because I didn’t have Kunu to sell to him. I was hospitalized and woke up days later. My mum couldn’t stop crying. I now despise soldiers, but I am tolerant of them.
Describe your personality, your beliefs and what you stand for?
I’m open-minded, very excited about living and working hard for my dreams. I’m goal oriented, can be lazy sometimes but hey, we all have our downsides. I believe in love, hard work, perseverance and genuine success. I stand for pure art. I will give anything for my art. To be seen, heard and felt.
If you could be something else in life, what would that be?
Do give a reason for your choice.
Mehn, this is hard o. I don’t think I’ve ever pictured myself being anything else in this life. Maybe a traveller or a chef. because I enjoy cooking a lot. And I always want to travel to new places and meet new people.
What episode of your life would you consider as the most traumatic?
When I was almost raped in my father’s house. The most traumatic for me was that he was my cousin, my dad “panel beated” me and blamed me and said it was my fault just because I sleep with a nightie. I hadn’t even developed breasts then! It was at that point I knew my father never liked me for any reason.
If you had the opportunity to inspire someone with an event from your life, what would the story be?
I have done a lot of things. Dropped out of school, hawked Zobo and Kunu to help my mum. I’m not there yet, but I am better than what I was. Life has a way of spinning us around till we find our bearing. I’m very comfortable talking about my experiences because I have nothing to hide. These are my experiences. These are what made me who I am today. I hope you get inspired by it.
You seem to have gone through a lot in life, what is your source of inspiration?
My mum. We fight a lot, but I just want to make her life better. She’s a very industrious woman, but she’s flighty. I always want her to smile.
Helena Nelson: CAREER
Kindly list some of the movies you’ve starred in.
I have been fortunate to have featured in some of the following:
- Series: Clinic Matters, Jenifa’s Diary, The Councilor, Desperate Housewives, Until you’re 16, My Tomorrow, The Department, Men Endangered.
- Films: Desperate Singles, Happiest Woman, Unthinkable
- Short Films: Don’t judge me, House Fellowship, One Last Time
- Cinema Flick: Iquo’s Journal
What has been your biggest role in a movie and how challenging was it for you?
So far, it’s been the UBA sitcom, because I have to be mushy and indecisive. And I’m never that.
You sound smart and intelligent. Why acting?
So acting is not for the smart and intelligent abi? Wehdone!
I love to act. I can’t see myself doing something else.
What difficulties have you encountered in your career as an actor?
Sex. Sex. Sex. My God. Majority of the producers and directors in this industry are not business minded. How can you say you want to make money off a film but you’re willing to use someone who doesn’t have a drop of talent because you want to sleep with them? I don’t even understand this.
This has been the challenge I’ve had for so long. Given up a lot of jobs for this same reason. Another thing is the ‘I sabi person’ rule. You can dress up, wait in line, get auditioned and someone will drive in, swerve and get your role just like that. You that has been waiting under the sun you don’t have sense na. This life eh. But what can we do? Na the work we dey doo. Lol
List 3 things you would tell an aspiring actors
- Have content. Make sure you have the talent.
- Better be ready not to give up. If you ever think of giving up then this profession wasn’t for you in the first place.
- Go for as many auditions as possible. Also, try to get something else going for yourself. Don’t depend on money from acting alone.
Do your fans treat you differently?
They’re fine with me. I’m crazy I know, they have no choice.
Who do you admire the most in Nollywood and why?
Honestly, no one at the top of my head.
Do you get intimidated on stage? If you do kindly tell us
Sometimes. Once I got intimidated when I felt the next person was prettier and more talented. But it was always a fleeting feeling.
What’s the one thing most people do NOT know about you?
Hmm, this one is hard. Lemme think… I cry a lot. Especially when I feel I can’t change a situation…. Continue Reading
Photography by Ellis Mbeku for EMSTUDIOSng