Excerpt from the interview with Vibe.ng
Ifunanya is my middle name, and it’s Igbo. So I just figured, let’s go with my middle name because it makes you more Nigerian. I know it sounds weird but coming from the UK to Nigeria, there’s a disconnect. When you come from abroad, they say “She’s not one of us”. So yeah, I was looking for a way to sound more Nigerian. Then I thought, hmm, “Naya: sounds really edgy too.
When I first moved to Nigeria it was difficult dealing with a new environment and new people. So I had to adapt while still being myself and enjoying what I do. I found myself losing myself a bit trying to fit in and trying to be understood and liked. Once I understood the way the industry worked, things got a bit better. When Tinsel came along, I was a bit worried that it would stop me from doing other work like movies, altogether because a series like Tinsel can be quite demanding. A few years down the line and I’m still on Tinsel but it’s a lot less demanding than before.
I like TV because it’s every day. It’s maximum exposure on a daily basis. I like the exposure that Tinsel gives me and I like the fact that you see something new every week. But I love film because that’s where you get to explore more. You get to explore new characters and become a new person. You really challenge yourself. So I enjoy both for different reasons however if I really had to choose then it’d be film.
The Wedding Party – I was actually excited when I got the script because I like playing the antagonist. Rosie is very self-assured and she knows she’s sexy and desirable. I had to bring that extra sex appeal out. I definitely enjoyed playing her, and I’m happy that my performance was well received.
I always try to bring something new to each character. I really love unique and challenging roles. If you’re not being challenged as an actor, you get bored and lose motivation.
Being in England my whole life then having to adapt to Nigeria, it felt like everything I did wasn’t good enough or misunderstood. It took a toll on me trying to understand the culture and people but the more I adjusted, the happier I became.
Basically, that Uber incident, I was addressing the fact that it was very unprofessional but some blogs misconstrued it to suggest that I found the message inappropriate and I can never date a driver. Just because you have someone’s number doesn’t give you the right to call them whenever you want without respecting the fact that you were called to render a service. But I need to get used to the fact that my Snapchat is not as small and intimate as it used to be and I have to restrict certain opinions and informations because certain blogs will lift things and misconstrue what you say. Then you see headlines like (she mimics in a funny accent) Beverly Naya might be 2nd wife. (She laughs) You people are crazy! Waka! but I love you all nonetheless’ She says looking into the camera as if to directly address the bloggers.
Thankfully, I don’t have any scandals. But I remember, in an interview a while ago I was asked what I think my selling point is. I said maybe my eyes or my lips. He then asked if I was a good kisser and, stupidly, being new to the industry, I answered. That became the headline and the headline was “Beverly Naya Says Kissing is her Selling Point”. That bugged me because it was viral for two weeks. After that I didn’t grant an interview for almost a year.
‘Empowering these girls to know that every shade of black is beautiful has become very important to me.’
Cover Star – Beverly Naya
Cover Story – Cyclone Artemis
Photography – Amazing Klef
Wardrobe/Style Direction – S.B.YouMe
Makeup – Z.A Makeovers
Hair – Bernard O