Thursday, August 11 2022

Social media influencer, content creator, model and rising artist Sophia Chisom, born May 12, 1999, holds a degree in Public Policy and Administrative Studies from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State . The first of five children and a native of Nnewi, Anambra State speaks with Daily Trust on Saturday about her growth in the entertainment industry and why she dropped out of her degree program for content creation and directing of sketches. Extract

How did you get into content creation and comedy?

My social media accounts had been quite active since 2019, when I frequently posted no-makeup photos. However, I started creating sketch content in July 2021. My journey into comedy and sketch content was started by my creative director, popularly known as “Chalzani”. He pitched me the idea, including my new character’s name and style/personality. At first I was skeptical about it, but eventually I started.

RealSophy

I particularly knew you with Sabinus, how did you start with him? What is the connection with him?

Sabinus is an incredible colleague. He first approached me to create sketch content with him a few years ago. At the time, I mostly posted photos. Although we never had time to shoot, however, in 2021 I contacted him to shoot some content and coincidentally he had one that he wanted to shoot with me as well. Eventually, we met and created the content. We remain very cordial.

You graduated with a degree in political studies and public administration, but ventured into something completely different. What is the driving force?

I’ve always loved entertainment and always wanted to do something in the entertainment field. I just didn’t know how to go about it, until Chalzani suggested it. The fact that I am not yet where I want motivates me daily. And officially, I want to be able to lay my head in bed at night knowing that at least my content is making someone smile. Unofficially, the entertainment industry is very lucrative as long as you are able to tap into it properly, the financial benefits come into play.

Combining the work of a chef with content creation and acting, how did it go? What do you devote all your time to?

Well, it’s not easy to combine them. Currently, I focus more on creating content because I get more pleasure out of it, it also generates more income for me. On the other hand, I prefer to do the kitchen work myself, the lack of personal time hinders this. Someday I may find a balance for both, but for now I’m more focused on content creation.

Why do you think creating sketches resonates with a lot of people based on the feedback you receive?

I personally believe that its resonance with a larger population of people is a result of it serving as a comedic stress reliever, mood booster, and even a bit of an antidepressant. Something that is much appreciated, especially in these difficult times around the world. The popular phrase “Laugh at your sorrow” comes into play.

What is your view on the Nigerian entertainment industry?

The Nigerian entertainment industry being one of the fastest growing in the world, brimming with incredibly talented and gifted artists who cross over into music, movies and sketches among others, is for me the greatest pride of the country right now. I believe that one day this industry will be the benchmark for entertainment around the world. It’s not perfect as there are a lot of issues that need attention, but with time clarity and solutions to these various issues will come.

What are your future projects in the industry?

I can’t wait to get into the “big” movies eventually. I would love to be in films with great scripts, wonderful producers/directors and spectacular actors.

Playing in this realm of entertainment certainly comes with ups and downs, likes and dislikes, what has your experience been like since joining?

It hasn’t been all rosy trying to fit fully into the entertainment space. As expected at first, I didn’t know how the public would react to my skits, I mostly struggled trying to promote my content to a wider audience to hopefully grow my fan base, but God has been truly faithful. Not all content will result in the best comments, which can be quite hurtful, but consistency is key. I’m definitely not where I want to be yet, but I’m definitely in a better place than when I started.

Who are your role models and mentors in the industry?

Every artist in Nigeria and beyond who does great things is my mentor. From their accomplishments, I am constantly motivated that we can all make waves.

Do you plan to expand the scope of your participation in the entertainment/film industry?

I haven’t acted in any movies yet. I had a few scripts, but either I wasn’t comfortable with the character or I didn’t like the story. So, I turned them down, but as I mentioned before, there are plans to go to the movies. It will happen when the time is right.

How was it going?

Growing up, I was more of a lonely kid. I was bullied a lot because of my short stature, but I had no idea I was being bullied. I just learned the word “bully” when I was growing up. On top of that, I had a typically normal childhood.

What is your vision of love ? Does it really exist?

I am a helpless romantic and a firm believer in love. It’s scary to see people fall in love and ultimately fall in love willing to hurt each other. I know love exists because I have experienced it. I look forward to starting my own family soon (a husband and hopefully three children).

You strike a lot of your followers with your natural beauty. How to repel the advances of men?

Advances from the opposite sex are normal. However, due to my social media presence, I’m mostly skeptical that most advances aren’t genuine, which makes me somewhat protective. So, I especially specify my position from the start to avoid directing anyone.

Have you ever been bullied or harassed by industry colleagues?

I have not experienced any form of bullying/harassment from anyone in the industry.

What do you think is responsible for the negative stories circulating in the industry about certain directors or producers harassing younger people probably for roles or other things?

One of the main reasons for this is the abuse of position by “a few” producers, directors, etc., and this affects every sector of the entertainment space globally. The tit-for-tat mentality sometimes comes from the actors themselves, both male and female.

How can this be curbed?

This behavior can be curbed to a large extent by the enactment of tougher laws punishing overt sexual harassment.

What are your suggestions for improving the quality of film industry productions and sketch production?

For both industries, producers and directors need to pay more attention to production quality, script and auditioning the right actors to play the roles, as opposed to friendly selections.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years for example?

In 10 years, I hope to be a successful mother and wife. I would have been in some great movies both locally and internationally. Soso would hopefully be a household name by then.

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