In Conversations: Onyeka Nwelue speaks with Dera Uduezue

Dera Uduezue is one of the freshest faces onscreen nowadays. Her smiles could enliven the heart and her voice is silky and melodious. She knows what she wants when it comes to modeling. She has also joined the acting bandwagon, but has promised to set herself apart.

I met Dera long time ago, during one of my book readings and she looked elegant and continues to look that way. When you watch her, you obviously believe she is a perfect being, because of the way she smiles, reasons and does everything else. She has appeared in many music videos, including Bracket’s Yori Yori remix with 2Face Idibia. 

I caught up with her not long ago and this is what I figured out for you.

I am very age conscious. How old are you?
I am 23 years of age

What have you been doing with your life?
Modelling mainly and now acting. I graduated from Nnamdi Azikiwe University in 2010, passed out from NYSC June, 2012. Show biz has been it for me

You are a model and actress? Can you tell us about the journey of getting roles and doing photo shoots?  How difficult is it? How did you get people to start believing in you? What is the voodoo?
I would say I have been blessed to have a good agency, they bring in all the jobs, so I never go through clients or experience what many young girls complain about, harassments and the likes of it. The journey has brought its mix of emotions- joy, disappointment, anger, fun, fun and more fun. (Laughs) I love what I do, and people see my passion through the jobs I have done. Their belief in my competence helps me forget the tough side of the industry- how many times I have been turned down at auditions, or the delay in getting the pay. All in all, I cling on to the bigger picture which is what I am working towards

At the moment, you live in Lagos. What are you doing there?
Yes, I live in Surulere. Having recently completed my NYSC, I stick to my modeling and also my new found love- acting, while I work towards starting my own business.

Many young people in Nigeria know nothing about what they want in life. I mean, how do you think they can discover themselves? And what advice do you have for young people?
Well, as cliche as it may sound, I advice young people to do what works for them,for who they are. For instance, modeling because people say you’re pretty, it’s beyond that because if the passion is not there, you can only go a foot in the industry. Give yourself sometime, search your insides to know what God has planted in there

For some time now, I thought that university education elevates man to the highest order. I mean, I still find it appalling that many graduates haven’t even invented themselves and have nothing to do. What is your take on this?
Yes, the average Nigerian graduate believes that, to make money you have to be an employee, which is not wrong, owing to the fact that not everyone can be a good entrepreneur. When it becomes a problem is when no job is forth coming and you sit around waiting for a miracle, where there are tons of innovative ideas you can develop, work on and become successful at.

Are you an emotional person?
Only when I am upset and try to speak, I tear up. (Laughs)

Nigerian models are doing well for themselves. Infact, they are getting the sort of recognition that they truly deserve. But, the market is getting saturated. How do you think one can make him himself totally unique and different?
Like I said, it’s a tough industry. To be unique, you need to have your signature. If you’re a runway model, have a walk, expression that sets you apart. Not forgetting integrity and self respect, a lot of young models lack that these days.

I may need to get personal with you. Are you in a relationship? If not, why? If yes, is it distracting?
(Laughs) That’s pretty personal, but no, I am not in a relationship…Let’s just say, I am waiting to feel that click.

What is your take on the political system of Nigeria?
I feel politics in Nigeria shouldn’t be referred to as democratic, because no matter what the masses do or say, the ogas up there get the final say.

Do you see yourself as a youth activist? Just like others?
Na, I don’t see myself as a youth activist. We the youths take on whatever life throws at us. We will be alright

How do you unwind?
I love to sing, so the karaoke bar does it for me, then a nice time with my friends, movies and the beach.