Idia shares her experience playing Nneka in Nneka the pretty serpent – her debut in acting. She shared, “it was an amazing experience. I think it turned me inside out. It felt like I started over in my life, in my thinking and in what I could do as a person.”
She also shared the mixed reactions she got after the release of the film. “When it first came out in the cinemas, I was a little bit heartbroken by some of the comments that people were leaving. Comments about me not being light-skinned or Ibo, about me destroying what meant something to a lot of Nigerians. Nigerians loved their veteran actors; they love their Nollywood classics. So, it was something that I just wished people could see how much passion went into it at the time. But, with the international market, and the kind of feedback we are getting, I am getting messages from the Philippines, French Guiana, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, and Los Angeles. I was hurt at first, because Nneka is a fictional character and anyone could bring something different to the character but I don’t think that tribe and skin colour should matter. I mean, Black Panther was Americans pretending like they are in Africa. A lot of people who criticized it (the film- Nneka the pretty serpent), criticized because of the choice of Nneka, which broke my heart.”
“When Nneka came out, some were like, ‘we heard Idia killed it o’. This very famous female said, ‘abeg, I am sure she paid for that job’. She saw me recently and was nice to me. She said she finally watched it, and it was great, but you know when you hear stuff, it’s like, ‘do I take the one I heard you say’. or ‘do I take how you feel now that you have watched it’. This is why it is important to give people a chance”, she said.
Watch the excerpts from the interview here: