Naa Ashakor is surprisingly a top Ghanaian actress with only about six movies to her credit. She won actress of the year award at AMAA in 2010 for her role in Perfect Picture. In this interview, Ashakor speaks about love and life.
You are an actress and TV presenter; which do you ‘feel’ the most?
To a very large extent, I enjoy doing the two, but acting had always been my passion. TV presenting is something I admire other people who do it. Even though I had always wanted to act, but I never gave it a push until a friend called me one day to accompany her for an audition.
After my friend’s audition, the lady organizing it asked me to try as well, I refused, but after some persuasion I accepted. I got a role afterwards. I enjoyed acting, but I don’t do everything that comes my way. I have only done five movies so far.
Is acting paying more?
The payment is about the same, because if I do many episodes, I get paid more, but as for acting, I only do few movies. Payment for acting is one off, like since I do few, but TV is in bulk.
Why did you choose acting?
First of all, I think it’s fun; it’s like being paid for having fun. It’s something I know how to do well, it is a talent and like the Bible says, we should not bury our talent; it’s not something you should hide, God blessed me with it.
You blew my mind in Perfect Picture. Where were you before then?
I have been around. It was just that Perfect Picture was my first major movie.
What was childhood like?
I grew up with my family. It was a Christian home, my parents were quite strict, a perfect family, but average. I grew up in an average Ghanaian family. My best time was when I was much younger. I was very outspoken. I wasn’t the typical submissive African child. I was in school programmes, plays, essay writing, and at a point I even tried singing and dancing before I realised it wasn’t working. I can’t sing to save my life.
At least, I can do something better than you?
I’m sure you can.
What do you mean, average?
We weren’t stupendously rich and we weren’t poor either. We were okay. We had everything we wanted. I had everything I wanted. I am not an extravagant person, I make little demands on myself and others around me. I don’t need so much to be happy.
That means I have a chance of getting a ‘yes’ if I woo you?
If you can ‘toast’ me well, you could have a chance (laughter).
First quarter of the year is coming to an end, what should we expect from you?
I can’t tell you much, but expect to see me in another fantastic blockbuster. It’s from Spaeeow Production. I am working with Yvonne Okoro, KSM, John Dumelo and others.
How come you’ve not done many movies?
I choose the movies I want to do, the movie doesn’t choose me. I am quite selective. I actually don’t accept every script that comes my way. It is also because acting is not the only thing I do. I also work with a company that requires my time, I just finished school and many other things occupy my time as well.
You are close to Lydia Fordson, why not a Jackie or Nadia?
I met Lydia before meeting others. I’ve known her for quite a while.
Can you go butt-naked in a movie?
I can never.
What is the big deal about showing your backside?
I think it’s private.
But you are an actress?
I can’t do it; it has never been about money, for me. I am an actress, I am not a back-shower (laughter).
What happened between you and TV Africa, I learnt you were sacked after you fought with them?
I didn’t know where that story came from; I am not bothered. I still go there to meet my friends. We didn’t have any fight at all. I used to work with TV Africa on contract basis, after the contract ended I moved on. I got another job and moved on. I work with Charter House and it’s close to TV Africa, I go there everyday.
Who are your favourite directors?
KSM, Shirly and Leila Djansi are my favourite directors, though I haven’t worked with Leila yet.
What was it like to be a star in the university?
There was too much pressure; people expected too many things from you. They expected me to live a certain kind of life, after a while I had to move home and started coming to school from there.
What were those expectations?
People expected me to dress and do certain things.
Did they expect you to finish with first class?
I don’t know what they expected of me, but I finished with second class upper, which I don’t think is bad at all. Even guys who stayed in class didn’t get that (laughter).
What does love mean to you?
I don’t know what it means, really.
Have you fallen in love before?
As we speak, I am in love.
How come you are in love and can’t define it?
It is a feeling that cannot be captured by words.
Is this the first time you would be falling in love?
If it’s your first time, how do you know it’s love?
You can just feel it. You can feel true love.
People say it is particularly difficult for celebrities to fall in love. Was it easy for you?
It is as easy as anyone else. That position is not correct.
How would you differentiate your past relationships from this?
I can walk out on others, but I can’t walk out on this.
So, you are dashing the hopes of young men?
Sorry to dash your expectations.
So, this is leading to the altar?
I can only hope.
Is your man comfortable with your career choice?
Yes, he is. You know, we’ve been friends for sometime before all these. We talk extensively about things I want to do before I do them.
Are men worth all the trouble they go through for love?
Yes, I think so. They are for us as much as we are for them. We put them through trouble too; it’s a two-way thing.
Has any man put you through trouble?
No, never! I’ve never had man’s problem.
So, you are the one that gives them trouble?
I don’t come with much trouble like that (laughter). I only come with some.
What kind of trouble do you come with?
I don’t take everything you thrust on my way. I don’t shut up. A lot of men are not comfortable with that kind of woman. I don’t solicit.
But, I thought African women are supposed to be submissive.
I am not a typical African woman; I think men also are supposed to be submissive as much as women do. Nobody bought anybody.
Are you saying men should be submissive too?
It is a two-way thing, at a point you should be submissive to your woman as a man.
Can you forgive a cheating boyfriend?
It is hard to say, because I haven’t been in that kind of situation before, but I think once you decide to be with someone you should be able to forgive. Forgiveness is a necessity.
That means you can forgive your boyfriend if he cheats?
Yes, I can, but I don’t know if I will.
Have you ever cheated before?
Have you had a cheating boyfriend before?
Never, may be I’ve been very lucky.
Is there any plan to get married this year?
I don’t know. You know in Africa women don’t propose, it is the man that proposes, you never know when it will come. In this case, I am willing to be a submissive African woman (laughter).
What is your stake on sex before marriage?
Biblically, it is wrong, but times are changing. It is a pity it has become the norm. It’s not the way to go. Bible made it clear.
Have you abstained all through?
I really wish I can answer that question (laughter).