By Sam Anokam
Ahead of the 50th birthday of movie director Lancelot Imasuen next month, a TV personality, Adaku Nwachinemere, who underwent tutelage under him, has recalled how he shaped her life.
Ms Nwachinemere, now a PhD student, wanted to join Nollywood after secondary school. She met Imasuen who featured her in minor movie roles. She would accompany him to locations and even worked as his assistant.
Ms Nwachinemere, who anchors entertainment and society programmes on Silverbird Television in Port Harcourt, said Imasuen never took undue advantage of her.
She is grateful that the director encouraged her to acquire higher education and even gave her money to buy the JAMB form.
“Years back when I first joined the Nollywood industry, I was young. But I was lucky. Producers noticed me and I worked with the best crew and big stars. Though I starred in minor supporting roles, they were always significant to the films.
“On one of those occasions, I met Lancelot Imasuen on set. He told me: ‘No doubt you are super-talented, but you are pretty young. You need to go back to school. Let me make it easier: here is money. Go buy JAMB form and start next year…When you finish with a good grade come back I make you a star.’”
The TV personality said the gesture transformed her life. She has since obtained a degree in Mass Communication and a Masters in Mass Communication and Media Studies.
She is on the verge of obtaining a PhD in Communication Development and aspires to be Nigeria’s next Oprah Winfrey.
“Years later and with a PhD in view, I can’t help but remember Lancelot Imasuen’s act of kindness done with the purest of intentions.
“As we look forward to celebrating his 50th birthday, I can’t help but reminisce on his person, and how far his work has blessed our generation, and most especially the work that he did outside of the industry, raising the next generation of thought leaders.
“Thank you for your service. You are loved and appreciated,” Ms Nwachinemere stated in a post on her Instagram account.
Imasuen, in response to the post, said he was touched by Ms Nwachinemere’s words and “cried like a child” when he saw it.
He recalled that when he marked his 20th anniversary as a filmmaker a few years ago, Miss Nwachinemere gave him a N50,000 gift.
“She left an envelope on my table without me noticing, then she called and told me she slipped an envelope on my table mat. I found it and saw a cheque for N50,000. I was shocked. Rare happening around our environment.
“I won’t stop, can’t stop doing what is good to people no matter the cost. Ada, thank you for rekindling my passion for humanity. Thank you,” Imasuen stated.