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Joy Amata, born and bred in Lagos State, is a rising actress who grew up in the popular slum, Ajegunle. In this interview with The Nation’s Dupe Ayinla-Olasunkami, she talks about her refusal to let her environment take hold of her future, and other issues relating to her acting career.

Q-Tell us about yourself?

A-I grew up in Ajegunle. When I tell people, they hardly believe me. It took much time, and grooming for my environment not to have a negative impact on me. I read books, and watched foreign movies. Eucharia Anunobi is one actress who impressed me. She speaks very good English… I am a graduate of Social Studies from Delta State Uni. But I was not satisfied, due to my love for movies, so I went to a film school in Delta state, to obtain a Diploma in Film and Television Production.

Q-Why haven’t you taken the same steps as other upcoming actresses by sleeping with someone?

A-I don’t really like assuming, but I believe it is luck and timing. I have a lot of faith and I am waiting for that time. And maybe I don’t have the body like others that can sell movies; like a busty front, or an attractive backside. I can’t sleep my way to fame, despite the strong temptations to grab the opportunity given to climb the ladder of fame in the “easiest manner”, by sleeping around, I have chosen to stay focused and let success come at the right time.

I have been approached by many, including popular actors and producers.

They all believe that once you have made up your mind to be in the movie world, the best way you can be known is to dance to their tune. But that has made me stronger. I have been around for a while now, and see the way things are done. Once you agree to sleep with one of them, you will get tossed around. I don’t want that for my career, which may be why I don’t get called like the others. I was recently at an audition for a popular production company, where I was selected to play the role of a Warri babe. The role went to someone else, because the director wanted his own person to play that role. That is how the whole thing goes, which is why talented actors and actresses are yet to have a break. The industry is corrupt, and talent is seen to be secondary. I have seen cases where talented people are marked down, and friends put in their place. That is where favoritism comes in.

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I love life, love God and am a collector of rare items like the ash of a phoenix, egg of a unicorn, tears of an Angel and I drink pap with chopsticks.
Creativity found me, though I wasn't lost and am still paying the price of a chosen one.
It has always been the nature of man to confuse genius with insanity.

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