Meet Ruby Akubueze who left her parent’s house to chase her acting career
It’s not every day that you hear the story of a young chap becoming an actor in Nigeria. But the story gets even more interesting when you work through the landscape in the Nollywood industry. What you notice is popular actors like Akin and Popo playing the role of young kids or Tonto Dike playing the role of a secondary school student with tattoos all over. How do we even begin to comprehend these things? We have seen people like Yara Shahidi, John Boyega rise up through the ranks and play young roles in Hollywood. Why can’t we have such back home?
Meet Chinaza Ruby Akubueze, an actor, model, and singer. When she’s not getting her hands dirty in acting roles, she is lost in her studies for her bachelor degree in creative arts from the prestigious University of Lagos.
YC caught up with Ruby recently to get some insights on how to dominate in an unpopular acting career for modern young women and simultaneously use it to make an impact.
Who is Ruby?
My name is Chinaza Ruby Akubueze. I’m an actor, model, and a singer. I’m currently studying creative arts at the University of Lagos. I was born into a family of four where I am the third child. I love to sing a lot and acting has always been my passion which led me to join a theatre group at the age of twelve, where I was groomed into becoming the actor I am today. I started acting professionally in 2015 and since then I have featured in a web series titled “Brother Lienus”, a short film; titled Look Beyond, a feature-length film; “August Vacation ” and in the sixth season of an international Drama Series; MTV Shuga. I also work as a content developer for an online youth talk show series called Emergence Series.
You could have done so many things, why acting?
Acting is something I have always wanted to do and my passion for it pushed me to look for platforms where I can develop my skills. I was lucky to be chosen for a Creative Youth Boot Camp (CYBC) organized by Street Project Foundation in 2017 where I graduated as one of the best participants. I left the camp in high spirit and decided I was going to leave my parents house to pursue my career.
That year I moved down to Lagos from Abia state. I started attending auditions as well as conferences, seminars that were in connection with my career. It has really been quite tough but also an enjoyable journey getting to where I am today. I have also been able to meet and connect with very amazing actors too. I couldn’t imagine doing any other thing but what I’m doing today because it’s what I love.
How have you been able to combine academics and your passion together?
It has been really tasking combining school with my career. Having to be on set on a particular day and having assignments to be submitted the next day! I mean, it’s been really crazy but I always find my way around it.
When you started acting, was there ever a time you were looked down on and how easy was it to get to where you are now?
I remember being talked down on by a man because he felt he was offering me the whole world by giving me a role and expected me to be a butt licker and have him talk to me however he wanted but I knew where I was going and that was not it. It has not been easy at all. Having to wake up really early to beat the time set for an audition. Almost spending the whole week just attending auditions not to get a single call back. Standing for hours under the sun just to get auditioned.It has not been the easiest thing I’ve achieved all my life.
Do your friends treat you differently now that they know that you are a rising star?
I try as much as possible to keep it cool. As much of a star that I am now, I’m still very much that girl next door. I have really amazing friends who do not base their judgments on a person’s status.
We have seen over time adults trying to play roles of young people. Do you see that changing soon?
Well, it’s not something I can say for sure that it will change because there are a lot of adult actors whose character ages fall as low as sixteen- twenty so they can take up the role of a young person comfortably because it’s really not about one’s actual age but the ability to fit perfectly for a particular role.
Your advice for young Nigerians and recommended books to read?
My advice to the young ones out there is to always dream big, however, don’t just stop at dreaming big but also work hard towards making your dreams a reality and never let anyone look down on you. You are more than the eyes can see! Stay consistent, it pays. Never go with the crowd. Do what you love and be you! I would recommend books like “The Truth about Forever” by Sarah Dessen, “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls and “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green.
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