Celebrated actress Clarion Chukwura talk passionately to Mudii about her initiate, The Clarion Chukwura Initiative, which was established September 1998

You have been in the industry for a very long time as far back as the days of Mirror in the Sun. How has it been and what has kept you going?
What has kept me going is basically my vision. I knew that from day one - when I was about five years old - that I wanted to be an actress. I started acting when I was 14 years old and by the time I was 20, I knew precisely the kind of things I wanted to do and the things I wanted to achieve as an actress and as an artiste. My determination, my focus and my goals has been what has sustained me. I must also mention that the fighting spirit has helped me to face challenges. The kind of family that I have which is a close knit family that we have always stayed together and kept each other busy. Also I have very close relationship with my God and that has been my staying path.

If you could go back in time, what would you have done differently?
That is the question I have been asked a couple of time. I'm a philosophical person so I will like to put that question in the context of the kind of society that I was born into and grew up in. 20 years ago if i was asked - no 10 years ago - if I was asked what I would have done differently, I might said I would have preferred to stay away from this country when I had the opportunity to go and work as an actress in England or America. But today I wouldn't say that because this country, with all the challenges I have faced, has made me a stronger person. I see the will of God for this country to be the platform of which I will reach out to the other countries where I have made a difference in the lives of people. This country has helped me in understanding the truth in the past few years.

In my findings, I discovered that you have been busy doing other things like the Clarion Chukwura Initiative. Tell us about it and what prompted you?
The Clarion Chukwura Initiative is not new. We have been in existence for some years now. This initiative has brought in different Africa countries, I found out in Health especially in maternal health and poverty that we have a lot of work to do. I realised that I had to register this initiative in East Africa where the challenges, the need for my kind of work is highly required. My experience as an actress, as a film maker has helped me a lot in advocating and where am coming from. All I have seen and my heart, my life as a woman has help me a lot in understanding the needs of other women and my heart and the kind of heart I have, the God in me has enabled me to spread my resources even where I don't have them.

How do you intend to fund it and in what area would you want the international community to assist or support you?
Thank you. Funding for the initiative for the first eight years came purely from my work as an actress, the resources of the Clarion Chukwura Trading Entreprises which was, for quite a while, an oil industry services supplier. The resources of that company went into funding the Clarion Chukwura Initiative. In the last five years the funding for the initiative has come from Capital Dreams Pictures Ltd, a business owned by my son of which I am a partner and from well meaning Nigerians who have actually funded this cause, not giving money directly to the initiative but funding the platform of the initiative. How would I want the international community to help? The Initiative is making a film on women development in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzanian, Ghana and Nigeria this year. This will climax into a conference with NGOS, NGOS that are affiliated with the African women development and communication segment.


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