Bridget Chigbufue is an actor, awarded TV Host, event/red carpet host, producer, content creator, and voice over artist
Q: There are a good number of tags to your name, who is Bridget Chigbufue?
I’m an actor and a TV host; a content creator basically. I’m also a producer and a Voice over artiste.
Q: What was growing up like, for you?
Growing up was like the basic way every child in my area grew up. I grew up in a family of five, seven rather, the kids and our parents.
We grew up in Lagos and I had my schooling here as well; Primary school in Lagos, Secondary school I went to Queen’s College Yaba, Lagos and I went to the University of Benin where I read Agricultural Studies and Extension.
We grew up here, it was interesting, there was no time that I stayed away from my parents while I was young so most of the time, it was when we wanted to see our grandparents that we’d to travel to the village or they come here and that’s Christmas period or a festive period.
My mum was a very strict teacher, she’s retired now anyway, my dad was a civil servant.
Whoever used to beat us a lot was my mum, more of the training and everything was from my mother, she was so strict and I think that’s what shaped us to be a bit more conscious of what we do morally because I feel like those values are things that helped me shape my character till date.
Q: At the moment, you’re in different aspects of the entertainment industry, has this always been the plan?
Well! Plan A was acting; it has always been acting, but, with every actor – I mean if you’re a good actor – you can be a good presenter but not every presenter is an actor.
I’ve always loved presenting anyway, but it wasn’t a concrete plan that I want to work with BBC or CNN or Silverbird or whatever. The plan was just acting and then presenting came along because when I was in school, I used to host a lot of gigs; I hosted our final year dinner, I hosted a couple of things in my faculty. So, you know, presenting was already a thing but just something I liked to do as I liked to talk and I was entertaining people.
After acting, presenting came and I figured it was good because the truth is acting doesn’t come as often as you want, I guess it depends on how consistent you are but at that time, I just started so it wasn’t coming back to back and I needed something that could be a regular source of income at least.
Presenting came along and I took it because it was something I even enjoyed doing and it came naturally to me. And then with that, over time, you get to now train yourself on other things and that’s where voice-overs came in, you see yourself voicing scripts for your shows, voicing scripts for this and that, and then feedback!
People will say oh you’re good – your voicing – and then you take it seriously. Through all these processes you find out that you’re a content creator, through those processes still you find out you’re the one handling your show – so, you’re the producer – from start to finish, to edit, to boost. So everything is just a bit intertwined.
Q: How did you start your career journey?
Officially, it was in 2011. After school, I worked a bit in Benin because I didn’t want to come home to wait for service batch; they were delaying in bringing out names. And then I did a Nollywood 101 Silver Academy with Lans, from there we came for an audition and landed a subtle role.
The following year, after service, I went for The Next Movie Star reality show where I was the first runner up. I think, basically, things kicked off from there. I started going for auditions – not like anyone was calling me because I was the first runner up, in fact, I hardly mentioned that except someone asked – and I just kept doing that because auditions are part of becoming an actor, it’s something you must do.
From there on, you meet people, you connect with them, you have conversations, you land roles – sometimes you don’t.
My first gig as a presenter was at V channel and the show used to air on Silverbird TV and coincidentally, somebody saw it and said to me ‘oh, I’d like you to come for a screening’, the person wasn’t like a major star, it was just someone who liked my work and I really appreciate him because I never knew him before then, you know, he said to come for screening and I went for screening and yeah, I’m here – Silverbird TV – voicing, presenting and hosting events as well.
Q: Talking about The Next Movie Star where you emerged as the first runner up, how was that experience for you?
The experience at NMS was interesting; a different thing entirely. I’d never really done something like that before. I met different people, I’m just a free spirit anyway so I didn’t really have enemies in the house, I had more of competitors.
It was a bit of everything really. I could dance, I could act, I could present, I was very rational with my decisions especially when it came to judging because we had some tasks like that.
I remember a voice saying that – and I realized it was actually true – I’m not to one side or to the other side, I’m just in the middle. And when I came first runner up, I was hoping that I’d win, you know normally when you enter a competition you’d always hope you win and I didn’t, I came first runner up, someone else won which was fine really.
But after the competition, you start hearing things – oh she won because she read theatre arts, I didn’t read theatre arts, you just hear so many things and you’re like hmmm, yeah right! Is it because of that? I didn’t really take all of those things to heart but in the end, we were all good friends. It was fun, I don’t regret it.
Q: From the range of things you do – acting, presenting etcétera – which would you consider your favorite and why?
I would consider acting my favorite. Why, because it has always been my plan A. That was really my dream; to become an actor, to be an influential actor, to communicate in that wave.
People will see me in different lights because I’m a very reserved person normally, I’m just chilled and laid back but the nature of my job allows me to talk and I also saw it as an opportunity to meet people because if you leave me I go just dey one side, you understand.
If at all I should choose right now, I’ll choose acting, presenting can always come, I mean I’m good at it as well but you know, acting requires a lot of consistency.
Q: How do you joggle all together and find a balance?
There’s no balance o; I’ve not found a balance yet. Well except with voice overs. Voice overs – there’s always been a balance – it’s just to voice scripts.
Although it’s a lot of work because you have to understand what kind of voice you want to use for the script and what message you’re trying to pass on, and that’s easy for me, but acting, presenting, I haven’t found a perfect balance to it, I won’t lie.
Sometimes, you need to be outside for a long period of time and then you also need to do your own shoot and shows! It might not even be your show most times, you might have to host a thing at a period of time till the middle of the night you know from 8 PM till 12 AM, 1 AM when the event is done and you’re back on set for call time 6 AM or 7 AM.
Just keep your mind open really and that’s what I do, because there’s no way to find a balance but you have to keep trying not to falter or offend any other person or people you’re working with.
If you know you can not make it, be sincere and say I can’t make it, I won’t be there; I am here so that everything will just fall into place.
Don’t be like a superman and say oh don’t worry I’ll do it people just want to do the job, you know. Don’t be like that, be realistic with your timing so that you don’t offend anyone and that’s what I always try to do but there really isn’t any balance for now; it’s crazy.
Q: What can we expect to see from you in the coming years?
Uhmm, the truth is, I’ve not been in acting for a while because of my work as a presenter but I’m seeing how I could – 2020! This pandemic! You know, I don’t understand (laughs), it has taken almost half of the entire year, but that was the plan for this year, to – really plunge into my acting career and see how I can take it to the next level.
But of course, I haven’t done anything this year, although there’s already been conversations going on about working and shooting and all of that.
If this didn’t happen, that would have started. Regardless, in the nearest future, I’m going to own my show, I’m already trying to do something on Instagram which is Bench talk with Bridget and the show is going to spin off.
The idea behind that is the Easter edition, once this whole lockdown is lifted, we’re shifting it straight into production. Basically that, and then more movie scenes hopefully.
Q: What advice do you have for young females who aspire to be like you?
Don’t be like me! (laughs) DON’T BE LIKE ME. Be YOU but be accessible, be open, and be realistic.
Have dreams, don’t stop having dreams, don’t stop working towards your dreams but be realistic as well, even with the dreams.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dream, you can dream as far as you can but still be realistic when trying to achieve those dreams.
Don’t be angry at getting nos even when you want to hear a yes, it’s just a step.
No matter how many nos you get, eventually you’ll get a yes. Don’t be worried about getting the job like you want to get into that space, be concerned about getting into the space first so that they can even see and recognize your talent or your skill, then you can work on it and then you can eventually get a yes so you know.
I’ll advise them to be open to collaborations, volunteer while you can – I’ve always volunteered – everything is not about money and yeah, everything should work out fine. Put God first – that’s the powerhouse.
Q: Describe yourself in three words.
Bridget is… (laughs) I am… O boy! Three words?! Oh, Lord! I am… I don’t even know how to describe myself in three words. Okay! So, I’m relentless, I’m stylish and the girl next door.