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I once dated a Nigerian President - Ella Martins

Popular Beninoise actress and musician, Ella Martins is the granddaughter of the late Nigerian thespian, Hubert Ogunde. In this interview with TAYO GESINDE, the young lady who featured in some Nollywood movies like Lost Paradise and The gods are still to blame, speaks on her controversial relationship with Genevieve Nnaji, her affair with a former Nigerian President and fashion preferences. Excerpts:

Growing up
I grew up in Abidjan, my dad was a lawyer while my mum was a business woman. I schooled in Abidjan before returning to Cotonou.

Foray into entertainment
I am a musician and an actor. Music is my passion while acting too is in my blood. I was introduced into the movie industry by Genevieve Nnaji and Shan George in 2005. The first Nollywood movie I featured in was Lost paradise. I featured alongside Rita Dominic and Tricia Esiegbe. So far, I have features in three movies in Nigeria (Lost paradise, Doctor Kanye, The gods are still not to blame) and four other movies abroad. I also have many musical albums such as Shit up, Electricité, Rich, Attitude, Success and so on to my credit.

Challenges faced as an actress
Oh! I didn’t face any big challenge because I was a francophone artist. There was no problem as regards acceptability because Nigeria is also my country. My grandparents are from Nigeria, I am the grand child of the late Hubert Ogunde. It is my dad that is related to Ogunde. All my cousins bear Ogunde. I relate with all of them. We do meet in Cotonou and Lagos from time to time.

Assessment of the movie industry in Nigeria and Benin Republic
The Nigerian market is large while the Benin market is small. I changed career this year and I am opened to new project about movie and other things.

Role models in the movie industry
Shan George and Mercy Johnson.

Coping with competition
I was never afraid of competition because I know that I have the genie (special ability) in me.

Cost of being a celebrity
There is a big disadvantage in being a celebrity. If you are single, many guys will want to date you and if you are married, it will expose your marriage to danger. Also, you can fall in love with a stranger which is very risky.

Coping with advances from male fans
Hey! They are very difficult to handle.

Most embarrassing thing a fan did to me
A fan stole my phone and sent sexy pictures of me putting on swimming suit online. Another embarrassing thing that happened to me was that I saw it on YouTube that Genevieve Nnaji and I were secretly married.

Description of self
I don’t know how to describe myself but people describe me as a legend while others describe me as a charismatic and hardworking person.

Relationship between Genevieve and I
Genevieve is a sister to me, a nice friend and someone with whom I share a lot of things in common. She advises me and I advise her too. Genevieve likes to hold me and kiss me as good people do. Some of her other friends were jealous and they started peddling rumours that we are both lesbians.

Marital status
Actually, I am in a relationship with my fans. I love them. What I need from them is unconditional love. I don’t have any man in my life right now. Only my fans.

Philosophy of life
Life is a game, all you have to do is to play yours very well.

Definition of style
Style means a lot to me. This is because your appearance tells a lot about you. It tells people the kind of person you are so, I pay attention to what I wear. It costs me a lot of money to look good.

Beauty regimen
My beauty regimen is very simple. I take my bath and I cream my body. The only thing is that I use expensive cream.

Choice of accessories
I love shoes, bags and jewellery.

Favourite designers
Gucci and Coco Chanel

What I will like to change about myself
That will be my character. People think I am a snob but the thing is, I am a hot tempered person. I can’t control my temper. However, I am working on it.

Opinion on cosmetic surgery
Of course, I can go under the knife to enhance my beauty. So, I have nothing against cosmetic surgery.

Favourite pastime
I normally relax by reading spiritual books.

Greatest physical asset
My greatest physical asset is my body. I have crazy but lovely body, especially my backside.

Opinion on provocative dressing
Yes, I believe if you have it flaunt it because it helps you to get what you want. Your sex appeal matters in everything you do.

My take on toning
It is nice to tone the skin but it is not necessary.

Favourite perfumes
Gucci by Gucci.

Favourite colour

On my affair with a former president
Yes, it is true that I dated one idiot who was a former Nigerian president but I won’t want to tell you his name.

My most memorable experience as an actress
As an actress, my most memorable experience was when I had to kiss a French actor in a movie.

On whether actresses are promiscuous
Hmm! They are right. 
Source: Nigerian Tribune