Judith Emike Audu-Foght, popularly known as Judith Audu is a Nigerian actress, presenter, voice-over artiste, model, blogger and movie producer, renowned for her role as Mofe in the Nigerian television series Emerald alongside Joseph Benjamin, Carol King, Lilian Esoro and Femi Branch. She told us these about herself.
- Can you tell us about yourself in brief? Your family background? Educational Background too.
Answer: I am Judith Audu. I am a full-time actress based in Lagos, Nigeria. I was born in Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria to a Naval Personnel Father Audu Ali Audu and mother Gift Salamat Audu. My mother was an entrepreneur who owned a chain of restaurants and a rental service for events. I have two brothers, elder brother Franklin Audu and a younger brother Abdulmalik Audu. I am the second child and only daughter. I attended Navy Town Primary School, Ojo, from 1988 to 1993, then proceeded to Navy Town Secondary School from 1993 to 1999, where I majored in Arts. I then went to the Nigerian French Language Village, Badagry in 2001 and got a Diploma that I used in getting a Direct Entry into the University of Lagos in 2002. In 2005, I got a B.A in French from the University of Lagos before I went for the National Youth Service. After my National Youth Service (NYSC) In Kebbi State in 2006/2007, I went back to the University of Lagos and applied for Masters Degree course in Public and International Affairs from 2008 to 2010, where I graduated with a degree in Masters of Public and International Affairs (MPIA).
- Have you always known that you would be an actress?
Answer: I have always known I will be in front of a camera, thought I would be a broadcaster, then at a point I wanted to be a diplomat and an Actress. So the later became a stronger passion as time went on and I pursued both but Acting was priority.
- Q: What were the things in your background that prepared you for the present?
Answer: I guess the fact that I joined a troupe in school and from time I had always liked acting. And in my Youth Service, I produced and was also the Presenter of a programme on Kebbi State Television called French For Beginners and I was also the Drama Troupe Director.
- How did you get into the industry?
Answer: I joined a Theater Group when I was in the University called the Campus Playhouse and I took part in several stage productions, I later auditioned for another troupe called Theater 15 which was the biggest Theater Group in the University of Lagos then. I t was from these theater groups that I learnt a lot and started working with Nigerian television personality Denrele Edun, actor/comedian Koffi and Director Wole Oguntokun.
In 2004, Denrele called me for an audition with Alpha Vision Company and I got my first role in a tv series by Tajudeen Adepetu titled, One Love. In the same year, I registered with Actor’s Guild of Nigeria and they began to call me for auditions, I later got a role in Tears of the Ghetto by Femi Ogedegbe. After that, I took a break because I had to resume back in school. I had the chance to do the film because of a long strike then. I later took part in a children’s series, Funtime, where I played the role of Vanessa.
In 2011, after completing my Masters program, I went for an audition for a role in Tinsel and got the role of a gynecologist, and it has been on and on since then.
- What has the industry been like?
Answer: It is not an easy industry, but then again no industry is! One has to be very patient, consistent, hardworking, humble, good at networking and be very aware of all that is happening in order to be at the right place at the right time.
- What was your debut performance and how was the experience?
Answer: Not sure which was my first performance but I think it was one of my literature books titled ‘Qui est Malade’ but the interesting thing was that it didn’t feel like it was my first time, it felt natural and was fun.
- What has been your most challenging performance? In what way did that constitute a challenge?
Answer: All my performances have been challenging. Each performance comes with its own challenge because the roles are different in each one and you have to approach all differently.
- Q: What has been your best performance? What did you consider in deciding it was your best performance?
Answer: I am still waiting for it.
- How many movies have you starred in?
- Can you name some?
Answer: I have done more TV series than Movies, over 10 TV series some of which are still running like: Emerald, Olorogun & Company, Life is Beautiful, Burning Spears, Seekers, Rush, Tinsel, Huzzel, 4 Walls, Case File, Comfort Zone, Funtime, House Apart and so on and less than 10 Movies, some of which are: Mnet’s Stopping Kloe and Out of Fire, Switch, Yes I Don’t, Tears of the Ghetto, e.t.c.
- What awards have you gotten and how many in all?
Answer: I have only been nominated for an award, Nigerian Broadcasting Merit Awards (NBMA) for Best Female Actor 2013
- What makes you different from the others in the industry?
Answer: I would say my high level of concentration and listening ears to what the directors says, my ability to switch almost immediately and become a Character, my high level of professionalism and disciplined nature, my lack of unnecessary attitude makes working with me smooth, easy and fast.
- Who are your models in the industry?
Answer: I don’t really have ‘Role Models’ in the industry per se but I have people I respect for various reasons like: Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Kate Blanchett, Joke Silva, Liz Benson, Genevieve Nnaji, Mercy Johnson, Rita Dominique
- What other businesses or profession do you have outside this?
Answer: Am a full time actor, other things are secondary and only come to play when am not on set, Am a blogger, just recently delved in Producing and still working on becoming a Diplomat in the near future.
- Would you want your child to pick up acting?
Answer: I was raised in an independent home where we could be whoever we want to be and that is exactly the foundation my children would get, acting is a profession like every other job so if my child wants to become an actor I will be glad about it and support him or her.
- What is your social life like and what do you do when not acting?
Answer: When am not acting I blog, watch a lot of movies, listen to music and sometimes go to the beach and chill.
- What is the difference between the real you and you on set or stage?
Answer: It all depends on the character I am playing but 90% of the roles I have played are the direct opposite of who I am. When I am acting I let it all out and become so free to do stuff I wouldn’t normally do just to make sure a character is believable and when people watch they don’t see me but the character am playing. I on the other hand am a simple person, very easy. I hate complications and stress.
- What do you think of Nollywood?
Answer: It is an industry that is growing by the day and the growth is beautiful. I am glad I am a part of it.
- What roles can you not play? What can you not do in your art?
Answer: I haven’t been approached with a role I can’t play yet, I usually say I can’t do nudity but if I get a very good story with an awesome director and cast, if it’s a story I would love to tell, I guess I would but not just for any script, aside that I always welcome challenges and love been cast for different kinds of roles.
- Are you thinking of retirement soon?
Answer: Acting unlike other jobs doesn’t have a retiring age, it’s a profession you do for life. I plan to do it till I can’t move my body myself.
If you would love to know more about Judith Audu and read her write-ups, you can visit: JAB