Screen diva Shirley Igwe doesn’t have to be padded, made-up and wear colourful masks to be beautiful; she has beauty bequeathed on her by nature, so much so that, before she graduated from school, she was already the beautiful face of Delta Soap. From modeling, she naturally metamorphosed into acting before serving as Chief Protocol Officer to former Governor Rochas Okorocha. Shirley could be any man’s dream woman but she is still single. Taciturn Shirley missed going on set to work owing to the Covid-19 outbreak. But she is putting herself together and getting set for work again, having used this period to restructure her life. She recently spent some time chatting with Ferdinand Ekechukwu
Tell us a little about your family background and upbringing and how it shaped you?
I come from a Christian family from the eastern part of Nigeria. Being a Christian and knowing Christ from childhood has helped me stay strong even as my both parents are no more…the love of God keeps me going.
You were a successful model before acting. As it is now it appears you have completely given up modeling for acting and movie production. What’s your take on this?
I still model if the opportunity presents itself. The fact that I move from location to location gives me no time for anything else.
You did quite a lot of shoots during your reign as a commercial model. How did that prepare you for the life on screen?
Modeling is totally different from acting. I had to take acting classes at New York Film Academy before taking up acting professionally.
Your first acting experience must have been memorable. Tell us how your first experience on set/screen was?
My first film was in Ghana and it was quite an interesting one. It was called “I Broke My Heart”. I was still in school and had to finish schooling before any other thing but I got a lot of feedback on how well my role was interpreted.
You have been in the limelight for a while now, how has that changed your life?
It changed a great deal but I thank God for everything.
What’s the most challenge you have encountered in your career?
Being able to balance work with social life; it’s been a bit tasking. My social life is suffering.
We understand that talent is important to a successful acting career but in Nollywood, it seems there is emphasis on physical assets. What’s your view on this?
Well, I think that talent is never enough. You need to surround yourself with people who love and inspire you; you also need to work really hard and smart before you start counting whatever physical asset you have.
How do you get through the Covid-19 pandemic period? And what’s your attitude to life generally?
At first it seemed like unexpected holidays but then, I realized that this is the time God has given us to reevaluate and restructure our lives to serve him. I’ll say that I coped really fine. God is forever faithful.
Shirley Igwe has it all going well. But single. How would you describe your dream man?
I can’t really say there’s a particular dream I have about the type of man I must have…you know I’m tea tired of talking about man/men. If it happens, it happens.
From being the Chief Protocol Officer to former governor Rochas Okorocha, you came back to Nollywood. This was after years of modeling. Have you grown into the woman of your dreams following your life and career paths?
Yes, life so far has been fulfilling… I have grown and still growing… I’m on a blessed journey of becoming the best version of myself ever.