I Hear You Give Good Advice

It’s quite easy to forget the days of humble beginnings when one finally gets that big break always dreamt of. At least I know that’s what happened to me. It was as though every time my fans cheered “Mariah Ike!” a part of my painful past got chipped off and I felt lighter. The new found fame suited me… I, Mariah, the small girl from an unknown village in the east, a movie star!? I’d almost completely forgotten the days before my big break in Dangerous Girl From The South, the days when smoking garri was still my watchword. Those were the days before I ever met Mr. Howard, before our fateful meeting at the local theater production where I’d been offered a small, but pivotal role. That was three years prior. These days, however, Howard prefers to remind me of how I started in the industry, how I’d still be nothing if he hadn’t strolled into that theater hall along Agidingbi road. And, that, because I hadn’t returned to say ‘thank you’ properly, I was ungrateful, and he wouldn’t waste another resource on me or any other amateur hoping for a big break until I made amends. What did he want? you might ask. Of course he wanted sex!

I can never forget Howard. How can I? He stood by me when the rest of the world wouldn’t. He discovered and believed so much in my talent, and kept pushing me through until Dangerous Girl From The South happened six months ago. Before the issue of his demeaning request came up, I still had it in mind to pay him a proper visit at his home – to meet the pretty, loving, extremely intelligent wife he always spoke about, and thank her for taking such a wonderful man off the market; but, now, I’m not so sure he’s the man I thought he was. I mean, demanding sex from me just to feel good about himself. Talk about the misogynistic view of a Nollywood patriach. Who does that? Does he understand how scandalous it’ll be if word ever got out. ‘Nollywood superstar Mariah Ike caught under-the-sheets with married producer Howard Obi’ the headlines will joyously read. That’ll be the end of my career that just started. God forbid!

Now, the reason I’m ranting is this…

NOLIP, the prestigious board in charge of awarding young, exceptional talents in the Nigerian movie industry are considering putting me as a contender for the well coveted ‘BEST ACTRESS IN A FEATURE FILM’ category. Me. A new comer in the industry. My God! If I clinch that award, forget it, I’ve blown completely, nothing can stop my shine anymore in the industry. The big problem is, Howard is a senior member of the board and also a part of the sitting committee I’d have to face before anything else… their vote has to be unanimous for my consideration to become tangible, and he’s still pressing his demand, now more than ever. I face the board in two days and I don’t know what to do. Howard is highly placed to easily sway the rest members of the board to whatever side he stands on. He has the power to undo everything God made him do in my life, and I don’t know why he’s letting the devil use him.

I hear you reading this give good advice, please, I need to know what next to do.

Your new fictional celebrity crush,
Mariah Ike.

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