Published Jun 04
7 questions with Chisom Agoawuike, the star of Halita
From her audition to her co-stars and crazy fans, Chisom tells us how her life has changed since working on Africa Magic’s Halita.
Chisom Agoawuike is the lead actress on Halita, one of the most-watched Nigerian shows at the moment. Halita, currently streaming on Showmax, is the story of a 19-year-old village girl forced to move to the city and work as a maid in the powerful Zamani household. Her time with the Zamanis is highly eventful as she navigates her way between her fellow domestic staff and the Zamani family to earn her place in the residence.
The Public Health graduate made a break in the entertainment industry after landing the title character role on the show. We recently had a chat with her about her journey to Africa Magic’s Halita, her relationship with her co-stars and more.
So how does your family feel knowing you’re the star in one of the hottest shows on Nigeria?
It’s been crazy! After every episode of Halita, if I’m not on set, my mum will call me to gush. She’d ask how I’m crying or how I interpreted a certain part. She’s so amazed that I can cry on set. She would ask me if I was genuinely crying or if they had to induce the tears and I’d tell her, ‘I’m an actor, I told ya!’ So my parents are pleased and I think they’ve gotten to the point where they’re convinced that this is what I love to do, all thanks to being on a good show.
Tell us about the audition - what was it like landing the lead role?
After previous stressful audition processes, I resolved to only go for private auditions. So when my friend sent me a flier for the Halita audition, I was sceptical. But then I saw a poster on Mr Dimbo’s page (the executive producer) and I thought maybe I should give this a try. Also, my friends did a lot of convincing so we went for the audition very early in the morning and I got a callback tag, which made me very excited. When they were calling names at the callback, I noticed that we were all petite and someone made a comment that these are the smallies, the maids. But no one knew that Halita was the main character. So before we were told to read the character, there was a briefing and that was when they told us that she was the main character and I thought ‘Oh my God! I need to get this right; I need to nail it and get my lines’. But I had no expectations to get the lead character. I just knew I had to do my best so when I got the role, it was a very pleasant surprise for me because this was my first major role.
What has working with your co-stars been like?
It’s been an amazing experience, which also translates on the screen. That’s because I think we all came on the same pedestal. We’re all newbies on the set and we’re all hungry for success so nobody felt better than the other. We bonded and shared our audition stories on how we landed the role and it brought us together. We talked to ourselves about punctuality and delivering our lines accurately. We also encouraged each other on the need to put our best foot forward. Most times after work, we go out and have a game night so that contributed to the beautiful relationship we have on screen. Even with the older cast, everyone is cool with each other.
Have you had any memorable encounters with fans?
Halita fans go hard. The love is beautiful and I’ve had mostly good encounters with them. When they see us it’s like we’re family. They want to help and just do something special for you. They’d say things like ‘Can you come to my house? Can I host you sometime?’ That’s the kind of feedback we get from the fans. But one of the most memorable encounters I had was this time I was waiting for my Uber to come and I just saw a car stop with an entire family screaming. The husband, wife, children – everyone was screaming excitedly and I knew I had to go over and say hello. So I went over and we took pictures and it was so beautiful because every member of the family watched the show – the husband, wife and children.
Would you say there are any similarities between you and Halita the character?
Definitely. Personality-wise I can relate with Halita. There are a lot of similarities between us, but in the love part not so much. Halita is a lover girl and I’m not. She wears her heart on her sleeve and it’s not quite the same for me as a person. In fact, sometimes when I read the script, I think ‘Wow I think I should learn something from this girl; it doesn’t cost anything to be more expressive in love’. I really like how she expresses herself: she doesn’t care; she’s living in the moment and trusts easily. I’m much more guarded and not as quick to be expressive in love but in other areas, we’re quite similar. I’m also not as meek as Halita; Chisom is more upfront.
So, are Chisom (Halita) and Boma (King) a couple in real life?
No, we’re not a couple. Sorry to let all the fans down. We’re just colleagues.
What do we expect from you in the future?
Acting is something I’m very passionate about. It’s not a pastime but a full-time career. So I will go on to do good movies, be it TV or feature-length. But I will be very selective with the kind of work I take on going forward because I want to have a successful career. So I will do what feels right in my spirit as long as it tells a story and relays a positive message.
Halita is currently streaming on Showmax.
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