by crossriverwatch admin
Yesterday in Ugep, Cross River State, I met the movie star, Shan George for the very first time in my life. I am not given to watching movies produced in Nollywood. Shan George is undoubtedly one of the shining stars of the Nollywood industry.
However, I have heard about Shan George but I never knew she was from the neck of the wood until yesterday. Both of us were speakers in the Abi-Yakurr Youths Empowerment Summit initiated and organized by the irrepressible Obasesam Okoi.
Shan George is from Ediba, Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State. She is a truly home girl. She spoke in both Bahumo and a smattering of Yakurr. She told her amazing but piteous story about how she was born into grinding poverty and unprivileged background but through dint of hard work, drive and determination she rose to stardom.
I was entranced and truly startled. She lost her father when she 5 years old. Her mother was a lowly worker in the Samuel Imoke Memorial Hospital, Itigidi. She went to Primary Schools in Ediba and Ugep. Her mother went to live in Ugep when her condition in Ediba became dire and despicable. But she couldn’t make a break through. She went to Ediba.
Shan is frank, candor and unpretentious. She is proud of her underprivileged background. Her story is inspiring. She was a palm kernel breaker to earn money to improve herself. She bought her uniform for Secondary School from her earnings from palm kernel breaking. Shan went to a Local Secondary School in Ediba. But she self developed herself.
She speaks very impeccable English with very good accent and diction. She is superb self confident and intelligent. She said when she gained admission to study Mass Communication in the University of Lagos she had no glimmer of hope on how she was going to pay school fees and survive. She told me how she walked into the office of the Head of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Lagos to implore him to give her a job.
The man, a Hausa, was amazed how she was so bold. The man offered her a job. She successfully combined studies and working. Shan is an international star. She is an embodiment of creativity and enterprise. She regaled the Youth audience yesterday and they became absorbed, immersed and struck. She is a powerful speaker. She spoke eloquently and with so much energy and passion.
I saw streaks of racialism and activism in her. She denounced politicians for their wheeling and dealing and deceitful approach to solving the myriad of problems confronting and grappling the country. She charged the youths to improve and develop themselves rather depending on crumbs and peanuts from political godfathers.
She denounced the culture of dependency and godfatherism being promoted by politicians in the State. She said the culture of dependency promotes and encourages mediocrity and laziness. After she finished speaking, we briefly argued about politics and who is a politician. When I told her she spoke as a politician, she fiercely disagreed. She says she hates politics and would never be a politician.
I told her politics is not about contesting election. I told her everything in life is about politics. She is very independent and holds strongly to her opinion. She vehemently disagreed with me. She struck me truly. Her story is awesome and inspiring. I advised her to write a script about her personal life, which is truly a lesson for young people. Kudos to Obasesam Okoi for encouraging our young people. Curiously no government official turned up in the event. I was really sad at the irresponsibility and unresponsiveness of our politicians who parade and prance around as “leaders”.
Even the member representing Abi in the Cross River State House of Assembly, John Gaul who was billed to speak on the same topic with me was missing in action.
Shan is indefatigable and irrepressible. She is a shining example to our young people who feel they must be spoon fed. I urge the Cross River State Government to nominate Shan George for a National Award. She has surely contributed more to national development than some of the people who have been nominated in recent years for National awards from the State.
Shan is currently working on a movie on crime in collaboration with the New York Police Department. She is totally fearless and walk with a swagger. However she is earthly but has no time for mediocres.
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