We had the good fortune of connecting with Ejiroghene and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ejiroghene, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing”. When I think about this quote, it reminds me about the importance of living, and not being afraid to fail, or as Uncle Denzel would say, “every failed experiment is one step closer to success….fail forward”. I like the honesty of the quote. Realistically, when you look at life, just being alive in the world today is a risk in and of itself, when a person leaves the house, they are taking a risk (a minimal risk) but still a risk. At the end of the day, by doing nothing, or “playing safe” a person can end up risking some of the greatest experiences and opportunities life may have offered, had they chosen to take the risk in the first place.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started my work as an actor back in 2017. As time progressed, I ventured into modeling as well. I started working on different sets and telling stories through the eyes of different characters, while modeling for different brands. What sets me apart from others is my ability to adapt in my environment, and take risks. When working on different projects, often times what you think is supposed to happen, doesn’t always happen, and you always have to be prepared to pivot in another direction when need be. My ability to adjust within reason often times serves me well. I am proud of a lot of things I’ve managed to accomplish as an actor/model. One of my biggest accomplishments was my ability to create a project that infused some of my Nigerian culture into it. My first film which I created a little over a year ago, went on to screen at 2 film festivals, won an award for the Netflix, Dear White People Contest in 2019, and is currently in the process of finding a home on a streaming platform. Recently, I wrapped a pilot for a project which I can’t go into too much detail about, but had a wonderful experience working on and learned a tremendous amount from both the talent and camera side. None of this was easy, all of it was a challenge, and I am still learning. The biggest thing I’ve learned about overcoming challenges, is to go through it, in order to get through it. If there is one thing I’d want to the world to know, its that black culture is sooooo diverse and there are so many stories around the black experience that are yet to be shared. As a Nigerian American woman, I grew up on both the American and Nigerian film industry. Stories from both cultures around the black experience vary greatly when it comes to both industries, and one thing I truly appreciate about my recent projects, was the ability to infuse both cultures to tell a story and create a good project.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting me in LA, it would be a party the minute they landed at LAX! For workouts, we would definitely go hiking in Malibu and enjoy the scenery and outdoors. If indoors, I have to take my friend to a boxing class at Box N Burn, Santa Monica. They have a great time with the H.I.I.T and boxing rounds along with the boxing on the bags. For more relaxing fitness engagements, we would probably do some yoga on the beach, or visit Hot 8 yoga in Manhattan Beach. For brunch, I would need to take my friend to several places during the week, but, there are two main spots we would need to hit up. The first one would be Overland Cafe in Culver City, the second would be North End Cafe in Manhattan beach. After brunch we would definitely need to hang out in the 3 beach cities (Manhattan, Hermosa, or Redondo), enjoying the outdoor weather and beach. Now, if we are looking for a way to spend the day we would spend the day at Universal Studios enjoying the rides and attractions and the wonderful weather. For a lighter hang out day, we’d visit the Broad Museum, California African American Museum or the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and enjoy the different works of various artists. Lastly, while my friend is here, I would have to create some time for them to enjoy my culture. For lunch or dinner, we would have to visit some of my favorite Nigerian restaurants for a good home cooked meal. Toto’s African Cuisine in Sherman Oaks, Veronica’s Kitchen, Nkechi’s or Aduke’s in Inglewood. For night life, we would need to attend an Afrolituation event held by Amplify Africa, where my friend can experience a wonderful blend of African music, learn some of the latest dance moves and experience/learn of a new African artist.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutouts go to my family (I love ya’ll), and friends. The many people and photographers I have collaborated during my journey in acting and modeling we’ve created some amazing work). The African Artist’s Association, which has been a hub for African artists in the LA area to plug in, come together and have a space to tell our stories and create and share opportunities with one another.
Image 1, Nope Shirt, and white jeans, blue jean top: Vanessa Nweze Photography Black and grey photo: Jon Melson Photography Car image: Still shot from RideShare, short