Monica Davies began her career in 2003 with Vinasha Production. Her performance in a movie called ‘Child of Destiny’ with GAMYAA turned her into a household name, making producers and directors sign her for jobs and she worked with several Gambian production houses.
The outstanding Gambian actress was featured in two movies, Genesis of Love and Saviour of Humanity, as a major character, alongside Nollywood Actor Ali Nuhu and Ladi Joy Torty in 2011. In 2014, she played a leading role in the film “Tama or The Diamond” alongside Nollywood Actor, Yemi Blaq. She also acted for a Ghanaian Production; Tplus production in the Movie ‘Wrong Identity’ alongside Oge Okoye and Desmond Elliot in 2009.
In 2015 the board of directors and members of PAH conferred on her, the Most Promising Actress of the year in Ghana. She acted in twenty-eight movies, including Banjul Cops, Child of Destiny, Inspector Wagan (Local Drama, TV Series), The Heart of a Woman, Unpredictable, Tears of Vengeance, amongst others.
Bantaba recently caught up with her and here is the excerpt of the interview.
Bantaba: Why did you choose acting?
Monica: While some people go into acting for fame, for me, it was all about making an impact. I didn’t think about the glam when I went into acting. In retrospect, acting is where my passion lies. It is what gives me wings to fly. An outlet, it helps me bring out all of the creativity that is inside me.
I believe in this profession. I’m passionate about acting and I have been through this journey for 13 years despite it has not been a smooth one, but my faith keeps me going and above all because I believed in it. This was all I wanted to do at the end of the day. It’s where I think, I belong. That’s what has kept me here. I don’t know what God’s future plans are for me but if I have my way, I would still be an actress. I don’t think that I ever imagined myself producing a film. I love acting.
Bantaba: You said the reason you chose acting is to make an impact, did you make any impact?
Monica: Yes, looking back at when I started acting in 2003 with a raw/natural talent and not undergoing any acting training and being able to create a niche for myself in the industry, winning the hearts of many with the way I interpret different characters both on screen and on stage, makes me achieve that. Notwithstanding, I am still working towards achieving more as expectations are high.
Bantaba: Many see acting as alien to us, what do you say to that?
Monica: Most people misunderstood actors and their judgments are based on the sort of roles they portrayed. Acting is not alien to us because some Gambians have been acting on the radio and stage dramas many years ago, which was loved by Gambians and people will always tune in to listen to them. The likes of Ebrima Jawo, Amie Cherry and Modou Musa Ceesay, few of those I can remember, were beautiful actors.
On the other hand, one can only say that most of the stories in the films done by home based film makers are borrowed stories in the sense that they depict other country’s tradition and culture, hence making them not original Gambian. Despite being an actress, I have always frowned on such stories and Gambian actors imitating the Nigerian ‘pigin’ in a proper English film or story is absurd. We are Gambians, let’s be natural. I want to use this medium to urge and or advise the new executive of Film Producers Association of The Gambia (FPAG) and Gambia Union of Theatre (GAMUT), to critically look into these issues. Home based film makers should be talked into changing the concept of their stories. We have beautiful Gambian stories that can be screen played and loved by not only Gambians but the wider world. It’s high time we made that change and I strongly believe that the Gambian populace are waiting for such true and interesting Gambian stories that depict our tradition and culture to make them embrace Gambian-made films and support the film industry. At the end of the day, we’re not just entertainers but we also educate and inform.
Bantaba: Does your career affect your private life?
Monica: I don’t think about anything else but my work. My personal life does not affect my professional life. I have a bit of a boring lifestyle; if I close from my office work, it’s either am at the theatre for rehearsals towards a performance or on set acting. If am not doing the aforementioned activities, I will be indoors reading or just relaxing. I have a special bond with my bed because most times I love being alone. I just keep working towards my passion (acting) and that keeps me happy.
Bantaba: Why is Monica still not married?
Monica: Wow…interesting question Omar. Anyway, I don’t want to identify myself with this thing they call love, because ‘Love’ is a word that has a lot of complexities. But you will know when you see a man that you can spend the rest of your life with. Love is a thing that evolves with time. I have always been a person that wants a home; me, my husband and my kids. Those are the things I have always wanted. I have always wanted a perfect wedding.
The dream of every woman is to find a man to spend her entire life with. Even the Holy books have enjoined men and women, to seek each other out and live as husband and wife. But as beautiful and simple as this may sound, marriage is such a huge step, it’s deep. Marriage is the relationship that is the most difficult of all relationships. Not that there are no men but because of all the hurts and disappointment I have been through; it is not easy trusting again. Like I say to some of my friends, it is no longer as easy as it used to be for me to trust a man again.
Dating is easy but being in a proper lasting relationship is very difficult. Marriage is not the first thing on my mind because I am not stable emotionally, it is so hard for me to trust someone, to know if he is coming for good and he is not going to betray my trust and hurt me. It is hard for one to believe that I don’t have a friend even though there are so many men out there. But then, to get that right person that makes you feel he is your friend; someone that would never hurt me and would be there for better and for worse and I can open my fears to, is difficult and I miss that. I am also not in a hurry to have that because I am too scared to trust a man. It is a personal demon now. I may have had failed relationships, but I still findslove beautiful. For me “true love” is the one which is beyond pretentiousness. Love is beautiful. Being in love for me is being myself and be comfortable with the person I am in love with. There should be no pretence, no mask, no walls and selflessnesshat I think comes when you understand love.
Most people think one should get married at the age of 18. A lot of marriages are complicated. Marriage will come when it will come. You don’t rush it. It is one of the few things that one does not need to rush. Marriage is not a movie that one has to rush. You do not marry because the public wants you to get married. You do not marry because you are getting old. You get married when it’s the right time. Marriage is a personal journey and you cannot look at others to judge your own marriage.
Now, back to your question Omar, if I must marry, I want to stay married. My ideal family is to be married to a man of principles, who is kind, God fearing, funny and honest, with a couple of children.
To be continued