The first time I met John Boyega after his Q&A session courtesy of Access Bank and Accelerate TV, I imagined we were encountering each other at a dinner party. But not just any dinner party, one of those supper club parties where you’re all strangers to each other and the only common denominator is the host or hostess. Random, yes. Let me explain: Star Wars and Pacific Rim star, John Boyega, is a ray of sunshine. At an awkward dinner party, John would be the personality who brings the group of strangers together with funny, charming anecdotes. You, as the guest, would sit or stand, drink in hand, transfixed. You’d be excited as his hands describe further what his mouth enthusiastically offers. You would catch yourself laughing at something that, truly, if said by any other person in the group, probably wouldn’t be as funny. I had the pleasure of about three different encounters with John Boyega over the course of one long weekend back in April. I spoke to him – as casually as the situations allowed – and then interviewed him for 15 minutes. The man is smart. He has some big ideas for a Nollywood-Hollywood merger and much like my awkward character at the imagined supper club, I sat, transfixed, listening, laughing and echoing. He gives you every reason to think of him as one of your friends, but then you hear his thoughts and his ideas and you soon come to a realisation: you actually wish he was one of the homies. -SONIA IRABOR

Excerpts from the interview :

You’re coming back with a sense of purpose this time, to take the Nigerian film industry to the next level and be involved in that. Why do you think this is a good time?

My big goal is just to merge. I didn’t know it was a good time, I’m just doing what I always dreamed of doing. I waited for my career to get me enough sway to be able to bring something back, but I feel like I’m doing what any Nigerian that’s part of the diaspora would do, which is bring your skills home. There is no specific or right time [to do that], it’s just what I was told by my parents, you build yourself to a certain level of expertise, you go home and… “serve”, as it were, and that’s what I’m doing.

I think Nigeria is a [place with] untold stories and it’s important for the right people to tell them, But it can’t be done without Nigerians and that’s why I think I have a niche being that I’m British-Nigerian. I’m able to connect [with people] here as well. That’s the bridge that merges my dreams.

To read the full interview, purchase the May Issue HERE

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