Monalisa Chinda attended university in the very early days of Nollywood, and was not looking to be part of the silver screen community. Her first love in fact was for the stage where she appeared in several plays most notable being “Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again” by Ola Rotimi, and “The Fight To Stop Female Circumcision” by Amuta Braid.
On reflection, both plays appear to have been prophetic and would serve like markers of Monalisa’s life and career a few short years later. Her personal experience with domestic violence, and her irrepressible drive to help the oppressed members in society have become defining features of her life.
However, Monalisa Chinda remains a Nollywood A-grade actor, and a true champion for seemingly lost or hopeless cases. She has now cleverly merged these 2 life-roles to birth her newest and most challenging venture, You & I with Monalisa, a TV talk show with a human face, touching on social injustices, taboo topics, and the plight of the downtrodden.
Her much publicized challenges as a married woman and mother stand her in very good stead to empathize with today’s victims and help them overcome their troubles, not unlike she has had to do during her periods of difficulty.
You & I will focus attention on two key areas – women and children, causes for which Monalisa has fought for tirelessly since the inception of her NGO Arise Monalisa Foundation. Now however, Monalisa Chinda has decided to bring these stories and situations into the homes of millions of Nigerians to ensure that more is done to help the underprivileged in society.
A 3rd demographic – the youths – will not be left out of the show and in this regard, Monalisa will spotlight the plight of young aspiring actors in Nollywood, and also the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Theses 2 groups represent 100s of 1,000s of young hardworking Nigerians looking to make their way in life, yet facing sometimes seemingly insurmountable hurdles on the way.
The aptly named show You & I resonates because Monalisa Chinda has literally been there, and done that, first as a one-time aspiring young actor herself, a victim, and now as an entrepreneur.
Season 1 of You & I has tried to touch on different areas of life utilizing several genres of entertainment, and from feedback so far received, Season 1 has been successful.
However, learning points so far garnered from the show make it abundantly clear that many many people need a champion. Someone to voice the plights of the disadvantaged, the persecuted, the unfortunate.
You & I must therefore be at the very least, a platform from which these voices can be heard. And so from Season 2, the show will focus much more on “the people”. And to do so effectively, You & I will expand across several channels – TV and social media, with a dedicated blog taking on the different stories, issues and circumstances being faced by people in Nigeria daily.
The goal is simple – to help, to give back – and the more people are made aware of the challenges faced by the less fortunate, the more we can collectively make positive changes in their lives and circumstances.
This will no doubt be the most tasking role for Monalisa Chinda, but on the strength of her tenacity and past successes, it is a sure bet that she will give it her all. If Season 1 is anything to go by, then a bet on You & I appears to be the safe bet.