One-on-one with Beverly Naya - Jara

01 October 2020
Uti sat down with AMVCA7 winner, Beverly Naya and found out what inspired her documentary, Skin.
Screenshot 2020 10 01 at 18

Having grown up in a society that though developed, valued the superficial and never challenged the status quo, Beverly Ifunaya Bassey knew that it was through film that she could tell compelling stories while getting her message across.

The genesis

Born, bred and buttered in London, UK, Beverly Naya’s journey into the entertainment industry was fueled by an innate passion for role interpretation and the work that goes into breathing life into a story. At age 17, she began acting while balancing her academics at Brunel University and went on to add scriptwriting and film-making to her resumé.

After deciding to move to Nigeria for the purpose of exploring the avenues Nollywood offered new actors and filmmakers, Beverly was able to bag herself roles in some of the biggest offerings such as our very own Tinsel, Skinny Girl On Transit, The Wedding Party and Jumbled, amongst others – and was named ‘Most Promising Talent’ at the 2010 Best of Nollywood Awards, as well as ‘Fast Rising Actress’ at the City People Entertainment Awards.  

Skin The Documentary

Recently, Beverly sat down with Uti and when asked what steered her into opening such a touchy portal and seeking to dissect the issues surrounding skin bleaching through her AMVCA7 winning documentary, Skin, Beverly explained that initially, the purpose was to address bullying and its effect; especially since she had firsthand experience as a kid. However, the ‘Skin’ narrative came about while she was doing research on the subject matter and stumbled on a quote by slave master, Willie Lynch that proposed the use of difference in shades of black, to sow discord.

Colourism quickly took precedence when she realised just how prevalent the issue was and still is amongst African women, who are made to believe that their darker skin tones are a mark of inferiority. Directed by Daniel Etim Effiong, Skin seeks to remind young people and society at large that there’s value in melanin and self-love is essential and a pivotal part of the eradication of the misconception that” lighter is more beautiful”. The documentary continues to make rounds and we’re so proud to see the positive impact it’s having on society.

Every shade of black is beautiful

Kudos to Beverly Naya, her cast and team for putting together such amazing work.

Cover image: Beverly's Instagram

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