Exclusive: Beverly Naya On Life As An Actress, Producer and Advocate For Women's Empowerment.

by - 15:51:00

Beverly Naya is a British-born Nigerian actress. Beverly was born in London as the only child of her Nigerian parents. At 17, Beverly began acting while studying philosophy, psychology, and sociology at Brunel University. She also studied scriptwriting and film-making at Roehampton University. Beverly Naya won the Most Promising Talent category at the Best Of Nollywood Awards in 2010. She also won the award for Fast Rising Actress at the 2011 City People Entertainment Awards, In 2014 she was nominated for "The TV Actress of the Year at the ELOY Awards", In 2018 she won the Best Actress Award at the Toronto International Film Festival for the role she played in the movie "Demon Inside." In addition to these wonderful achievements, In 2018 she was named on Forbes 30 Under 30 in Africa.
This is the one we love the most- In 2020 she won the "Best Documentary" at the Africa Magic Viewer's Choice Awards (AMVCA) for her beautiful work on the "Skin Documentary", which we will talk about briefly in the interview below.

She is the founder of the #FiftyShadesOfBlack campaign and the Be Naya Company.
Beverly Naya is an incredibly talented actress who has used her skills, abilities, and platform to inspire many around the world. In this interview, her journey as an actress and love for fashion is discussed, as well as her latest and upcoming projects.
Exclusive: Beverly Naya On Life As An Actress, Producer and Advocate For Women's Empowerment.

Hi Beverly, Please tell us more about yourself and your background.
Hiya! My name is Beverly Naya and I was born and raised in London, England to Nigerian parents. I studied filmmaking full-time at Roehampton University and then moved to Lagos shortly after graduating to pursue my acting career full-time.
When did you realize you had a passion to become an Actress and how did you do it?
I was 17, studying drama at the time after changing my courses from Psychology and Philosophy. I became the first student in my sixth form to attain a full mark distinction, and that’s when I knew I was on the right path.
Do you remember your first experience as an Actress in font the Camera?
Yeah, shot a few short films for the BBC and Metropolitan Police when I was around 17.
How big a role does Acting play in your life?
It definitely is a big part of my life, it’s a passion of mine but it, unfortunately, doesn’t pay the bills in this part of the world so I’m very selective about the films I’m in while I prioritize my other passion, entrepreneurship, and production.
What’s the best lesson you have learned from a co-star?
Pick your battles for the sake of your sanity and the character you’re playing. 
What do you think is most important in this field?
Always be prepared and always give your all to the characters you play.
What would you say has been the most defining moment of your career as an Actress so far?
I’ve had so many achievements that have given me the utmost amount of joy and fulfillment but I feel like my best years as an actress are still ahead of me, especially in my own films under my Be Naya production company. That’s where the real magic is about to happen.
How would you describe your brand aesthetics and Personal Style?
I’ve always described my brand as a premium brand, I’m very intentional about the places I go and the brands I represent for this reason. I’d say my personal style is sexy but classy mixed with a lot of simplicity. I will always make a statement though but never one that seems forced.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors and actresses out there?
I’d say keep going and keep learning so when your time comes, you are prepared and ready.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
Just be yourself, the world will adjust.
Photographer|Bolaji Odukoya|@bolajiodukoya_
Let’s talk about Fashion!- You have an exceptionally unique look and style Beverly, where does your style savvy come from, where do you get your inspiration and who are some of your favorite fashion designers?
Thanks a lot! I think my style has evolved quite a bit over the years, I love statement pieces but I love simplicity at the same time. I think I’ve mastered the art of combining both in a very stylish way which is what people most likely love about my style. I really love Schiaparelli! We have some incredible local designers as well, my absolute fave for major red-carpet events is Weizdhurm Franklyn and my favorite high street brand at the moment is Maniere Devoir.
Did you always want to pursue a career in fashion?
Funny enough, no. The desire to own my own clothing brand came a few years ago.
What was the inspiration behind the launch of your fashion brand “Be Naya”?
I absolutely love fashion and I’m known for my sense of style as well, it honestly seemed like a natural business fit for me considering how much I love it.
How do you want people to feel when wearing your products?
Definitely sexy, liberated, and empowered
How do you define success for yourself as an entrepreneur?
For me, it’s doing the things I love while striving for the best in all areas. 
What role do you think social media plays in fashion and entertainment today?
I think it plays a huge role! Most of what we see celebrities and fashion influencers wear largely impacts how we dress and what we consider fashionable. We no longer have to wait for Fashion TV for example to know what’s in ‘vogue’, fashion influencers and stylish celebrities are our go-to for all things fashion.
Photographer|Bolaji Odukoya|@bolajiodukoya_
In your own words, what does the term “Women Empowerment” mean to you?
It’s women embracing exactly who they were called on this earth to be, it’s women owning who they are and unapologetically taking up space in all areas of life. It’s also women unlearning some of the ideals and philosophies that society has forced on us for centuries and recognizing that we too are worthy, deserving, and capable.
My favorite saying is -“we rise by lifting others up” What more do you think women could do to support each other, especially in this day and age where animosity thrives in the world today, especially on social media?
Definitely have to do more to show support when another woman wins, it’s important that we celebrate and uplift each other. Asking how we can help one another, promoting, recommending, and patronizing each other’s businesses. Saying their name in rooms could give them more access and/or visibility. It goes beyond a like and comments on Instagram to be very honest.
What are the qualities of an empowered woman? And how can women be empowered while maintaining their femininity?
An empowered woman is a woman who has unlocked a new level of liberation. She’s confident, and a go-getter, she is also a woman who knows her worth and is unapologetic about it. A woman being successful and ambitious shouldn’t automatically take away from her femininity, that’s just who she is. It’s the society that attempts to make us believe that women are automatically less feminine once they’re driven and ambitious, it’s reverse psychology and a narrative that’s completely false. An empowered woman possesses a lot of femininity because that’s inherently who she is. So own exactly who you are you sexy, graceful, ambitious, gorgeous, successful woman!
There’s so much talk these days about inclusivity and diversity but is enough really being done?
The industry definitely appears to be taking steps in the right direction but a lot more can be done. I need to see more people of color in important rooms taking up space and challenging the status quo. We need more minority production companies thriving on a global scale so we can tell our stories exactly the way they should be told.
What was the inspiration behind your latest documentary –SKIN.
Colorism is a topic that isn’t discussed enough in this part of the world, sadly. After doing research and discovering that Nigerian women are the highest consumers of bleaching cream in Africa, I had an overwhelming desire to dig deeper and expand the conversation from just a campaign to a documentary that would hopefully encourage self-discovery people to love the skin they are in. It’s a heartwarming feeling every time someone messages me or walks up to me to tell me how much the documentary inspired them. 
What are your latest and upcoming projects, also Tell us about a project which has been your greatest achievement?
I’ve got a few films coming out soon, one of which is a feature titled "The One For Sarah" which is about a woman on a journey of self-discovery after leaving an abusive relationship. I’ve also got a follow-up project to my documentary on colorism called Skin, my team and I are very excited about its release. A project that I’d say has been my greatest achievement would definitely be Skin Documentary, we inspired so many people around the world with it and screened at 16 festivals globally
What does a “typical” day in the life of Beverly Naya look like?
If I’m not on set or in a meeting then I’m having a chilled day at home watching something on tv while snacking on something. I also love to travel, shop, and go out to nice restaurants in my free time.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
I’m fascinated by stillness, the ability to just be still and trust the process knowing within my spirit that it’s taking me exactly where I need to be. My ‘hustle’ mentality and the glorification of it is in the past, the mental fatigue and emotional exhaustion I got as a result of it isn’t something I intend to ever experience again. Over the last year, I’ve learned how to be kinder to myself and listen to my internal needs more. It’s been a rewarding journey! Now, achieving my goals and dreams gives me joy, it doesn’t feel like a conquest or something from a list that I need to check off. I now give myself the opportunity to stop and smell the roses which is something I never used to do in the past.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
Take your time and do as much research as you can.
What advice would you give a budding fashion and lifestyle entrepreneur?
It’s so important to take your time and acquire as much knowledge as possible about the business you’re going into. Make sure you’re going into the business for the right reasons and not solely to make money or to satisfy your ego.
What’s your most worn piece of clothing?
My sunglasses, all of them!
How is working in fashion different today than when you started out?
We’re just over a year in the game, ask me again in two/three years. Hehe!
Photographer|Bolaji Odukoya
What is your daily health and beauty regimen?
I drink a lot of water and as cliché as this sounds, I also mind my business. My skincare routine is pretty simple, I always ensure my skin is well moisturized and wash my face twice a day.
Where would you visualize "Be Naya Films" in 3 years' time?
Definitely well known and highly successful globally and in the rooms that matter for producing high-quality films in Nigeria and abroad. 
What motivational quote or saying would you say keeps you feeling grounded and focused?
No one is you and that is your power and I am enough. 
If you could change anything about the fashion or entertainment industry what would it be?
Generally speaking, I think we need to do a better job of giving all talented creatives an equal and fair chance to thrive.
Any Last words you’d like to add?
Thanks for having me, keep up the amazing work guys!❤️
Follow Beverly Naya on Instagram| @thebeverlynaya
Cover|Emmanuel Oyeleke|@emmanueloyeleke
Styling: @fayo_thr
Coat: @anncranberry
Makeup: @polycarp_beauty
Hair: @inudidit1
Location Photos:
Photographer| Bolaji Odukoya|@bolajiodukoya_
Stylist: @thestyleinfidel
Makeup: @flawlessfacesbyjane
Hair: @ferdinandshair
Location: @georgeresidencelagos

For Features|Interviews & Promos email: features@otsmagazine.com

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