“Ladybrille’s 15 Questions with . . .” is a feature that salutes some of the most important names in the fashion and entertainment industries around the globe, with a particular emphasis on Africa. We hope you are as inspired as we are with the brilliant men and women in these industries that make the world go round.
Our feature today is with Oliver O. Mbamara, filmmaker, writer, actor and attorney. Quite a number of careers for one man. Mbamara received his Law Degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and practiced law for a number of years before moving to the United States. He continued his legal education and career in the US and was subsequently admitted to the New York bar and has been serving as an Administrative Law Judge of New York State for the past twelve years. Mbamara is the current Chairman, Board of Directors of The Nigerian Lawyers Association (USA).
As a filmmaker and writer, he has produced over seven movies and published over four books in the last ten years. Mbamara recently graduated from the New York Film Academy. He has won several awards for his works the latest of which include: the 2011 Nollywood USA “Legendary Achievement Award,” the Nigerian Promoters Association (USA) “Best Movie Producer of the Year Award 2011,” and the 2012 Nations of Pan Africa Best Movie Director Award.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Describe your career. What exactly do you do? Oliver M.: I am a filmmaker who is also a writer, an actor, and an attorney.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How did you end up in your chosen field?
Oliver M.: I started performing on stage when I was very young. In college I wanted to study Theater Arts but my parents insisted that with the kind of result I had from secondary school, I was better off going for Law and that I could return to theater/arts anytime since I have a natural flair for the arts. So I went ahead to study Law but continued to pursue my artistic career alongside my professional career as an attorney.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How do you balance the demands of your career with the demands in your personal life?
Oliver M.: The Grace of God, sacrifice, and keeping a level head, which helps me separate one from the other.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What has been the most difficult challenge you have faced in getting to where you are?
Oliver M.: My perception is not to look at any challenge as the toughest because life will continue to present one with the next level of challenge once one overcomes the present one. Rather, my focus is to continue sustaining the passion which drives me to continue facing every new challenge.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How do you define success?
Oliver M.: Success could be defined in many ways. Allow me to share two observations here:
Firstly, true success or fulfillment is not found in mere popular approval or material satisfaction but in the conviction in one’s conscience that in the course of life or a given project, one has succeeded in bringing some love, joy, and growth to all concerned. Secondly, one does not need to be merely a person of success but a person of value, for success without value is worthless, value without honor is narrow, and honor without humility is vanity.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Very well said, Oliver) What is the one thing you wish most people knew about you?
Oliver M.: Honestly, I am unable to think of any one thing, perhaps because I believe that the best one can do is try to live a balanced life. How people interpret one’s life or what they know about one’s life will always vary and remain relative based on who is looking and the circumstance involved.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Share with us your memory of the happiest moment in your life?
Oliver M.: I have had many happy moments but passing my high school exams with the best result in the history of the school ranks up there – especially considering the journey and the experience. Yet, I look forward to happier moments ahead.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What keeps you awake at night?
Oliver M.: Work
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (I can only imagine. Juggling multiple careers, that’s expected) So what drives you?
Oliver M.: The desire to improve as soul and the fact that there is so little time for so much work that could be done.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What makes you get up everyday to do what you do all over again?
Oliver M.: Passion for the things I love doing, and the satisfaction in being a vehicle for life/spirit to express its creativity.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What are the daily principles you live by?
Oliver M.: I have a couple: do unto others as you would love them to do unto you; whatsoever a man sows that shall he reap; and finally, there will always be a reward for hard work, honesty, truth, and goodness regardless of how long it may seem to take or how difficult things may seem at the moment.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What inspires you?
Oliver M.: Life, living, and the pursuit of love, spiritual freedom, growth, and realization.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: When all is said and done, what do you want to be remembered most for?
Oliver M.: Another soul that succeeded in serving as a vehicle that brought some good measure of love, joy, and growth to others.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Oliver M.: Let go and let God – meaning do the best you can and then trust the rest in God’s hands.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What do you do to relax and reward yourself for all of your hard work?
Oliver M.: Singing the holy name of God and having some fun.
More about Mbamara and his works can be found here.
~Copyright 2012 Ladybrille Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Elfonnie Inokon Anusionwu
Elfonnie Inokon Anusionwu is a Ladybrille Woman Alumna. She is also an engineer and fashion entrepreneur. Elfonnie cites her passion for Africa and particularly her country Nigeria as the basis for why she writes. She believes that it is only through journalism that Africans can change the world’s perspective about who they really are. Follow Elfonnie on twitter at @elfonnie.