In this conversation Naomi ChimaFormer Big Brother Naija TV star, Maria Benjamin, expresses her excitement about her recently launched ‘Healing with Maria’ talk show.
Before the reality TV show BB9ja, it seems you were financially stable, what made you participate in the show?
Before Big Brother, I didn’t make it at all, I was still struggling, and my life needed to improve a lot. I was still struggling to find my agile career, and otherwise. I may have had some earlier careers, but a lot of the things I really wanted to do as a person didn’t come to light. So before BBN, I was still lost as a person. I have to say, financially, I was fine, but not done. BBN It was a platform for me to fulfill some goals and dreams that I have always had.
What were some of the experiences at home that shaped your life?
If I’m being honest, I was 100 percent at home myself. I was more aware of my surroundings because I’m not used to living with people or lots of people. I never lived with my family during my adulthood. I moved out when I was 16 and took care of myself until I came of age. So having to live with a lot of strangers was a huge challenge for me.
I was very to myself and tried very hard to accept my acquaintances according to what was accepted in the Big Brother house at the time. The experience of my time was that I found out that I was a really nice person, laugh! I also learned to understand that every other person has an opinion too and that my opinion is not always the best or correct opinion.
After the show, you took the plunge into acting, can you share your experience in Nollywood?
I have two major movies in post-production, almost ready for Netflix Nigeria and USA, they are only with the producers. I am in no rush, Nollywood has improved overall and I am very proud of it. It was great to be on set with veteran actors and it’s a great honor for me.
Are you totally into acting?
I wouldn’t say completely like 100 percent, but yes! I will act if roles and opportunities arise.
What created the ‘Healing with Maria’ show?
It was after that in 2021 BBN. It was something personal, not about me, but something within the family. It was a theme within the narrative of drug abuse and domestic violence in general. It literally hurt me because I honestly had no way to help, I felt helpless for someone I cared about and loved so much. So I thought there should be more awareness to help those who are in this struggle and challenge.
There have been accusations against you that you go after married men. What is your reaction to this allegation?
Of course there was a partial rumor about me, of course I won’t be the first, and it happens every time someone gets famous. That rumor came out in 2021, it’s not my place to discredit or credit you, you know I’ve never come out and it’s not my place because it will touch a lot of personal lives. and it’s not my place to voice it. Besides, I don’t owe people an explanation.
Some of your fans are eager to know why you are still single. Can you share some news from God with us?
Oh! I’m not single I haven’t been alone for a long time. I am in a very healthy relationship with a partner I have been seeing for many years. He is a big person in my life, and he inspires everything I do, and gives me peace. I am so grateful to God for having him.
Are you expecting good news soon?
God willing, yes!
Can you tell us about your experiences as an air hostess?
It’s something I don’t miss and miss at the same time. You know it’s really fun to bring this up because the last time I was at the gym I was looking at the virtual screen that showed all the places in the world and I was amazed that I walked through almost every city on the screen. I’m glad that part of my trip happened. I travel a lot, but not as much as when I was a flight attendant. It created a place for me to expose myself and become aware of people’s cultural behavior. But it was weird waking up in different time zones, adjusting and getting ready, you’re dieting, sleeping at odd hours and staying up for long hours. But the excitement was that once we landed in a country you haven’t visited, you explore and see the country. It was a challenge because it never made room for real life. I missed out on a lot of marriage and family time because I always put work first.