Popular Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson, tells Ademola Olonilua about her fashion and style
How did you get into acting?
It is a funny story actually. Sometime ago, I went to buy food somewhere close to where a movie audition was taking place. I had placed my order earlier but the food was taking so long, so I decided to wait in the car. When I was going back to take my order, a guy named Abdul stopped me and asked if I had written down my name. I didn’t know what he was talking about, so he explained it was a movie audition. I told him I came for something else. Van Vicker was also there for the audition and when the guy saw me talking to Van, he later got my number from him and called me. When I met him, he was on set, then, he gave me a script and that was how I started acting.
What was your life ambition when you were much younger?
I was into music when I was young and I listened to a lot of songs daily. I actually thought I would go into music. So, for me, entertaining people started at an early age. In school, I was always on stage whenever there was an event and everybody knew me as a musician right from my primary school to secondary. When people saw me at Miss Ghana pageant, they were surprised especially because I was dressed like a girl. I was always on stage acting like a tomboy.
At what point did you stop being a tomboy and began acting like a girl?
I would say it was when I went for Miss Ghana pageant. I won the Best Talent category with my rap when I was asked to showcase my talent. I had to stop being a tomboy because we were always wearing shoes with high heels and dresses; there was no choice for me because I had to wear them. The grooming during the competition changed me.
What was your experience during the beauty pageant?
I was very young and still a teenager as of that time. I was still writing exams to get into the university and it was very challenging for me. I was the youngest among the contestants and it changed a lot of things about me.
Who influenced you to go for the pageant?
My best friend, Karen Okata, convinced me. Somehow, people always convince me to do some things. She told me she saw a competition on the television about Miss Ghana audition and that I should go for it instead of wasting my height. I declined initially because I was a little chubby and slightly curvy. Eventually I went for it and I was told to work on my shape, and that if I was lucky, they would audition me during the zonal stage and if I passed, I would be among the final 20 girls for the main event. I decided to give it a try and I began working on my diet, grooming myself by walking in shoes with high heels.
How tall are you?
I am precisely 6 feet.
Does your height intimidate men around you?
A lot of people get intimidated even when I am shooting on set. Some of my colleagues complain a lot about my height. Anytime I wear high heeled shoes, it is like a problem because if I am being paired with people I am taller than and I wear shoes with high heels, it makes them uncomfortable. A lot of people get intimidated, guys get intimidated.
What influences your style?
Nothing influences my style; I just wake up and wear anything. I have a shop as well. My fans inspired me to open a shop. I have a lot of clothes and I just pick any of them when going out. I know what looks good on me, what complements my body and how to play around with what I wear. I don’t really follow trends. If I like the clothe and my stomach does not look too big in it, why wouldn’t I wear it? As far as you are happy with how you look, that is the most important thing. The way you look actually boosts your confidence level.
How come you do not have any tattoos or extra piercings on your body?
I don’t even like wearing earrings. I haven’t worn any earrings for about five years. I can wear them in a movie but I’m not a fan. I don’t think it adds any extra beauty to a girl. I just don’t like it, it makes me feel uncomfortable and as if I’m overdressed. It makes my face look busy and I don’t like it. I like jewellery; I love wrist watches and rings too. I do not have any tattoo mainly because of the pain. I believe I have a beautiful skin, imagine how I always brag about my legs and I put a tattoo on it, why would I do that? I would not mind getting a tattoo, writing my mother’s first name somewhere on my body but it is just not my style. It is not something I think about. I see it on people and some of them are really nice because it is artistic.
Would you say your legs are your best asset when it comes to your body?
No. I don’t think it is my best asset although it is one of my favourites. I don’t think I have a best asset. I like everything about my body. I believe everybody should say that their eyes are their best asset because without your eyes you cannot see the world. I would say my eyes are my best asset; it is actually a big deal.
How come most of your pictures online are bikini shots?
I have not heard of anybody who would go to the beach wearing jeans and a jacket. I love going to the beach and anytime I go there, I love wearing a bikini to swim. Recently, my friend had an event and the after party was at a club. In the club, I was telling my friends that I don’t know how people do it, coming to club to have fun. To start with, you cannot make a conversation with someone because you are screaming on top of your voice. I was there drinking water, I don’t smoke and everybody was looking at me as if I was a boring person. In essence, the night life is not for me becasue it does not make me happy. I don’t think you have to go to club to have a nice time. I believe having a nice time depends on the quality of people around you.
What is your favourite colour?
Pink is among my favourite colours but I love black. I don’t know but there is something about black.
How often do you go shopping?
I shop a lot; I am very guilty of shopping a lot. I may not go for bags and shoes but I love clothes. I have some that are still in my closet since last year and I have not worn them. It is not because I am keeping them for anything but because I have not got there yet. It is like there is a queue and I think it is also because of my shop. Most of the things I have in my shop, I actually handpick them. It is a business for me and that is why I have a lot of them. When I am buying goods for my shop, I could end up buying three and keep one for myself.
What is your most expensive fashion accessory?
It would be my bag. It is my Hermes bag, I am not going to say how much it cost me but it is a lot of money. You know when you buy something and then sit to ask yourself, ‘what have I done?’ It cost me that much. I am sure everybody has felt that way before.
Some months ago, people attacked you for bleaching. Did you bleach your skin?
I can’t blame anyone, ignorance sets in because people don’t get to see us one on one so they rely on what we put out for them to see. For example, anytime I post a picture online, I edit it and it tends to make me look lighter. On my Instagram account, there are pictures where I am quite dark; they are for magazine covers and I don’t do anything to them, but anytime I am posting a picture, I always use filter on Instagram and they make me look lighter. In my new movie, I look very dark and that is my real complexion. I have come to realise that people love stories like that. I guess I am the cause of the rumours but I would still keep editing my pictures before putting them online.