Fun loving actress, Victoria Inyama, you already know, is now Mrs. Okri. Based in the United Kingdom with her lawyer – husband and three children, YES INTERNATIONAL!’s AZUH ARINZE ran into her at a movie premiere at Odeon Cinemas, London. And on the spot, they had this interview where she talked about her life over there, marriage, motherhood, Nigeria and more. Excerpts…
What do you miss most about Nollywood?
I miss the fun. Oh my God! I miss the fun. Then, I don’t know if it’s still the same now, we used to chill, hang out and have fun; chat, joke, work. I don’t know if it’s still like that, but I miss that fun.
So, how is life over here in London?
It’s certainly better, it’s certainly great. Life is great, life is good. I thank God.
How are you enjoying marriage, motherhood and the rest of them?
That motherhood bit eh! These children! But we thank God for them. Here, na me be their house girl (Laughs). It’s so annoying, but then it gives you the opportunity to be with your children, to know your children. Marriage is good, marriage is great; I thank God I have a very understanding husband. At least, you can see. Look at the time and I am here. And he’s not screaming his head off. I wonder how many Nigerian men will tolerate that. Life generally is good. I’m in a Drama School here; I’m also doing Psychology and Counseling in a college. I’m just keeping the brain busy basically.
Tell us about your children…
(Gushes)…My kids! They’re so fine. Mark and Rachael and… And they keep me very, very, very busy.
Do you still have plans to come back to Nollywood?
Yes! Definitely! Definitely! That’s why I’m in Drama School, because I know that in a couple of years’ time, I want to relocate back to Nigeria. I mean, not for anything, but I just believe that home is home. London is great. I’m British. But there are so many things I could be doing in Nigeria. So, what I’m doing is, I’m getting the training here so that I will be able to give back something later on in life to my country.
Some of your colleagues have graduated from actresses to producers, are you also considering that?
No, no… I’m not looking into going into production. But I’m looking into going into something that has to do with well being and that’s why I’m studying Psychology. I just wanna know how people manage their lives and see ways that I could help them manage it better, because one thing about we Nigerians is that we are so stressed out ,but we don’t know that we are so stressed out because we don’t take time out to relax or just to look back at things and sort our lives out. I’m studying that and that’s what I intend to give back.
What do you miss most about going on set or location life?
I just miss going on set. You know those days when you go on set, the food and the way we just used to chill with less stress. No hassle of paying, no hassle of competition. In my time, I think a lot of us were friends; we didn’t have horrible back-biting. We were all just friends, we all used to meet in Winnis (a hotel in Surulere, Lagos), sit back and chill. We were not competing with cars, we were not competing with which boyfriend or whatever, we were just cool and I really, really enjoyed that compared to what I read now. And I’m like thank God I left when I did (Laughing).
Which was the last movie you did?
I’ve just done a movie now. It’s called Room Mates. It was done by a guy called Sunny Ache in Northamptonshire. It came out in October.
Which was the last one you did in Nigeria?
Which was the last one? (Thinks) Can I even remember? I think it was Feelings, with Uncle Enebeli (Elebuwa). Yeah! It’s been quite a while.
Which of your movies still gives you the greatest joy?
I think I love all my movies, they are my babies. But I really, really love Love From Above.
Which of them are you not happy about?
Which one am not happy about? (Smiles) I don’t know…I’m happy about most of them.
So, besides looking after your children, attending to your husband, going to school, what are the other things you do to keep yourself busy?
I come to events like this, I party, I have to go out. If you go to my facebook page you will see it. I’m very busy (Laughs). The thing is, in London, you really don’t have time. I mean, summer time is almost over. Winter time, all you do is go to school, do your home runs and you are in the house because it’s so cold and the weather is so frustrating. So, yeah, that’s what I do to keep busy. I go out and I come to events like this. I party, basically.
What do you miss most about Nigeria?
The food! Good food, man! I miss the food. Ah! God, I miss goat meat. Real, original goat meat. I miss chicken, lovely chicken. Me I don’t know what we have here. I just miss the food.
What do you like most about London?
Good life makes sense here. I mean, they respect women, they respect children; they care for them. Here in England, if you are a pregnant woman, they won’t ask you for anything, they will sort you out. They will take care of you. Here, when you go back home, there is light, there’s water, as long as you are able to pay your bill. There’s respect for life.
So, what don’t you like about London?
What don’t I like? There’s no help! You do all the house work yourself and even if you want child care, you have to pay. It’s so expensive. That’s what I don’t like about London and that’s all. House work!
NB: First published May 2014