Candlelight star, Vivian Metchie, is back. The actress who stepped aside from the kleighlight after her marriage to Wale Adesina – which unfortunately later failed – spoke to YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine’s AZUH ARINZE recently. The mother of four who hails from Anambra State gave her reasons for her failed marriage, why she converted to Islam, her return to Nollywood and more. Brutally frank, you will enjoy what she told us…
What exactly do you mean by trying to come back?
I left Nollywood a long time ago…
Why did you leave?
To raise a family. I got married, had kids and I’m done with that now. I want to stage a come back. Yes!
You used to be a Christian, but now you are a Muslim, why did you do that?
But there must be a reason?
Yeah! It’s personal. I understand the Koran more than I do the Bible. All of a sudden, the Christian confusion was driving me nuts. My daddy is Catholic, my mum was Deeper Life, I married someone in The Redeemed Church and then all of a sudden, the few religions had something bad to say about each other. I just couldn’t take that anymore. A friend of mine who’s close to me said that once you are grounded in the word, it won’t be confusing. Unfortunately, maybe I wasn’t grounded in the word, but I still could see what I could see. But in my quest and study and search, I don’t know; I was probably looking for peace. Yeah! That was what I was looking for…
(Interruption) – And you found it in Islam?
Yes, I found it in the Koran.
So, how is life as a Muslim?
How did your people take it when you told them you wanted to convert to Islam?
Which my people?
Your parents, your husband and so on?
My father hardly faults my decisions. As a matter of fact, my father, the minute I told him, he said okay; are you sure it makes you happy? I said yes and he said okay. And he stopped calling me my native name. He started calling me Fareedah.
Is that your Islamic name?
What does Fareedah mean?
It means something that is unique, something that is one of its kind; it’s the name of Allah. Allah is Fareed; Al-Fareed. Allah is just one. So, Fareeda is one. There’s only one God.
We also understand that your marriage has collapsed. Is that true?
We are separated.
What happened; what led to the separation?
I don’t know! Communication broke down, I married early, plenty of immaturity. We just drifted apart.
Is there any likelihood of both of you reconciling?
Well, I’m not God, I don’t know.
But you have four kids, who has the custody of the kids?
They are with me.
So, how are you coping with four children all alone?
He does his bit. I mean, it’s just convenient to have the kids with me. If he wants them, he can have them. We teach our children with plenty of love, so it doesn’t matter where they are. They know that mummy loves them, daddy loves them.
How is life as a single parent?
Ah! It’s not easy o! It’s not easy because what you normally do as a single girl, you have to think twice or three times before doing them as a mother of children who are looking up to you. So, it’s not easy.
Why do most actresses go into marriage and find it difficult to make it work?
I do not know about the other actresses. I know that when I got married, I stepped aside from Nollywood in order to make the family work and in the long run, it still didn’t. So, it’s not about actresses. Doctors and lawyers and politicians have marriages that break up every other day. It’s just because we are in the business of show and we are seen. So, every profession has peculiar issues pertaining to marriage. It’s not just us.
If you have an opportunity to reconcile with your husband, what are the things that contributed to the separation that you will not repeat again?
I won’t nag and I expect that he would be more family-like. He has to put his family first and he should be there. He has to be physically there always to make it work.
Do you have any regret about the way the whole thing turned out?
I don’t regret who I married or when I married, but I regret the time I married him. We were both young. Maybe if we had waited for more years before we decided to say I do – we might not have said I do; but if eventually we did, we probably would be a lot more mature.
How old is your eldest child?
How old is the youngest one?
Now, in the event that both of you do not reconcile, are you going to give marriage another shot?
(Laughs) – Men! I don’t know if I can fall in love again. I don’t know! The man I married, I loved him like I want to faint. I loved him too much. So, I don’t know about love; love strong enough to make me change my mind. But any way, if money is there, I can. It might not be for love, it might be for money. If I meet a mature man with plenty of money, we can…
Back to Nollywood. Are you back there fully?
Yes, I’m back.
Have you done any new work?
Can you tell us about it?
The first job I did was with Funke Akindele – Majele Ife (Love Portion). Then, I went to Abakaliki and did Dry with Stephanie Okereke and then I came back to Lagos and did a job with Iyabo Ojo. Usually, in the Yoruba industry, there’s a working title. The title you work with might not be the title it’s released with. And then I’ve done a couple of other things with Fathia Balogun. I’ve done like three jobs with her and I’m tabled to do another three with her before the end of the year.
How come you are tilting more towards the Yoruba sector? You started out as an English actress…
Because they were the ones that opened their arms to me when I came back (Laughs). And I speak fluent Yoruba and I had friends among them before I left the industry. So, the comeback, the English sector is a caucus thing. The Yoruba sector is caucus thing as well, but they had their hands opened to me.
Now, that you are back, what are your aspirations?
I have to climb the ladder back up gradually. I hope to do my own movie or movies, if not at the end of this year, then the end of January next year. It’s gonna tilt towards the Yoruba industry because since I came back, I kinda understand the industry. Before I left, I did a Yoruba movie, but I got beaten in the market because I didn’t know the ropes. But now that I’m back, I think I have a clearer understanding of the whole thing.
What didn’t you know about Nollywood before that you just found out?
I’m still learning. There are a lot of things that are different now. So, Nollywood right now is like a whole new school. It wasn’t the way I left it. I mean, those that I left it with are either very high or very far away or had also left like me. So, I’m learning afresh.
NB: First published December 2013