Actress Uche Ogbodo: Why I’m Scared Of Marriage

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You can’t just help but like pretty Nollywood actress, Uche Ogbodo. And the reasons include her simplicity, frankness, charm and attitude to life.

The Enugu indigene who is in her mid 30s, on Sunday, August 15, 2021, and soon after breastfeeding her second baby, Bunny, poured out her soul to YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine’s AZUH ARINZE. She spoke on a wide range of issues. Excerpts…

How does it feel to be a mother again?

I’m going to be honest. I had forgotten everything about motherhood; I had forgotten how it was before. My first baby (Mildred), then this my new baby. It’s like a new experience for me and this is seriously different from all the other experiences I’ve had. I’m learning again. I’ve been a mother before now, I’m a mother again, but Azuh, it’s not the same feeling, it’s not the same experience. They’re so different from each other. Bunny is a cry-cry baby, but she’s fine…

 

You had your first baby in 2014 and the second one came in 2021. Are you looking at having more babies or you’ve put a stop to baby making?

I think I might have another one, because I had my first one seven years ago and it took another seven years to have this second one. So, I might have to wait for another seven years to have another one. Who knows? Whenever I’m ready; there’s no hurry…

 

But, would you like to have more babies?

Yes! I’d like to have three. I always said when I was younger that I was going to have three kids. I’m still looking forward to it. I wish I had twins because this thing is not easy. Inasmuch as we try to make it look so sweet and we make it look like it’s not hard, I tell you, pregnancy and motherhood are something else.

Would you have felt better and happier if the two kids had come from the same father?

I don’t feel or see any difference really. If you ask the younger Uche, the younger me, the me of 20 years ago, I would have preferred the babies come from the same man, but this is life and I am living the life. I am in my mid thirties right now, I am a lot more experienced. If you ask me now, this Uche, I don’t give a fu.. if the babies come from different daddies, I really don’t care, because since the one I tried with my first baby’s father didn’t work, am I going to put my life on hold? Because, obviously, my first life has been ruined with my first baby daddy. So, my life will be on hold while the man keeps making babies? No, I don’t care.

 

What’s your take on marriage? Are you looking at settling down or you just want to be free and catch your fun?

Azuh, marriage is a beautiful thing, it’s a beautiful thing o, but marriage is hard. Let me tell you the truth, marriage scares me. I’m not even going to lie because I don’t know how people do it; many people celebrate anniversaries, they celebrate ten years anniversary, they celebrate 15 years anniversary, and I’m like, wow! I’m a family girl, I love family, I love kids, I love to be under a man, I’m not a street girl. My roles in Nollywood have made people think that I am one crazy girl, but I’m not. I’m a homegirl, I’m a nurturer, I nurture, but first attempt to be with someone, it hurt me so bad it almost destroyed me. So, now, I love marriage, but I don’t know if I can do it, I don’t know if it’s something I can do. I want to do it, I want to try… All my life, I’ve only been in relationships with people, I don’t do one-night stands, I don’t do half-touch relationships, I do years and the type of relationships that I do, I associate family, I carry everybody along, so it’s almost like marriage.

 

Alright! In one of your posts, you said something about not giving a damn whether the man is old or young. But it’s like you prefer your men younger now, is it because you want to be in charge or your new younger man is more romantic than the old, previous ones?

My man is not romantic, please! He’s just a nice guy. I don’t think Nigerian men are romantic; just few of them. My man is a typical Nigerian, he’s just younger by age, apart from that, I don’t see anything young… If I’m with him, sometimes, I don’t think I’m older than him; he acts like he’s older than me. When I was growing up, I dated older men, like 10 years, 15 years even. I’ve dated a man that is older than me by 20 years, but they only took me for granted, they only manipulated me. I never felt this thing about equality, like I feel now. Like when I’m with my man now, I feel like I’m talking to my colleague, I feel like I’m talking to someone that’s on the same frequency. So, I feel like younger men understand me better.

So, what exactly does Uche want in a man?

When I was naive and inexperienced, I used to bring out paper and write out all the qualities I want in a man, but now, I no dey write quality. Anything I see, I will collect. If you give me gbas-gbos, I will give you back. So long as we are on the same frequency and you make me happy; happiness is my priority right now. But if I must mention a quality – fear of God is important. A man who fears God will respect a woman.

 

Your family, how do they feel that you have two kids for different men? How is your family taking it?

Well, my parents love me. I think the love of your child is paramount than anything. My parents love me so much and they support me. My parents are young, they’re not old. I don’t have old parents, I have people who are like elder brother and elder sister to me. If you see me and my parents, you’ll probably be like oh, that’s Uche’s elder sister, it’s not her mum, that’s Uche’s elder brother, not her dad. So, they’ve always supported my decisions no matter what and even when I had my first baby and they came and they were talking about disgrace and all of that, I told them that I did not care about their disgrace and they left me; they let me be. So, they’ve been very supportive, they know it’s my life and they’ve allowed me to live it how I want.

 

Enough of that. Let’s delve into acting now. What exactly got Uche interested in acting?

I’ve been doing acting since I was a kid. It’s something I love. I’ve been entertaining people since I was a child, so it’s not a new thing to me. I just got a platform in Nollywood to showcase my talent. It’s been there as long as I remember – nursery school, primary school, secondary school.

 

Who gave you the greatest encouragement when you were coming into acting?

My dad! Oh my gosh! He’s the one that got Nollywood for me. I didn’t know anything about Nollywood. I came from a poor background, I didn’t come from a wealthy home and we weren’t living in an elitist home, so I didn’t think I would see Nollywood people in my life. As a kid, I used to think that those people were angels and they just came from heaven to do their thing and go back. Until my dad came home one day and told me that he met Nollywood people. He met Emeka Ani (the bearded one) in a bus on his way from Lagos one day and then he told him that he has a daughter that’s very talented and Emeka Ani said he should bring me, that he can register me and introduce me to acting. So, he called us and we went and that was it.

Which was your first acting role?

‘Another Bondage’, the mammy water role. It wasn’t really my first acting role, but it was the one that shot me to limelight.

 

So, what would you say has kept you going as an actress?

The passion, the love for the job, the love for acting. I don’t know how I’m going to lock up all that I have inside me… My job, my career or acting. I just sit down like this, then I get new ideas, new moves. It’s a talent. it’s just something that I learnt and it is that talent that has kept me going. Becoming a star in Nollywood is hard, especially in my time. I struggled to shoot myself to limelight. Yes, it was a struggle, it was a big struggle for me. All these big girls around, none of them wants you to be bigger than them, none of the wants you to be greater than them. When you start getting there, they’ll start suppressing you. All these girls, they are mean.

 

What stands Uche out as an actress?

What stands me out is that I’m very natural, I’m not fake in any way, I can’t pretend to be what I’m not to satisfy anybody. I take my career just like I take my life. When I’m to play a role, I play it to its natural form. I imbibe the character, then I study the flaws of the character and I become the person. So, when you watch my jobs, you’ll see that I put a lot of effort into becoming the characters I portray.

 

To succeed as an actor, what must one do?

To succeed as an actor, you need to learn on the job; you can never know it all. You need to learn new styles, new techniques, what’s happening. The industry does not stay stagnant. It keeps evolving, so you need to keep evolving, you need to keep changing your craft, you need to keep changing your act, you need to keep changing your looks; don’t look the same. You can’t even look the same. You adopt new trends. Update yourself, you need to read books, you need to research… There are so many things, but people think it’s so easy.

Most actresses are controversial, including you. Why are most actresses controversial?

Well, most actresses are drama queens, that is what we feed from; we are natural drama queens. A lot of people already know that controversy thrives and some people don’t care about the negative sides of controversies, people like me. I don’t care about the negative effect of controversies, because I’m a survivor. Whatever happens and you think you’re going to use that sh.. to weigh me down, I’m going to bounce back and tell you that that sh.. can’t weigh me down. I survive. Whatever comes to me, I’m going to play it to my advantage. We actually love controversies.

 

What has been the nicest thing that you have heard about yourself?

People give me so many compliments; so many people tell me that I’m nice, I’m kind, I’m beautiful, I am strong, and oh, I think my strength… A lot of my fans already know that I’m a strong lady. Yeah! So, that’s a good thing to hear about someone.

 

What’s the worst thing you have heard about yourself?

I don’t know. Nothing! I don’t even remember, I don’t thrive on negatives, so I don’t remember.

 

Let’s talk about your childhood, what schools did you attend, where did you grow up?

I grew up in Enugu, Ngwo to be specific. I went to Ngwo Community School for my primary school. For my secondary school, I went to Federal Girls Government College in Nsukka. From there, initially when I finished secondary school, I entered ESUT (Enugu State University of Science and Technology), but I did just one year. I dropped out because there was no money. But later in 2012, I came back and I put myself in school and I went to UNEC (University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus) and I read Banking and Finance.

 

So, how do you feel considering how far the Lord has brought you, and taking into cognisance everything you’ve been through?

I feel like a special child, I feel like He loves me so much because there are so many things that He has done for me. I feel favoured, I’m grateful. Everyday when I wake up and even before I sleep, I say ‘Lord, I’m grateful’. It’s not like I’ve gotten to where I am today by my power, it’s only the grace of God that brought me here. It’s not by my strength at all.

Away from work, what are the things you do, what are your hobbies?

What’s taking my time now is my Bunny o!Taking care of kids is not an easy job and motherhood takes a lot of my time.

 

Finally, what are the things that your fans should expect from you?

I wish that I can  get jobs that can challenge me higher than I have already been challenged, I want to show them something, because I feel like I have done so much and I’ve not received equal accolades for what I have done. In fact, I feel like I’m one of the most underestimated actors in Nigeria; I think I am. But maybe opportunities haven’t come for me to receive my flowers, but if it is in acting Azuh, I’m waiting for that role. It’s like we’re just starting. My fans should be expecting more drama; more drama coming.

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