Newly wedded star actress, Victoria Inyama – Okri
announced her presence boldly in Nollywood almost ten
years ago, on the set of Glamour Boys courtesy of Jeta
However, and prior to storming Nollywood, the
Arochukwu, Abia state born screen dazzler was already
the darling of TV buffs with her wondrous and
scintillating role in defunct “Ripples”, from the
stable of Zeb Ejiro.
As constant as the northern star in the thespian
profession, sexy and ravishingly pretty Inyama,
further raised the bar of her flourishing career when
she enthralled movie-buffs alongside some Nollywood
best in that monster hit movie entitled “Silent
Night”. And ever since, she has continued to soar to
greater heights like an eagle.
In this interview with AZUH AMATUS, the Creative Arts
graduate of University of Lagos, who has been on
sabbatical from Nollywood for almost three years,
opened up on where she has been and things that has
kept her busy all these while.
The mother of one also spoke on how she found true
love in a foreign land, among other germane issues.
Enjoy the sweet interaction.
You recently had your white wedding,
Thank you and thank you.
Your wedding took many by surprise, was it a
Aah! Maybe, a lot of people were not expecting my
wedding because probably, they feel actresses don’t, deserve to wed, but truth is that things have really changed. Actresses are getting married now and
also staying happily in those marriages. And it is a
good thing that I’m one of them.
How does it feel being married?
It’s lovely, wonderful and every woman’s dream to
be married but then it becomes more interesting when
you are truly married to your kind of person. Somebody
you are really and truly in love with.
You suddenly disappeared from Nollywood since 2003
and relocated to London, why?
I didn’t disappear! (General Laughter). I went to
London that year for the Afro- Hollywood Awards and
decided to stay back after the awards. Meanwhile, I
had graduated the previous year from the Creative Arts
department of University of Lagos and was asking
myself the next thing to do. And while in England, I
met this very nice guy by name, Godwin Okri and we
started a relationship, a property solicitor. He
started teaching me about property and mortgages and
that really got me enthralled and now I’m gradually
learning that through him and studies, I’m now
studying conveyance in London.
So, in essence you went for the Afro-Hollywood and
got stuck with a Nigerian who eventually became your
Well, if you say that, my husband is a British. No,
I didn’t get stuck; I only fell in love with him.
Besides, there was no need for me to come back, what
was I coming to do? Mind you, as a woman, I have to do
something else for myself aside acting. I don’t want
to live a life I would start regretting in the future.
I think I settled down when it was time for me to do
that. Wetin dey outside?
So, how did you meet your husband?
I met Godwin Okri in London. He is the solicitor to
Afro-Hollywood awards; his firm handles their briefs.
So, on the night of the awards, he was the one that
presented my award to me and that was how the whole
romance started. Again, a week later, one of the
lawyers in his office invited me out for a drink and
we met again and we started chatting.
Could you still recollect the exact words he used
in proposing to you?
Emmm! He came home from work one day and took me
out for a shopping and wanted to buy me something and
it was really expensive and I told him no because it
was unnecessarily expensive. He immediately looked at
me and said, I would love to have you as my wife and I
was like who was this one deceiving.
Sincerely, I never believed him then, maybe because
he is a very serious minded person. His career and
office work are always on his mind, a very, very busy
man, which was why I didn’t take him serious.
On your part, what actually got you tripped about
A lot, first, he is a God fearing man, which is
very unusual in guys of these days. He’s also very
intelligent, it’s not easy owning a firm in London and
Manchester alongside a property company, all these
don’t come easy. And how he juggles all these, I don’t
know. He is blessed and very hard working. For me,
there is something special about my husband. He also
treats me like a queen.
Prior to meeting you, was he one of your fans?
No! He doesn’t even know much about Nigerian
movies; one of his lawyers handles Afro Hollywood
awards and not him. Prior to meeting me, he’s never
watched a Nigerian movie he wasn’t just interested. I
started introducing him to movies when we met. All he
watches are news, property news and football prior to
When was the last time you starred in a Nollywood
I think it was in 2004 and that was Chico Ejiro’s
movie, he shot in England, but before jetting out in
2003, I did two movies-Supreme Ladies and one other.
As a married actress, do you still act?
Yes, I do. Truth is that I have not acted in recent
times, offers come always but they are eastern-based
producers but because of my baby I have been turning
such offers down. I don’t want to start
inconveniencing or putting my baby boy through stress.
It is too early. I would definitely partake in Lagos
movies or productions but outside Lagos, no way.
Is your husband still in support of your being an
Yeah! Besides, he knows I only act when I’m in
Nigeria, I don’t have the time in England because over
there I’m really busy.
How soon are you joining your husband in England?
Very, very soon. As soon as I finished sorting out
my immigration stuffs I would jet out.
You now have a little boy, so how does it feel
being a nursing mother?
Wonderful! It is the best thing that can happen to
any woman. You don’t really appreciate yourself as a
woman, until you have a child. The arrival of my baby
has taught me how to be patient with people and even
myself. I’ve learnt a lot with the coming of my baby.
While in London, did you miss Nollywood?
Emmh! Not always, except when I’m watching our home
videos. I always tell those around me that I miss the
fun, laughter, banters and location games. But I
wouldn’t trade my life now for anything in the world,
not even for Hollywood.
From your own observations, has Nollywood grown or
still at where it was when you left three years ago?
Nollywood has really grown, I’ve seen a couple of
better artistes, rising actresses like Nonso Diobi,
Monalissa Chinda, Oge Okoye, Mike Ezuronye, Dakore and
the rest of them are really making us proud.
In what areas do you think Nollywood should improve
We still have a lot to do in the areas of
technicalities, the sound and pictures in particular.
Remember competition brings about, a bit of
perfection, so people should be allowed to come in and
help move Nollywood forward.
Then, you used to be among the “bad babes” of
Nollywood, are you still one?
Who says! No! A lot of people said I was bad
because of my wacky movie roles but that does not make
me bad. I can still act such crazy roles as long as my
body is not going to be touched or exposed. (Laughs).
Even though my husband might not complain because of
his British background, I don’t think I can take up
such roles. I have never been down with romantic roles
as an actress I prefer the tough-talking roles. My
husband still wants me to grow in my profession and
still gives me all the necessary helping hand in my
career. He criticizes me, packages me and doesn’t have
problems with my life as an actress.
Foreigners, how do they view Nollywood and it’s
practitioners while you were in London?
There are mixed reactions from foreigners, but
majority of them encourage us and still add one or two
suggestions. Again, with the way the western world is
taking note of Nollywood, we would definitely go
places. I’m happy and feel proud that I’m one of the
new generation artistes that laid the foundation. At
least, they earn good money now in Nollywood, money
that is good enough to sustain you and make you feel
Going down memory lane, which was your first movie?
Glamour Boys, by Jeta Amata, was my first movie and
that was around 95/96. But before then I was a TV star
in defunct TV soap-Ripples. I played Tokoni, Barbara
Soky’s younger sister. Jeta approached me when
Nollywood came alive and that was how it all started
From then till now, we would like you to assess
Nollywood for us as an insider?
For me, it’s mixed again. Those days there was much
discipline compared to now, you go for auditions and
castings. And you are picked basically on how you
perform unlike now. The negative side of it those days
was that people don’t seem to respect you; they look
down on you and conclude you are somebody with a
low-life, a useless person that doesn’t want to be
useful in life. But today, the average family wants
one of their kids to be an artiste. Then, we were
looked down on, but now, we are respected and seen as
role models. You can hold up your head high now and
say you are an actress and people would accord you
good respect. Things have really changed.
Now that you are around, how do you intend getting
back to mainstream acting?
Sincerely speaking, I’ve not lost my place and fans
in Nollywood, anytime I step out my fans still rush
after me. I’m not one of the actresses you’d see and
start saying oh God her face is familiar. The moment
you see me, you would know that is Victoria, you don’t
have to look at me twice to think about my name. And
my fans base is still increasing on a daily basis. A lot
of people see me as a role model, and the only thing I
could do is to live a kind of life that people would
continue to see me as a role model. Marrying and
having a child has taken me to another stage of my
life that many young girls would aspire and look up
- Like I told you, many movie offers are coming my
way, but I can’t because they are all outside Lagos.
Did your parents endorse your going into showbiz,
when you newly started?
My mum no, my dad yes. My mum thought I could do
better things than acting. Though, today she is so
much proud of me, again, I think she was biased with
what people were saying about me and acting. Words
like your daughter must have slept with producers to
get movie roles were in vogue then. All these wrong
assumptions and impressions got to her. Thank God I’m
a graduate today.
In your up and coming days, did you encounter any
form of sexual harassment from moviemakers?
Not-at-all. Probably because I knew what I wanted
from the industry and then it was just few of us. But
when the younger ones started coming up, they started
getting desperate and beginning to think that what
Victoria can do, they can even do better for less,
that’s where the problem started. I’ve never been
harassed sexually in Nollywood, it has never
happened to me. I only hear about it. If it goes on,
it is not the fault of the moviemakers but the
As a married actress, do men still woo you?
I don’t go to where men see me, I believe you have
to put yourself in a position, where a man would toast
you for them to do that. You have to give room to
those things to really happen. God forbids it happens,
I will plead the blood of Jesus on their heads.
What is your advice for desperate up and coming
actresses parading the length and breadth of Nollywood
and scheming to be overnight stars?
It’s a tricky profession, for the more you look,
the less you see. If you want to be famous, no
problems but there are so many things involved in
being famous. First, you have to decide the kind of
life you want to have as a woman. Do you want to be a
lonely frustrated super star, or a home super star
that would go into someone’s home in future? I’ve
always believed that the way you live your life tells
at the end of the day. You could be crazy in movies
and still be a decent person at home. A good person
would always find a good person, because good spirits
would always meet. Truth is that most actresses have
had to marry out of desperation and at the end of the
day the marriages are wacky.
Prior to becoming Mrs. Godwin Okri, was marriage on
Of course, I’ve always wanted to be married and
live together with my dream man. It’s so much fun
Are there things you are missing now that you are
Nothing at-all! If I want to go out, my husband
takes me to anywhere, if I want to go dancing, he
takes me. For me, there is really nothing to miss.
What is the biggest plus marriage has added to your
youthful life as a public figure?
You are at peace with yourself and spirit. You are
no longer wondering how tomorrow is going to be like,
that becomes the stress of the man now. Just frown
your face and they would ask, what is wrong. As a
married woman, you are complete and more confident.
As a married actress, where do you hope to be in
the next couple of years?
As a married actress, I want to remain as I am now
and maybe, go into property full time much later in
What are the things that drive you crazy in life?
My closeness with my God drives me crazy. I’m also
excited about going to church. There is nothing I’ve
prayed for that I haven’t gotten.
How old are you?
Sorry, ladies don’t tell their ages my dear.
What keeps you going?
God, He has continually kept me going. He’s being
wonderful in my life. My pastor has also guided my
spiritual life and growth.
Tell us more about your family and background
I have lovely parents, mum is here and dad is based
in England. I also have two elder brothers, an elder
sister alongside another younger brother. We are from
Arochukwu, Abia State.
How was your growing up?
My growing up was interesting; I started in the
village and later moved to Lagos. As an actress, it
was really tough convincing my mum to allow me spend
days on locations then. Bad press nearly marred my
relationship with my mum those days also.
Which among your movies made you a household name?
For me, it was Silent Night by Chico Ejiro.
In what major areas do you think the government can
come in and assist Nollywood to fully develop it’s
Honestly, we don’t even need the government; we
have been doing it without them. We need to improve on
our distribution network, especially abroad. This
piracy thing is worst abroad; they are over pirating
our works abroad.
As a newly married woman, what are the new things
you have learnt from the marriage institution?
Just like you pointed out, I’m still beginning,
this is just part one. (Laughs). As a woman in
marriage, you have to have patience, learn to be
obedient. I’ve also learnt that communication is very,
very important in marriages.
Do you have regrets in life today as an actress?
No! As a Christian all that has happened in my life
has turned out to be for my own good.
Are you still controversial as an actress?
I’m being misconstrued; I’m just blunt and not
Are you friends with Regina Askia now?
We don’t have to be, but if we see, nothing stops
us from saying hi to each other. Most times, it is the
media that blows these stories out of proportion.
-First published, 2006.