How I found true love in a foreign land, star actress, Victoria Inyama – By AZUH AMATUS

Victoria Inyama

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

Amata.

 

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,

congratulations.

Thank you and thank you.

Your wedding took many by surprise, was it a

pre-planned stuff?

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

husband?

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.

Why?

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

him?

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

our meeting.

When was the last time you starred in a Nollywood

movie?

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

actress?

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

upon?

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

okay.

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

for me.

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

  1. 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

desperate actresses.

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

your mind?

Of course, I’ve always wanted to be married and

live together with my dream man. It’s so much fun

being married.

Are there things you are missing now that you are

married?

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

life.

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

potentials?

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

controversial.

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.

 

2 thoughts on “How I found true love in a foreign land, star actress, Victoria Inyama – By AZUH AMATUS

  1. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

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