Sexual harassment goes beyond Nollywood, sexy actress, Uche Elendu – By AZUH AMATUS

Elendu

With her intimidating and inviting starry- eyes, fast-

rising Owerri based actress Uchechi Elendu, is

definitely set for a very bright and promising career

in Nollywood.

 

Not even the intervening years Elendu sacrificed in

order to get a degree in International Relations from

the Imo State University, could stop her from

regaining her position in Tinsel town.

 

And interestingly, since her second coming, the fun

loving thespian, who first sauntered in, in 2001, has been

mesmerizing the industry with her immense skills,

poise and personality.

 

In fact, she is currently the toast of movie makers,

especially those operating from the Eastern bloc.

 

And unknown to many, single and not searching Elendu,

aside acting, also sings and dances with an unrivalled

passion.

 

AZUH AMATUS caught up with the boisterous actress during

a recent visit to the East and took her up on several

germane issues within and outside Nollywood.

 

And without mincing words, Elendu, provided answers to

the questions and many more.

 

Let’s start this interview with your background?

 

My name is Uchechi Jessica Elendu, from Isiukwuato

LGA of Abia State. I’m the first in a family of four

and also the only girl. I was born and brought up in

Lagos; my parents also live in Lagos. I had my

secondary and university educations in the East. I

studied International Relations in Imo State

University and after graduating, I decided to base in

Owerri, Imo State because it is more peaceful than

Lagos.

 

How come you abandoned your parents in Lagos and

decided to live alone in Owerri?

 

I did not abandon my parents, point of correction,

I just felt Owerri, was more comfortable for me,

because of my job, when I first started I was doing

most of my movies in the East. Again, I decided to

stay in Owerri, because it is a town I’m used to. I

have also spent a greater part of my life in that

town. In fact, Owerri, is convenient for me. And let

me also inform you that my parents are also

comfortable with me living in Owerri. They come around

once in a while to spend holidays with me. I also

visit them very often, so we see ourselves always.

 

Are there plans for you to relocate back to Lagos

any moment from now?

 

No, I don’t intend to relocate or live permanently

in Lagos. I’m down with the East and it is more

peaceful, totally different from the bustle and hustle

of Lagos. I am comfortable and very happy with my job

here in Enugu.

 

Your journey into Nollywood, how and when did it

start?

 

Actually, my first movie was shot in 2001 entitled

Fear of the Unknown and after that I left to complete

my degree education. Larry Koldsweat, actually brought

me in. I came back fully in 2004 after my final degree

exams. “Nothing for nothing” by Amaco Production was

the movie that made me a household name.

 

And now that you are fast growing, what would you

say are the major challenges?

 

Challenges come in different forms for every

artiste, but truth is that we are used to the job.

Little stress here and there, but we are okay with it,

because it is through these challenges that we make

our money and also earn a living from it. And

sincerely speaking, since my arrival, I won’t say I

have really encountered so much problem or challenges,

as the case maybe. After I got a lead role in Price of

Destiny, I fully developed interest in acting

professionally. Even though, there are challenges, I’m

having fun and enjoying myself.

 

And like how many quality films have you featured in

since your arrival?

 

Well, I have featured in over 30 quality movies and

I hold some of them very close to my heart. They

include: Occultic Battle, Security Risk, Nothing for

Nothing, Consequences, which till date remains my best

and many others. It was a really challenging movie,

where I had to play a real village girl, something I’m

not really used to.

 

The general feeling and impression about you among

your colleagues is that you are very weird and

controversial, how true is this?

 

Uche Elendu, is not weird neither is she

controversial. I’m not disputing the fact that people

say a lot of wrong things about me. But despite all

these, I still believe in who I am and what I am. I

don’t care about what people say about me. I believe

in myself and do only the things that makes me happy,

maybe, that’s why people say I’m controversial.

 

In your own views, what would you say is the major

difference between the Eastern and Lagos movie

locations?

 

From my own experience, I prefer the Eastern movie

locations, in Lagos locations, the stress is too much

especially traffic, which usually delays production,

while in the East, it is not like that.

 

As a fast rising artiste, where are you heading to

with your fledging and promising career?

 

It is my dream and ambition to attain a greater

height with my career. I’m heading to the top where

most people won’t expect I would be. Wherever God

takes me, I will be.

 

How old is Uche Elendu?

 

Uche Elendu is as old as her mates.

 

What’s your love life like?

 

I’m a single young lady, not searching because

there is somebody in my life.

 

And how soon will the wedding bells toll?

 

Very, very soon, sooner than you all will expect,

maybe this year, by the Grace of God.

 

Is your guy in the industry too?

 

Not-at-all, he is outside the industry.

 

But is he comfortable with your career in the

industry?

 

Very comfortable and happy with it. In fact, he

loves it and also encourages me. He is Igbo…

 

How long have you been dating?

 

So, sorry, but that was a personal question, but if

you insist, we have been on for over two years.

 

What qualities got you attracted to him?

 

First and foremost, he is God fearing and adores my

job and that is most important to me. I love my job

with a passion and anybody that loves it with me is my

friend.

 

And what if after marriage, he tells you to quit

acting, would you obey him?

 

He can’t tell me to do that, but I can’t answer

this question till the time comes. But I don’t think

he will ever tell me to do that.

 

Deep down inside you, is marriage on your mind?

 

Well, it is on my mind because I will get to that

stage someday as a young African girl. But I’m not in

a haste to be married. I’m still very young.

 

Prior to your coming in, did your parents endorse

your sojourn in Nollywood?

 

Actually, my dad was not in support at first, but

my mum was in full support and saw it as her

adventurous daughter having fun. But later on, my dad

started falling for it, when he started seeing me in

movies and posters alongside commendations from people.

And right now, my whole family is strongly and solidly

behind me.

 

Are you really adventurous?

 

Sometimes, I could be very adventurous and it also

depends on the adventure.

 

Can you bare part of your body in the movies as

part of your adventurous nature?

 

I can’t bare my body in a movie, because I am an

African and my culture does not accept or permit that.

I also have a family I look up to and they also look

up to me. No matter the amount of money involved I

won’t and can’t do that.

 

You recently did a full album for P.Collins, are

you also a musician?

 

Well, I will call myself a singer; in fact, I’m a

rounded artiste, who acts, sings and dances. Singing

has always been my hobby and it is also my first love.

 

So, why did you abandon it all these while for

solely acting?

 

Never, I did not abandon singing, acting only took

a better part of me and maybe it is so because I had a

better opportunity to go into acting first.

 

Tell us more about this your song with P.Collins

Production?

 

Well, the songs are highlife, but I’m not limited

to that alone. I can do any kind of songs, depending

on the storyline.

 

Sister Rosekate and Johnbull is one of your most

recent movies, what was it like on set?

 

It was fun and memorable with the array of stars on

board. In fact, it was beautiful. Only Solution, is

another of my recent movies, I acted with a lot of

professional colleagues. My role of a ghost in the

movie was challenging and I have never done that

before in any movie. At a point, I was so scared

playing that role. I was also emotional on set because

that was part of me. But I still prefer Rosekate and

John bull, imagine, I played the role of a reverend

sister with Nkem Owoh.

 

The rampant issue of sexual harassment is tearing

Nollywood apart, have you ever been a victim?

 

First of all, I do not believe in sexual harassment

because whatever people call sexual harassment happens

in every sector. But I have never really been

harassed. We all are adults and we do what we want to

do, not necessarily because we are forced to do it.

 

But if you are harassed sexually, how would you

react?

 

Nobody can harass me, they can only ask me out, I

am a pretty girl, so why not.

 

As a pretty lady, how are you coping with advances

from men?

 

At first, it was really embarrassing, but I’m

gradually getting used to it. Men, will always come.

They see me on screen; they don’t really know who I

  1. They also judge me from the characters I portray

in movies. I also get some embarrassing calls, but I

handle all of them with maturity

 

Most of these guys, whenever they beseech you, what

part of your body do they say usually attracts them to

you?

 

They come with different choices, mostly my smiles,

the way I talk, my body and all of that.

 

But those who trip for your body, which part of it

do they find most attractive?

 

I don’t know, because I wouldn’t ask. I really don’t

know.

 

What are the three things you don’t usually miss

when preparing to hit location?

 

First, my bible, toiletries and lastly, my script

 

Who are your role models?

 

My mum and Eucharia Anunobi Ekwu- I worked with her

once, in my earliest days, on the set of Love and

Sacrifice.

 

But why is she your role model?

 

I like her interpretation of roles, looks, carriage

and all that. In fact, I admire her professional life

as an actress.

 

As a wave making actress, what stands you out?

 

What I think gives me an edge, is the way I

interpret my roles. Power of diction, delivery and

character style. When I get a script, I read it

deeply. I don’t go to location without putting myself

into the character. Due to lack of time, most of us

don’t have time to read our scripts deeply and it

destroys most of us. I take my time to put myself in

all my characters.

 

By the time you are finally married, would you

still be actively involved in entertainment and still

reside in the East?

 

That’s left for me and my husband to decide. But

left for me, I would love to reside here in the East.

 

You look so vivacious, what weighs you down?

 

I’m a very emotional person and a lot of things

weigh me down and they also make me cry.

 

Like heartbreaks?

 

Maybe yes, although, I have not really encountered

any, because I have not really given out my heart.

 

Do you believe in love?

 

Of course, I do believe in love, even though I have

never been heartbroken before.

 

What does love mean to you?

 

Love is a feeling that you have never felt before.

It can’t be explained, it can only be expressed.

 

There is this belief that most Eastern based

actresses don’t measure up to their colleagues in

Lagos, do you subscribe to that belief?

 

That belief is very, very wrong there is absolutely

no difference between the Lagos and Eastern artistes.

We are all artistes. After all, I was born and brought

up in Lagos, that I decided to base in the East does

not change anything. We all do the same thing; there

is nothing so special about Lagos artistes.

 

The rumour mill is also agog that you are dating

few movie-makers in Nollywood, how true is it?

 

I’m not dating anybody in the industry, like you

rightly said, they are mere rumours.

 

So, where did the rumour emanate from?

 

I don’t know and I don’t believe in rumours also.

 

Do you think producers/directors are doing enough

to promote and project a lot of up and coming artistes

like you?

 

Well, from my own point of view, I really don’t

think movie makers are doing enough. We have a whole

lot of talents out there. But you really won’t blame

them because of the market.

 

In what ways do you think they can really assist

you people get to the top of your careers?

 

Simply by giving us enough chance to feature in

movies and thereby discovering the stuffs we are made

  1. Stars are not made in a day; it is a process,

which starts from somewhere.

 

As a child growing up, was acting part of your

dreams?

 

It was partly, but not the main dream. I’d always

wanted to be an ambassador cum politician, because I

feel that is where I belong. I still have plans for

that.

 

How would you describe yourself?

 

I’m an intelligent and God fearing young lady with

talent. I’m also full of life and easy going.

 

FIRST PUBLISHED, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: