Sensational “Samadora” star actress, Patricia Eseigbe, aside carving a niche for herself in Nollywood as a top actress, is also making waves on television stations across the nation with BOLD FACES, her new programme.
She says: “It is a motivational and inspirational programme for those who through dint of hard work, have reached the pinnacle of their careers”
The ex-campus beauty queen who hails from the university town of Ekpoma in Edo State, in this chat with AZUH AMATUS, also reminiscences on her crumbled love affair that lasted for ten years, as well as reasons she cannot marry any of her colleagues in the acting profession.
The star of “Jungle Justice and Queen of The Night,” also spoke on other issues within and outside Nollywood.
“I walked out of the affair because my lover, the first guy I ever dated refused me to go into acting. I sometimes regret the fact that we are no more. Acting caused me my first real love,” divulged the daughter of a female pastor, who is also the only girl, in the midst of four brothers.
Enjoy the interaction.
Is it true that you have abandoned acting for T.V. presentation?
No. I did not do anything like that. Nollywood of today has gone beyond one sitting down and just doing same thing every day. Showbiz is not only about acting, it’s all encompassing. I woke up one morning and asked myself that apart from acting what else can I do. At first, I wanted to produce a movie and later said no. One thing that most people don’t know is that it took a lot of boldness before I could come into Nollywood. So after thinking of other things to do aside acting, I came up with Bold Faces. I said to myself that the programme would be basically for bold people who have also reached the pinnacle of their careers. And I went through a lot of stress at the initial stage of the programme. And because of my tight schedule then as the producer/presenter of Bold Faces, I did not have the time for movies. I started having the time for movies, the moment the programme got settled and stabilized. So, all I do now is that I combine acting with presenting on television. And sometimes this year, we would roll out the drums to celebrate our first anniversary
Have you done any movie this year?
No, I haven’t done any this year. Some couple of scripts has been coming my way, but I have been turning them down because of their storylines. I have a big problem with real deep or tongue-to-tongue kissing on locations. Even exposing my body is a no go area for me. These have been a big problem for me in Nollywood. All the scripts that have been coming my way this year had all these things, and I have been rejecting them not even for the money.
When was the last time you starred in a movie?
Late last year, around November. It was an Agatha Amata’s production. The movie was shot in Nigeria and South Africa.
You said you couldn’t withstand deep kisses in a movie. Are you saying you were not aware of it before coming into Nollywood?
Sincerely speaking, no! Prior to my coming I did not see things like that. The initial movies that came out of Nollywood did not have deep kissing scenes or too much exposures of the body.
Are you also saying you have not kissed or exposed any part of your body in any Nollywood movie?
No! I have never had tongue to tongue kissing in Nollywood.
But as a professional actress, you are trained to do that. Or are you not one?
It’s a big problem for me. I don’t care or think about what people say. Tongue to tongue kissing does not put food on my table. It’s a thing of choice. In Nigeria, there is this general perception that most Nigerian actresses, especially young ones like us are harlots. Before I came in between 97/98 on the set of SAMADORA, I had already heard a lot about Nollywood. Even at a point, I wanted to opt out and do something else, but a certain spirit kept urging me on. Whenever I act any role, what comes to my mind is what people will think and say about you when the movie comes out. I come from a very religious home. My mum is a pastor, so I try as much as possible not to do things that will make her be down cast or upset. Most Nigerian men don’t like having us as wives because they feel and see us as flirts. Even the married ones are not stable. I’m creating an image for myself because I don’t want to regret being an actress tomorrow.
As the daughter of a female pastor, did your mum support your going into Nollywood?
No! No!! No!!! She never supported it, but I eventually forced myself into Nollywood. Luckily for me, there was this religious film I did at my early stage. She watched and saw how we glorified God in the movie. She later gave in and also gave me her blessings and told me to do more of Christian movies, instead of the mundane ones. I’ve also been able to prove to my mum that not all actresses are actually bad or loose. It boils down to discipline and what you want for yourself.
As a rising actress then, did any producer or director harass you sexually?
No! I have never been harassed sexually. It depends on how you comport yourself. Actresses get harassed because they want it. I always tell most up and coming actresses to believe in themselves. We all have our appointed time to arise and shine. Be determined and tell yourself, yes, I can make it. With bold steps, you can discover your strength and weakness…
Let’s go back a bit. Your love for showbiz, when and how did it start?
It actually started from my secondary school days when I was crowned a beauty queen. But professionally, it started when I was crowned Miss Uniben, as an undergraduate and later Miss Bendel Expo. I had about four beauty queen crowns then. While all these were going on, my boyfriend told me he does not want me to continue with showbiz.
Was this your boyfriend, the one that dated you for ten years?
Yes! We broke up because I refused to quit acting. We dated for almost ten years, in fact, we were on the verge of getting married when the whole thing packed up because he does not want me to act. Acting caused me my first true love.
Any regret about the break up?
Emmm! Not really. My only regret, which makes me angry once in a while, is that despite all his love for me, he refused to also love the only job that makes me happy, acting. And sincerely speaking, since we parted ways, it has not been easy to get somebody like him. I judge every man that comes my way with his kind of love for me…
They said you cried for months and attempted suicide when the affair crashed?
Did I cry for months? I did not cry for months o! It was him that actually cried. I didn’t know the effect of what I had done when I walked out on him and the affair. It was many months after that I started feeling the pains of what I did. How can I commit suicide because of a man? I never and will not attempt suicide because of any man.
They also said it was the presence of your ex lover, J.T. Tom West, that made you abandon this lover of ten years?
No, it was not J.T. that made me leave the guy. The two of them are completely different people. J.T., couldn’t have made me leave the guy.
Where is the guy currently and what does he do? In fact, what is his name?
He is a director in one of the leading banks in Nigeria. That is all that I can say about him.
Let’s go back to your programme. Why the name Bold Faces?
Bold Faces is for bold people like me, like you and many others. It debuted around June 2004 on Silverbird Television. It has also won a couple of awards since it came on air. It is basically talking about those who through dint of hard work reached the pinnacle of their careers. We invite personalities from the sporting, entertainment and corporate worlds. We invite them on air to give motivational and inspirational talks to the down cast.
What inspired the programme and it’s title?
The difficulties I went through before coming into Nollywood, especially from my family and lover, inspired everything about the programme. I took a bold step with my Bold Face to be where I am today. It is all about boldness in people and the things they do. (Chuckles) Aside Silverbird television, it’s also shown on Channels, RSTV, Port Harcourt, ITV, Benin, even, it is on DSTV.
Among the galaxy of stars and celebrities that you had interviewed on Bold Faces, who among them really inspired you with his/her inspirational talks on air?
(Smiles) (Thinks deeply). All of them do. But the duo of Julius Aghahowa and Maryam Babangida, really inspired me on air with their talks. For Julius, he battled lots of obstacles before getting to the pinnacle of his career. He was also from a polygamous home, so it was not easy for him growing up. His dad died when he was very young, so uncles brought him up. Maryam Babangida had always been my role model prior to our meeting. So you can imagine how I felt when she agreed to grace my programme. I actually got attracted to her, because of her drive to elevate the womenfolk during and after her days in office as first lady. Her women empowerment programme has brought quality in the lives of millions of Nigerian women. She really moved me on the programme with her inspirational talks and humility.
So, how do you source for funds for Bold Faces?
(Breathes heavily). How do I source for funds? The bulk of my funds come from corporate companies through the adverts they place on the programme. Some corporate Nigerians also support the programme from their pockets.
What would you say is the biggest problem you always encounter as the producer/presenter of Bold Faces?
Time is my biggest problem now. I hardly have time for myself since Bold Faces debuted. I do almost everything on the programme. Another problem is that since I debuted, a lot of people now see me as a millionaire. Meanwhile, it is not true.
Has it been rewarding financially since you started Bold Faces?
Yes, I would not want to say no. In fact, it is a lot better than movies. Minus the stress, it’s been very, very okay for me financially.
What separates Bold Faces from the other television programmes?
The calibre of my guests separates me from the rest. Then, my package is very rich and tight. It is a new concept that is being applauded by all. It is also all encompassing.
You are single, famous and beautiful. Do some of your male guests on Bold Faces ask you out?
(Re adjusts sitting position). No, they don’t ask me out. It is only the viewers that call and tell me stuffs like wanting to marry or date me. My male guests respect me a lot.
Is there any man in your life currently?
It is too personal for me to answer.
The fact that you are still single, does it not bother you?
Why I’m single? Probably, the problem is from the men or me. I will be married soon. That is all that I can say. Time will tell.
What do you admire most in a man?
(Thinks). He must be intelligent, God fearing and a bit good-looking. He does not have to be very handsome, because there is competition. (General laughter).
Can you marry an actor?
(Cuts in) No! There is too much stress and rubbish when you marry an actor.
What else would you have been doing, if you were not into showbiz today?
I would have still been on my own working for myself and not just for somebody. Immediately after my youth Service in Port Harcourt, I came to Lagos and got a job with C and C. But I left about six months after angrily. I slapped the white MD in public for hitting my buttocks. That was when I made up my mind; I won’t work for anybody again. I love business a lot; I would have been an Importer/exporter, if I were not into showbiz today.
What do you hate most about stardom?
People not believing you, especially when you want to be yourself. Your invaded privacy and the fact that you are no longer yourself are things I hate about stardom.
As a romantic person, which part of your body do you consider sexiest?
Let’s reserve that for my husband to come and discover. The lucky guy will make it public as soon as the time comes.
What is your dream for Bold Faces?
To go International. We are already discussing with Ben television. I will also be hitting Europe soon to interview international stars in the sporting and entertainment worlds.
In the next couple of years, where do you want to be?
For me, I don’t know o! All I can say is that the future is damn too bright. I’m leaving everything to God to decide and direct me.
What would you say is your biggest achievement in showbiz today?
Sincerely speaking, my own Bold Faces, which has opened lots of doors for me, is my biggest achievement in showbiz. It is a very popular programme.
Can any amount of money make you pose half nude in movies?
No! I can’t for even 5 billion dollars. I reject that in Jesus name.
Tell us about your family background
(Laughs). I’m from a family of five. Four boys, I’m the only girl. Dad lives in Benin and mum is a pastor in London. I’m a graduate of sociology\Anthropology from University of Benin, Edo state. I’m from Ekpoma, also in Edo state.
First published, March, 2005