My hubby is uncomfortable with my romantic roles, popular actress, Joyce Kalu -By AZUH AMATUS

Joyce Kalu

Even with three lovely kids – all boys, fast – rising

actress Joyce Kalu is still a head turner in

Nollywood. With a daily increasing fans base that is

gradually cutting across our shores, the 34 year old

curvy starlet that made her debut last year in

“Mistake in Marriage” is stealthily climbing the

ladder of success in tinsel town to the admiration of



Kalu, a Marketing graduate from the Lagos State

University (LASU), since her bold arrival has

mesmerized movie-buffs in close to a dozen hit movies

and still striving to further raise the bar in her

newfound love.


Interestingly, the voluptuous role interpreter who

also speaks French fluently is fast becoming the

darling of top moviemakers because of her impeccable

script interpretations and acting prowess.


In this interview with AZUH AMATUS, on the set of her

latest production, a yet-to-be-titled movie with many

A-list stars on board, Kalu, for the first time ever,

spoke on her most intimate things, Nollywood, family,

husband’s place in her thriving acting career among

other germane issues.


You just finished from the set of a new movie, how

was it like?


Yeah, it was a yet to-be-titled movie from Guniks

Production; I had over 30 lovely scenes in the movie.

A lovely script with a lovely storyline, I found it

very interesting and that was why I became so happy

when I got a role in the production. The executive

producer treated all of us so well; in fact, he was

like a father to all of us on set. It was a memorable

outing for me, very wonderful experience.


Who were the big names you acted alongside with on



I worked with Chioma Chukwuka, Clem Ohameze,

Desmond Elliot among several other fast rising

artistes like me. Theodore Anyanji was the director

and he carried everybody alongside very well.


What was your role in the movie?


I played Chioma Chukwuka’s mother in the movie, a

widow who lost her husband very early in life and now

had to fend for her entire family, an interesting

movie. The attraction for me in the movie was just

that fact that I would be playing the role of a

mother, which I am in real life. It takes a true

mother to play such a tasking role. Besides, this is

my first movie with Guniks production.


Which was your first movie in Nollywood?


It was Mistake In Marriage by Chike Brian, early

this year; I acted alongside Rita Dominic, Mike

Ezuronye and Justice Esiri. But I actually came into

Nollywood last year for me; my coming was through

divine intervention. Coming into Nollywood, for me,

was an adventure.


What were you doing before coming into Nollywood?


I have a B.Sc in Marketing, so professionally that

was what I read at the Lagos State University, LASU. I

once worked with Integrity Solution for twelve years,

an I.T firm that is into auditing. From there, I and

my husband opened a graphics centre in Surulere, I

also run a thriving catering business and one or two

legitimate businesses. Right now, acting is the

biggest job occupying my mind and I’m giving it my



So, how do you combine all these with acting?


It’s not been easy, but God gives me the grace to

combine all of them. Truth is that I have an undying

passion for acting I derive joy from it. Another good

thing is that I have capable hands running my other



Since your arrival, like how many movies have you

featured in?


Almost a dozen that are already out, but by the

time the yet-to-be-released ones hit shelves; they

will be more than 20 this year. God has been good to

me in terms of movie roles.


You are married with how many kids?


I am happily married with three lovely boys and a

wonderful husband. I got married in 94.


When you were about coming into Nollywood did your

husband object?


He objected to it somehow, it was not easy for him,

in fact, he found it very difficult but because he had

known me for 20 years out of my 34 years on earth. He

had to give in because of the love and trust. I

convinced him genuinely and also reassured him that I

will never betray the trust he has in me as his wife

and mother of his children for 13 years. I’m going to

stick to acting and make people look at marriage the

way it should be.


As a married actress, do you choose the kind of

roles you play in movies?


It depends on the kind of role, I do the normal

acting kiss, but if it goes beyond that no way.


Does your husband get jealous sometimes when

watching you act these romantic roles in movies?


Truth is that he vets all my scripts before I go on

set, once in while I rehearse at home by acting with

him and the kids. Even though he understands, but

being a man he still gets jealous once in a while.


If tomorrow he tells you to quit acting, would you



If he does and gives me a very strong reason or

reasons for doing so, I will definitely obey him,

nothing will hold me back.


We would like you to tell us more about yourself and background?


Joyce Kalu is a happily married actress from

Umuahia in Abia State. The last girl in a family of

nine-six girls and three boys, she is 34 this year. I

grew up in Cameroon and speak French.


What were the major challenges you encountered when

you newly came in last year?


It was really tough when I came in because most

moviemakers don’t believe in giving us challenging

roles; they usually feel we can’t deliver. But with

hard work, focus and constant training, I was able to

get to where I am today. People are now seeing and

believing strongly in my acting capabilities and I’m

so, so happy for that.


As a married and beautiful actress, have you ever

been harassed sexually in place of roles by



I have heard about sexual harassments from people,

and also read it on papers often times, but it has

never happened to me. Another thing I discovered about

it is that it has to do with your carriage and

personal conviction. Truth is that a lot of people

come to me to express their love, which is normal, but

harassment no. Those who come to express their love

for me, I usually thank and let them also know that

I’m happily married.


But how would you react, if you are sexually



I have a different way of reacting to things, but

if it happens, I would definitely stand my ground, I’m

highly principled.


Any plan of producing your own movie soon?


Yes, the plan is almost concluded, but we don’t

want to rush things. I like doing my things very well

with a touch of class.


In the next couple of years where do you want to be

as an actress?


Sincerely speaking, I want to be up there, as in

reaching the top of my career. I want to be a

household name in Nollywood and even beyond.


Getting to the top is not usually easy, so how do

you intend reaching the zenith of your career?


Through hard work, commitment, being focused and

prayer, which is the master key. With all these in

your kitty, the sky will definitely be your starting



As a married woman, how do you cope with the

pressures of acting, especially shuttling in between

home and locations?


Quite tedious and tasking, but I thank God for

giving me a supportive husband and family, they

usually rally round me whenever the pressure becomes

too much. We also communicate a lot.


As a rising actress, who are the people you look up

to in Nollywood?


I have few role models in Nollywood and Joke Silva

is one of them, even though I have not met or worked

with her in a movie. She is one woman I respect a lot.

I also admire Rita Dominic for her impeccable role



In what ways, do you think producers/directors can

assist rising actresses like you get to the top?


First, is by believing in us and giving us good

roles, especially those challenging roles they usually

reserve for only the big names. They should try us and

also give us the chance to prove that we can do it,

even better. Giving us only minor roles will never

help us and even the industry; all we ask for is equal

right and the opportunity to prove our worth. And if

she fails, you keep correcting and building her until

she gets there.


Let’s assume you were not acting and not engaged in

any of your businesses today, what else would you have

been doing?


Who knows, maybe I would have been a complete

housewife or gone into fashion design, I like looking



So, in essence you have completely abandoned

marketing for acting?


If you say so, but for me they are related. As an

actress, I’m also marketing my face and industry, you

can see, they are somehow related.


How do you feel when people compliment your beauty

in public?


I feel good and thank them for that. But I think

the secret of it all is the sound mind that God has

given me. I relax a lot, which I would say is another

secret of my looking beautiful.


So, how are you coping with Nigerian men and their



Those who do not know I’m married disturb me a lot,

but I usually allow them to express themselves, after

which I will tell them I’m happily married with kids

and love my husband so much.


You have said so much about your husband, what got

you attracted to him?


First, his intelligence and strong-willed nature.

Well, we met immediately my family returned from

Cameroon. We actually became stronger when he went to

my secondary school to sign an undertaking when they

suspended me. And after that he told me he wants to

marry me, after thinking about it, I consented.


What fond memories of your marriage, do you still



A lot, but I would not want to say them in public.


Let’s assume you are still single today can you

marry an actor?


An actor, why not? If he is so, so principled and

loves me.


Now that you are fast becoming famous, what are the

things you hate about stardom?


My privacy, it’s like I’m losing it fast, but who

are mine to complain.


What kind of future are you envisaging for yourself

in Nollywood?


My future in Nollywood from what I have seen so far

is very great. Just like the industry is growing

rapidly, I’m also growing rapidly. Like I told you, I

want to be up there in Nollywood soon and very soon.


If in a movie, you are told to bare part of the

sensitive part of your body, are you going to comply?


I don’t think that will be possible, I can wear

sexy clothes in movies, but baring a bit of it, no



Do you have regrets in life today?


We all make mistakes, but that does not mean I

should live in the past or brood over my past

mistakes. I only learn from them.


As a rising actress, what stands you out?


My name, poise, carriage and amiable nature stand

me out. Also, I don’t believe artistes should have

airs around them. I always frown at my colleagues who

are fond of doing that. Because you are an actress

does not make you an exceptional human being. Truth is

that without your teeming fans you are nobody and

nowhere. I get pissed when some of my colleagues snub

their fans openly in public.


In what ways has acting impacted positively on your

life, especially as a married woman?


In so many ways, like I told you earlier, I usually

feel so happy whenever I’m called to deliver the role

of a mother in movies. And such roles also impact

positively on my life and those watching. Through

acting also, I have been able to rediscover an inner

and hidden talent, which I’m now using to impact

positively on the society.


How do you feel most times when people mistake you

for top actress – Ngozi Ezeomu, because the two of you

have some resemblance?


Well, I have been told that and mistaken for her

several times, but whenever it occurs I usually tell

them I’m not her, but Joyce Kalu.


Let’s go back a bit, how was it like the first day

you faced a camera on set?


It was not easy, being my first time, but the

director and cast members kept urging and propping me

  1. It was a memorable experience that I won’t forget

in a hurry.


Are you romantic?


Very, very romantic, at least my husband can

testify to that. He also knows I’m loving and very

cheerful and caring.


Describe yourself for us?


Joyce Kalu is an easygoing woman, full of life,

industrious, principled and God fearing.


What are your views on Nollywood?


We thank God for Nollywood and are also very proud

that it’s making waves globally. Our moviemakers are

trying their best but government should come in and

assist especially through legislations that would help

and curb the activities of pirates.


When the time comes, what would you love to be

remembered for?


For my motherly roles in Nollywood movies and the

Joy I brought into homes via my sweet movies.



First published, July 2006




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