Recently back from a historic trip to the US, alongside some of her colleagues, curvy actress, Obey Etuk is still regaling all with tales of the wondrous trip that has further repositioned her and her thriving career.
Meanwhile, it’s no longer news that a chance encounter in 1998 as a theatre arts undergraduate of the Imo State University while on excursion in Lagos with her course mates, landed Etuk, her first ever movie role in Tunji Bamishigbin’s Camouflage”, ever since, she has pitched her tent with Nollywood.
Miss Etuk, from Ikot-Ikpene, Akwa-Ibom State, in this riveting chat with AZUH AMATUS, unbuttoned her youthful mind on so many issues; especially those germane to her career and personal live.
Enjoy the interaction
Where have you been in recent times?
A whole lot is happening to me. I’ve been busy as an artiste; I just came back from the US, with some of my colleagues. I’m also happy that I’m busy working within and outside Lagos.
You look prettier and sexier, who is the lucky guy responsible for it all?
Nobody is responsible for my looks I’m just trying to carve a niche for myself and be happy. It is the Lord’s doing.
You also seem to be on the quiet side these days, any special reasons for lying low?
I’m still my normal bubbly self. I’m still everywhere only that I no longer hangouts like before. I can’t change my person; it is very difficult for me to do that.
How many movies have you featured in this year?
The truth is that roles are scarce these days, but I have done some. I have done a lot of Akwa Cross movies recently. We spoke our dialect in these local movies. They are movies specifically shot for indigenes of Akwa-Ibom and Cross River States. Aside this project, I’m still looking up to our producers to call me for more jobs, because I know I’m very good.
Are you still single and searching?
My relationship should and must be a personal issue, so I wont discuss it publicly any more.
Do Nigerian men still come your way now like they used to do in the past?
Why not, I am a woman; so Nigerian men still come my way for friendships. Most of these guys only want to sleep with you. They usually come with promises, sweet ones and once they lay you, and they run away. So, I’m taking my time… The truth is that I feel so scared about Nigerian men these days, because I love with all my heart. I’m also very emotional and romantic.
So, like how many times have you fallen in and out of love?
Sorry, no answer, it is very personal.
What qualities trips and thrills you in a guy?
Several good qualities, he must have good diction, dress sense, poise and carriage. He must also be faithful; I detest liars, especially the habitual or chronic ones.
And your last boyfriend did not posses any of these qualities?
I don’t know because I was not on his mind. Maybe, he was just toiling with my emotions and playing with my heart then, while I was the one loving. I’ve told you, enough of these personal questions.
As a popular, pretty and single actress, how have you been coping with Nigerian men?
A whole lot of temptations! But thank God I can control myself, which is made possible by the special grace of God. Like I told you, I have been keeping Nigerian men at arms length since I broke up with my guy.
Back to Nollywood, how and when did you come in?
I came into Nollywood in 1998; it was during an excursion in my third year as a Theatre Arts undergraduate of the Imo State University. While on that excursion with our lecturer and other students, I auditioned and got a role in “Camouflage”, that was how I entered Nollywood. After that I did “Back-To-Sender” and so many other movies.
Which among your numerous works registered your name in the consciousness of movie and TV buffs?
Honestly, I will say Wale Adenuga’s Super Story entitled “No Pain, no Gain”, where I played Sandra, really brought me out and made me a household name. I have featured in close to fifty movies.
Financially, has Nollywood been rewarding to you?
I won’t say yes, it is a gradual process and I’m happy and working hard. My time has come to shine.
Your earliest days in Nollywood, what was it like and what were the major difficulties you encountered?
It was really tough then. I remember vividly that we kept touring from one end of Lagos to another looking for roles and auditioning under rain and sunshine.
Did you ever think of quitting while going through these trials then?
Not really! Though, it was weighing me down, but I kept telling myself this is where I want to be and must move on with it. A lot of people who started with us had been frustrated out. It is God that has seen me through this far.
Did your parents approve of your coming into showbiz then?
They supported it right from when I told then I was going to read theatre arts in the higher institution. They are happy and proud of me.
As an actress, can you marry an actor?
Yes, I can do if we both love and respect ourselves.
We would like to know more about you and your family background?
I’m Obey, as in Obey God, Etuk. I’m from Akwa-Ibom State, Ikot-Ekpene precisely. I read Theatre Arts at the Imo State University and worked with the Herald Newspapers in Kwara State for my Youth Service. I was born here in Lagos but grew up in Imo State and speak Igbo fluently. I also did my primary and secondary schools in Imo State. My parents are still alive. I’m the third child in a family of seven, two boys and five girls. I was born on July 13.
With the right artiste fee, can you act nude in a movie?
It is un African, even ordinary camera kisses in movies; people still criticize you not to talk of going beyond that stage. I can’t do that. Even with the little we do, most families do not want their sons to marry us. And how do they want us to be married when they are busy placing embargo on us? I’m of the view that if a man really loves me, he has to accept my kind of job vice-versa.
What would you say has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was trying to breakthrough and that I have done. But the biggest problem a lot of up and coming artiste are having is that they all want to be stars over night and also act by force. They don’t want to struggle; they want to get straight to the top. They should be patient and stop rushing at stardom.
What drives and keeps you going?
God, he also inspires and motivates me. I’m also a religious lady who loves God and knows that God loves me too.
What are your future goals as an actress?
My main dream is to be a world famous actress who will be known globally but I want to begin the popularity drive from Nollywood. I also want to clinch several awards both locally and international.
What do Nigeria men adore most about you?
The bulk of them adore my crazy hairstyle and the way I dress. They comment on it a lot. I like doing my things my own way.
What would you say is your biggest achievement in Nollywood?
Being known, getting to where I am currently and working with some of the best people in Nollywood has been my biggest achievements.
If you were not in Nollywood today, where else would you have been?
I don’t know, I have never thought about that before now. One thing I will tell you is that I’ve always loved acting right from when I was a baby.
What separates you from other up and coming starlets?
What makes you happy and sad?
First and foremost, I’m happy because I’m alive, I’m also happy because of my family, my industry and where I am today. I get sad when I remember some things I’m not supposed to remember…
Yes, something like that…
Can love make you fight over a guy?
The truth is that I’m very romantic and jealous when in love. I love to a fault. For me, no man is worth fighting for.
What is your dream for Nollywood?
I am happy we’ve made the name even though we are just starting. I am proud to be part of the whole thing. My dream and prayer is for us to get to the Promised Land soon. We have talented people in Nollywood who can compete favourably in any part of the globe. I also dream of working with some Hollywood stars in the nearest future especially the duo of Denzel Washington and Jennifer Lopez
First published, May 2009.