I joined Nollywood accidentally through Pete Edochie, popular actress, Chioma Okoye –  By AZUH AMATUS

Chioma Okoye

Voluptuous and sexy Chioma Okoye is among the new

breed of starlets currently hypnotizing Nollywood with

their acting prowess, panache and poise. Since her

bold and unexpected entry in 2004, with the aid of

veteran actor Pete Edochie, on the set of “My Good

Will” the Queen Latifah look alike has not stopped

proving her worth as one of the actresses to look out

for in the nearest future.

 

Immensely “endowed” Okoye, whose latest movie, “War in

the church”, is already causing ripples within and

outside the motion picture industry and even in

Christendom, said she has no apologies for being part

of the cast of the controversial flick.

 

With more than a dozen hit movies to her credit, 24

year old Okoye, an indigene of Aguleri in Anambra

State, said her ultimate wish is to be a household

name within and beyond tinsel town. She also wants to

settle down and have babies for her would be husband

soon.

 

Speaking with AZUH AMATUS recently, the self confessed

adventurous actress poured out her youthful mind on

several germane issues. She also spoke passionately

about her love life, heartbreaks and many more.

 

Enjoy the interaction!

 

War in the church, one of your recent movies is out

and making waves, what was it like on the set?

 

J-e-e-z! It was terrible, from one problem to

another, we kept encountering difficulties. The last

day of shoot, so many strange things happened, almost

all the cars on set packed up, including our location

bus. It also rained heavily that day. Even the taxi we

chartered broke down half way into the journey on our

way home. Even one of the actresses that played a

risky scene got herself burnt and collapsed, it was

fervent prayers that revived her.

 

Don’t you think all these misfortunes had to do

with the fact that you people were trying to document

the weird and wicked life style of disgraced and

convicted man of God, Rev. King into a home video

without his permission?

 

I wouldn’t know, but all the things that took place

that night, which was our last day of shoot, were so

strange. But Nigerians should commend the director for

documenting such things into a home video.

 

And how does it feel to be one of the leading

actresses in the movie?

 

It feels good and also makes me happy. But my

biggest burden remains the fact that some over zealous

members of Rev. King’s church have been confronting

and challenging me for taking part in that movie. They

said I shouldn’t have taken part because we didn’t get

the real story. I played Rita, one of the church

members he impregnated and forced to have an abortion.

 

    In real life situation, can you date a man of God?

 

Never! But any man of God that descends so low to

sleep with church members is not fit to be called that

name. This movie is a real eye opener. I sincerely

believe Nigerians, especially the so called born again

will gain a lot from it.

 

How did you get the role?

 

I have worked with Ifeanyi Ikpoenyi, the director

of the movie before in Enugu State on the set of War

for War. And when the director approached me again for

this job, I grabbed it for two reasons. One the script

was tight and secondly, the pay was equally good.

 

Talking about threats, are you not scared some

members of the church might want to attack you, for

being part of those exposing their pastor in this

movie?

 

I get scared sometimes, especially when moving at

nights. Aside the few verbal confrontations with some

members, none of them has really come out to attack or

harm me. But I kept telling them, I was only called to

act and that they should direct their grievances to

the director.

 

    As a rising artiste, what was it like acting

alongside other big stars on set?

 

It was cool, interesting and memorable. Even

though, I have acted alongside some big stars in

several movies in the past, this one was special and

unique. Ken Okonkwo, was the biggest star on set and

he carried everybody along very well. We worked like

one big family.

 

    And how would you rate the director’s performance

on set?

 

It was great and challenging too. He has a way of

carrying everybody along on set. I always feel relaxed

working with him.

 

Your sojourn into Nollywood, how and when did it

start?

 

My sojourn into Nollywood began in 2004 and it was

on the set of My Goodwill, from the stable of

P.Collins Production. I got the job accidentally

through Pete Edochie, who is my uncle. I lazily

escorted him to a location in Enugu and the director

called me to take a scene for him. Initially, I said

no, because I was shy, but after much prompting I

accepted the role and they applauded me for doing a

good job…

 

And how does it feel, having an uncle like Pete

Edochie behind you in Nollywood?

 

It makes me feel a top of the world in Nollywood.

He is wonderful and amiable. I appreciate him the

more, when I played the lead with him in Father Tansi.

He has really helped in shaping my fledging career, I

owe him a lot.

 

Since your arrival, which are some of your popular

movies?

 

They are much, movies like Nothing Spoil, Father

Tansi, True Romance and several others.

 

Did you parents endorse your coming into Nollywood?

 

Initially, my mum was somehow against it, because

she felt I would not be able to get married, but she

later succumbed after I promised her I would be a good

girl. She and my dad are now very happy with me,

especially when people commend them about my exploits

in movies.

 

   Deep down inside you, are you not scared you might

end up, not getting married like your mum said?

 

Not really, I pray to get married this year, I

love kids a lot and I pray to have one soon. I can’t

wait to carry my baby soon.

 

  Is there any man in your life?

 

Of course yes, and we are carrying on fine.

 

  Is he in support of what you are doing?

 

Yes and also supports me, even though he gets

jealous sometimes.

 

    Aside being jealous, is he not also scared of

losing you since you are in the klieg lights?

 

He is, especially when my male fans commend or

appreciate me in his presence. But I always calm him

down and explain things to him with a reassurance of

my love.

 

What if tomorrow, he tells you to quit acting, would

you oblige?

 

I will obey but he has to give me good reasons I

should quit. But as an alternative, he will allow me

go into hosting a talk show, because I have a dying

passion for TV presentations. In fact, I’m currently

working on one with Sammie Needle and the title is

Naked…

 

But in most cases, how does your guy feel when

watching you play romantic roles in movies?

 

He feels very jealous and usually unhappy but after

explaining he calms down with a caveat for me to be

more careful with such roles.

 

   What part of your body trips him most?

 

He loves my lips with a passion and commends it

always.

 

And for you, where do you think is most attractive

in your body?

 

I like my boobs and backside a lot, I also thank

God for making them mine and unique, can’t trade them

for anything.

 

Based on experience, what do Nigerian men like most

about your body?

 

Whenever they see me, their eyes go straight to my

boobs and backside.

 

   Does that embarrass you in any way?

 

Not really, in fact, it makes me happy and proud

because I’m a true African woman. Besides, it is very

rare for you to see a girl with all these qualities.

 

So, in essence, you are very comfortable with your

size?

 

Very, very comfortable, except for my job, on that

ground, I would like to reduce a bit. I’m not fat,

just chubby, which is how a true African woman should

look.

 

So, with all these curves at the right places, how

are you coping with Nigerian men and their advances?

 

It’s been very difficult coping with them, most of

them want to have me in their beds, only few of them

want to have me as a platonic friend, the rest are

coming for ulterior motives.

 

Back to your jealous Romeo, for how long have you

been dating each other?

 

It is two years now and he knows I love him so much.

 

Sexual harassment is no longer news in the

industry, have you ever been a victim?

 

For me, sexual harassment can only take place when

you as an actress encourages it. As an actress who

wants to get to the top very fast, you must pay the

price. I want it slow and steady. Nobody has ever

harassed me sexually, but I have had people in the

industry legally asking me out without any strings

attached or any form of intimidation.

 

And how many of these your colleagues have you

dated?

 

As a matter of policy and principle, I don’t date

my colleagues, so I have never dated anybody in

Nollywood.

 

    As a rising actress, what are your future plans?

 

First, I want to go far with my career and become a

household name here and even beyond. I also dream of

producing my own movie someday.

 

As a starlet, what would you say are some of the

major problems confronting Nollywood, in your own

views?

 

We need more investors in Nollywood, we should

improve on our stories and stop the repetition of

stories. Again, wrong casting is another thing that is

gradually killing Nollywood and lastly,

professionalism should be etched permanently in the

industry. With all these in place, we will go very

far.

 

Do you have role models in the industry?

 

I don’t think I have any for now, except my mum.

 

Why?

 

Because I don’t want to have any, it’s my life and

choice. But I respect a lot of people in Nollywood.

 

Tell us more about yourself, and background,

starting with your age

 

I’m 24, from a family of six, and the last child of

the family. We are from Aguleri in Oyi LGA of Anambra

state; my parents are residing in the North.

 

Let’s assume you are not into acting today, what

else would have been doing?

 

I would have gone into a talk show programme

since, and thank God, we are also working towards that

direction.

 

   With the right artiste fee, can you bare-it-all in

a movie?

 

I would have loved to, but Nigeria is not a good

place to do that. If I’m outside, I would have given

it a trial coupled with the right money. But in a

Nigerian movie, I might try and expose a bit of my

body, that’s all I can go.

 

You sound so daring, are you?

 

Well, if you say so, I only see myself as being

adventurous and fun loving.

 

Can you marry an actor?

 

Very well, and I will feel very comfortable doing

that.

 

What is your main plan for the remaining part of

this year?

 

If I don’t get married, I would definitely have a

child out of wedlock. Marriage is on my mind.

 

All together, like how many flicks have you

featured in since your arrival in Nollywood?

 

I have done more than ten movies, and among them

“Nothing Spoil” stands out, it was an Igbo comedy film

and I spoke the language very well.

 

What weighs you down as a young lady?

 

Death, especially when it involves a loved one. I

nearly died when I lost a good actress friend of mine

Suzzy Williams a.k.a. Sharon Stone. A Ghanaian, her

death was very painful and shocking.

 

As an adventurous girl, how many times have you

experienced heartbreak?

 

Severally o! As a pretty girl, you are bound to

experience such things. I have experienced it thrice;

the second one really weighed me down.

 

Do you believe in love?

 

In the past yes, but not now again.

 

Why?

 

I’m very, very romantic and my smiles stand me out

a great deal among my colleagues and pals.

 

Between romance and love making, which do you

prefer?

 

Aah! That was too personal, but if you insist, I

prefer romancing to love making.

 

First published, April 2007.

Leave a Reply

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

%d bloggers like this: