May God forgive me— Eucharia Anunobi
There are some things you cannot take away from Eucharia Anunobi, popularly called UK. This graduate of English from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka can act and preach. UK caused quite a stir at the Nigerian Music Award (NMA) recently when she flaunted her volumptuous body that has been object of some guys' wet dreams.
She made SAMUEL OLATUNJI's night in the week during this close encounter and reveals more about the dress, her broken marriage and her criteria for a new husband. Are you up to the task? Read on.
It's been a while that I've seen you in a movie, what is happening to you?
You have not been watching films, my dear. I just came back from Abuja where I was on set with Desmond and others. So, you don't watch movies. I think what you guys do is watch Africa Magic on DSTV. Africa Magic is not an authentic place to see our movies. I would rather think it is illegal.
But the producers are paid $700 for the right to air your movies.
Do you think that is right? People who are patronisng it are not doing the right thing. If you want to watch the current movie of an artiste, you better go to the movie store and buy them.
So, you are still as hot as ever.
Oh, Jesus Christ never fades so I'm not going to fade
We spoke in 2005 and one of the things you told me then was that you wanted to be a pastor. And I've not been able to get you earlier because of your evangelistic work. Are you trying to dump acting for pastoring?
How will I say it now? When you have been working in the Vineyard of the Lord and you have been learning at the feet of the Holy Spirit you will realize that there is no greater work than winning souls for the Kingdom. So, I have been working on the fruits of the Holy Spirit and at the fullness of time, what I will do would manifest. And I believe it is going to be very soon.
Do you actually preach or act?
I use everything God has given to me to talk to people.
How many people have given their lives to Christ under your ministration?
A lot of people have given their lives to Christ under my ministration. I can't begin to mention names, but with the phone calls I get I realize that people are being touched.
Can I now refer to you as an evangelist?
As soon as I am through with the right things like schooling and studying continuously at Christ's feet, I will assume the tag of an evangelist.
Maybe you will convert me.
Why not? I will, by the grace of God.
Your dress at NMA caused an uproar. Don't you think that ran contrary to Christian conduct?
A lot of people have said a lot of things but I'll say like is in the bible, 'if you think you have no sin, cast the first stone.' I want to use this medium to say maybe as a Christian I might have gone a little bit overboard. I might have been coming from the point of view of an artiste and an entertainer. But listen, as a Christian I have not said I'm a saint or perfect. Even the Bible says our righteousness is like filthy rags. I might have erred a little bit because the dress was a little bit short and revealing. Maybe that was one sin I have committed but I was coming from the view of an artiste.
But I would say it is good it happened because before you can stand before people and lead them to Christ you need to fall. Bible says in the book of Psalms that only the broken and contrite spirit should sacrifice to the Lord. I've learnt and I am still learning at the feet of the Holy Spirit. Maybe I have done something wrong from the point of view of Christianity, but from the point of view of an artiste I don't think it's wrong. I want to assure my fans that it does not take away from my morality. People want to crucify me because the cloth is too short and a little bit vain but what about those sleeping with their children? Or those sleeping with their friends' wives or do more wicked things? They are going under the guise of bring covered up. I err a little bit but it has not taken anything away from my morality.
So, that was your moment of 'falling' as a Christian.
Yes, maybe that was my moment of falling because as a Christian if you don't fall you can't rise.
But you said in an interview that your boyfriend approved wearing the dress.
I don't think I went out of my way to say my boyfriend. If I go to an event with a male partner, does it mean every man I'm seen with is my lover? Couldn't the partner have been my brother? I have four brothers and nobody knows them. I am not saying the person is my brother, but what if he was a cousin or friend? What if I felt too female and I needed a man by my side? But on the other hand maybe I might have said my friend did approve of the dress I wore, I still want to say that it was a moment of falling. Whether you like it or not, the devil is roaring, seeking for whom to devour. Thank God I know he is still there for me. I take all the criticism as corrective measure and I thank God it is helping me build my faith.
So, did you ask God for forgiveness?
Absolutely. Yes, he is all forgiving and merciful. He is smiling at me and he loves me. I even have people sending me text messages that they are still there for me. Some said, 'you have fine body o, but you for no show am like that' (laughter).
How is your kid doing now?
He is okay, we are still fighting it. He goes in and out of crises but the Lord is protecting us, at least he is alive today. He is six and half.
You told me in 2005 that you have handed over your marriage to God, but that if it breaks, that would not be an end of life. Did you foresee it was going to break?
I will not say I foresaw that it was going to break but I know that in life, you might have different kinds of dream from that of your partner. If you are spirit-filled and you have a partner that is not spirit-filled, you are walking in unrighteousness. If two don't agree, they can never walk together. And don't be unequally yoked with unbeliever.
Unbelieving is in different category. You might like to read books and your partner doesn't love to. You need to find somebody that you agree. In the last interview, you will realise that I was talking as a spirit-filled person but there is no way I could know the mind of my partner. The heart of man is desperately wicked. The marriage has fallen apart, but God knows why it happened this way. I believe that all things work together for good. I regret that my marriage has broken down, because God says marriage is honourable. But what if you want to make it honourable and your partner is not willing to make it honourable? I can't fight the battle alone, but God knows best. God does not plan anything bad for His children.
Does your career have anything to do with the break up?
No, my career had nothing to do with it. My ex-husband accepted my career the way it was, that is one thing I won't take away from him.
What dishonourable thing did he do?
I can't discuss that on the pages of newspaper. If you come to court during the divorce proceedings you will know.
Did it take you so long to file for a divorce because you were hoping for reconciliation?
No. Though he is trying to come back but don't forget that we have a medical reason on ground that is quite unacceptable. Everybody already knows that the only child we have is a sickler. It will still be the same thing if we try to make more babies. We cannot continue to take risk and chance over what we can have control over. I waited for this long because the official time you are to file for a divorce is two years, except for an emergency. But I don't believe I'm in a hurry to go anywhere.
But some of us are already lining up to have your hand in marriage.
Well, in a couple of months, it will be all over. But whoever is in a hurry to take my hand should be spirit-filled, romantic, hardworking, and have little money in his pocket to buy me rose, flowers, ice cream, amala and ponmo. He should be able to take me out once in a while.
I have all of those things you just mentioned.
(Laughter) Come and present them and let me see but the man must have eye only for me o!
Was unfaithfulness part of those things that broke the marriage?
What could a man be looking for outside of you. I will feel too lucky having you.
Let me use a local proverb to illustrate: 'people wey get yanch do not know how to sit.' That is life sometimes, it is unfortunate.
Perhaps, you were not up to it as a wife.
Uhhhh! My dear that is not it. I'm sure if you are able to get to him, he will tell you.
There was this friend of mine he was talking to for reconciliation that put him on speaker phone for me to hear and he said he missed me. But as you know, love is not enough. There are a lot of other things to consider.
So, unfaithfulness broke your home.
Yes, it did. And maybe lack of communication added to it.
There have been some talks about your new partner…
(Cuts in). I have not told anyone that I have a new partner.
But you introduced him as 'honey' at NMA.
For goodness sake, Samuel, if you are with a friend, won't you introduce him to people you meet?
But people said you introduced him romantically?
Which one is 'romantically' again? I don't know that. I am praying and hoping that God will give me the right man soon. And as soon as the right man comes, I'm not going to hide him. I am a full blown adult and I want to get married again. I'll not say meet my boyfriend, I will say meet my husband. I am not looking for a boyfriend; I am looking for a husband.
That means the guy you took to NMA is not the main guy?
(Laughs) You just don't give up, do you? I have not told you that I have a boyfriend. This whole uproar is coming on because it's been two years and nobody has seen me with anybody. Come on, give me a break.
So, are you still single?
Yes, pray for me seriously.
What about searching?
Yes, I am searching for that wonderful person.
People alleged that you wear your marriage down with your trouble. And he has to run away.
Unfortunately because of the job we do, people tend to want to believe that is who you are. But it is not so.
So, you are not troublesome?
Absolutely not. Why would you look for trouble? I don't look for trouble; for goodness sake, I gave my life to Christ on March 17, 1997.
Would you say you were everything a good wife should be while the marriage lasted?
Yes, by the grace of God Almighty. And whoever marries me will know and taste that there is no better woman.
You lived with your ex-husband for a couple of months before marriage. Why?
He was squatting in my place. He had no accommodation.
I'm sure you did some things a Christian should not do.
I agree I did.
How old are you?
I am in my prime; I am youthful and very bright. To God be the glory, you've seen the evidence of youthfulness (at the NMA). Someone even sent me a text that he should have been chasing me since, he said did not know that everything is still 'correct'. So, I am still young.
But jokes apart, if I had known everything was that correct, I wouldn't mind.
Something dey worry you (general laughter).
When was the first time you went behind a closed door with a guy?
I had come out of secondary school. I was doing my A'level. It was a while ago.
Since it was a while ago and you've grown older, have you lost any of your charm on bed?
Do you expect me answer that question, Samuel. Some things are called secret.