I sacrificed my marriage for fame ---Bukky Wright
Bukky Wright is a household name. Her journey to Nollywood started in the late 90s, in a movie entitled: 'Visa to Hell'. In this interview with RONKE KEHINDE, she speaks about her new movie, Omotara Johnson, her two failed marriages, her supermodel mum, who was the Face of Suzuki, the price she has had to pay for fame and why she hopes to marry again.
Your new film, Omotara Johnson, to some people, looks somewhat unrealistic. Do you think the plot can happen?
As a writer if something cannot happen, God will never put it in your mind to write.
Are you a product of this experience?
To an extent because I've seen something happen in life and I thought to myself that if this person can be like this, I'm quite sure there will be other people who will go to this extent to get some things that they want. That was why I just sat down one winter in London about two or three Christmas season ago and I wrote the story.
How much did you invest?
I can't say. I'm still investing, because I just shot the first part.
How much did you invest on the first part?
I've invested a lot of money, but I won't say how much.
In Nollywood, you produce so many movies in a year. That is why some of your productions are not up to standard?
I can only talk about my own movies. That is why I cannot afford to shoot so many movies in a year. Because my company is the executive producer and to run a company you can't be doing a project that will run into millions of naira every time. I don't shoot that kind of movie.
Being a famous face, you must have had your share of embarrassing situations with fans...
I want to focus on my future and do something meaningful. I choose not to dwell in my past.
There must be one or two that affected you so much, that you can't quickly erase from your mind.
I might not forget. I just choose not to dwell in my past. But if you insist I remember a publication that says 'Bukky Wright is a Lesbian'. Another one says 'Daniel beats wife because of Bukky Wright'.
When you first read that story that says Bukky Wright is a Lesbian, how did it affect you psychologically?
It affected me for some time, but I just thought to myself that : 'do I want this to weigh me down? No'. I put the pros and cons together, and I decided to uplift myself and move on. Because the most important thing is that even if they are calling you a thief, you know inside of you that you are not a thief and people around you know that you are not a thief.
I read in one soft sell magazine that you got married, recently, abroad, how far is that true?
My reaction to that is they are just reminding God of what he has to do in my life. I won't say more than that.
That means you intend to get married soon?
If God says 'Yes'; nobody can say 'No'.
When will that be?
If God says 'Yes'; nobody can say 'No'. I just want to tell you that I'm human.
If you are to write the story of your life, your autobiography, what are the things that will take prominence?
There are key people in my life that there is no way I will write my autobiography without mentioning them. The first on the list is my parent, the people that brought me into this world. Secondly my children, thirdly people that I've met on my way one way or the other, while growing up, on my business, the people that stood by me, and those that have tried to make me and those that have tried to break me.
Are you living your dream or what was your childhood dream?
I've always thought of being in fashion business or being a Banker. I've always tried to live up to it.
But you are not a Banker?
Yes, but I'm in the fashion business. If you say showbiz, somehow we work together.
When and how did you find yourself in this profession, did you see somebody that influenced you?
Yes, Eni Oloja has been my role model right from childhood, right from the days of Cock Crow at Dawn. I used to watch her and I used to pray that I wish to be like this woman one day. Thank God I'm trying. I still believe the sky is my beginning and I've not gotten close to the sky. She is one person I really want to meet. There was a time I heard she is in Sierra Leone. If I can meet her that will be a dream come true.
You said earlier that some people made you and some tried to break you. That means you must have had one kind of setback or the other in life, what period did that happen in your life and how did you get over it?
In life there is always the good, the bad and the ugly. As a human being I got myself involved in something and I thought maybe I shouldn't be here. Sometimes when I do some things I wonder how I got myself involved in this. Sometimes I ask myself how this did happen to me. I will just try and get up and move on. There's no how in life you want to grow and you won't have obstacles.
Can you give an instance?
I will say relationship wise I might have fallen into wrong hands, that I'll just feel how I got myself involved in this and how do I just move on. There is always the good and the ugly side of life. It can't all be rosy. If you have it rosy all the time you should check yourself because you don't want to start having the ugly side of life at old age. It's better to face challenges while growing up and at old age one will just relax and enjoy the fruit of your labour.
What memory can you recall of the relationship with the father of your children?
Fantastic one because he gave me what a lot of people in life will spend millions of money to buy and still can never get it. He can never be in my black book.
What was that?
Why did you part ways?
Long and short of it is that it's not all the relationship in life that will last forever.
What did you learn from that relationship while it lasted?
I learnt that whatever you do, wherever you are, just thank God.
I want you to go down memory lane and share with us how and when you got your very first job in this profession?
It was about 15 years ago and I remember one person Shan George; I will never forget her. I could remember then when she told me to come and model for Hint magazine. Sunny Okim saw me with her, and he asked can your friend model for us and I said no. I was so shy. Shan was my tenant in the father of my children's house then. That was how we met. When she told me, I refused. Then later in life Sunny Okim saw me and said Madam, I don't know why you don't want to model for our magazine. Then I didn't want to do it. I told him then that as a matter of fact I wanted to act. He said you. I said yes. He took me to Phidelis Duker and he gave me my very first chance. I auditioned with him and it was like where have you been? I said I've been shying away; I was so scared I thought I won't be able to do it. That was how I started.
What was the title of the first film?
Visa to Hell
How did you meet the father of your children?
I met him through my brother. He used to come to our house, we became friends. Somehow one thing led to another and we started a relationship.
How old are your children?
My first son is 16 while my second son is 14.
Was it a tough decision for you when you had to take that step to leave him?
Yes it was very tough for me. Any right thinking woman won't want to go from home to home, if not for anything but for the sake of the children. I'm a product of a polygamous home, and I must confess no matter how close you are to your siblings there will still be some things missing. Any right thinking woman won't want to find herself in such situation. I don't think any woman will just want to leave her first husband to go and marry another one. A lot of women out there would have tried and tried their possible best to make it work the first time, but when it doesn't work, what do you want to do. What if you are not meant for each other? But for some reason or the other you came upon yourself. If God says you're going to pass through that to get to where you're going in life, you just can't help it.
Were you heart broken?
Yes I was, because I didn't pray for it to happen. Every woman wants to have her own husband to call hers. I must confess every night, even if you have a man that is not yours, every night you will be thinking he's going home now to meet his wife and you're left alone at that critical time that you want to tell somebody something very important.
You already have two failed marriages; there may be something you're not doing right in those two relationships, what do you think that thing is?
Probably, but I can't say. I know I tried my best. I guess my best wasn't good enough. In life you can't win it all. No human being is perfect.
Who is to blame for your failed marriages?
I'm not in any position to judge. I believe whatever happens to me I'll just take it as the will of God. I tell you one thing that I know for sure, that if I'm still in my marriage there won't be that household name that they call Bukky Wright, and what to relate with, because I will never come into acting. I see it as God wanting me to do something else and the only way is to sacrifice. In life you will always have to sacrifice.
You sacrificed your marriage for fame?
I didn't purposely do it but it happened. That is why I said the will of God would always come to pass.
Why are you still nursing the hope of another marriage after two failed marriages?
I could say never. But never say, never. I am human so anything can happen, but it could be at a time I don't expect it in life.
Is it part of your prayer point that you want to get married again?
Yes I want to have a home. Any woman will nurse a dream of having a man to call her own. I should be thinking of a time when the children will be gone and I want to have a companion to talk with.
You lost your mum about a year ago what do you miss most about her?
She was my best friend. I used to tell her everything, the good, the bad and the ugly. No matter what she would never castigate me, she loved me and always gave me a word of advice. I miss her so much. I wish she is here now so that I can tell her some things that have just happened in my life. When it was tough she was there with me, when it was thick she was there with me. When it was thin she was there with me. I wish she had stayed longer. I love her but God loves her most.
Apart from the death of your mum what other thing has ever moved you to tears?
It's the death of my father.
About three years ago.
Was he sick?
He wasn't. I was on location in Cotonou. I told Chike that I needed a break that I wanted to come home and rest for few days. A call just came and I was shocked.
I read in a journal that the name Wright is not your father's name and that you adopted the name from your stepfather?
That story came to life when my father was alive and he said it then that as long as he was concerned my mother had not come to tell him that I'm not his. I still remain his daughter. He never in his lifetime disowned me as a child.
Why are you always in the press for bad things?
I should ask you.
Are you a misunderstood person?
Probably, maybe because of my role in movies, but I'm going to tell you that, that is how you know a good actress. How many times have you as a person met me outside my business? I don't go out; if I'm not working I will be in my shop. But a lot of people will say Bukky Wright is always at one joint, party or somebody's house as if I don't have work to do. It's crazy. Some will say she has broken so many homes, let them come out and tell me how many homes I have broken, let them come out and tell me the homes I've broken. I may have gotten myself in a relationship that has not worked, I'm human, and I'm entitled to a little bit of emotion, that doesn't mean I've slept with all the men in Nigeria.
How would you describe yourself?
I'm a very quiet person, easy going, very down to earth.
You're once a face of Hollandia, what impact did that have in your career and in your life?
A lot, anything an artist does, it should be able to have an impact in his or her life. Other people will come to take over and there must be something you should be remembered for when you are no longer there. I remember that my mum was the face of Suzuki motorcycle and when I grew up I saw that calendar, she was wearing a face cap with hot pant sitting on the Suzuki. That a lot of people don't know of her, but I still remember that, and I know my children will always remember and be proud of it.
Story by nollywoodgists.com