I cannot disclose my bank account, all I can say is; I’m rich
With the upswing of Nollywood (Nigerian movie industry) and the growing status of artistes, speculations are rife that a time will soon come when movie stars in the country will be riding limousines with private bouncers protecting them like their counterparts in Hollywood.
Though many artistes look forward to this, popular actress, Eucharia Anunobi-Ekwu has a different view. She doesn't really see bodyguards or bouncers as being necessary primarily because of her personal nature.
Anunobi-Ekwu is an artiste who believes so much in her fans and she loves them so much that she doesn't really get worried like most of her colleagues when fans hug asking for her autograph, a handshake or photograph. She has learnt how to accommodate all these as part of the glamour of showbiz, hence she disclosed to Daily Sun that she doesn't see the use of bodyguards as a necessity for movie stars.
'U.K' as she is fondly called by friends and colleagues started off as a model when she was an English Language undergraduate at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Now married with a child, the actress came into the movie industry when she acted in Nneka the Pretty Serpent (Part II) as a goddess and later had her break when she starred in Glamour Girls (Part II):
Career in acting
I had always wanted to be an actress, but I first started as a model; fashion and photography. When I was at the university, the acting talent hadn't developed, but I prayed hard for it to grow.
All I did then was to read about people in Hollywood but towards the end of my programme, I heard about Living in Bondage. I was quite young then, and by the time I went through the national youth service, the movie industry had somehow picked up quite a bit, and I was waited for an opportunity.
Somewhere along the line, a friend took me for an audition and I got a role from Christian Michael. Unfortunately, we didn't produce the movie. But Kanayo O. Kanayo who had already become a star met me during the audition (he too was to be part of the first movie). So when it was time to produce Nneka the Pretty Serpent (Part II), they said they were looking for a fine girl who would be able to interpret the role of the goddess. Kanayo remembered me, and asked them to look for me, they found me and that was it. I got the role and all that is now history.
When I did Glamour Girls II, that's when my rating and fee skyrocketed. But I have been featuring in other movies since then.
The real 'UK'
Fisrt, I want to say that I am one of the most wonderful human beings that God created. I say this because I have been told and I know too, that I have a lot of wisdom, a lot of intellect and have ability to have empathy for other human beings. I am a very humane person, I love to love, I love to forgive, I love to feel for people. And then again, I am a perfectionist, I am a very hardworking young lady, if I do something I like to do it very well. If it is not done well, you better count me out.
Again I would say, to top it all, I am a born again Christian. The day I found Christ, I found joy unlimited, from that time I was telling God, how come I wasn't a born-again Christian all along. Because I have found so much joy, peace and happiness being a child of God, a practising child of God, a practising Christian.
And then on the physical side, I'm a very tolerable person, and I am a no-nonsense person too. I don't like people that tell lies, I don't like all those 'little little' lies people say do not matter. Generally, whoever understands me will move on well with me.
I have been born-again for almost a decade now. Nobody converted me, I woke up and decided that I should pay more attention to God. I realised then that I couldn't have got to the stage I was without the Almighty God so I decided I should concentrate on giving God more glory and dedicating my life to him.
At that time, I knew that the fame that came with my movies and the jobs I did was on the high side at least by the Nigerian standard. So if I hadn't become born-again, I probably would have been in the world. Because there was so much attention, the I became quite attracted to people such that if I was not strongwilled, I 'd have been carried away by the world. But God decided to carry me away with Him and I enjoy this a lot. I worship with the Redeemed Christian Church of God at Ikeja.
Coping with popularity
I couldn't have been famous as a star without people recognising my talent. The recognition implies that people have been watching my movies, so I see it as a honour. People see me and ask me for autographs, photographs, or that I should sign on their shirts, or I should hug them, sometimes I would see some ladies who will say 'I just wanna hug you'. Some would say 'Can I just touch you.' This is a great honour and I don't get disturbed. Some artistes say they get disturbed by their fans. I understand that sometimes, one not be in a good mood but for me, I just take a look and listen. It's wonderful. For those who buy my movies, these are people that tell me I am a star, without them I am nothing, so I have to give them attention. It is wonderful.
I cannot buy a ship or a limousine now, but I think God has been really wonderful to me. In the Nigerian sense, it has been good, but I pray and I know it would get better. Then we will be able to ride the limousines, and go around with bodyguards.
But even if that time comes, I don't think I want to have bodyguards. I want people to see me, I want to see them, if I shield myself away from people that love me, to me it doesn't make sense. Although I know that sometimes the crowd can be quite suffocating. But then, I am a realist, I don't mind walking down the street, if they want to carry me, let them carry me.
Well, I am very rich according to the Lord, the Lord has been very wonderful to me. The Lord has blessed me with a lot of intellect, with His wisdom. You know material things are not something you lay claims to. You can have four cars or ten cars, and God forbid, all of them may get burnt in a day and that's it!. You can have millions of naira in the bank and one day, the bank might fold up. I don't want to say this is how much I have in my account. But I only want to say I am very rich in the Lord, because I am born-again. I have all the money in the world, because Christ says when you have Him, you have other things in the world. So that's how rich I am.
Well, God has taken me this far. But I just know this is just the beginning. And the Lord that I serve says that the earth is my possession and that wherever I put my foot, I should take for my own. So I believe I have not even started in this job, as long as I have Christ, Jehovah Almighty the best is yet to come. We are producing movies with outsiders in other countries, so very soon or later, I might be acting in Hollywood. But I am still proud to be a Nollywoodian. And I know that the best of Nollywood hasn't come yet.