I CRY MORE OFTEN THAN WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT IMAGINE, I GET EASILY HURT ––EUCHARIA ANUNOBI
Eucharia Anunobi appears tough in her movie roles, but this seemingly tough talking lady is after all very emotional. At a point during the interview, she broke down in tears
YOU were modelling, suddenly you switched to acting. Why this switch?
I was modelling when I was in the university; there was basically the
entertainment thing that was happening at that point in time.
As soon as I was done with school, from modelling I joined the terrain. I don't think I stumbled upon it accidentally. I would rather say I needed something that had more body, more soul, more spirit and modelling wasn't giving it to me. It wasn't giving me the depth and expression I wanted, because I'm a very deep person. When I finished my youth service, I realised that acting terrain had open doors, and I joined them. That is where I have been, and I guess that is my calling.
That means you are making a lot of money from acting.
No, from the Nigerian context. I don't know if I am making a lot of money, because the money comes and goes and there are so many family responsibilities – extended family. Well, I can say I'm comfortable, I thank God.
You tend to hammer on your relationship with God. I want to know more.
I am a Christian I have always been a Christian. I have a closer relationship with God, that is what being born again means. I have realised that God is he ultimate and should be respected and given adoration. I realise that somebody has to take the credit for all the success, for all the happiness, for all the blessings. And that person who gives me life, favour, that person should be given incomprehensible attention and that person is God. I think every human being on the face of earth should worship God.
You once described yourself as being hard-working, how hard working are you?
I'm more hard-working than probably ten men put together.
What do you do you mean by that?
I'm rather too intelligent for ten women put together. I know the right thing to do; I know what it means to respect a man; I know what it means to do my job. I do a lot of things people would not expect a woman to do. I cook; I wash; I service my car; I do all kinds of things.
A lot of women of my age and status will not do one per cent of what I do. I 'm resourceful.
When you talk about respect for a man, I'm sure you must be referring to your husband?
Yes, when I say a man, I'm not just talking about my husband, I'm talking about everyman because one thing I've realised is that as long as you're a woman, you should realise that there is a man, and a woman was created out of a man. So, if one realises that one was created out of man, one should give him respect and he will get respect when he respect himself. I know that I should give a man who respects himself absolute respect. The one that does not respects himself, I thrash him.
What can a man do for you to thrash him?
If a man behaves irresponsibly; a man is untruthful; the man does not believe in God; a man is obstinately promiscuous, you know some men think it is their right to behave like a dog; to sleep with any woman they see on the street, they have no decorum, no shame they don't give a hoot, they don't even think there is God somewhere, they just think all they came to do is to have fun according to them. I have no respect, absolutely no respect for such men.
The story had it that you just got angry one day and packed out of your husband's house.
I don't know about that, all I know right now as I sit is that I don't know where he is.
You mean you've never bothered to contact him?
My family has done what it has to do.
That means you so much believe in tradition Absolutely. I'm an African woman; Igbo girl.
You spoke glowingly about God. Is it correct to refer to you as a purist?
I don't say I'm a purist. I don't want to say I'm a fanatic. I'm a strong believer in the infinite power of God because the Bible says our righteousness is like a filthy rag in the sight of God. For you to say I speak like a purist, I don't think it is right. I believe I'm filthy spiritually. I believe I'm filthy emotionally. I know God gave his only begotten son to die for me, shed his blood to cleanse my sin. As long as I have that believe, I know I am purified, not because I don't do things or I don't commit sins by thinking, by reaction of my body or words and thoughts from my mind, but I have this fear that God is watching me somewhere.
I have strong faith in supreme God. I've come to realise that I'm nothing without him.
Have you had any cause to regret a role you played in a movie?
No. I don't think there has never been any thought or I never even imagined it because all the roles I have starred so far, they are all wonderful. I've played different roles. I've played all kinds of roles in different ways, they are what you call expression of life. Why would I want to regret? As an actor, we do these things so that we can correct people. Those who possess such character will see themselves and say 'is this how I'm, and change. Any role I come across, I enjoy it because I'm an ambassador, through those movies, through those roles so that people can see a change.
One thing I have noticed is that you have never bothered to change your name even as a married woman This is because Eucharia Anunobi has become a brand. That is the brand I'm known with, so, changing it doesn't change who I am.
A name is something for you to be identified with.
Your boy is now grown up, when are we expecting another baby?
When God gives me.
So who is the man now?
The man is Jesus
I mean the man in your life.
I told you the man in my life is Jesus.
You're a beautiful woman and you know it, how do you deal with male admirers especially those who tend to be pesky?
Whether you like it or not, as a woman, even if you're ugly, a man will come after you and I don't chase away men. But if they come on amorously, and I don't want to have anything to do with them, I just try to be nice to them, I ward them off diplomatically, and see how I can tell them not to see me as a sexual partner but see me as a friend. And if such person does not want to have me as friend but as a lover, I have no choice but to cut him out. But most times, when they come on strongly, and want to have amorous relationship with me, I try to ward them off, definitely we only become friends, I don't chase anybody away.
If you had a choice what would you have wished?
I probably wish I have like ten children.
You must have been tempted one time or the other, what was the temptation and how did you handle it?
I'm a human being, I cannot say I don't see people I'm attracted to or who are attracted to me, but at the end of the day one thing that can put my head up above water is the fact that I had become a Christian, I have a break not to go over board. God is the break in my life.
Tell me something you have not told anybody about yourself.
I cry more often than what people might imagine. I get easily hurt and I guess, trust people too much and because of that people take advantage of me but it makes me cry that people want to use me. What can I do, I can't kill myself, I just say God please make me strong. A lot of people when they see me because I do a lot of role where I'm acting tough, they think I'm tough, that is for the movies. I ain't a tough girl, men, I cry more than you can imagine.
When are you going to remarry?
Well I don't know, I wouldn't want to be alone I can't stand being alone.
Who is the person?
There is nobody, there is nobody for real.
I'm totally disoriented as it is. I'm totally destabilized. I've not gotten to terms that I'm alone. Actually, sometimes, I wake up in the night and I'm like 'Jesus Christ, I'm alone.' You know I'm a total woman in the sense that God created a woman to have a man by her side and I know I want a man by my side. And I tell God, please, give me the man ..… (sobs uncontrollably) I don't want to talk about it please.
GBENGA ADERANTI www.nigerianfilms.com