Pretty actress, Georgina Onuoha has got it all. She is immensely talented, well-to-do with a thriving career that is the envy of many in Nollywood.
At just 24, this fifth child in a family of six, has brought joy and smiles to many homes within and outside Nigeria with her scintillating roles in home videos. "I want to change the world for the better through acting. My dream is to heal the sufferings and pains of the masses through my roles in movies", divulged the International Relations and History undergraduate of Lagos State University (LASU).
Very busy Georgina, who rose from obscurity to popularity in Nollywood, has not looked back since her arrival on the set of Cursed From Beyond, in '97.
The star of numerous hit and acclaimed movies like Egg of Life, Runs, Valentino and Misplaced, is also a top model.
"My early days in the industry were very rough and tough. I went through many trials and tribulations. Even my dad who wanted me to be a police officer then felt disappointed when I turned down his request for Nollywood.
On men, love and affairs, curvy Georgina made it clear that she still believes in love, despite trying and failing twice. Hear the single and quietly searching star: "Despite my collapsed affairs I still pray to God to give me a man I can call mine everyday. I'm optimistic he will come."
Good to see you, where have you been all these while?
(Laughs heartily) I've been around. I only took a trip out of the country and later came back; the trip was to South Africa. And I've been working since I came back.
What major works have you done this year?
I have been too busy since the beginning of this year. In fact, I just finished a job before rushing to keep this appointment with you. I have over 16 movies that are yet to be released. But about six of my movies are already out this year. Some of them are Bumper To Bumper, Misplaced, Home Apart, Super Heroes, Silent Love and few others.
What actually took you to South Africa?
Sincerely speaking, I went to South Africa to relax and catch fun.
Did you go with your lover?
No! I went alone. I spent only a week and few days. It was fun being there.
But what major event about your trip do you still remember?
Many things, but most memorable was how Nigerians and even foreigners mobbed me at Johannesburg Airport. They were so, so happy to see me.
What are you doing at present?
I just finished a movie like I told you and I'm also starting another one immediately.
You are busy picking movie roles from left, right and centre when most of your colleagues are constantly complaining about drought. What is the magic?
Just God and passion for the job. It was not easy when I started.
When you heard about the alleged ban on some of your colleagues last year, how did you feel?
Sincerely speaking, the story was a big shock to many of us. It came like a bombshell to me.
What would you have done, if your name were among those banned?
(Thinks). I would have asked God why me? Wouldn't have done anything. I also know that when God closes the doors, he equally opens the windows. I would have gone back to modelling where I started from or go back to TV presentation.
Have you presented a TV programme before?
Yes! I once presented Excitement on television, which was later, changed to Excitement Plus. It was on MBI then.
The last time we saw, you were not looking this pretty and radiant. Who is the man responsible for all these?
God is the secret of it all. He's been my strength. As regards any man. No!
Did you break up with your lover?
Yes! We just broke up recently.
What went wrong?
Sorry, it is a personal thing.
Does that mean you have not seen a new man to start a fresh affair with?
They have been coming, but I'm only taking my time. I have many toasters and secret admirers. Right now, I want to devote more of my time to God. Soonest, God will give me my dream man.
You are 24; do you sometimes think about marriage?
For me it is not a major priority in life, but every young woman out there aspires to be somebody's wife someday. And I think and aspire to be somebody's wife on a daily basis.
So, in essence, if Mr. Right comes now you would be willing to get married?
Of course, yes.
So right now, you are single, free and searching?
(Laughs) You said that, I didn't say it. Well, I believe time will tell when the right person comes.
So, how would an admirer know he is the right person?
Are you a Christian? Don't worry, by signs and wonders you would definitely know.
But how come you did not see these signs and wonders in your last two affairs that crashed?
Have you forgotten that man proposes but God disposes? As human beings, we are not perfect. It is good to allow the will of God to be done in our lives.
What tantalizes your heart in a guy?
First is that he must be God-fearing. Intelligence also trips me in a guy. I also like comportment and good.
Twice you have been in love and it did not work in quick succession. Is anything wrong somewhere?
There is absolutely nothing wrong anywhere or somewhere, maybe God didn't want me to settle down with the wrong person. Maybe, that was why those two affairs ended like that. Remember also that God's time is the best.
Does it make you feel sad that the two affairs you expected to work and probably lead you to the altar did not work?
Of course, I'm human. I also believe that no matter how your emotions are being tortured, the perfect will of God must be done in your life. Nobody that leaves a relationship feels so happy, because these are people you love, cherish and want to be with always, but it is not the will of God for you.
Do the faults come from you or the guys?
All I can say is that all of us are innocent of it all…
If tomorrow an actor comes your way for marriage, will you marry him?
If it is the will of God, why not? Marriages and affairs should not be built on sentiments or stardom.
Let's go back a bit, when did you come into Nollywood?
I breezed into Nollywood between '97/98. Teco Benson's Cursed from Beyond was my first movie. My elder brother, Mc Arthur, brought me in. But funny enough, my dad being a retired Army officer wanted me to go to Police College and become a cop, but I refused blatantly. So, when the pressure from my dad to join police was becoming too much, I left my family home and moved in with my elder brother, he took me to my first movie audition. And crying very well got me my first movie role in Nollywood.
And what did your dad do when you disobeyed him?
Initially, he was so angry with me, but after seeing me in numerous movies, he became so proud of me.
Which movie (s) actually gave you your break?
I think Valentino and Runs from the stables of O.J Productions and Elonel International. These movies actually opened the doors of success for me in Nollywood.
Has any of your movies really challenged you physically?
Yeah! Egg Of Life really did. Before playing that role, many people saw me as a quiet and timid actress who only knows how to cry. Even the day I saw the script I nearly fainted. It was an epic with many bush scenes and scary attires and costumes. I shot for a month and two weeks. I had a broken leg while shooting. It was quite tasking. The boss of O.J Productions also handsomely paid us.
Still on movies, have you featured in up to 50 since you joined Nollywood?
Yeah! I've done up to that.
And that makes you a millionaire?
(Laughs) To God be the glory
You started making money at a very tender age, what does money mean to you?
First, I see money as a blessing from God because at my age, if I'm in the labour market, I don't think I would have achieved all that I have today. I've also vowed never to worship money; I won't also see money as the best thing that has happened to my life. I see money as a means of meeting my needs and helping others. I'm working on an NGO at present; it is called "Give A Hand Foundation". I want to give back to the society that has given me so much.
So, how soon are you kicking off with your NGO?
We have started the underground work and hopefully it will start before the end of the year. It is basically for the needy in our society.
If you were not in Nollywood today, where else would you have been?
I would have been a career diplomat laundering the image of Nigeria outside our shores.
Let's have a peep into your academic background?
I have a diploma in International Relations and Strategic Studies from Lagos State University. I'm at present a final year student of International Relations and History at same LASU. I have a certificate in French Language and speak it fluently.
Do you plan dumping acting for a career in diplomacy later in life?
I don't think so. My dream is to combine both. Acting remains my first love. I will continue to ask God to give me the strength to combine both very well when the time comes.
What would you say is your biggest achievement as a top actress?
First and foremost, acting brought me fame, fortune and connection. But above all, acting gave me the opportunity to reach out to millions of people, especially the troubled ones and put smiles on their faces.
Do you hate anything about being a star?
Well, it has its negative sides too. I hardly do most of the things I would have freely loved to do as a young girl. It restricts your movement and does not allow you to be your real self. It stops you from doing many things. But I have vowed that being famous will not stop me from eating amala in a popular joint on campus (general laughter). I do that much. Also, you are extremely careful because people want to always fault you. All these make you become artificial most times because you are no longer living for yourself but the people.
As a top actress, have you ever been embarrassed in public?
Yeah! Many times, especially on campus at the amala joint. Whenever I'm on queue, most students ask me silly questions like: do stars eat amala too?
As a role model, what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
I want my fans to embrace only my good sides, I'm not too perfect, and so they should pardon my shortcomings. I want to leave a legacy of being that youthful actress who came and touched lives with her unique ways of interpreting roles in movies. I want that name, Georgina Onuoha, to bring smiles to peoples faces wherever and whenever it is being mentioned.
You talked about shortcomings, can we know them?
Well, not what you think. I don't drink, smoke or even club. Just that I'm damn too temperamental and also a deep person. Bad words hurt me much. They can make me cry and fall sick for days.
Can love make you cry?
Of course, I'm human and that is one of our weaknesses.
Tell us about your family
I'm from a wonderful family of six. My dad being an ex-military man brought us up in a strict military way. Mummy was a teacher. We are four boys and two girls; I'm the fifth child. Growing up for me was very tough. No time to go out, keep pals and mingle with people. We were more involved in church activities then. I'm from Imo State, Ihite Uboma, Umuezibo LGA.
Where did you grow up and how was it like?
I grew up in the Badagry area of Lagos. My growing up was tough. At a point things became so tough and rough for my family that I had to hawk "iced water" on the streets of Lagos. I'm like a rose grown in the midst of thorns. But I thank God I passed through all those stages in life; it really prepared me for the greater challenges I'm facing today.
And what fond memories do you still remember about your growing up years?
I remember I was stubborn as a kid. I was not a rascal o! But my brothers and I played football and other sports. I was only used to boys then. In fact, I was a tomboy.
As a young, timid and pretty actress then, did producers and directors harass you sexually?
No! I was not. I'm a girl after God's heart. He's been guiding and protecting me. One fact was that when I came in then, many people thought I would not succeed because of my innocent look. Attaining stardom was not easy; I was humiliated, disgraced and even embarrassed then by so many people. I received much insult while growing in the movie industry?
But despite all these insults, what kept you going?
God and my strong-willed nature. Then, I used to come from Badagry to Surulere seven days in a week. Even most times, you will keep coming for one month without a job. Deep down then, I always said to myself: Gina don't give up, it will get better one day. I also knew I would make it, but I was not expecting it to be this soon.
And now that you have made it, how does that make you feel?
I feel happy, important and appreciated by Nigerians and my entire fans wherever they may be.
From your experience, how would you rate Nigerian men?
Basically, men are men. I wouldn't say men are terrible or the best, but when you find true love that is when you can count yourself lucky
So, have you found true love?
When the time comes you will be the first to know. I'm not gonna say more than this.
Let me put it this way. Has love been fair to you?
Yes! Love has been fair to me. I see love as an arena where you learn so many things. No regrets at all for my failed romances. In fact, I will say a big thank you to these people for making me learn so much. Relationships prepare you for marriage. For me it has no colour, I can marry a white guy if the love is there.
Can you act nude or semi-nude in movies?
It is not a crime, but I can't do it, not even for all the money in this world.
Since you started acting, has any award come for you?
Yes, I've won three awards. First was from a West African organization known as WANDEVI. I got a national merit of achiever from the Nigerian Youth Organization last year; they also made me their Fellow. Few weeks ago in Sheraton, Lagos, I was honoured with a trophy at the maiden edition of Nigerian Entertainment Awards. I felt delighted and great when I got the award. Nollywood is really making a global impact. We are going places; let the government support us, that is all that we want from them. Nollywood is the place to storm.
If you were to meet God, what major wish would you ask from Him?
First, I will thank Him for bringing me to this world. I will beg Him to alleviate our sufferings and to make the world a better place for us to live in. He should heal the world for us, that is all I want from Him.
Is there anything you hate about yourself?
Yes! My temper. It disturbs me much. I always pray for the grace to overcome it.
Which part of your body do you consider the sexiest?
My whole body. But my smile melts the hearts. Even the hardest ones.
Are you actually ready for marriage at 24?
Yes, I am fully ready.