I’M NOT LOOKING FOR A HIT AND RUN GUY BUT A LASTING RELATIONSHIP----OBEY ETOK
She is not a new face in Nollywood. Ardent watchers of popular teevee drama series Super Story will not forget her face after a remarkable performance as Sandra in the rested "No pain, no gain" episode.
She is Obey Etok. Yes the name may not ring a bell but the face definitely does. This Akwa-Ibom-State born-actress, actually got the idea of acting kicking in her head after watching Nollywood star, Liz Benson as a young girl. Very open and down to earth, Obey who says her ideal man has to be good-looking, right now has no relationship. So the guys can come calling. But before you do, note that what Obey is looking for is not just a hit and run kind of guy but a lasting relationship.
Yes, a husband, Obey says "I do not want a guy or man, I want a husband," one that I can learn from all my life on earth." Very sociable and perhaps witty, Obey in this chat with ATIM IKPEME at her Surulere residence in Lagos, talked freely on many issue, as if there was no tomorrow. Enjoy!
Lets meet you
My name is Obey Etok, I'm from Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom State. I did my primary and secondary education in Okigwe, Imo State. I studied theatre arts in Imo State University. I grew up in Imo State though I was born in Lagos.
It was wonderful, then I used to be like a tomboy but I'm all feminine now. I had a very strict father. My parents taught us to be disciplined and hard-working and this has formed the foundation of my life today. If they didn't train me the way they did, may be I would not have turned out as I am today.
I would always give it to Liz Benson. I heard she's an evangelist now and I'm happy for her. I had always wanted to be like her, to act like her. She actually got me into thinking about acting.
Entrance into acting
It all started in 1998 when in my third year, my lecturer brought us for an excursion in Lagos from Imo State. We went to Winnis Hotel and we saw so many actors and actresses. I saw Ramsey Noah for the first time and I said, for me to see him then I can also be like him. My course mates went back to school after the excursion but I stayed back for a while and did some auditions before I went back to complete my studies.
Shot into limelight
I started with Camouflage and Back to Sender but I will give it up to Power of Love II because that was the movie where I played my first lead role.
I will not forget to mention that the series "No pain, No Gain" in the popular TV drama Super Story by Wale Adenuga, where I played the part of Sandra also shot me into limelight.
Because it was a lead, the story was captivating and challenging, I didn't think I could do it. I played Sandra who was a rich man's daughter that fell in love with Richards not knowing that he was using her to get to her wealth. He deceived her and she was later in a wheelchair while Richard died.
People really remember me for that role, I even feel sad anytime I remember that role I played.
The challenging roles I have played are in some movies that I did where I had to speak my dialect. It is very challenging to translate the language from English to the mother tongue.
Films like Nsuto - anwan, Usen ikpe, Edima actually were challenging, even when I sit back and watch the preview, I always ask myself if I was the one that spoke the language that well.
Movies that I have had challenging roles done in English include, My promise land, From a distance, Aristos, where I played a prostitute.
I had to actually behave like a prostitute, put myself in the character so as to bring out the character that the director really wanted. But in all, I would say there are really no challenges. I see acting as a normal thing, because once you are given a script, interpretation of the role starts immediately.
There are some that I wouldn't really call embarrassing, I would say that I have been overwhelmed a couple of times by the way people treat me.
There was this particular one that happened when I went to Yaba market to buy somethings, a lady walked up to me and started screaming, "oh Sandra, you can walk, thank God that you can walk, I will tell my husband and friends that you can walk." A crowd gathered and she started explaining to them how Sandra (in "No pain, No gain") was destroyed by Richard such that she had to be put in a wheel chair. Everybody started sympathizing with me, telling me to take heart and forget what had happened between me and Richard, I actually wept while trying to explain to them that it was just acting.
She wouldn't answer or believe me, she kept hugging me and crying. I was indeed overwhelmed. Then the phone calls, yes those ones can get embarrassing at times.
I really do not have a relationship now, I used to; (can the men come?) well, I don't want a man or guy, I want a husband, one who has the fear of God and will understand my kind of job and accept me the way I am . So no guys, no man, just a husband is what I want.
For the males I admire, Sam Dede, Pete Edochie, RMD, then for the females, Patience Ozorkwo, Liz Benson and Genevieve Nnaji.
Take on Nollywood
We will get there because we are really working hard. For us to be recognized as the third in the world, it is not easy.
We came out from nowhere to become reckoned with all over the world. For Hollywood to recognize us then we are doing well. It's just that as the saying goes "a prophet is not recognized in his home town" that is what is happening here.
He has to be God-fearing first of all. I like them handsome with good diction, good dress sense. I like a man I can learn from not one who wants to only learn from me without offering anything that I can learn. He musn't be perfect but he has to be good looking.
What is sexy on a man/woman
On a man, his good looks is what I consider sexy. You may say I look at the physical a lot, yes, I do. My type of man has to be good looking. As for what is sexy on a woman, I do not really look at women that much, may be because I am a woman. But a woman that dresses well with cloths that fit could be considered sexy.
What can't you leave your house without
There's nothing material I can't leave my house without. The only thing I can't leave my house without doing is having my morning prayers. A day I wake up and forget to pray, at any point that I remember that I didn't pray, I would take a moment and pray.
To me, prayer is very important and should be treated as such.
What can't you be caught dead wearing
I can't wear anything that will expose my tummy. I wear skimpy things, miniskirts. I like skimpy things but I can't wear anything that will show my tummy because I think I have a tummy that is not so flat.
I am a football fan. I love watching football. My club is Barcelona and Ronaldinho is my man. I used to play football as a kid with the boys. Apart from football, I also love watching movies, I love cooking and cleaning the house.
Most cherished possession
Nothing material but what I really cherish is having Jesus Christ in my life. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Sex for roles in Nollywood
A lot of people have been saying this but I have not been asked for sex before being given a role. I have been asked out by people but not because they want to give me a role.
It is only the desperate ones who are ready to do anything to get a role instead of showing their skills on set. Some of them are not good actresses but they do not want to accept that, they would still go and meet a producer/director and say that they will do anything to get a role. And once they do it to one director, then they can do it to the others. There's no need for them to rush but God's day would come for you.
To everyone out there, remain focused, keep your head straight. Know where you are going and what you want out of life because it is only when you know what you want that you can go for it. Remain prayerful because the days are evil.
Go to school, do not think you can attain anything you want without having a little of education. All of us went to school to be what we are today, so education is important.