I AM A LOCAL WOMAN.... PATIENCE OZOKWOR
Patience Ozokwor, aka Mama G, is a well-known face in the Nigerian home video industry. The talented actress from Enugu-Ngwo, Enugu State, who everybody loves because of her notable interpretation of roles, speaks about her past, acting career, dabbling into music and plans for the future in this encounter with MAGI MICHAEL. Excerpt:
I was an announcer with Radio Nigeria, Enugu. I have always loved entertainment, but after what I would prefer to call retrenchment from active service, I went full swing into acting and that was in 1997. I have never looked back ever since. The retrenchment was a package of blessing and challenge that ushered me into a new life.
Becoming an actress
It was like a lady that made love for the first time after getting married; the excitement and the anticipation that the first night always came with, the trepidation that came with it, and the pains that followed it. She later becomes pregnant, the most critical period is the nine months she carried the baby in the womb, and she eventually put to bed. Same thing happens in the acting world. You are given birth to, that is, you get launched out as a lead character after staring as extra in so many movie projects. When you get the recognition and acceptability and you become marketable, people will start to talk, write, and celebrate you.
Exploitation as a green horn
Once you have excelled in one or two movies, the exploitation you experienced when you were still scratching the surface, trying to make out a living, will now turn out on a grand level. It is left for you to either be your own boss or you allow them to boss you around. But you must be very diplomatic on how you go about being your own boss, bearing in mind that they pay your bills. You can checkmate their excesses sensibly.
Death and exploitation.
Both are the same. But if you are able to survive that period, then you are ready to face the world of acting grandly. It happened to me, but it was God that saw me through all those periods. That is also the period that fame can rob you of those years of serious toiling; ego is another killer of the years of sacrifice that most actors have put up in this profession
After acting, what else?
If acting had not smiled on me, I would have become a success story as a fashion designer. I make bridal gowns very well. I make hats and bake pretty well. I am very good with my hands. Both careers are quite challenging and any one could have made me famous. I am very proactive, gregarious, and creative. I made the wedding gown for my daughter that got married last month. You need to see her gown, it is breathtaking and beautiful.
Most remarkable/traumatic day.
I have had so many remarkable days in my life. But the one that I hold dear up till today was when I was honoured in Cameroon, and I have also had so many traumatic moments in my life. The most touching and traumatic moment in my life was when I lost my husband in 2002. He had been sick, but he gave up the ghost when we thought he was going to make it. We still miss him, especially now, that his only daughter just got married. He was very close to all of us, but very dear to his daughter. We had four kids together - three boys and a girl.
Latest musical effort.
Don't mind me. I am just enjoying myself musically. I am a native woman. I love local music and that was what I did in the album; trying to localize a foreign tune. I love local foods and dresses; I love ridding bicycle too. I love Oliver de Coque, P-square, Tu face and this young man that sang kolomental.
Patience Ozokwor Vs Mama G.
There is no difference between the two of us. Mama G is just a nick name. I love meeting people and making them happy. I am a happy widow with four kids and some adopted children.
How do you relax?
I read any book that is intellectually stimulating. These days, I don't even have the time, so I turn to classic movies, or, I could just sleep whenever my body calls for it. Though I am a workaholic, I always take time out to rest.
What you miss most in life.
The question should be who I miss most in life. If you had asked me that, I would have told you that I miss my husband. He was loving and amiable. For his daughter and sons, he would have stayed, but we know that he is resting in peace in the bosom of our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ. Though, death would not allow him to stay with us, we know that we would see him when death would have been destroyed permanently.