What I need now is a male companion - Stella Damasus-Aboderin
Born 24th April 1978, Stella Damasus Aboderin is a Nigerian actress, singer and performer. Having starred in approximately 50 films, she has worked with some of the greatest entertainers in Africa.
Though an Owerri indegene, she was born in Asaba, Delta State. Her father was a banker, and her mother was an opera singer and stage actress.
Her family name was originally Ojukwu, but her grandfather changed it to Damasus, his first name, to avoid confusion with Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu during the Nigerian civil war.
When Damasus was three, her father was transferred from the former African Continenetal Bank branch in Asaba to Benin City where she had her secondary education in a private secondary school in nearby Ibusa.
Damasus' talent for singing and acting was encouraged by her mother.
Growing up for her is one of the most treasurable memories she has.
"People don't know that I am very rich, not with money, nor by name, but with good parentage. My family is the best family in the world, and that is where my wealth is. I am a very rich person in Jesus name because of my family."
On how she got into the world of acting, alluring Stella recalls, "My journey into acting was accidental.
I did not come to Lagos to be an actress. I wanted to be a singer, and that was what I started with. I actually escorted my friend to an audition and I did not audition with everybody else, I just waited for her.
When they finished and we were leaving, the director saw me and said that he did not see my face in the audition hall. I told him that I did not come to be auditioned.
And he said, why not, that he liked my face, and the way I speak, and he said I should come and try out for the role.
I tried it out, and three weeks later, he came to Klinq studio where I was working then, and told me that I got the part, and I was surprised. That was how I got my first role. The title of the movie is, Abuse."
How does this pretty faced actress cope with single parenthood? Said she: "Not having a man around is one of the most challenging thing sthat any single mother can face, especially when you had a man in your life.
There are different women, there are some women that just want to have kids for a man with no intention of marrying the man, they just want to be single mothers.
But for somebody like me who was married and had a particular lifestyle, all of that just changed overnight. For instance now, my generator is bad and instead of thinking of what I'm going to buy in the market and be the woman, I have to deal with it. 'Oh the generator is bad, oh my child is not feeling well, there is nobody to call and say, 'honey, Angelica is not well, let's take her to the hospital' everything has to be me, myself and I.
If I want to go out and buy some things, there is no 'my dear, can you raise me some money' there's nobody to advise me.
I come home after work, I make sure the children are sleeping, and there's nobody with me in the bedroom.
At times I call my children to come and sleep with me but it's not everytime that they can do that. Some nights like that when I find myself alone, the only thing I can do is to pray to God to please comfort me right now.
Sometimes I cry and sometimes I just go on my knees and cry to God, because I have learnt that sitting back and saying God help me will not get me anywhere.
Everybody s doing that, but when it really hurts, all I can do is to go on my knees and cry to God to help me out and somehow, God helps, he sorts me out. It is not easy because you have to do that regularly. It is very challenging.
I'm on the road driving, and my car breaks down, there's no more 'Jaiye, the car has stopped, or there's no money', because normally, my husband would say 'okay, get into a cab and leave the car there, just come home, I'll send somebody to do it, don't worry, I'll sort it out' I was used to hearing, don't worry my dear, I will sort it out. But now, I have to deal with all of that on my own. And then I look at people with their own husbands, and I'm like, anyway, there's a reason for it, God has better reason for it."
Being a beautiful and young woman, men are bound to come and ask her out, how does she cope with these advances from men: "I don't have to lie about it, they come, but for me, man is not my priority right now, and that is the truth. I need to heal, I need to stabilize my life. Even with all of these that I'm doing, I am not the same Stella that I used to be.
When you live with a person for about eight years, and all of a sudden, he's taken away from you just like that, it takes time to re-adjust your life. I'm still trying to be a person, still trying to discover who I truly am now that I am a single mother."
Asked if she would remarry and she said, "I may not be able to say I want to remarry or settle down, I can't do that yet.
The most I can do now is to have a male companion who understands what's going on in my life and who cares about my children who can say come, what are you doing, how are you and how are the children doing, let me take you out for dinner or something.
That I know I can do, but I am not ready to settle down with anybody. I don't know what will happen in the future.
Men have been coming but the difficult thing about men is that it will be very difficult for me to know the ones that are coming for the right reasons.
Some may just want to come to you because they know you are popular, you're good-looking and all that, but a lot of people are not very honest.
I've seen a lot from m y friends, and my sisters so sometimes I ask myself , I'm I sure I can handle this man's wahala? I married Jaiye when I was very young and there are so many experiences that I have not had about relationships.
I'm just being very careful because I have gone through a lot of pain, and I don't want to go through any again, she says."
If you are curious and want to know who the real Stella Damasus Aboderin is, she would tell you: "The real Stella is so simple and down to earth that you will be shocked. Stella likes to be a normal person; Stella likes to have fun; Stella likes to go to the market herself; she likes to be a good family woman.
She likes to be a good friend that will be there for you all through thick and thin. Stella is not a flashy high flier, Stella is not a very glamorous person.
Stella is not the kind of person that if she has an award ceremony to attend, she will plan for the dress she will wear for the ceremony two, three weeks ahead, no Stella will go to her wardrobe , find something she will wear as long as it is comfortable for her."
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy goes the saying, and to avoid being dull, this, Stella unwinds by staying home with the kids and having fun.
According to her, "I spent so much to make my home as comfortable as possible so, I play with my children. sometimes we do fashion parade, I record them on video in my home, we dance and just have fun generally. So I unwind by having fun with my children", she says.