Another Nollywood War:Actress OGE OKOYE Versus Colleague CHIOMA TOPLIS
HELL, indeed, hath no fury like a friend scorned and the case between these two friends is a typical example. According to Chioma, she had had enough of her former friend's lies and wants to clear the air surrounding why they cannot be friends anymore. The details are shocking and the expose entertaining. Please, grab some popcorn and a can of cold drink and read through. But please do not be a judge! Let me state here, however, that on the two occasions, Chioma referred to Oge and her mum calling me, it was I who called them to verify the story I had and they lent their voice.
“I always find it difficult to call journalists to discuss anything written about me, but in this case, I have had enough from Oge. Help me beg Oge to leave me alone, I do not know up until this moment what wrong I did to her. I should have followed my heart early last year when the news about her being asked by my husband to leave my house for leaving kitchen dirty after cooking while I was in Nigeria came up. Still till this minute, I did not know how that news got to you because I was in Nigeria, and my husband did not say that to her. The story you heard wasn't exactly what happened, but she and her people twisted it to get pity. If Oge did not have a motive to get attention for herself, she wouldn't have started calling some of our friends whom she had told me when she came not to let them know that she was in London soon after the kitchen incident to come and take her out that she was bored. Still she kept it a secret not to tell me that she was in communication with them until one of them called me to ask after her I lied that I hadn't seen her, but was shocked when she told me what Oge said. You could not imagine how shocked I was when I read the story in ENCOMIUM the next week.
“As if that wasn't enough, the following week, I read about her contacting you soon after that her mum called you also to tell you how good her daughter is and only gets bad name because of the bad friends she keeps. Nobody can believe how bad I felt. It's true I am not the first person who has accommodated a pregnant woman in her house, and also Oge is not the only Nollywood actress that I have accommodated in my house, but nobody has heard anything or any news ever, so how come it's only Oge? I can't still understand. I keep asking myself if that is her own way to seek attention from people. Yeah, Oge might be British, but she doesn't know anything about Britain. I made her rediscover herself here and have access to things. I let her use my house address to open bank accounts, I helped her to get NHS number, made her know and have access to things she has right to. I even made my husband stand for her as a guarantor to enable her get her children's citizenship. What haven't I done for Oge? When I met her, she told me her life story, then she just met her husband. And that her mum that is calling me a bad friend also begged me to help Oge and I carried her along and that was how it started. I know some people will say it's not a big deal, but the question is how many people can do it, leaving her in my house for months, even when I am not around. I am just a very carefree person who can also forgive very easily, so Oge took advantage of that, because almost this same ungrateful attitude she showed me when she had her first child. Though she was not staying in my house as planned because my house help had her baby about that time, so it wasn't possible for her too to come and stay at my place therefore she stayed at her friend's house which was near me. Being Christmas period, the lady travelled, leaving her and a friend and I still played the motherly role to her, driving to see her, bathing the baby, cooking till the boy became strong. It was while she was waiting for her son's passport to come out so that they can travel to Holland that I left for Nigeria. She surprised me. Could you believe that after one week I left, little did I know that she had her own plans. She started by changing her address from my house and redirected all her mails to her friends and put herself in a mess which I knew nothing about. She still kept it away from me. When I did not hear from her, I called her line to enquire how they were and if the son's passport had come out, but her phone was switched off. I now phoned that her friend and she told me that Oge had gone back to Holland and I was disappointed. So, I decided never to call her again. But a month after she came back to Nigeria, she still never called me, the SMS I received from her was a general text message inviting me to the son's christening which I swore never to attend.
“On that day when she didn't see me, she started calling, but I told her that I was not coming, so her mum intervened and pleaded with me, so I went for the reception. I forgave her. Soon after that, a gossip trailed her from that her friend, the lady she stayed in her house and her son. The same lady she made her son's godmother and they became sworn enemies. After that, she started again to be nice and very friendly to me, but it's now that it's becoming clear to me. Why all the niceness? Even when we had an argument, she will be feeling bad and will call her mum to talk to me, now I know probably her mum used to tell her to be calm to get what she wanted. So, one day her mum was coming to Nigeria and she pleaded with me to come so we can go pick her up. It was that night that they opened up to tell me what they had done and the mess she had made. I was angry but they kept telling me that they know, that it was how to put it right. Again, I agreed to help. So, when she became pregnant again, I was the third person she told after her hubby and mum, so I told her when to come to London. So, I helped her and cleaned the mess before coming to Nigeria soon after that kitchen incident. When I read in the papers that she and her mum called you, I called her on the phone and I was furious. She had to come with her cousin to sort it out with me and we made up again. She was with me for a month plus before she went into labour. I called the ambulance, went with her, had sleepless nights with her for two nights that she was in labour and went into theatre, was by her side all the time. Even when things went wrong that she cried herself out, I was there praying for her. Only me and her knew what she went through, till God intervened. But Oge has forgotten so fast and went about telling tales about me.
“After the party which I held for Oge and her baby one week after her giving birth, she changed again. First, she accused me of giving her UK number to ENCOMIUM to call her. That made me angry and we had a confrontation. To be honest, I was disappointed. Again, after all I had done for her, I wasn't pleased with her. I told her off and asked her to leave my house since we cannot trust each other. I am that kind of person that doesn't listen to gossips and judge from it. If not, me and Oge would have long been history. When I saw it all myself, I didn't need to go behind or gossip about it, I called her straight to her face, I told her that I had had enough. Also I reminded her that I can't remember her hubby ever saying thank you or she telling me that her husband said thank you, so I told her that I would want everybody to go their separate ways. But she called her cousin to plead with me, and also she pleaded with me too. Her mum from that point stopped calling me. She didn't call me after hearing her daughter's side. Obviously, she believed whatever lies her daughter must have fed her with. At that point, I knew I had been dealing with a bunch of ingrates. Oge reconciled with another of her friends who she was always going to her house and to cinema with before they fell out over gossip. So, she started going there. Sometimes in a week, she will only come home when she had run out of things. I knew that they had started discussing me because when she fell out with her, she was telling me tales about the lady. Even one day when they were exchanging words over the phone, Oge had put the phone on speaker for me to be listening to the lady's response to their accusations. It was shocking and the lady not being aware that the phone was on speaker said, “Oge, may God forgive you, you talk too much and I feel sorry for Chioma who you are staying in her house for she doesn't know.” Two to three weeks before I was due to go back to Nigeria, I told her that I was about to travel and would therefore want her to start making arrangement to travel back to her husband since her passport had come out. They had been cleared and discharged from hospital and she had completed her immunisation except for her third month which she could still have in Holland. But Oge said no, that I should let her stay for another one month to complete the third. But I refused. At this point, I wasn't ready to change my mind no matter who she will call to beg. So, I said to her by the way, you hardly live here with us, you might as well pack your things and move in with your friend. No, she said she couldn't live with her, so I said I was sorry I wasn't ready for what happened last time to happen again or for papers to accuse my husband of asking her to leave. She now knew I was serious and accepted to go, but to where I didn't know and didn't want to know.
“Later, she told me she made arrangement to move into a man's house who she said is her husband's friend. Did I care to know? No! Two weeks later, on the week I would be travelling, she had been around regularly to fix her stuff (cargo). I helped her when a mover came. In the process, she agreed to help cargo a bag containing eight pieces of Hollandis wrapper and that I would get it when she came back to Nigeria. The next day, she left to where she said she was going to stay and I left for Nigeria the day after and that was the last I heard of her. She didn't call me and I had no intention to call her. So, when in November I learnt that she had come back, I waited for her to call me to come and collect my wrappers but she didn't, so I sent my sister's house help to go to her house and get my stuff. I stayed in Nigeria at least two months before she came back. Nobody heard anything, but was shocked soon after she came back I started hearing stories of how I asked her to leave my house, without the story being properly told and I cried and asked God, what I had gotten myself into with Oge. I made up my mind that I was not going to say anything, which was why when I was asked in an interview if it is true I was having problems with Oge, I said no comment.
“I didn't know that you wrote something about it in your column. I only knew when City People called me to ask me the same question and that they contacted Oge and she said that I was being childish, that if I had a problem with her, that I should call her and sort it out. That she was busy with her baby. Imagine the cheek! Me to call Oge as per she is what? And to sort out what? This is exactly what I am talking about, she is now painting picture for people to pity her and say oh poor thing, she should be left alone to take care of her child. Meanwhile, she ignited the fire. But I will make sure that this will be the last time Oge backbites anybody and goes scot-free. All the rumour and tales following her are all true. She has told me a lot of incriminating, damaging things about all the people who have been close to her and I know she didn't tell only me, so also I know she must have talked about me. But I promise Oge one thing, to dare me and open her mouth just half an inch to call my name, not to talk of discussing me with anybody, let her pray that I wouldn't hear it . Then, I will give her business to talk about for the rest of her miserable life. So, you can see Stella why I have decided to bring myself to her level to tell you this story. It's so that people will hear and understand me out before judging. I am ready for Oge, so I don't want self pity, God will give the judgment later.”
REPORT BY STELLA DIMOKO KORKUS FOR ENCOMIUM MAGAZINE.