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My marriage has been wonderful - Stephanie Okereke

By The Rainbow
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After about one year of a career lull occasioned by her wedding staged sometime in april, 2012, award winning thespian, Stephanie Okereke-Linus is back with a bang. Her new film titled dry, is a war against the menace of child mortality, premature marriage and the travails of down-trodden women.
ONE YEAR IN MARITAL BLISS…
Marriage has been wonderful. It's fun and I feel a little different sometimes but I try not to be burdened by my new status as a married person. We're still a young couple trying to live our lives and have fun, work hard and stay committed to each other and never take each other for granted.

ABOUT THE LULL IN MY CAREER…
Sometimes you say you want to take a back seat for a while because you just got married; you want to settle in to absorb the whole married life as you try to reorganize your life. It's a different stage in your life and you want to re-strategize properly. But I've done a few movies for other people.

MY NEW MOVIE…
What I'm focusing most of my attention on now is my new project. The movie is titled, Dry. I've finished the first phase of the film and I'm going to start the second phase soon and I'm working hard to see if I can finish it this year. The movie is shot in different places, Nigeria and abroad. Even in Nigeria, we had to shoot in different cities, Lokoja, Cross River, Abuja, Sokoto and Lagos. The phase one of shooting in Nigeria is done and I'm prepping for the second phase right now.
AN EXPOSE WOMEN'S SILENT AGONIES…
Dry as a movie is going to bring up a lot of the maternal issues that we have in this country and the fact that a lot of less privileged women are dying during childbirth. It also dwells on early marriage and the backlash. It is also going to bring to focus the need for young girls to be allowed to live their lives so that they can fulfill their destiny. And I'm going to be using the project to create awareness about VVF. It's something I've been working on since I was in the university and it has been like a burden to me. It is something that I need to deliver so that I can feel light. And what is the best way to tell the story of the people who cannot express themselves or whose voices cannot be heard? This is why I'm using film as the platform that I have to bring to light the challenges women face and see the different ways we can individually and collectively play our roles to make our society a better place.

LEGION OF STARS IN THE MOVIE…
I'm spotlighting new faces. My little girl who played the role of Halimat is new but she's wonderful. This is her first time in acting and she played such an intensive role. It's so difficult to find child actors and this is one of the things we need to focus attention on more these days. We must train young people to know how to act and express themselves. I was so happy when they found this girl for me. Liz Benson now Liz Amai is in the film. She has been away for almost ten years. People have been trying to get her to do films but she has been saying. But after reading the script, she made up her mind to play her role. And her acceptance was wonderful because I'd always looked up to her. She's such a fabulous actress. Olu Jacob, Hakeem Rahman, Rakiah from the north and some other actors from the north featured in the movie as well.

ABOUT MY NEW BLONDE LOOK…
I'm now on my natural hair because I just felt I should try a new thing. When you're young, you're up and doing but later on sometimes you just want to relax. Sometimes, carrying braids and some kinds of hair hurt. You know what it is when you have to be hitting your hair all the time and other time you have hair all over your face. I just felt like trying something new. And the fact that I can wear my natural hair, style it the way I want and change the colour is also fun.