How I got my break
Who is Oge Okoye?
My name you already know. I am from Anambra State, Nnewi to be precise. Oge is a down to earth girl, quiet, cool and a little shy. Like you know, she is an actress.
I find it difficult to reconcile two things about your person. Can Oge be a down to earth and shy person at the same time?
Well, shy I am. Apart from my job… (Thinking, meets the reporter's eyes and then stuck)
Now, I can see you are shy (general laughter) tell me about being down to earth.
I take people the way they are, I interact with people normally, and do not bring my being an actress into interacting with my friends, especially my fans. if I see them somewhere, I am able to interact with them and relate with them.
Don't you see any danger in being too friendly?
Yes, being friendly with people does not mean I entertain insult. Every friendly discussion I make with my fans have a limit and then, I am quick to note it when someone is trying to go the unpleasant way.
You strike me like a cool, gentle girl but one that is very diplomatic. But for a lady who is fast hitting stardom, how do you think you will be able to manage your privacy?
In the first place, being an actress means you should be able to act: this goes beyond the set. You should be able to take care of yourself, bring your relationship under control and manage your relationship with people without qualms. So, being nice and friendly has its limit whether with the male or female friends.
Has there been an instance where you had men fighting over you?
No, I don't think I've ever experienced such thing
Have you ever been sexually harassed?
Of course not. I don't know why you are asking this question. But may be I should let you know that my ideal is one- man one-girl. That I try as much as possible to live with. So I do not give room for two guys to fight over me or be the remote cause for my being harrased sexually by another man.
The men out there are so smart to take advantage of any woman, a shy person like you. How do you manage to shove them aside?
Being shy does not mean that I am stupid. It only reveals the soft part of me and the kind of orientation I had.
What did you study in school and where?
I am studying Theatre Arts at the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka. I am in my final year. Let's say I just graduated.
Now, let's talk about how you got to act your first movie role?
I heard there was an audition in Enugu, so I went. About three or four of us. I got auditioned and got to play a role, in “Ceaser to Ceaser” though it wasn't a lead role. I tried to interpret the character to the best of my ability. The producer was Obi Madubogu. After that I did another one entitled “Spanner” though it was a comedy but I believe that appearance in Spanner, the demand for me increased.
What role did you play in Spanner?
In Spanner I was the lady who was married to a much older guy for his money and had a fling with another guy in school though the guy had a small size which was played by Chinedu Ikedieze. I brought him into my family house and we started hitting it there (laugh), right there in my husband's house. Later on, my husband (Nkem Owoh) got to know and felt quite stupid that all the while he had thought the guy was a small boy not knowing he was an adult. It was a nice film and it indeed sold very well. But that was my first comedy and my last comedy.
How do you mean first and last comedy?
Yes, my first and it could be the last…
Remember that that film brought you to the mainstream. How come you want to forget such a film that brought you to limelight?
Of course not. I wouldn't forget my source and that is why I keep saying it everywhere I go that Spanner was my first movie my first movie. But right now, I want to do some thing quite striking, something that will touch the lives of people. I want to do serious movies.
What year was Spanner?
Spanner was done in 2001 or 2002
Do you mean that people don't take such films serious?
Ehm no, people take the films serious. But then you know its about laughter, people want to laugh and laugh. It may teach a good lesson but the bottom line is for people to have fun, watching them. So, I want to do something serious.
How many films would you say you have done so far and could you please give us some of these titles?
Oh. I have really done a lot, it could be over thirty or forty I could name “ Sister Mary” that's another beautiful movie I love so much. There is Forever yours, Need for Each other” “Black Bra” “Guiding Angel”
Of all these movies, which one really comes to your mind. Perhaps one in which you played the lead and found challenging?
Of course in all the movies I just mentioned, I played the major roles. But there is something about “Sister Mary.” That really strikes. Each time I sit down I said to myself that was lovely. I am not a catholic, though, I tried to interpret that role so well. I had to go to catholic schools, nun schools and spoke with a lot of people. And then after the movie a lot of people, when they see me talk so much about my role in “Sister Mary” I believe I really touched a lot of the people's heart through that movie. All the Christian homes, I can bet that they all have “Sister Mary.”
Would you want to be a nun some day?
Wow! No! (Laughs and laughs) oh Victor pl-e-a-s-e. That I am inspired by the movie does not mean I would want to be a nun. I am just a normal girl.
Let's talk about the Nigerian movie industry. Where do you think we are going and how do you think that you can make a difference?
Talking about the Nigerian home video. I really must congratulate us because that is what Nollywood is all about. There are obvious signs of good things to come. But then, we must think professionally than materially.
Why are you base in Enugu?
It's not as if I am based in Enugu, but I grew up there, I started there. I should say that I am also base in Lagos. But you know, I started in Enugu, which was where I joined the movie industry. But I relocated to Lagos early this year.
So, what would you say are your reasons for relocating?
No special reason than the fact that I needed to change environment and then of course, because of my kind of profession I get most of my jobs here in Lagos. So, I find it so hard flying to and from Enugu. So I decided to have an apartment here.
How would you compare living in Lagos to Enugu?
Well, you and I know that Lagos is rowdy. But then you know that if you are in Lagos, you get challenged the more, you have a focus and you work hard. It's not as if you don't work hard in Enugu, but Enugu is better as a place to relax. A place to rest.
Would you say that after the ban on some artistes, the movie roles for you increased?
Not really. I wouldn't say that. Even when they were here I was always shooting, I was shooting here and there. It is God who increases one's fortunes and not the circumstances.
Have you ever considered getting married to an actor or some one within the movie industry?
It has to do with whereever you find love. There is no restriction to whether he is an actor or a businessman. Wherever you find love, be there. So, if I find love in the movie terrain, why not?
What is your lifestyle like, what do you do at leisure and where do you hang out?
At my leisure, I like hanging out with my friends, going to cinemas, going to Karaoki and of course, I club once in a while.
In Enugu or Lagos?
Lagos of course
Which of the cinemas?
Before Silverbird, I could go hang out at the beach; have fun with my friends go swimming one thing or the other
What's your dress style like?
My dress style is very simple attire my jean and my T-shirt as you see, that is me.
How would you define this tattoo on you? I can see a dove.
Yeah this tattoo signifies peace with love to go with it. Because the rose flower over there is all about it.
What does he feel about it?
Oh God! Victor… I don't know (laughs and laughs) I have got a flight to catch.
Oh yeah! I wouldn't want to answer for making you miss your flight. It's been nice talking with you, have a safe trip.
And its really nice talking to you. Hope to talk to you again.