‘I MARRIED AS A VIRGIN’
Patricia Ayenor's dream was to one day become a star, hence she studied Theatre Arts in the university. Today her dream has come true, as she played the lead role in the last edition of Super Story, Behind the Smile.
Patricia told Spectacles that she paid her dues before she got the break with the soap.
“It was not easy for me. I went to a thousand and one auditions but I was never given any role. I tried as much as possible to be a part of the industry, but I was not given the chance.”
But like the saying, Que sera sera, which literarily means What will be will be, providence has smiled on Pat and she is beginning to find her feet in the industry of her dream.
She told the story of how she suddenly became a part of Nollywood:
“It was just God that made it possible for me to get to this stage. I was staying in Warri, before I moved to Lagos. Somebody gave me the number of Mr. Bakare who works for PEFTI, the institution behind casting of roles for Super Story and other Wale Adenuga productions. I thought of calling him, but somehow I didn't get around to doing it.”
As a JJC (Johnny Just come) in Lagos, she missed her way home from the church one day.
“I was coming back from church one day and I missed my way. You can imagine, where I found myself was just in front of PEFTI office.”
Patricia instantly forgot that she was lost. She quickly entered the office to make some enquiries concerning how she could get a role in the series.
She recalled, “The person I saw was the Mr. Bakare I was asked to call. I didn't even know he was the one. I told him my mission and he just told me to keep my fingers crossed and keep in touch, that they would get back to me any time there was casting.”
Pat didn't wait for too long before she was called up for a role in Super Story.
It still amazes her how luck shone on her path.
“The director just accepted me. He knew I was married. So it wasn't as if he wanted anything from me. That was just how I was able to get the role.”
Her dream has now been fulfilled. She is now making some impact. In fact, the 'Sade' she played in the soap has been widely substituted for her real names. Pat said that everywhere she went, people stopped to greet her– something she never experienced before.
“If I go to the market, people will be shouting 'Sade, Sade'. Some of them go as far as hugging me and all that. I am thrilled about it. I thought people would even hate me because of the role I played. Sade was a nasty person in that soap. But I see people commending me and wanting to hug me and be associated with me. ”
She does not mind the publicity her role has accorded her. She said, it was something she had always wanted.
“It is something I have always expected. I love reaching out to people. I believe it will give me the opportunity to make an impact in somebody's life,” she said.
Pat is not an actress who would dress anyhow, despite her being in the showbiz world. She is still like the innocent girl next door.
“People who change their lifestyle as soon as they hit stardom only want to have an identity for themselves. I don't believe you should go haywire just because you are a public figure. Why would I suddenly want to tint my hair green or yellow, just because I am now a star? You should live a very simple and modest life and you should be seen as a role model.”
Is she not scared that rising to stardom would expose her to drugs and other habits usually associated with it?
She said, no. “I don't believe it is stardom that is making some people get into such bad habits. It is just that those people already had the trait in them. I have always been a gentle person. I cannot afford to drop off on the road. I never did it before and I cannot do it now. It is not because of my changing status; it is just that I am naturally a calm person.”
But her 'born-againism' does not mean she cannot act any role given to her.
“It is just acting. It is all make-belief. If I must kiss somebody in the movies, I cannot use my tongue the way I would with my husband. That is where I stand.”
As much as she can play any role, she cannot act nude.
“I will not do that. It is not because I am born again, but because my person cannot do that. Even if I wasn't saved, I don't think I will do that. A good name is better than silver and money.”
Patricia is married and she tells whoever cares to listen. She said her husband loves her so much that he does not mind that she is in the showbiz industry.
“He encourages me a lot. He understands the kind of job I do. Oh yes, my family comes first; but my husband does not mind that I am an actress. His kind of job takes him outside the country a lot. You can imagine, there was a time he spent more than three months outside the country. The very day he came back, I had an audition and he allowed me to go. How many husbands would do that for their wives?
“This last Super Story, we were on set until December 24th night. I hadn't gone to the market; there was no food to celebrate Christmas. But my husband did the shopping for me. He went to the market and bought the foodstuff for me.”
Pat paid glowing accolades to her husband. But men would always be men.
Since they are not always together, does she really trust her husband in terms of fidelity, Spectacles asked.
“I trust him and I believe him because I know the grounds on which we met. If you must know this, I married him as a virgin. I trust him so much. I know the kind of friends he keeps, he is not the party type. My husband will always be my husband. He does not chase women at all.”
She is still young in the industry and she is aspiring to hit the pinnacle.
“By God's grace, I hope to do what Oprah Winfery is doing today. I want to reach out to the less privileged. That is my dream and my heart desire.”