I’M A DANCE FREAK –UCHE JOMBO
You can't fault Uche Jombo when it comes to acting and catching fun. She has remained in our memory ever since she featured in Girls' Hostel, and we have desired to have a piece of her.
This must be your shine time. You seem to be almost everywhere now.
I give God the thanks for that, everybody has his or her day, may be this is mine.
You must be savouring the moment
I really do not believe in the rave of the moment kind of thing. I have always maintained that I'm a regular artiste and I still think that is what I am.
You are also one of the few actresses that writes, tell me about that aspect of you.
I have passion for writing. But when I started writing I got really discouraged by a lot of things and was encouraged by some other things. Writing is something I love doing though it doesn't pay me as much as acting. There is something special about seeing the character you created come alive. My first script was produced six years ago.
What is the title of the movie?
Ordained by OJ Productions, the second was To love Forever by Ralph Nwadike and there was Girls In The Hood, which I co-wrote with Emem Isong. There was also Endless Life, Perfect P lanner and some others.
When will you produce your own movie?
That is the headache I'll leave for the likes of Emem Isong and co., it is not my focus.
So where is your focus?
My focus is more technical; I'll probably retire as a director.
What were you doing during the lull period when movie roles were not as frequent as is the case now?
I was writing and doing my show MMS on NTA and interior dÈcor.
Give us an insight into your television show.
It is about music and movie in Nigeria. It is about celebrating our entertainment culture.
To some people you are just wasting away acting with your degree in mathematics and P.GD in computer programming.
I am not wasting away because I have some classmates who are not acting. So you can't call what I'm doing wasting away.
Tell us about the beginning of your acting career.
I started early. Actually, I was on an acting scholarship for three years while in secondary school. I belonged to a drama group in the church and that was where I got my scholarship.
What has acting afforded you that no other profession would have given you?
There has been just some small benefits.
We are sure more men would have wooed you because you are an actress.
First of all, I'm a fine girl and they could be 'toasting' me because I'm a fine girl not because I act. Seriously, everything that has advantage has disadvantage; there are places where they treat you specially because you are an actress.
You started from the church and this to an average church person means you have departed from the way of the truth.
Hell! No. What we did then was more of bible quotations in a dramatic way. Basically, for me it was a training process. Religion is a matter of the heart. I have a personal relationship with God, so I totally disagree with that.
We are almost sure you've forgotten those bible quotations.
No. I still remember them, you know the things you learn from childhood are those things that stay with you through your adulthood.
When did you have your first boyfriend?
I won't answer that because it is personal.
Is it because you started too early or too late?
That would give me up if I answer.
How did you get into acting?
I started acting in 1998. I was more like a behind the scenes person when I started; I was trying to put a small production company together. I did commercials for Manny Bank and was also doing something for Academy for Art, Reel Awards. I was marketing for the award and in the process took a letter to Fidelis Duker who was having an audition that day. I was given a script to read but I protested that I was there to market Reel Award but Fidelis said he would have sworn I was an actress because of my mannerisms. I eventually did the reading and left the place with a role that day.
What was the title of the movie?
It was supposed to be a soap called 'Images', but he later turned it to home video, Visa To Hell. That was my first on screen acting. After that I did Adure, which was my first lead, I did Ibinabo, Girls' Hostel, which gave me a bad girl image. And here we are today.
What was your experience at the Berlin Festival?
It was a German film festival, and I think such festivals are good for contacts, interactions and to see what your counterparts are doing abroad so as to learn. I had a good time.
Have you given up clubbing?
As you can see I don't have time for that. The thing is not about clubbing, it is just that I love dancing and I can dance anywhere it does not necessarily mean it has to be a club. And I think people just blew the club thing out of proportion. A friend called me on a weekend and was surprised I was home. I am not a club freak but I am a dance freak. It is two different things and don't forget I can dance in the house. The way to know a club freak is if he or she can go to a club all by himself without company.
When will you dance with us?
When I have the time and you guys are playing good music.
Who is your best dancing partner you've ever had?
What does he do?
And you think I will tell you, no way. I will kill you first.
Is he in the industry?
(Hesitates) no, I can call what he does entertainment.
We are taking that as a half-truth.
What do you expect? Don't you know relationships had crumbled by mere mention of it in the press? And this one is too precious for me to want to crash it by myself.
So you are in love?
I don't know about that.
From the way you are blushing it shows love is in the air.
How did we get to the love issue? Well, I have a boyfriend, whom I call IAU. I have a relationship. People think all relationships are supposed to end in marriage but it is not so. There are some relationships that might end in marriage and there are some that don't. If this ends in marriage well, that is it, but if it doesn't well, I have a good relationship.
When we met about two years ago you did not speak about love this way, it means you must have fallen in love recently.
I had not met him then. That time I wasn't in a relationship and I told you so.
Poor us, why didn't you go out with us?
I don't know, you didn't ask me out did you?
He did not even know what he did to capture my heart and I'm not about to let him know through the pages of a newspaper.
Where is this leading?
Like I said I am having a good relationship and it can lead anywhere.
How old is Uche?
A girl is as old as she looks.
When will you walk down the aisle?
It will happen when it will happen, worrying about it will not make it happen. Anything that will happen in life will happen; there is no need to worry.
You've been romantically linked to everybody…
(Cuts in) that is not true except that your colleagues have been giving me boyfriends on the pages of newspapers.
What about African China?
He is my friend and the fact that they wrote that will not stop him from being my friend. They've also spoken about Righteous man and that will not change things too. The most important thing is that I know the person I'm dating.
How many times has your heart been broken?
I think you can't be too careful.
So you are saying your heart has been broken once or twice?
I'm sure I've broken some too. The wonderful thing about love is how you can be heart broken and you say you will never love or trust again and you find love again. It can start like a joke and suddenly develop into a relationship.
What does true love mean to you?
It is give and take, you are not perfect but I'm ready to take you for who you are and you do the same as well. In love you can't get 100 per cent.
What does sex mean to you?
If you remove the love thing from it, it is just two bodies satisfying themselves.