‘BEING A MOTHER NOTWITHSTANDING, ACTING REMAINS MY FIRST LOVE’--GEORGINA ONUOHA
You are looking good-
I will say it is my nature. I'm not really on the fat side, and most importantly I watch what I eat. It's just my physique and I do daily exercise.
What's your favourite food?
I'm a rice person; but knowing that rice contains more of carbohydrates, I don't take it much these days. I eat more of fruits and vegetables, fish, cereal and water.
Let's look at the transition, Georgina Onuoha as the little girl, Georgina Onuoha the actress, and Geogina Igwebe now the wife and the mother.
Well, these are all phases of life. Georgina Onuoha the little girl you used to know then as an actress is now Mrs Igwebe. She's now a mother of a lovely daughter. I will say, it's just God's plan and purpose for my life. It's being wonderful.
What's the name of your daughter?
She is Chigozie Nicole Mary Ann Igwebe
Did you invite your colleagues to come and celebrate your safe delivery?
Yes, a whole lot of them were with me in the hospital. Caro Ekanem, Chioma Chukwuka, Ruke Amata. It was wonderful having all these people around in the hospital. It showed how much I was appreciated by my colleagues. I really felt loved and the atmosphere was quite warming.
One question people often ask is that with many successful men in Nigeria, why did you chose to settle for somebody who is based in far away America?I
don't think it has to do with whether the person is inside or outside the country. What God has prepared for your destiny will always take its course. I ran into my husband in Paris. I didn't mean that my husband wouldn't have come from any part of the world. It's destiny you cannot change it. If it has already being designed for you to marry somebody who lives millions of miles away from you, you cannot change it. I guess such is my case.
Would you say you miss the silver screen action when you were expecting your baby? And now that you have put to bed, what's next?
Acting still remains my first love. I missed my job, my colleagues, life on set, the fun, and joy of doing the job itself and all that… I really miss them. But I had to bear them all.
So what next?
Going back to work of course. Mission accomplished.
(Laughs)Now that you have become a wife and a mother, would you be selective of roles?
I have always being of the opinion that as a professional, you should be able to interpret any role you are given very well. It's all about professionalism with the exception of going nude or semi-nude. No, it is not part of our culture and I will not be a party to it. I didn't do it as a single girl, and I will not do it now.
How will you combine your role as a mother, a student, actress, and a wife?
Oh! I have graduated. I'm now faced with my career and motherhood. There is always a way to tie these things together without any feeling left out.
Do you think you can slip back to Nollywood or you will have to fight to get a place?
I don't think I will have to fight. I just have to flaunt my assets. I think motherhood has made me prettier and I'm still in good shape so there is no need to fight to fit in. I have already carved a niche for myself, nobody can be Georgina, and Georgina cannot be somebody else. So, nobody can take my placed in Nollywood.
How did you find yourself in Nollywood?
Oh! It all started after my secondary school; I was about 17 then. My father wanted me to join the Nigeria Police Force. I rejected it. I wanted to go to the university to study mass communication. Then my elder brother who was a continuity person was going to the location one day and I was at home he asked me to follow him. When we got there, Teco Benson saw me and asked if I could cry and I said yes. He said get inside the bus and I did a 'waka pass' (a movie extra role) in the film titled Curse from beyond which starred Olu Jacobs and Regina Askia. Thereafter, I featured in I hate my village by Calistus Ikebata, followed by other movies like Twins from Coroma International. Since then I became a household name.
Since you joined Nollywood till date, you have not been linked with any scandal, what has been your secret?
I will attribute that to God, my upbringing, and myself knowing what I went through to be part of the industry. I wasn't going to take chances. I also came from a Christian home; my mother is a teacher and my father a military officer. So, we grew up knowing what to do at the right time. When I joined Nollywood it wasn't difficult for me to discipline myself. I chose my friends and I don't talk anyhow and that way things fell in place for me.
How soon are you going back on set? Because I know your fans are missing you?
(Laughs) As soon as I get my scripts from producers I'm ready to work.
What's your view of the influx of people into Nollywood, especially people without passion for the job but only for money or fame?
I will say getting fame is one thing and sustaining it is another. History tells us that a lot of people have become famous and along the line, they end up with broken dreams and they have withered away. I will say that for the past three or four months now, a lot of talent hunts just to bring people into Nollywood have taken place. The question that really comes to mind is; are these people prepared to face the challenges in Nollywood? The Nigerian movie industry is not just all about the beautiful faces you see, but passion for the job they are doing. Then as regards fame, it is not all about being celebrated on the pages of newspapers only, it is much more than that. You become an icon or idol to people as the case maybe. Invariably that adds to your responsibility, as a person because you have to watch every step you take in order to live up to your responsibilities.As far as I'm concerned, fame in the industry is much more than pretty faces, speaking good English, and all that. You become a role model that people look up to.
Talking about stardom, what are the prices you have paid for it?
Personally, I can't just walk on the street and feel free. People will be watching you to make a mistake and they pick on you. You have become more than just a next door neighbour. Stardom is a great task or responsibility. There are times people will just want to test your patience. Don't get me wrong it's not that they don't appreciate you.
On your way up, what are some of the challenges you met?
Well, attaining this level wasn't easy. As far back as the late 1990s when I joined the industry, you can't have any say with Production Assistants. When they tell you to sit down you just have to obey them. But they are bloody PA sorry for the choice of word but they are hired and paid to do their job just like you. Again, I was staying with my parents at Badagry, travelling all the way from Badgry to Surulere every day was one hectic journey. There are times I will have to wake up by 5 a.m and get to Surulere around 9a.m men! It continued like that for about a month or even more than and I didn't even get a 'waka pass' role to play but I wasn't dampened in spirit. The prize I paid for stardom was much. But I thank God for where I am now.
How comfortable has acting made you in terms of your finances?
Very comfortable, I must confess.
In term of your busy schedule how do relax?
Don't really have time for that. When I am not working I'm in school studying. Right now as a wife and a mother, there isn't much time for relaxing.You seem to know much about Nollywood and Hollywood.
What can you say about Nollywood?
Nollywood is a striving industry and I will confess, we are not doing badly. This is an industry that is being built by private individuals with no assistance from the government. It took a whole lot of sacrifice from these individuals to make Nollywood what it is today. People should not condemn the industry when it comes to technicality and screen writing. The industry is still young, there are no bases for comparison with Hollywood. Hollywood is over 300 years to be where it is today. Bollywood is close to 60 years. Nollywood is barely 15 years and it has dominated Africa. We are not doing badly at all. It might not be in our generation but we will get there.
Most people are of the view that marriages involving stars seldom last. What's your view on this?
Well, we are all entitled to our opinions and we all perceive marriage from our different point of views. To some, marriage is just a social contract; others see it as a means of adding to your popularity and fame. To some others, it is a means of getting rich and wealthy; while some other people really see it as a sacred union God made it to be. People have different views about the institution, but for me, I see it as a life-time thing. I pray to God, because nobody knows tomorrow. Bringing your career into your home can't take you anywhere. Your job is your job and your home is your home. So, that marriages of stars and superstars don't last depends on their views on marriage.My husband is a God-sent. God has brought us together to complement each other.
Is he bothered about your choice of career?
No. Like he always tell me, if I'm not a physician, I would have been in Nollywood.
Has the birth of your daughter settled the reported crises you have with one of your sisters-in-law?
Any marriage that is built on Christ will never fall. People will always voice their opinions about you, about your home and about everything that concerns you. I am not troubled and I don't want to be troubled by anyone. Whoever is troubled I say sorry for being troubled (laugh).
When should we expect the next baby?
Time will tell (laugh).