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I am re-united, not re-married –Clarion Chukwura

Source: YEMISI ADENIRAN - Nigeriafilms.com
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Many women find it difficult to get into new relationships after failed relationships or marriages. Not the enchanting Clarion Chukwura! The beautiful screen goddess shared the secret of her versatility with YEMISI ADENIRAN

It's often said that actors act out their true selves and personal experiences in their movie roles...

I will neither say a total yes or no because it depends on what you are aiming at. What I will say is that most of the exposures we have on the set are what have emboldened many of us to face the challenges of life. They make us stronger and more at home to handle them very calmly in a way that we might have ordinarily not done if we had not been in this profession.

What about the general belief that most female actresses are unable to keep their marriages because of their kind of job?

There is no woman who prays for a broken marriage. But if for one reason or the other this eventually happens, she is left with no other choice than to accept fate and keep on with life or what would you have her do? What you people don't know is the amount of effort that women employ to make a marriage work even as a celebrity. All you see is the negative eventuality which you readily attribute to our career. This is not good enough because, outside the screen, we all have our families, our lives to live. I mean we all have our set dreams which are not less than what other people wish for. Broken homes, besides, are not limited to artistes alone, it happens to other people in other professions too. Ours is only pronounced because we are in the eyes of everyone.

You have been involved in lots of charity programmes especially for the less privileged children. What informs this?

You see, I am one person who can never close her eyes to the cry of the needy, no matter what. As a mother and a social activist, I cannot but respond to the yearning of these little ones. I know what it is as a young person to be in dire need and have no one to turn to. That's exactly how I brought myself into it. There are lots of abandoned children here and there with nobody to cater for them and many orphanages lacking the necessary provisions to meet their needs. Thank God for the few Nigerians who are also committed to this but I tell you, they are simply few. We need more financially strong people to adopt these children and bring them up to be meaningful citizens. They really don't have to take them home; they can be monitoring them from wherever they are if that is their fear. This is biblical and I'm sure is in accordance to Islamic injunctions too. I have vowed to contribute my own quota to helping people and I will continue till I die. Whenever I can, no matter how little, I will ensure that I assist the needy.

Not many people are aware of your new marital status. When did this take place?

Just recently but I didn't re-marry, I and my husband, Femi Oduneye, were separated for four years, not divorced. The separation ended nine months ago and we only picked up from where we left off.

And how has this been?

It's been great and very wonderful

Many women find it hard to attract men after a failed marriage but this is not so with you. What would you say is responsible for this?

It is God definitely. If I say I am just lucky, I will still be saying the same thing because it is God Almighty who brings luck one's way. For women who find it hard to attract men after a failed relationship, it can be due to many factors. Some may have a wrong mind set, others it might be due to their lifestyles. But all cannot be moved away from God.

How do you mean?

Some women believe once they attain a particular age, they may not be able to hook a man. Anyone who falls into this category will really not bother to do things that will make them look good or appealing to the opposite sex. As for lifestyles, if you are not the type that bothers about your looks and eating habit, you will end up blowing yourself up and looking thrice your age. If you are not also the fashion conscious type, you may end up an old school which will definitely not be in your favour. That is why they say age is a thing of the mind. If you don't believe you are old, you won't look old but if you do, you will age faster than you envisage. Comportment is another trait to watch out for. The way you carry yourself as a woman is very important. If you are the type that drags or walk sluggishly, you can only attract a man who is slow not a smart person. Men want smart, pleasant and creative women. If you are the type that will sit down all day waiting for a man to fund you 24/7, you won't get them. You must be hard working and be able to fend for yourself. With God on your side and these attributes, you will always get an admirer. It is not only women that need men; there are lots of men out there searching for women too.

Are you saying you have nothing you do specially to attract their attention?

I do not do anything special to attract anybody. You know I cannot afford to look terrible. I am a celebrity and I have been one for years. My job requires that I keep in shape and this I ensure to do all the time. I have created a niche for myself as an outstanding one in this area and I cannot afford to disappoint my fans. Maybe this has worked for me, maybe not. I wouldn't know.

What's your beauty regimen like?

Nothing special. I try to be as natural as possible. I watch my diet very closely. I don't eat just anything and won't drink anything just because people are drinkhusband married me totally. It's not a kind of secret marriage in one-registry that just involves a friend on both sides as witnesses. No, ours was proper African marriage. Our relationship is based on love.

What's your relationship with your in-laws like?

Cordial, very cordial. I have a very robust relationship with my in-laws especially my sister-in-law, Mrs Toun Alatishe, my brothers-in-law, Mr Segun Oduneye and Mr Kola Oduneye.

How would you describe his family?

The Oduneye family is a big family. It's a very enlightened family. Mr Samson Oduneye, their father, was one of the first to establish and run a pharmaceutical company that has survived till today in Nigeria, the Egyptian Pharmaceuticals, the makers and distributors of Alabukun, drugs which is one of the oldest drugs that Nigerians know. So it's not a small family.

When you recently launched Clarion Chukwura's Clothing (C3), we were all surprised and we thought it might be your way of leaving the screen. Why the diversification?

My incursion into the fashion world was borne out of my strong, lifelong passion for fashion and trendy things. It is nothing to distract me from my acting career. It is a dream that just came true.

What impact do you intend making with your fashion line?

I intend re-defining official and casual clothes that will be appropriate with our kind of weather here. I enjoy designing T-shirts and pants for both sexes. I am poised to regenerate the Nigerian spirit through these clothes. C3 is just an arm of my company.

So, what would you say makes you tick?

Personal internal drive, self confidence, self dignity, a fighting spirit, determination and trust in God.

What are your dreams for the future?

My highest objective in life right now is to build and operate PROBONO, my initiative's halfway house and skill acquisition centre for homeless women with children.

You are obviously a busy woman?

Oh yes, I am. I have been like that all long. It is my way of keeping fit and paying my bills. If you are idle, you will get entangled with unseriousness and all manner of immoral deals to get money or just out of idleness. Besides, you will sleep more and you will lose your good shape.

What do you appreciate most in your man?

The feeling of oneness that is mutual and irreplaceable.

What message do you have for your teeming fans?

They should expect to see my me in other new movies after Easter. ing it. I try as much as possible to avoid solid foods like eba and stuff like that. I go very low on anything starchy and eat a lot of vegetables as in cabbage, green pepper, lettuces. I eat fruits a lot. If I must eat solid, I go for ground rice and 'agidi' that digest easily and quickly. For my facials, I use egg, honey and cucumber and I do this twice a week. I also monitor my sleeping routine; I sleep only at night and not during the day. I make sure I keep a very busy work schedule that gives no room for much relaxation. Yes, I work hard and I guess this has helped keep my weight under check.

How would you describe your husband, Mr Femi Oduneye and how much are you willing to commit to this marriage?

He is simply fun to be with. There is never a dull moment with him. He keeps making me happy; I mean he has the best sense of humour. Even when there's a reason to be down, he won't let you be down. He would just come out of the blues with some funny story. He just would not allow you to be sad or down around him. I think the greatest aspect of the relationship is the laughter. There's always laughter. I am enjoying myself right now and I will do all things honourably possible to make it last. But again, it is all in God's hands, we can only pray for His help.

Wasn't he married? How do you intend to cope with the other wife?

I don't know of any wife. She doesn't belong here. Whatever relationship they had together did not transmit to this place. I am properly married by my husband. His family took a letter of proposal to my family, they got the approval. My drinkhusband married me totally. It's not a kind of secret marriage in one-registry that just involves a friend on both sides as witnesses. No, ours was proper African marriage. Our relationship is based on love.

What's your relationship with your in-laws like?

Cordial, very cordial. I have a very robust relationship with my in-laws especially my sister-in-law, Mrs Toun Alatishe, my brothers-in-law, Mr Segun Oduneye and Mr Kola Oduneye.

How would you describe his family?

The Oduneye family is a big family. It's a very enlightened family. Mr Samson Oduneye, their father, was one of the first to establish and run a pharmaceutical company that has survived till today in Nigeria, the Egyptian Pharmaceuticals, the makers and distributors of Alabukun, drugs which is one of the oldest drugs that Nigerians know. So it's not a small family.

When you recently launched Clarion Chukwura's Clothing (C3), we were all surprised and we thought it might be your way of leaving the screen. Why the diversification?

My incursion into the fashion world was borne out of my strong, lifelong passion for fashion and trendy things. It is nothing to distract me from my acting career. It is a dream that just came true.

What impact do you intend making with your fashion line?

I intend re-defining official and casual clothes that will be appropriate with our kind of weather here. I enjoy designing T-shirts and pants for both sexes. I am poised to regenerate the Nigerian spirit through these clothes. C3 is just an arm of my company.

So, what would you say makes you tick?

Personal internal drive, self confidence, self dignity, a fighting spirit, determination and trust in God.

What are your dreams for the future?

My highest objective in life right now is to build and operate PROBONO, my initiative's halfway house and skill acquisition centre for homeless women with children.

You are obviously a busy woman?

Oh yes, I am. I have been like that all long. It is my way of keeping fit and paying my bills. If you are idle, you will get entangled with unseriousness and all manner of immoral deals to get money or just out of idleness. Besides, you will sleep more and you will lose your good shape.

What do you appreciate most in your man?

The feeling of oneness that is mutual and irreplaceable.

What message do you have for your teeming fans?

They should expect to see my me in other new movies after Easter.