In this interview with E24-7 MAGAZINE`s, the actress talked about her secret marriage and other issues relating to her and the industry, Nollywood.
When did you actually come into movies?
I came into the industry in 2004 and registered in Lagos, but my family relocated to the east, Enugu.
What prompted your coming to Nollywood?
I loved the art. I watched a couple of movies and became interested. Then I felt it was something I could do. Though prior to that, I would not say I had the childhood dream of been an actress for I actually wanted to be a lawyer. But along the line, I felt been an actress would be okay for me. So in 2004, I decided to start practising my dream.
Coming from a Christian home, was there anyone that tried to stop you from acting?
For some reasons, I have family and friends that trusted me and my judgment. They did not raise eyebrows when I told them what I wanted to do. They trusted that I can tell good from bad, bad from good. They gave me their full support, not even questioning me at all.
Who was Queen as a teen?
Queen as a teen grew up in a strict Catholic home. My upbringing was very strict. I had disciplinarians as parents. It was not much fun because my mum was a teacher and for that, she did not believe in wasting away time. She believes that all your time should be put into good use. If we were not studying, we were in the church. I did not really have the normal funky upbringing. As a teen, I was quite preserved, scared of my parents and my parents made sure I did what I was supposed to do. It was a strict Catholic upbringing.
What was your education like?
I attended Airforce Primary School, Enugu for my primary education, and I had my secondary education at Queens School, Enugu. I also attended theNnamdi Azikiwe University, Okar. It was basically the same thing; nothing fun about it, apart from the fact that I have wonderful sisters from a godly family and because we grew up as friends, loving each other.
How did you fit into the life of an actress when you have this quiet reverend sister kind of look and life?
The industry is an all comers affair; you find every kind of people in the industry. So when you come in, you create what you want for yourself. Initially, my upbringing was like a hindrance. But my look actually got me the attention I needed before I even started getting roles. This is because when I came, a lot of people started having protective instincts toward me. Because they felt I did not fit in, they took it upon themselves to act like guards.
They felt I should be somewhere else. In fact, at a moment I started asking myself if I was really cut out for the industry. But because I have passion for it, I decided to stay. But one way or the other, I would say it helped me a lot. Then again, it was also a hindrance; because of my looks they were not giving me roles. They almost ostracized me. They used to say that I can do it, but my looks would not suit it. They kept on hammering on the looks issue. But thank God, it is a thing of the past now.
What were the other challenges you faced at the beginning?
There were a lot of challenges. There were a lot of very good actresses as well who all wanted the same thing, and were willing to do anything for what they wanted. But because of the way I grew up, I was willing to go through all the challenges of audition.
Have you ever experienced s*xual harassment in Nollywood?
I did not really have that. I think for some reasons even when they had it in mind they could not say it to me. The only thing that happens after such is that they would not say it to me and they would also not give me the job. Then, I will keep wondering why I could not get the job..
How have you been able to stay out of controversies so far?
People always say that Chioma Akpota and I are the two actresses in Nollywood that have been able to keep far from controversies. I always allow people to be the judge. All I know is that I live my life the way I ought to live it.
What is your romance life like?
I am going to say this now, but I do not know if I would actually want you to publish it. It is that I am married! This is a crazy job; my home is where I find peace and that is why I do not like exposing it to people. This is because it is a crazy world out there and that is where I get my peace. I go home and I am treated like a wife, like a woman and I feel like a normal human being. That is why I keep it away from my job, my film life. Because I am married, when it comes to men, I stay far.
Were you planning to keep your marriage life from the public until death, like Goldie did?
Yes, but she has her reason for doing that. I do not like those who expose their marriages. If your home is private to you, you shut it down. But when you are through with this one you shut down your business life and try to enjoy your quiet family life. I do not blame her. I understand what she did. On the Big Brother Africa thing, for me she might have acted it. She wanted to win the money.
She has a home somewhere. I do not blame her for anything she did. That was the entertainment part of her. Maybe that was why she wanted to keep her home safe from prying eyes so that she can go there, switch off her phone, her business life; that is what I do. Your home is where nobody is looking at you as a star, where you do some things and your husband says, ‘excuse me; I am the man of the house.’
When are you producing a movie like your colleagues are doing presently?
I have already started thinking on that. But I think I would want to go solely into producing movies not directing. That will be this year and there is a script, cast and money for that already.
Do you plan to retire someday from movies and become a Reverend Sister?
No, I do not love to be a Reverend Sister. Though I actually thought I was going to be a Nun. And then I could remember the first time I went for an audition and got introduced, the lady said, ‘who brought this girl that looks like the Virgin Mary?’ I laughed. But along the line I knew I would not make a good Reverend Sister because I knew I wanted a family of my own.
If I be a Nun I knew I would not have that. I knew I just love having a family. So I dropped it and faced reality. So, there is now no going back.
Why do actresses live more flamboyant lives than actors, is it that they get more paid?
I do not agree that actresses live more flamboyant lives than actors; it is not true. But it looks like that because the men have families to cater for as the bread winners of their homes. They pay school fees and house rents when a single actress will use all that money to buy a car or so. In that case, she would be seen as living a more flamboyant live.
That does not mean she makes more money than her male counterparts. When you check, almost all our actors are married with kids and having home responsibilities to attend to. But a lot of actresses are married to guys that can take care of them and whatever they make is an extra income for them to live flamboyant lives. That is how I see it.