Excerpts of Nollywood actress Uche Elendu’s new interview with Lanre Odukoya of Saturday Telegraph…
You seem to be winding down in movie appearances lately, what’s the reason?
I am working on a movie now in Niger State. I do movies but maybe not as regular as I used to before my children came.
How have you been joggling motherhood and acting?
Well, those are two major responsibilities for me and are very important individually. One means life to me and is the very essence of my existence, while the other puts food on my table, so I carefully attend to both critically to avoid lacking in any area of my responsibility and career.
You have suddenly shed your post-natal weight, looking as lovely as ever, what are your beauty secrets?
Well, I eat right and stay completely off junk food. Although, I eat very well and most importantly, I don’t do late night foods. I don’t eat after 6pm and I take my stay fit herbal tea twice daily, which keeps me feeling healthy and clean on the inside. I also snack on fruits and garden eggs. (NG)
Too many celebrity marriages are crashing lately; do you have fear for yours?
My dear, crisis in marriage really have nothing to do with the celebrity status. Marriage is an agreement between two matured individuals and when these same matured individuals feel that they do not have any need to be together for safety of their lives or for peace of mind then it is their choice. No one knows the battle we fight in our marriages. The pain and hurt we feel. The way we have to bottle it all up because we are in the limelight and we do not want to be castigated, but people forget that celebrities are humans too and have feelings, desire and deserve to be happy too. When I hear things like celebrity marriage crash, I wonder why so much attention is paid to it, really everyone has his or her cross to bear.
A married actress once said almost all married Nollywood actresses are unfaithful, what do you make of this claim?
That’s the biggest lie from the pit of hell. Everyone should speak for herself. That we are in the limelight and have admirers from the opposite sex doesn’t mean we are sleeping with them. Just like there are married women out there who are enjoying extramarital affairs, so is it obtainable in Nollywood and it is totally a personal decision. There are still many married women who are very faithful in their marriages and have been unjustly accused because of this generalised insinuation.
Would you leave your marriage if your husband cheats?
Well, I am sure if your own spouse cheats, you will know what to do. It’s a personal decision and I don’t need to sing it.
How do you handle fame and male fans?
I’m naturally a very down to earth person and fame hasn’t changed me a bit. Although, it has restricted me from a lot of things I would love to do. As for male fans, I appreciate them for loving what I do but it remains that way.
What has celebrity status deprived you of?
Hopping on a bike when I’m stuck in one traffic jam is one of those things I’ll love to do on these Lagos roads. Then I want to walk into Oyingbo market to do my shopping locally to get fresh food stuffs instead of sending people and they don’t get the real stuff. You know being as free as air without making headlines or having people stare at you like they are watching a movie.
What has been your best moment as an actress?
Hmmm, that must be my traditional wedding. When the whole village came out to see their goddess, even the king of my village graced the occasion in full regalia, and the respect and recognition given to me by my state. They graded the roads just for my guests to have good access to my home and the spark of pride in my father’s eyes recording the most successful and crowded event till date in my place. It was indeed a great honour.
Have you ever felt like quitting acting?
Quitting what? Never! That’s my profession, my career and my life.
Would you mind if any of your daughters join the field?
My first daughter is already an actress and has played major roles in 3 movies recently.
What’s your take on domestic violence?
Domestic violence is about power and control. Though the term violence has physical connotations, domestic violence or abuse can occur in non-physical ways. When a man refuses to provide for the family it is domestic abuse, when a woman refuses to carry out her domestic and conjugal obligations in the home, it is also domestic abuse because these things give rise to verbal abuse and sexual abuse and physical violence
Domestic violence is a total violation of the plan that God had when he joined man and woman together and totally against Gods plan for families. I Corinthians 7:4 says: “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.”
The two belong to one another and are called to love one another as Christ loved us. Marriage is an image of Christ and the Church. Domestic violence is a far cry from the character of Jesus Christ so it is an abomination to indulge and be a perpetrator of the act.
What do you think is the best way to curtail the menace?
To curb domestic violence, women have a great role to play by understanding the kind of men they get married to or get entangled with and understand their temperament thereby limiting the use of verbal abuse that will give rise to physical battering and also women should know when a man is irresponsible and easily intoxicated and gets physical at every provocation and then walk out of such a demonic relationship or marriage with both eyes intact.
Men also have a great role to play by understanding the fact that women strength lies in their tongue and they don’t mean almost everything they say so that shouldn’t deserve beating, also they should practice their boxing skills with men like them not with the weaker sex that God has given to them to nurture and take care of. Also they should device other means of exhibiting anger. Both parties in a marriage have roles to play in stopping domestic violence.