Delectable movie star, Uche Ogbodo, is not just a talented actress, but a producer-cum-scriptwriter. She was born and bred in Enugu State. Her father immensely contributed to her career by enrolling her in the movie industry, after acquiring her degree in Enugu. Her journey to the make-believe industry began in 2006 after her father decided to register her with The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Enugu Chapter.
Uche, being a beautiful and talented actress, rose to fame after featuring in many movies and so far, she has featured in over 300 movies and still counting. To many, Uche is very blunt and tagged a controversial actress not just because of the type of roles she interprets, but because of the pictures she often shares on her social media handles.
In this exclusive interview with City People’s Senior Showbiz Reporter, BIODUN ALAO, she talked about her latest movie entitled “TWELVE”. The true story behind her rumoured marriage; why she is often tagged a controversial actress and her desire to find love again. Below are the excerpts.
Can you talk about the latest movie you are working on?
I just released a movie and the title is “Twelve” it is going to be on Iroko and Africa Magic by God’s grace. A lot of people would get to see what I am up to as a producer and actress too. It is a beautiful family story. Everyone is going to love it, I have been working on other people’s projects as well. I have been shooting back-to-back and I am super grateful.
How have you been able to cope shooting with the pandemic everywhere?
Before the lockdown started, I was on a project for Africa Magic Production. We had to cut short shooting because we had to go back to our various houses to be with our loved ones as nobody knew what the lockdown would bring and where the Coronavirus was going to spread to and I left my daughter in Lagos. I was really panicking and had to go back. I could not even concentrate one the project anymore. I told the producer I needed to get back to my child. So, he had to put the project in abeyance.
So, we hoped to resume after the lockdown, which took about 3 months. It was really tough, but now we have been able to finish it. Since the lockdown was eased, and I have even done a few other productions after the lockdown was eased. We are practising social distancing, but it’s hard. On set, we measure temperature wash our hands, wear our masks, we try as much as possible to take precautions. It has not been really easy to abide by the rules, but we are trying.
Honestly, the 3-months lockdown was something else for me because I thought I was going into depression. I am not used to sitting down in a place for long, I am not used to sitting at home all day, but I had to do it for 3 solid months. I had all my demons come out and fought me. I am grateful I didn’t go into depression. I had anxiety issues, I was thinking much so, I was a bit ill during the lockdown, so it was not really easy for me. I saw many people happy and doing stuff and I always wondered how they did it, but for me, it was mind raking, but I am happy I pulled through.
How true is it that you are open to finding love again?
Yes, I saw the headlines that I am looking for love again, (laughs!) Love is something yes, well I am a lover, I love to be happy, I love to find peace of mind. I love to be with the right one if there is any right one. I have been in a whole lot of relationships in my life. I have seen different shades of human beings, different shades of lovers. I have learnt different lessons. I have been taught the hard way. I am a single mother today because of something that I can’t call a mistake, I realised what was going to happen to me and I pulled off early enough because when anything serious happened though many people tagged it marriage. But the truth is that I have never been married. I can’t overemphasise that enough and since the media and the blogs keep tagging me married before, that is their business, but I was never married. I had a baby, it was my choice because I was 27 years at the time I got pregnant, while dating a man. I just told myself that at 27 years I was not going to have an abortion because I felt if the man was right for me. I would have been happily married by now, but I realised it would have been a big blunder and a terrible mistake and God decided to give me a child from that relationship. So, I decided to keep it because I was not getting any younger. How can I abort a child at 27 years? Honestly, I am against abortion. I am not condemning any contrary opinion to what I believe but my Christian faith is against abortion. It is against terminating a child and I also feel it is terrible to terminate the life of another human being, that is what my Catholic Church Faith taught me. So I could not get myself to abort my child. I kept her and I am happy today. She is a beautiful little baby. She is 6 years old, even if I get pregnant tomorrow, I will still keep my baby and would never abort any baby. No, I am not that type, I will never do it, my conscience will prick me. As a single mother, many will tag you formerly married woman, forgetting that you have a choice of who you want to be in your life or what you want to do in your life. I didn’t want to be with the man any more, but I decided to keep the child.
That is solely my decision not because I was forced to, the guy didn’t even know I was pregnant. He was not even there until a certain time, we had broken up, I am tired of explaining that. Nobody wants to listen, it is really terrible.
Would you say you have not seen any man who caught your fancy these past years?
Of course, I have fallen in love, yes I have a boyfriend and we are still dating. When I talk about finding love, I mean finding commitment, finding forever. I believe in forever, I am not one of those people who want to get into an entanglement then walk out. I just want peace of mind, I want to find someone, who believes in me and who is ready to stay with me. Who does not stress the hell out of me, abuse and confuse me, I just want to love and be loved in return, respected I just want all the good things that come with a relationship and in future have babies and be happy, that is what I want.
Can you tell us about your journey to the movie industry?
My journey began ending of 2005 when my dad brought me into Nollywood. He took me by himself, registered and paid my dues then I started going for auditions. People like me because I am beautiful, they started giving me roles and I kept going for auditions, I was doing good. They love my complexion and accent, more roles kept coming. That was how my journey started. Here I am today 15 years later it has been all good and glory be to Almighty God I am super grateful the industry loves me.
Do you have any regret so far in the industry?
No, I don’t because acting is my passion. It is something that was given to me before I was born. I have always been a lover of art. I started doing this right from when I was very little. I have always been a drama queen. I have always loved to entertain, do things to make people happy, so it is God’s gift, so no regrets. Though I know Nollywood has affected me in one way or the other, but I am still grateful, but a lot of doors have been opened through it, it is not over until it is over.
Where do you hope to see your career in the next 5 years?
I hope for the best. I keep working hard and improving on myself. I improve on my production skills, built my production company and hope to make it bigger by God’s grace. Finance my own job and be able to do more projects.
I really hope to go far as a producer and actress and also push myself beyond the boundaries I have been given.
What is your growing up like?
I grew up with my father and mother and siblings, we were 5 in number. Growing up was beautiful. We didn’t have everything we wanted, but my dad tried to provide all we needed for us. He always said my children would never lack. I saw him struggle. Even though there was no hope he struggled to be the very best that he could be. He trained us, as God’s children, taught us how to pray, work hard and never to give up. Lots of things that I am today, I took it from my dad, his strength and spirit, I come out from a family of strong people. We never give up, no matter how tough things become. We always pull through and survive.