UCHE Benjamin is a popular and fast rising actress. In an exclusive chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, she opened up on her success story and cleared the air on alleged romance with Sunny Nneji and Super Eagles player, Ogbonna Kanu.
Uche Benjamin is fast becoming a household name in the industry, how did it start?
I thank God for where I am today. I didn’t start very well. The road to stardom was not easy but through patience and tolerance I have scaled the hurdles on my way. However, I am not there yet. There is a huge difference from when I started and now. It’s even very challenging now when you hit limelight. The reason is that it’s quite competitive and new actresses are on the rise. It takes your talent and passion to sustain you.
How have you been able to sustain yourself in the industry?
My acting has been the key. Most producers and directors I worked with appreciated my acting prowess and referred me for other jobs. Also, humility and obedience to instructions have been helpful.
Can you recall the top three movies that shot you to limelight?
The first is Pains from the Heart, the series called Everlasting love and Tattoo Girls.
When are you producing your movie?
I actually co-produced a movie with a friend but it’s not out yet. It will be out before the end of the year.
What has been the pains and gains of stardom?
The gain is that stardom opened some doors for me without difficulty. The pains is that your freedom and privacy are no longer there. Also, so many negative stories are written about us, they just exaggerate. Our greatest pain is people saying nasty things about us.
It was once reported that you were romancing Sunny Nneji?
The greatest rumour that really pained me was the allegation that I was dating Sunny Nneji. I don’t like that because he is a married man. We are just friends but I have learnt not to let that bother me. I was just dazed and surprised why people say things that are not true.
It was also alleged that you are seriously in a relationship with Super Eagles player, Kanu Ogbonna?
Yes, I knew him years back but not now. When I heard I was dating him now it was funny because that was then. We don’t have anything together for now. I don’t know where the rumour came from. I am human. I feel bad at times when they write negative stories about me. However, I don’t allow them to bother me again. The reason is that I don’t want them to distract me from concentrating on other better things.
Why do you think actors are always in negative stories?
I think it’s because they are popular. Also, people use their roles in movies to judge them. I once acted a role and a woman accosted me and was advising me not to behave like that. She said she never liked the way I treated the lady in the movie. They fail to remember you are just interpreting a role. It’s only when you move closer to us you will realize our lifestyle differs from the roles we play. There is a notable controversial actress I moved with and discovered she wasn’t controversial as portrayed.
What has been the secret of your success?
Sincerely, it’s the God factor. The reason is that each time I pick a script, I ask God for wisdom and grace to interpret the roles successfully. Also, I adhere to instructions and advice of senior colleagues I am close to such as Uche Jombo. She is like a sister and I learn from her.
Did you ever feel like quitting?
No, I have never felt such.
It was reported you said you are not a lesbian but have them as friends.
I never said such. When I saw the report it was a wrong headline. When I was interviewed I said it clearly that I only heard that there were lesbians in the industry but have not seen one.
Can you tell us about the man rocking your love life?
I can’t talk about him, I have no comment.
What are the qualities you look out for in a man?
He must be caring, I detest talkative. He must know his worth and work hard to feed us.
Can you act nude?
Even if I am given a billion naira, I can’t act nude. I have gotten like two scripts but turned them down. I have my principles.
- FEMI OYEWALE
This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, July 23, 2013