‘I worship God in truth,’ she says
FAIR skinned and talented actress, Uche Ogbodo, by all standards of the job knows her onions. She has been in the make believe world for a couple of years now, doing what she knows how to do best. A lot of tales have been hovering over her head, some alleged she is neck deep in drinking and smoking. It was also alleged that she bought some goods worth N300,000 and didn’t pay.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with her about her acting career and all the controversies surrounding her and much more.
We have not been seeing much of you in the movie industry, what has been happening to you?
I don’t understand what you mean by you have not been seeing much of me. I work and I have been working. Though I travelled out of the country for two months, that was when I didn’t work but since I came back, I returned to work. I was nominated for an award that was why I travelled. I also went for other things as well.
It seems you have relocated out of Lagos, because we don’t see and hear much of you in Lagos again?
I haven’t. I am still in Lagos most times. It is work that takes me out of Lagos.
What should we be expecting from your stable this year?
You should be expecting more work, you should be expecting a more professional Uche. Then some flicks of my own. I am already working on them.
What do you do when you collect a script?
I go through it. I try to know if the script is worth my time. I also try to restructure the script to suit me. I never really turn down a story except I don’t know what I can do with it any more. But I try as much as possible to reconstruct it, put my strength into it and make it a better story.
What kind of movie roles really excites you?
I love challenging roles. I don’t like dealing with characters who are dormant. I don’t like characters that are just there in the movie, I like being noticed when I am shooting even if I am playing a good girl or a bad girl role. There must be something that centres around her in the story that will make everybody’s attention focused on her. I don’t want to go anywhere I won’t be noticed. Even if I am given a stagnant character, I try as much as possible to make it flexible and a centre of attraction, so that if anyone watches the movie, he can say Uche’s role was one of the best. I can be a good girl, bad girl, poor or rich girl. But whatever I do I must be good in it. I must be able to swing the role.
Are there roles you are dying to play that you have not been given?
Maybe in Hollywood, I am looking forward to it. I want to be able to challenge other people outside the shores of Nigeria, that is actually my interest right now. Being able to do some more international things so that I can advance.
What can make Uche reject a script?
Except it has to do with the writing. I will reject a script if there is nothing I can do about it anymore. When I get a script, and it is not properly written, I try to rewrite it, I try to play along with the director, tell him my opinion and we take it from there. But if the director is someone who doesn’t want any other person’s opinion, if such a person is not flexible, then I will reject the script. I will also consult other artists about it but if it doesn’t work that way, I will leave. I don’t want my fans to be disappointed with what I do. I know that I have built a name for myself right now due to the way I am and the way I play my roles.
How often do you get scripts?
Everytime. There is no time that I don’t get scripts. I don’t know how to be an idle person. So, the jobs have to keep coming.
Aside acting, what else do you do?
I do other business of my own. It is my other life. Though the movie industry is a full time job for me, I give all my time to it. I also do one or two other business as well. I have my own company but it is still taking baby steps. I do so many things but I don’t want to let it out now because it hasn’t really matured.
We learnt you were robbed a couple of months ago, can you tell us your experience?
I wouldn’t want to talk about it because it is still fresh, it was a shock. I was attacked in my house. I wouldn’t want to recount the experience, I want to talk about the good things that happen to me.
We were told that you were getting married last year, that there was a guy in Holland you were engaged to, what happened?
Nothing happened. I was dating a guy that I probably would have married but it didn’t work out because we had to sort out some differences which I don’t want to make public.
Are you in a relationship now, can you tell us about him, how you met when you are getting married and his identity?
Yes, I am in a relationship. But I don’t want to talk about it.
A lot of people believe that Uche is gifted but she smokes and drinks heavily?
I do not, who said that? I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. I am a decent girl. I am born again. I don’t indulge in all those habit, I am a decent girl. I don’t live a bad life. I know what I want out of life, I know my boundary.
What do you think informed this rumours?
I don’t know, they might have seen bad roles that I play and count me to be a bad girl but when you come across me, you will know that Uche is not who you see in movies, I am different from who you see in movies.
Can you differentiate the Uche we see in movies and the real Uche?
The Uche you see in movies is a plastic girl, she loves make up, she loves life and full of life. The Uche outside the movies is a good girl, she doesn’t wear make-up, she prays hard. She wants to get married one day and have her own family, she wants something good for herself, she works hard and prays to God.
Sometime ago, we also heard that Uche bought some things worth N300,000 and she didn’t pay.
I wouldn’t really say anything about that, the same way you heard it, is the same way I heard it too. Nothing like that happened to me. I can’t deny the fact that I had some problem with some marketers which was almost getting me bound when that issue I had with marketers came up on the internet. It was the same time the issue of buying things and not paying also came up on the internet. I want to take it as blackmail, they just want to spite me and dent my image. But I know I live above all these things, I have told you before that I don’t count the bad things that happen to me. I know the God that I serve. He is fighting for me all the time. I do not have anything like that. Anybody I bought things from and didn’t pay should face me. I don’t like it when people sit down in their house and think evil of others. It is so disgusting. I don’t know what to say, I am not doing bad, I have been vindicated, I am living above them, they have written a lot of rubbish about me. I don’t have anything to do with all the allegations they posted on the internet against me.
You had issues with Dauda sometime back, what is your relationship with him now?
He is a colleague of mine, he had issues with me and I didn’t know about it until he did what he did on location. I didn’t follow it up because the Uche on location is different from the real Uche. I can do anything to Dauda if I so wished. I have decided to keep my calm because I am a child of God. I don’t pay evil for evil. I pay evil with good. By doing so, I gain favour from God. I don’t want to talk about all those negative things again, they are all in the past, what I want people to count for me is my progress, not the bad things that happen to me. I want to move ahead with new resolution, people should count my progress. Anybody that wants to dent my progress, I put such people far away from me. He had his own reason for doing what he did. I know that he was sorry because he had been doing many things that I don’t want to notice.
How best can you describe yourself because a lot of people have a misconception of who Uche really is?
I am a child of God. I believe that without God I am nothing. I am a star but I want to be a role model to a lot of people. I want to reach out to the less privileged. I don’t want a situation whereby a mother will tell her child not to be like me because I am this, I am that. I want to be a good star, I want the young ones to look up to me as a role model, that is my idea. That is the person I want to continue to be. I don’t want to live life because others are living. I do not want to go where other artists go. I do my things solo because I know we do not have the same idea about life, we do not have the same opinion about life.
What does it take to be you?
Honestly, self empowerment, believe in God, doing good, not wicked. I have a soft heart, being able to help your neighbor, let love flow. I believe in love, despite what people might say or what they might think, that is me and that is what it takes to be me.
- SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN
This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, June 5, 2012