BY KEMI YESUFU
Flash back to the 1990s, to the early years of Nollywood when the movie, Glamour Girls struck a chord with fans. One scene in the film stands out till date: a woman of easy virtue harassing a man who innocently gives her a lift, asking him embarrassingly to “pay me my money”. Barbara Odoh is the lady who plays this unforgettable role which lots of older Nollywood fans remember with nostalgia.
But in an ironic twist that looks like it was taken from a blockbuster film, the former Glamour Girl is now an evangelist, motivational speaker and social crusader. As the National President of her NGO, Society For Care and Value Re-orientation (SCAVRO), Barbara collaborated with the Italian organisations to combat the trafficking of girls into Europe for commercial sex. Combining her work in the NGO with her programme on AIT, many in the federal capital city were glad that Barbara had bounced back from the post Glamour Girls lull.
The sultry actress, who married Ekpeyong Eyo Nkune on April 18, 2008, caused a stir when they arrived the Greenland Ministries, Utako, Abuja venue of their wedding ceremony guarded by policemen on horseback. The society wedding officiated by Pastor Kingsley Ike of Wamilele fame witnessed a large turnout of friends of the couple.
The same thing applied to the wedding reception chaired by the late Ambassador Olusegun Olusola, as loads of family members and well-wishers attended the event. Barbara in her characteristic flamboyant manner chose red attire over her traditional white/cream wedding gown. But shocked guests at the wedding reception soon understood why she chose a red gown. When it was time to hit the floor, Barbara and her husband danced to the famous Chris De burgh song, Lady in Red.
It was indeed a romantic sight with guests hoping that the actress had finally found true love in her second attempt at marriage. At the occasion, the ex-Glamour Girl even expressed optimism that she had reached her last bus stop. “People may have their opinion about my giving marriage a second trial but what matters is how I feel. Right now, my goal is to make my marriage a happy one. What people should do is pray for me that everything works out fine,” she said.
Though, people had offered prayer for Barbara that that marriage should be her last, it seemed things did not work out as The Entertainer can reveal that the four-year-old marriage has crashed irretrievably. Barbara in an interview held on Friday January 4, 2013 confirmed the speculations that she had moved out of her matrimonial home. “It is not good news but I have to admit to you that the talk making the round is not far from the truth,” she stated. The Entertainer learnt that the actress had suffered physical and verbal abuse while the marriage lasted. According to her, the marriage was doomed from the start. She disclosed: “It (marriage) has been off and on.
It has been eight months I stopped living with him. I thought I had something good. But I must confess that right from the beginning, there were signs that we weren’t going to last. To say that we have irreconcilable differences will be an understatement. A lot happened. But I wouldn’t say much for now.” Barbara went further to say with a tone of finality that she will not go back to her husband, noting that she had learnt life-changing lessons. “Never will there be reconciliation between us,” she affirmed.
“Honestly, I feel very enriched by the experience,” she added while brushing off suggestions that a self-confessed evangelist like her shouldn’t divorce her spouse. “Let me just quickly help you and others that might be interested. When things go wrong in a marriage, people who are far off expect that you should find a convenient quotation from the scriptures and hide under it to continue in a bad marriage.
I don’t belong to this group of people. I accept my mistakes, I take responsibility for what might have gone wrong in the marriage and I have moved on with my life. “I also allude my decision to move on with my life to the scriptures which says, ‘all things work for the good of the children of God’. I can tell you that my family has returned his bride price to his family. Like I said earlier, I am enriched by the experience of a failed marriage.
Everything happens for a reason”. Sad but unperturbed, Barbara, a mother of two, told The Entertainer that she will give marriage a third trial, should Mr. Right show up again. “I surely will give marriage another trial. Only the dead don’t dream of a happier future. Only the dead don’t hope for something good to happen to them. Though, getting married again is not a priority for me, I haven’t given up meeting the right person in future,” she concluded.