Uche Usim, Abuja The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), on Wednesday, arrested a filling station owner in Abua, Danladi Eya, for operating an illegal outfit and selling petrol at N210/litre, which was far above the N145/litre threshold. Consequently, the officials dispensed 14,400 litres of the product free to motorists and motorcyclists to serve as a…
By Rita Okoye
f there is anything Nollywood actress, Uche Elendu wants badly; it is the freedom to glide on commercial motorcycle (okada) as a way of beating the Lagos traffic.
Also, rather than delegate responsibility, she would love to patronize popular markets where she can haggle freely with market women. “I want to be as free as air without making headlines or having people stare at me like they are watching a movie,” she said.
In this chat, Elendu opens up about the other side of fame. She also talks about domestic violence and what she would do if her husband cheats on her. Enjoy it.
You are scarce in movies these days, what’s happening?
I’m working on a movie in Niger State. I do movies but maybe not as regular as I used to before I started having children.
How do you manage motherhood and acting?
Those are two major responsibilities for me and they are very important. One means life and is the very essence of my existence, while the other puts food on my table. So, I carefully attend to both to avoid lacking in any area of my responsibility.
You have shed off your baby weight, looking as lovely as ever… what are your beauty secrets?
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; that keeps me feeling healthy and clean on the inside. I also snack on fruits.
Celebrity marriages are crashing here and there; do you entertain any fear for yours?
My dear, crisis in marriage really has 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 bottle it all up because we are in the limelight and don’t want to be castigated, but people forget that celebrities are human too and have feelings, desires and deserve to be happy. 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, how true is that?
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 that are enjoying extramarital affairs, so it is obtainable in Nollywood and it is totally a personal decision. There are still many married women that are very faithful in their marriages and have been unjustly accused because of this general insinuation.
Would you leave your marriage if your husband cheats on you?
(Laughs) I’m sure if your own husband cheats on you, 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 (okada) when I’m stuck in traffic is one of those things I’ll love to do on Lagos roads. Then I want to walk into Oyingbo market to do my shopping, get fresh foodstuff instead of sending people and they don’t get the real stuff. You know, I want to be 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… It’s my traditional wedding. The whole village came out to see their goddess, even the king of my village graced the occasion in his 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.
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 three movies.
What kind of role would you reject?
Nudity in any form.
Has marriage limited your flexibility in choosing movie roles?
No way! My job entails bringing a character to life and I go all out to give it my best.
If you have the opportunity to change anything about yourself, what would it be?
I love me; the me that I am and the me that I am to become.
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 violence, because these things give rise to verbal abuse, sexual abuse and even physical violence.
Domestic violence is a total violation of the plan that God had when he joined man and woman together. It’s totally against God’s plan for families. 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 stop or reduce it?
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. They must understand their temperament thereby limiting the use of verbal abuse that will give rise to physical battering. 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.
Men also have a great role to play by understanding the fact that women’s strength lies in their tongue and they don’t mean almost everything they say. In fact, both parties in a marriage have roles to play in stopping domestic violence.