By FLORENCE AMAGIYA
Angela Okorie started out as a model before she delved in the world of make-believe. Her acting career started after 10 years of modeling for Orange Drugs, owners of Delta soap.
Today, she is not only one of the most-sought-after actresses in Nollywood, but also, she’s a wife and a mother. In this interview, she talks about her career, music and her roles as a wife and mother.
I’ve been working on a movie. It’s a movie that people should watch because it teaches some moral lessons and also makes us to know that God still exists.
As one of the emerging actresses in Nollywood, are you thinking of becoming a producer some day?
I am planning to go into movie production. I want to put in my best, so that when people see my movie, they’ll appreciate it. I love entertaining people a lot.
There was a rumour that you wanted to go into music. Have you done any song recently?
I have not done any song, but I’ve written a lot of them and I will soon hit the studio. I’m still putting finishing touches to my songs before going to the studio. I’m not going to release just single, I’m planning to come out big with my album.
This is what I’ve been doing since my childhood; it wasn’t a child’s play for me. I grew up with it. While growing up, I was in the choir,and a soloist in my church. I came back to Nigeria to do modeling and from modeling to acting. So singing has been part of me.
Most times, I sing without instrument and if you listen to me, you’ll be convinced that I am a singer.
Most musicians started as gospel artistes. Are you going to continue with gospel music?
A lot of gospel artistes are actually making it inasmuch as they are not expensive.Once you are contented with what you have, you are okay. It’s not really all about money. Nowadays, most of these gospel artistes are really making it though not as much as the secular ones.
I won’t say I’m righteous, some gospel artistes these days want to be identified as ‘Evangelists’. I am not an evangelist yet. My songs are just showing appreciation to God.
I have one CD that I’ve developed, but I have not released it because I’ll have to reproduce it again in the studio. It is reggae, but it’s talking about the world and people suffering. So, it’s not going to be all gospel; it also has to do with things happening around us.
What else should we be expecting from your stable?
In life, it’s important for people to understand who they are, their calling and gifts which is from God. It is something they know they can do. When your gifts are not working out for you, you look for an opportunity, those other things that would put food on your table. I have a calling for entertainment. Besides that, I hate it when people are humiliated, I like to see people smile,and I like to help.
Are you planning to establish an NGO for the needy and oppressed, or even become a UN Ambassador ?
Yes, an ambassador. But I’m not ready to do it now, but it’s all part of my plans and when I bring it out, people will now shout.
Do you think you have compassion for those in need?
Even before I became famous, helping people has been part of me. I visit orphanages often. As a matter of fact, most of the time, I celebrate my birthdays with them.
With all these your engagements, how do you manage your family?
I just have to cope. My husband understands my job. Even before we got married, he’s been very supportive. It hasn’t been easy, but I just have to cope.
Before going into marriage, most men promise prospective wives heaven and earth. Were you sure your man will fulfill his promises…?
Some men are better actors than most of us. A lot of them tell lies. Both of you have to sit down and discuss the issue.
There are some men who will tell you to quit your career because they want to marry you. I’m not going to say I didn’t have issues in my relationships before getting married to my husband.
I don’t think marriage is supposed to be frustrating. You should marry your friend, your partner and not just anybody that comes your way. You should marry someone who knows you and knows what you want and will encourage you in whatever you want to do.
But at the same time, because you are married, you need to cut down on some things. As for me, I put my marriage first before any other thing. No matter how crazy I am, I still try to caution myself. I know I’m a very crazy person and people like me for who I am. There are certain things my husband would hear about me and he’ll get upset.
It’s only natural because he’s a human being. He’s still the man of the house. A man might come to you as an angel, but when he gets married to you, he becomes a devil. If you can’t stay in a marriage, you walk out of it. It’s not a do or die affair.
Though the Bible is against it, but then you are dying gradually in marriage. You should save your life first, you are not just living your life for your husband alone. Other people are watching you.
Most rumours about celebrities are cheap lies. But then if we are not important, they won’t talk about us. And those people talking about us are jobless. As a celebrity, people must talk about you.
I’m not really crazy about controversy, but there is a picture I’m trying to paint for my fans. Though men are polygamous in nature, but I trust my husband so much.
Even if he’s doing anything out there, inasmuch as I’m not aware of it, that’s enough respect. He hasn’t given me any reason to suspect he’s cheating …. I’ve never caught him with any woman before.
Do you think women should empower themselves before marriage?
Of course! Any woman who goes into marriage without engaging in meaningful thing must be stupid. No matter how small, let the man see that you are hardworking.
It doesn’t make sense for any woman to sit in the house and just be bearing children all the time. You have to look for something to do to help the man. If a woman is working, there are certain things she doesn’t need to ask the man to provide for. It’s not enough to get married to a rich man.
I wouldn’t advise any woman to go into marriage without anything. So, if you do not have anything doing; please persuade the man to help you start something.
You are slimming down, how did you do it?
I just eat less, go to the gym, I walk out a bit just to keep fit.
What’s your advice to women who want to get back in shape after childbearing?
They shouldn’t just sit at home all day and eat. Everyone wants to look trendy and beautiful. That you got pregnant and gave birth to a child doesn’t mean you should grow fat and go out of shape.
No, you should be able to get back your shape and maintain your husband’s attraction, so that he’ll still see the same thing he saw that attracted him to you.
What’s the highest fee you’ve received for acting in a movie?
It was actually when I shot a movie where my head was shaved. I played the character of Anita, the girl who fought for the widows in the community. I was paid well.
What is the most challenging role you’ve played in a movie?
There are two movies where I played very challenging roles. In one of them, I was a dumb and blind girl and in the other one I was a vampire.
It was very challenging because it’s not the usual everyday story in Nollywood. Imagine a human eating raw goat and chicken. I had to read and learn a lot more about vampires in order for me to interpret the role excellently.
What’s your advice to the up and coming actresses ?
If you’re asked to feature in one scene in a movie, that scene is enough to make you. I’m not crazy about lead roles. It’s not really about playing lead roles, it’s about interpreting the character excellently.
You just have to put in your best. I was a bit reluctant to act when I started, but now, I earn more than most people who were there before me.
Above all, if you have the grace of God, it doesn’t matter if you do it well or not, people will just like you. When I started, I wasn’t really good at the job, but I’ve improved a lot. I don’t joke with my job. I’ll advice the aspiring actresses to work on themselves.
A lot of people in the industry are crazy about publicity, even without doing anything or deserving it. I’m not crazy about awards, publicity or controversies; I’m crazy about my job and how to do it well. It’s not about being on papers everyday.
I try to put in my best in everything I do to please my fans, because they made me. Nobody will be in the limelight forever, it is the legacy you leave behind that matters.
Do you also watch foreign movies to help boost your interpretation of a character?
I read about them. I watch my own movies a lot in order to know where I need to improve on.