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What I miss about Nigeria — Ogeh Cynthia

By EKAETTE BASSEY

Canada-based Nigerian actress, Ogeh Cynthia, who also runs a PR and entertainment outfit, LQP Image Consulting and Ogeh Cynthia Entertainment, in this interview, speaks on life as a Nigerian in diaspora, reasons behind celebrity marriage crash and lots more.  Excerpts;

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I’m a fabulous daughter, a committed mother and a dependable partner. I’m called ‘The Lion Queen’ by those who love me. I’m also an actress and a business woman who is devoted to serving God and humanity.

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You have been scarce in movies, why?

I have been very busy working behind the scenes. We now run a production company that produces drama, marketing campaigns and advertisements. We are working on a major TV series for Africa cinema. Please stay tuned.

Besides acting, you’re also into so many other things, can you give us a breakdown?

I’m an entrepreneur who is on the lookout for great investment opportunities. My partners and I are into general merchandising like, event and entertainment production, marketing and advertisement, content creations, relationship counselling, car importation, advocacy, and charity work.

As a Nigerian in diaspora, how have you been coping?

It is not easy living outside of your home. Trust me, I miss Nigeria all the time. There is no place like home. The western society is structured and very straight forward. Anyone who is determined and ready to put in the work will definitely make it. I am comfortable here but I miss my Nigeria.

Do you have plans to shoot your own movies anytime soon?

Yes. We are currently working on some quality projects.

What do you miss about Nigeria?

I miss the freshly harvested and cooked meal. I miss family and friends. I miss my village in Anambra state.

How have you been coping with running an NGO in this poor economic state of the country?

We have been fortunate so far. We are blessed with remarkable pair of human beings who are committed to our cause. They volunteer their time and support our programs with resources. We are currently working on a major healthcare intervention for our people. We will let you know as soon as we are ready to launch. Donors and partners are welcome.

As a relationship consultant, what do you think is responsible for the alarming rate of celebrity marriage crash and baby mama syndrome?

Marriage or any kind of committed relationship requires deep commitment and maturity. Committed relationship is a contract and a covenant that is binding. The parties involved must keep to their own side of the agreement. Marriage crash is as a result of a default in such agreement. These days, people are more conscious of avoiding exploitation. Baby mama on the other hand is a derogatory term created to shame and demean women. I find the term very irritating. I will rather use the term single motherhood to describe them. Single parenthood is not an easy thing. I will not degrade anyone working hard to raise responsible children.

You started ‘Black and White Gala Ball’ in Canada but later stopped. Why?

The Black and White Gala Ball Canada, was a pet project created to bring Africans together in an environment where they are respected and recognized. We ran it for two years before we moved to other projects. We are presently mentoring and shaping the future of young Africans in Canada. Africans are often associated with ineptitude and economic backwardness, we are increasingly changing that narrative. We are equipping these young minds with skills and leadership qualities that will propel them into management positions.

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You seem to have a special kind of love for Anambra State, with regards to your famous Facebook page, what’s behind that?

Anambra is home, and home is where the heart is. I want my people to access some of the beautiful things I have seen in Canada. Anambra state has a reputation for industriousness and business acumen. Anambra State is blessed with wealthy men and women who can do great and mighty things for our people. We can do better. We should do better. We must start it now. We must change the trajectory of our society.

Looking back, what fond memories do you have of your home town?

Many fond memories. I love moving from town to town. I love learning about each town and how their customs differ from our own. I adore the wealth of our humanity and the richness of our culture.

Do you miss core Nigerian foods?

I eat almost all the Nigeria foods that I love. What I miss most is my inability to cook with freshly harvested leaves. In Canada, our Nigeria vegetables are either dried or frozen.

How fluent are your children in Igbo language?

They understand Igbo language but they are not fluent in speaking it. They mix their Igbo with English. We are working on them speaking Igbo more fluently. I will admit, our progress has been slow. We will keep trying until success is achieved.

Should more women venture into politics?

Absolutely Yes. I’d love to see more women doing wonders for the nation.

How do you think women can take their place in the society?

As a people, we must pull down all visible and invisible walls socially constructed to limit and restrain women. Every Nigerian female should be encouraged to take up space in every sector of our society. We need women occupying leadership positions in business, banks, entertainment, politics, markets, manufacturing, real estate and religion.

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What life lessons has been instrumental to your success so far?

One of my greatest inspirations in life is the Bible verse which states: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. My mum endorsed the significance of education to me. She is my strongest human inspiration.

Would you say you’re a fulfilled woman?

I am a woman who is contented with her life. I am a woman in fullness of her agency. I love me because I am an original. I love God and I love humanity.

What’s next for you in terms of projects?

First, we are seeking for partners with visionary ideas. We are working on new campaigns for our charitable work. We also have some new products coming into the market soon. Creating and making things is a big part of our identity. Don’t worry, we will continually keep you updated.

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