When she came into Nollywood, many thought she would fade out immediately like a smoke but she has been billowing from strength to strength that today she has a very good command in the industry. Jennifer Eliogu tells AMARA OSAJIUBA in this interview how she came into industry and mastered it so much that she has no rival.

YOU frequently visit Abuja and Asaba these days which makes it difficult to reach you. What business do you have in these cities?

Well, I have a lot and I rather keep them to myself for now, I just trust God that all things work well, but I know it will.

How do you cope with the stress of travelling from one place to the other all the time?

It is crazy but we have to do what we have to do

Every last quarter of the year seems to be very busy for all the producers and director, does it mean that more films are done during this period?

Towards the end of the year, everybody tries to tidy up things that they have so that you don’t have to carry over old things to the New Year; you want to start the New Year afresh. You will want to see that everything you started and every goal and objective you had from the beginning of the year, that you are able to put a concrete end to most of it.

Are you really sure you are enjoying this job?

When I am busy, it is not just my acting because I have so much I am doing, it bothers on entertainment and charity but I think I love what am doing and I do because of the passion I have for it and I can say I am enjoying it. The travelling is stressful coupled with the fact that I am staying away from my kids and family every now and then is also stressful but you need someone to compliment the other.

How do you cope being an actress and a mother?

I always create time for them. Anytime I am around I try, I do all I can to spend time with them. I spend a lot of time with my kids. I don’t allow my job or my business to take me away like that. Every little time we have, we make sure it is quality time.

How does your husband manage with having a travelling wife?

I don’t travel every day but when necessary. He understands what I do, he knows what I do, he understands and appreciate what I do and he married me doing this job but I try much as I can to create time for my family.

People have this believe that travelling from one place to the other is one of the reasons for the marriage break-ups in Nollywood; do you think along that line?

I can’t speak for everyone in Nollywood; people have different reasons why they have problems. No marriage is faultless. Most marriages have problems but it your ability to try and fix it together that matters. It takes the grace of God and not just your ability and you working hard to make it work. I don’t think travelling is a problem. If you are going to get a wife, we talk about compatibility, both of you having chemistry and that is why you must date each other but not necessarily sleeping with each other. You date for a while, get to know each other and find out if you can live with each other’s shortcomings before you can get married. You don’t just jump into marriage. If your husband knows the kind of job you do and marries you and all of a sudden says he can’t take it anymore, then he did not marry you for love. He should know you enough to know if he can do with it. That is more reason why marriages all over the world not just in the (entertainment) industry crashes and that is when there is ‘oh, I can’t take it anymore’ because most marriages were built on faulty foundations; lies, deceit, cheating and all. That is why marriages crash not it’s not just about Nollywood.

Are you saying that your job as an actress has not caused any problem in your marriage?

It cannot cause any problem in my marriage because we understood each other before we went into this institution. He knows what I do, I know what he does but if he decides to do something apart from what I know he does, that might cause a problem and if I decide to do something apart from what he knows I do, then that might be a problem.

What if your husband wakes up one morning and tell you to quit acting, what will you do?

For now I don’t want to give that a thought, I won’t even think about it. The bible said that as a man thinks in his heart, so he is. I don’t want to think about that, all I know is that I have a passion for what I do, I love what I do.

So, what is the special thing happening in your life now?

Being alive and healthy is one special thing I thank God for, and having a family like mine, I have amazing children. My daughter is so sensitive; she prays for me, she says things that you don’t expect a five year old girl to say. My family, my siblings and parents are enough to thank God for. I have every reason to thank God, though every now and then there are ups and downs, but God has been faithful.

Where and with whom do you intend to spend the forthcoming Christmas with?

For now, it is with my family of course. You should know that but where, I don’t know, Nigeria, America, Switzerland or in my village. It could be anywhere, for now we have not decided but wherever it is. We are going to have all the fun in the world which I can assure you.

Looking at your life so far as an actress, do you think you are moving forward in this business of acting?

Yes of course, people think that when you feature in many films means you are moving forward. For me that is not exactly what it is. Like I always tell people, I am not the everyday actor but I have made impact in the job that I have featured in, and I work depending on the script, depending on the cast but the goodwill we have as Nollywood ambassadors have opened doors and we are using this good will to do good and that is moving forward for me. A lot is happening, but for now we need to be grounded.

Who would you say are your rivals in the industry?

I have never had one, you know why? I have never seen myself as a super star, I see myself as ever growing in and out of season. I have no reason to rival with anybody. I am me, uniquely me. I talk me, I walk me, I dress me, I don’t live like anyone, I don’t talk like anyone, it is just me I my small world. My job is my job, any role I play is because it is meant for me, I don’t assume oh that is what should have been given to me. I am not particular about playing lead role, it doesn’t matter to me if it is lead role or anything, what matters to me is giving it the best interpretation so I don’t have to rival with anyone.

What are those qualities that you will love your dream man to possess?

What am I dreaming for again? I have one already. It is impossible to find everything that you want in every human being, it is impossible but basically, a God fearing man, he has to be good looking but not necessarily handsome. Though beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, he has to be a good dresser because I like men who dress well, I like men who speak well, men who I can learn from, I like one who is open minded. You can’t have it all, but basically you must have over 50%.

What are those things you don’t like hearing from people?

I don’t like people telling me this is impossible, I don’t believe in impossibility, I will give it a trial. I know impossibility is in my dictionary but I will consciously overlook it. I hate being limited

Can you tell us about that day that you can never forget?

The day that I can never forget in a hurry is when I was in labour for my first child for 18 hours in Switzerland, I didn’t want to go through caesarean but at a point they said we can’t wait anymore, you have to go in and I went in and said to God that if it was how he wanted it, then whom am I to say no. that experience was painful, it was my first time so it was painful but while I was rolled into the theater, luckily for me, my child came so I didn’t have to go under the knife. The second wasn’t like the first and looking at them today, I thank God for that mercy.

Which good news should we be expecting from you soonest?

When the time comes, I can’t break good news when it is hasn’t come. Let me complete the cycle before I break the good news

How do you cope with your male admirers?

You have to cope with them, I try to be nice but sometimes if I have to be harsh, I would be. Some of them are very persistent, they think that after some time she is going to give in. they are human beings and God has made you the way you look and there is nothing you can do about it. You will always have male friend and they contribute a great quota to your popularity so you have to be nice with them but I know where to draw the line and when that time comes, whether they like it or not, they have to draw the line.

What are your challenges in the industry?

I think my greatest challenge is that I have to juggle work taking care of my family and running my business and secondly, people’s expectations of you are high, they see you as a role model and the fact that you can’t just be yourself at every moment. There are some times that you want to be yourself, you can’t go out, you lose privacy, you can’t spend time with your family alone, you can’t do a lot of thing that that normal people do. That is just it.

Which message do you have for your fans?

They know that I love them, I tell them that all the time. Without them, there would be me but maybe not much of me, so I owe to them after God.