She picked the call, and after establishing that the caller, who hid his number, was a friend of the house, yelled, ‘What’s up.’ That sort of set the ground for the loads of questions that the caller had for her on a recent ‘abortion mess’ that had been humming around her. A magazine had gone to town the previous week with the ‘tale’ of how the beloved screen actress ‘aborted a six month pregnancy for ex-super eagles star, Uche Okechukwu’. To illustrate the story, the magazine found and used a picture that showed that the actress, scriptwriter and producer might have lost weight following the alleged act. ‘There is no truth in the story,’ Jombo -- who has just finished work on Nollywood Hustler, her most pronounced effort as a producer, charged. ‘I don’t know where they got the story from and I don’t know who is doing this but they are definitely going to hear from me because I am not going to take this lying low.’ The Abriba, Abia State-born actress, hinted that she might be heading to court soon to ‘fish out those behind the attempt to smear her image and character
What’s all this tale about your getting pregnant and aborting it because a chap you were allegedly married to didn’t want the pregnancy?
Well, I don’t think they mentioned marriage, it was said that I was dating him and he didn’t want the pregnancy; so, according to them I aborted the pregnancy.
But what is the relationship between you and the chap that was mentioned?
I have never met him or anybody with that name before... I have never had any relationship with anyone by that name.
To be pregnant, then abort means you were out of the scene for some time. Was there a time you disappeared or did not work that fuelled this tale?
No. I was always around. I mean, I have never stayed away from set over a month or out of Nigeria for two weeks in the last three or four years. I don’t know what brought this kind of tale. I mean to make matters worse; they used pictures of years ago just so as to deceive people that I have lost weight. The only time I lost some weight was because of work. We were shooting a movie where I played a cancer patient and I needed to lose some weight. But that was work and it has nothing to do with me. I have been very busy, extremely too busy to be off the scene for even two weeks. It’s either I am on set, or producing or performing my role as a Glo ambassador.
So, when you read the report yourself, what was your initial reaction?
I just said to myself, enough is enough. I can’t just keep quiet. To be silent will mean that it is true and it’s just lies. So, this is the final battle. Enough is certainly going to be enough. And come to think of it, I am very free with the press, having worked in, and with the media at various times. They all have my numbers and there is no time that there is a request from them that I don’t respond. If they heard anything like that, I expected them to ask me as some other people have always done. Not sell lies to the public! But honestly, enough is enough. I must get to the root of this matter. We shall expose all those trying to run themselves down and not Uche.
What is your next line of action?
I am taking them to court for this, because I don’t understand what anyone hoped to gain by that kind of story. But I guess the fellow should be prepared because anyone, who writes that kind of story and think I would sit and watch, is a joker. For Christ’s sake, I didn’t drop from tree. I am human. I have a family; I have people in my life that can also get hurt from that story. I am heading to court. I have a name and reputation to protect. No amount of begging can solve this. Someone will have to pay for this to serve as a deterrent to others.
So, is marriage for you, anywhere near?
Maybe that way, the talebearers will leave your back?
The question first is why are they on my back in the first place? This is my life. It’s not theirs and I personally know marriage is what people should do when they are ready and well prepared for it, else you will jump in and out. It’s not a step you take because people won’t get off your back. I think they should just leave me alone so I can concentrate on my work and career. I want to work and learn more. I use this opportunity to thank all my fans most of whom called in to express shock at the tale in the paper. I assure them that we must get to the root of this.
Nollywood Hustlers is your second attempt at producing, is Uche returning to productions because it is no longer profitable being an actress alone?
I don’t think I am in productions because I want to earn more money than I earn as an actress. It has nothing to do with earnings as you are suggesting. It’s just the need to do something you have been craving for. I mean as a writer, my dream is to be able to realise my works as a producer and not necessarily write for others to produce. That was my motivation for shooting Nollywood Hustlers. Emem Isong, Desmond Elliot just finished a joint production. It’s called Holding Hope. Being an actress when it comes to productions is a blessing. I have been here long enough to want to try other things, I mean write or produce the kind of movie I love watching, It has everything to do with growth as a production person.