Darlene Benson Cobhams, is one actress that has been dazzling many people and one of her selling points, many have said, is her ability to stay real on and off the movie set. Recently, nfc had a chat with the happily married actress, who said her husband – Cobhams Asuquo – has been her strength and strong pillar of support. In her words: “My husband loves my career and he encourages me. He doesn’t try to keep me from my work and he is very supportive. He loves and respects me and my chosen field.” Speaking so glowingly of her husband, who bears the same name with famous music producer, Cobhams Asuquo, Darlene said her husband no doubt has a family linkage with the sightless producer but he’s no match for her when it comes to romance. “The two will definitely be related though they haven’t met and interestingly, they share the same name. But all Cobhams are from one family in Calabar. “Marriage is the sweetest experience of my life; I got married on April 7, 2001, and recently celebrated my ninth year in marriage. I was not pressurised into marriage; in fact, I got married for all the right reasons in the world! And my husband is very romantic but I think I may beat him hands down on romance because I am hopelessly romantic!” This alumnus of the University of Lagos and Calabar, combines the roles of a scriptwriter, singer, actress and event compere. To her credit is a music album entitled Miracles. “I had a passion for acting as a teenager because then I was a movie addict, I went on to do a diploma in theatre at the University of Calabar in 1992, after which I came to Lagos in 1995 and started acting. Later I got a B.A. in theatre from the University of Lagos. “I was a performer, a singer, even before I left for Lagos and I have been performing. I stage shows, studio jobs, jingles and have even been back-up for artists like Lt. Shotgun, Sunny Nneji and Sammy Okposo.” Continuing she said, “I see myself as an artistic and creative person so I do a lot of things that is art or stage-related. For example, I am a scriptwriter, some of my works are Brides Apart, The other woman, The Mistress and A Will to Love to mention a few. I do events compare because as a singer you sometimes do that on stage, for me it was easy and came naturally. I love being on stage and with a good sense of humour, you can hold an audience. Currently, I have my album in the market and it is entitled Miracles. Born Darlene Benson into the family of five girls, the Akwa Ibom State indigene believes her sheer love for the make believe world has kept her this long. “I am from Akwa Ibom State and my parents are Tracy and Ignatius Benson. We are five girls and we grew up in Port Harcourt and Calabar. I attended Holy Child Secondary School, Calabar, my father was a journalist until his death in the early 90s. For me, my childhood was fun and pleasant, I had everything I wanted as a child, the teenage years were the tougher parts but God saw us all through. “My sheer love for the job has kept me in the industry all these years. I would definitely say we have come a long way in Nollywood, achieved a lot, and we are going somewhere. The world is watching us now and that is a great achievement compared to the earlier years.” Speaking on her experience on the job, Darlene said she once wished she never played a certain role and detests how actresses are branded as the only wayward individuals in the country. “Every role has been an experience but there are some roles, one in particular, which I wish I didn’t do. The script wasn’t good and obviously the movie came out worse. I wouldn’t want to mention the name for the producer’s sake. “Why won’t you leave actresses alone? There are wayward girls in every sector in the economy and not just in acting industry alone but people make it sound like actresses are number one in waywardness. I don’t condone it, it’s a sorry way for any woman to live her life and they need counselling, but please don’t brand actresses wayward, they are not the worst women on earth, actresses are friendly and nice people to meet.” This humorous actress, who have starred in over 40 flicks, sees her role in the Opa Williams flick, Maama as her most hectic and challenging role. “My role in Maama was the most challenging role I have played and I won an award for it and that was in 1999.The flick also brought me to limelight but I have already produced a couple of films, and no, I don’t see me quitting, I mean, why should I?” www.nigeriafilms.com
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