Many people seem to have different opinions about you, many of which you may have even heard. Really, who is Eucharia Anunobi?
Eucharia is a simple Christian girl from a good home. When it comes to acting or when you are talking about Eucharia the actress, then that’s another thing. Acting as we know is make-believe. As an actress, I put life into characters that are given me to act-like an insane person or any other character. If people see my job and comment on it, it means I am doing it very well, or that I am a fantastic actress. But then it will be unfortunate if anyone brings together the personal and acting lives of an actor or actress. So, I am only doing my job when you see me on television.
You often appear stereotyped in roles like a wicked woman or characters where you wear provocative attires. Now, don’t you think that could be why people compare such roles with the kind of person you are in real life?
Let me quickly correct a misconception. As I sit here with you, I think I have done over 250 movies and I would want to beat my chest to say you and most of the fans have not watched all the works I have churned out. I have 17 awards so far. I just want to let you know that it's not possible that in all 250 movies, I’ll be acting the same role. I happen to be one of the actresses in this country and Africa as a whole who play all kinds of role. I am one of the most cosmopolitan actresses around today. Maybe because of the medium through which some of our movies are being showcased to Nigerians, like DSTV, they get to see one movie again and again. This, thus, becomes the yardstick with which I am measured. Sometimes people get to see maybe more than three movies that are similar, so they think I am stereotyped. Worldwide, there is no actor who probably has not done roles that are similar. Nothing is new under the sun. My friend and colleague, Ramsey Noah is also accused of being stereotyped. They say he is always casted as a romantic but it’s a lie. I have seen him play the role of a killer prisoner, armed robber, et cetera. Some people also come to me and say I cry too much in my movies, why is it that I am always the battered wife, the rejected girlfriend or even that I am very sexy. At a time, some women had the misconception that because I acted sexy roles then, whenever I passed, I’ll steal their husbands or boyfriends.
You are also referred to as the Nigerian Sharon Stone. Stone, we know, is the very sexy and daring Hollywood actress that can go naked at the drop of a hat. Do you like being called that name?
Well, what can I say here? I take it as an honour because Stone is an international Oscar winning star actress. She is a fantastic actress and one of the sexiest in America. If they say I am like her, it is a honour. It means that directly and indirectly I am a fantastic and sexy actress. Sexy, however, does not connote sexuality for me but a level of appreciation. Some people when they hear the word sexy, begin to think in the negative but it should not be so. Sexy to me means you have a charming personality, that you get to a state of being idolised and people look up to you. They just like everything about you. So, I don’t see it as derogatory or in a negative form. I have met women who tell me that they love my confidence, the way I talk; my dressing or the way I stand so erect. They even tell me that I am sexy.
A few months ago, I learnt that you were bent on taking a break from acting. How true was that?
It’s not true. I think I was out of the country when that news broke. Somebody was just playing pranks because I will never ever– as long as I have breath in me– retire from acting. Acting is not a job you retire from, unless one becomes physically hindered. For me, its not a job but a passion. I am not doing it because of the money but because of the love I have for it. Maybe love is a small word. I am obsessed about the job and for me, it’s like a religion. I can’t stop acting and even in my dreams I don’t think I have ever said those words, that I want to stop acting, because it's not possible.
When exactly did you start acting?
I have been in the industry for 12 years. Before I started, my parents really fought hard to stop me but I stood firm. That’s why I said I can’t stop especially now that I have made the name and gotten many awards. If they had said I was getting involved in other businesses, then I would understand.
I also learnt that apart from acting you are a top business woman. What kind of business are you into?
Well, I have always been in business. Let’s have our minds refreshed here. Way back before I started acting, I happen to be one of the greatest models in this country. I was a runway and photography model. Right now, my price is more expensive and those who can still afford me hire me. At times, I do brand endorsement, I compere events for top companies, wedding et cetera. I do mentoring and tutoring. I am a motivational speaker and also into events planning. I am also into transportation. I started transportation business, long before I got married. I had buses plying the routes of Lagos. I am also into frozen food business. Really, with the way this economy is, one must have what is called multiple sources of income. I don’t want to be immodest, but I want to say that I am an evangelist but I have not been ordained to preach. I am presently working on being a television host. These are just some of the things that I am engaged with. I am also into wholesale, I import goods from China. I do all these things because I enjoy them, especially when I have to talk to the youth. I find it when schools invite me to come and talk to them, I find it when so enjoyable. Some of them even tell me what they are afraid to tell their parents. For example, I went to a school to give a talk but in this class, there was this girl who wasn’t responding, when I went to meet her later, she told me she just turned 11 and she just began seeing her period (menstural cycle) and couldn’t tell anybody because she was scared. I had to talk to her about being a woman and especially the need to make her mum as her best friend now. When these schools invite me, they do pay me. So you see, its not all about acting. My job has equipped me with a lot of things and I thank God for it.
Pictures of you exposing certain parts of your body have been published many times but recently you seem to be turning a new leaf…
I don’t know which leaf I am turning from (laughs). Let me just say clothing and occasions are determined by one's mind. Occasions also determine the kind of clothes to be worn. I am not talking as a banker or a lawyer here but as an artiste. As an actress, the instrument through which we carry our job is our body. I don’t believe in indecent dressing but once in a while we might wear clothes that are exposed and it has to do with mood. If I remember clearly, it's just once that I exposed my body and that one time has put me severely on the spot. I have a great body and I thank God for that. I saw that beautiful dress and bought it because I thought it looked great on me. Well, I probably won’t wear something like that again. I won’t do it.
You have been so open about your failed marriage, ex-husband and son. Why is that so, especially when many of your fans think you’d rather let go?
Is there really anything hidden under the sun? My life as an artiste is an open book already. I also look at it from the point of view of a Christian. God always told Moses to write everything down. If I don’t talk about what I went through, a person out there wouldn’t learn. Yes, I won’t tell people about the nitty gritty of what happened in the relationship but the little I say, I want people to know it that I am only human. I have feelings, I cry and I get lonely.
How’s your son and how old is he now?
He is fine. He is about eight and a half years old now.
Do you still get to hear from your ex-husband?
He has never, never, never (I intentionally used the word three times) called us. I do not want to keep in touch with him. But he has never called his son since he left.
Now, what if he shows up suddenly and says he wants to start a relationship with his son, would you allow it?
Nobody is stopping him, but I am telling you that he has never called ever since he moved his things from the house in 2006.
You often describe yourself as being romantic...
I am foolishly romantic. I believe that whatever you want to do, do it well. If you want to love, love well because you don’t know when you are going to die, so why hold back. I am not afraid to fall in love again, cook all the food or wash all the boxers. God said we should love and if the right guy comes, I will get married. I even want make him come now now. God said we shouldn’t be alone. I am willing to love and be foolish again. I never judge.
A lot of your contemporaries in the industry are becoming producers, why are you not?
I don’t think everyone should be a producer because if we all do, who are the ones going to be acting? This doesn’t mean that someday, I am not going to go into production as well. That everybody is doing it now doesn’t mean I should do it. I don’t believe in jumping into the way. At the right time and right place I’ll do it.
Your son has the sickle cell gene. A doctor fan of yours once wanted to know why you didn’t go for a genotype test before marriage. Would you say it was because of love?
Sometimes, love makes one behave somehow. But I don’t want to cry over spilt milk. I already have a son who is a sickler and there is nothing I can do about it. God has given me another chance to get married again and I am looking at the future . Now I know better so I have to get a man who is an AA so that I wouldn’t have another child who has sickle cell. So, tell my doctor fan to pray for me to meet a man who is AA. My son being a sickler doesn’t mean he is a liability but a blessing. He is an intelligent, handsome child who has made the world call me mother, every woman would love to be called that. Many people might want to say sicklers don’t live long but then how long do we all have to live? My son is living a life at the height of it and is having everything a normal child is supposed to have. There is nothing he is lacking. He might fall sick a little bit more often than the AA child. But hang on , if I have an AA child do you think I’ll take care of him lesser? Children are gifts from God and as I said, he has made the world know that I am not barren and instead made them call me mother.