Uju Okeke, is presently the toast of every movie producer after she was catapulted to stardom in 2008, when she was nominated and won the Best Upcoming Actress Award at the Africa Movie and Academy Awards (AMAA). The Anambra born beauty actress is today, one of the fast-rising Nollywood actresses in the Nigerian movie industry. She had a chat with Adunola Fasuyi.

Did you choose to act and how did it all start?
I choose acting, acting did not choose me. I have always had the flair for acting right from my childhood days. This, of course, might have been the reason behind my success in the industry. This also pushed me to study Theater Arts at the university to prepare me well for the career because my parents will not compromise my formal education and I believe in that too, even if I have to pick up acting as a career, I must go to school.

What is your major achievement in life?
Of course, my major achievement for now is being the best upcoming actress (AMAA) 2008. Not only that, I intend to take over from the existing big names in the industry and being an award winner shows that I’m heading for the best in the world not just Africa. I want to go all the way to the very top in Nollywood and all over the world, by God’s grace. I am determined to achieve this goal and I will go all the way to attain this objective.

How many movies have you featured in so far?
I have featured in so many films but to mention a few and they include, Mission To Nowhere, The Barrister, Crime Planner, Black Sheep and so many other movies that I can’t mention here. Besides, there are some that are yet to be out but with what I gathered recently, a couple of them will hit the market very soon. But you know what, you ain’t seen nothing yet, I am about to explode, the very best of me will come soon. It’s a matter of time.

What is your perception on the ‘sex for role saga, alleged to be rampant in Nollywood now?
I have no comment. Yes, just that. It has never happened to me and something that has never happened to you, there is little you can say about it. But as professionals, you just have to be professional, do your job ethically. When you are good, you can make it to the top without compromising your virtues. I really can’t comment much on that. Make your fans happy and be happy with yourself and be professional.

When do you plan to marry?
Soon. When it’s about to happen, you will be the first person to know. But for now, I am single and very free. The coast is clear.

Do you like celebrity marriages?
Life is a choice with every man on his own. People do what they like. If you want it and like it, then why not? I think for me, it’s a matter of choice, not that its bad or good.

Most relationships now are based on infatuation. Love and infatuation from a man, which would you prefer?
The one that loves me of course. Remember that love conquers and overcometh all odds. I will stick to love always.

How would you describe your background?
My background is a beautiful one, with loving parents, who have been there for me from my kindergarten days to my university days. What I really love most about my background is that I’m from a God-fearing home and growing up was glorious. I grew up in my home town, Nawgu in Dunukofia Local Government in Anambra State. I would say here that my environment influenced me positively, particularly the religious aspect and it also made me understand the value of life and that’s why I’m where I’m today. Glory to God and thanks to my loving parents.

Are there other talents in you besides acting?
Oh, of course I also do modelling. However, acting has taken the better part of me to the extent that I hardly have time to develop the modelling talents in me. But I can model very well.
At the moment, I am shooting a new movie. I have plunged myself in that and it’s seriously taking my time.

Do you have any regrets in life?
None. I have no regret in life. Everything that has happened to me under this heaven is destined, so I don’t regret anything, but rather, God takes the glory always.

What would you have become if not an actress?
Maybe a successful model.

What do you detest most?
Cheating. Oh, I hate cheating and cannot stand people that cheat.

Your male admirers, how do you manage them?
Simply diplomacy. I try to be diplomatic with them and finally we’ll end up as friends and be beneficial to each other.

Can you act nude and for how much?
Oh, goodness! My decency is worth more than all the money in the World Bank. Don’t even think of it.

When off the screen, how would you describe yourself?
Simple, jovial, articulate and down-to-earth. For real, that is me!

What is your major earthly possession?
Knowing God.

You suddenly went off the scene after you won AMAA about two years ago, as a potential and promising actress, what happened?
I travelled for my NGO project that I’ m working on, but I bet you, I’m back for real. Yeah, for real and for good.

There is a rumour about a new lover of yours?
I don’t have any new lover. In fact, the coast is clear.

As an insider in the industry, what is your view of Nollywood?
A good one, but it all depends on how we manage it. But for rating, I think we have scored above average; this is why we have been recognised internationally. Nollywood is really trying and doing well, but it can obviously be better. Our government should also identify with us, because believe me, the industry is a goldmine where government can make huge revenue but it must first invest in it.

Who are your mentors?
Teco Benson and Susan Patrick.