Oge Okoye-Duru is undoubtedly a success story in the Nigerian movie industry. The mother of two speaks on a number of issues bordering on her life and the movie industry in general.
With some Nollywood practitioners taking up roles that will expose their bodies, can Oge Okoye find herself in this situation?Never! No amount of money is worth your moral value. I am a mother and a mentor to some people, the emerging generation; I can’t take up a role that will involve nudity because of these people that look up to me and because of our society. But I could do other sensual roles, but for nudity, I wouldn’t even dare it.
How does your husband feel for those sensual or romantic roles you play?I really don’t know if he feels bad, but I know that being a human being like I am, he might be feeling bad inside but he is not showing it. Funny enough, he has never complained about them. He encourages me a lot; he is always there for me. It’s not much of a problem though; he doesn’t watch my movies, unless maybe you see him hiding somewhere watching it.
How did you get into acting?
I had always wanted to act, so I went for an audition and got a role, that was in 2001. According to my mother, when I was young, I was always saying I wanted to be a super star someday; that I used to walk up and down the house doing fashion parade as a child. Because of my legs and the way I carried myself then, she thought I was going to be a model, not an actress.
I love everything about drama, in church, I was involved in drama. I was at the Enugu State University of Technology at first studying Accountancy. I did that for a whole year and I was like, ‘God in heaven, you know I shouldn’t be doing this.’ My father wanted me to be a medical doctor and I knew I wasn’t going to do it.
A lot of people who started like you are now producers; aren’t you thinking along that line?I’m one person that likes to take my time when I’m doing anything. If I’m going to produce a movie, it would not be a half- baked movie or just do it because I want to produce a movie. I want to do something that in the next 10 -20 years, you’d still refer to it and say it was a good movie. I really like taking my time. Expect something big from me very soon. I know that before the end of this year, something wonderful would happen. I already have three movies lined up and I’m making plans on writing a book soon.
Writing a book! That’s fantastic; no one would ever see Oge Okoye in that direction. What spurred you?Well, like I said before, I am one person who doesn’t have to make a noise at every step I take. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed.
We understand you have a foundation you are working on….Oh yes, talking about my foundation, it’s on already; this will tell you the kind of person I am. I don’t make mountains out of mole hills, my foundation, Positive Life For Children, PLC, has been on and it has been fulfilling its purpose.
What are the projects PLC has executed?Pained by the total negligence of the underprivilege, PLC has impacted in the lives of the underprivileged and youths in the attainment of educational skills. Even me, as a UN ambassador, I have dedicated my life promoting peace and social development among the underprivileged. My foundation is focused on tackling the most challenging needs of all children with special needs anywhere in Africa.
I’m very sure your husband shares this belief with you?Yes, of course, though, my husband is far away, but honestly, he has been of tremendous support in sustaining PLC
How do you cope with the distance between you two?We understand each other; we love each other; we know when to draw the line. We are like brother and sister. It’s all about the relationship; it’s all about communication. He calls me almost 10 times in a day. Every night, I must talk to him before I sleep; it’s a must. It’s not much of a problem. I’m always there, and if I’m not there, he is here. In fact, he just left for his base not quite three weeks now.
What is his name and how did you meet him?His name is my husband. Anyway, he’s Stanley Duru. It was really not love at first sight with my husband. We were friends at first and it was going on like that then the marriage came. I got married in 2005. I met him early 2004. Marriage has made me more mature in life. I am so matured that sometimes when I am having a discussion with my very close cousin who is like my sister, she would tell me that I’m talking like an old woman.
How many kids do you have?I have two lovely kids. My boy is five years old, and my second a girl, will be three soon. It’s really hard, but it takes a whole lot of hard work and a lot of sincerity for a marriage to survive. There are some questions people will ask you about your relationship and you wouldn’t even know what to say and you wouldn’t want to lie. You are just like caught in the middle. One thing I just don’t do is to allow any part of me to suffer – my job, my career, my family. I try to fix a balance.
But there are rumours that your marriage has crumbled?
It is totally false, I really don’t know why people would be breaking up our marriage and bringing it back for us on their own. I really can’t get it. My husband and I are still very much together and we are going to be forever.