A Talent & a Half - Patience Ozokwor
Patience Ozokwor, is a veteran and outstanding award winning Nollywood actress. Mama G, as she is popularly called, is a fashion designer and musician as well. She has taken part in over one hundred movies. Here are excepts of our chat with Patience Ozokwor
“Well, if it is inside, you can’t hide it for a long time. It is just like pregnancy – you can only hide it for a while, at the appointed time it protrudes. I have always had interest in acting. It is about the only time I truly enjoy myself. Regardless of who is around, I just do my thing. Acting for me actually started from childhood, because I was opportune to be brought up by a man who loves education and understood its true importance in life – my uncle. He would make me read novels like Jane Eyre, and Oliver Twist, even when I did not comprehend them, but on the long run I discovered he was exposing me to the world of literature and creativity.
He also registered me with the Takwa Bay Children’s club, where children met to socialise through various activities. All these early nurturing exposed me tremendously, that by the time I was in secondary school, I exuded so much confidence. My teachers at secondary school and teacher’s training college also contributed in no small measure to the development of my talent.
After teachers college, I taught for about four years before leaving for Radio Nigeria where I was an announcer. This afforded me the opportunity to take part in various radio theatres. Really, acting on radio is quite difficult as everything has to reflect in your voice because nobody sees you. So, if you say you are happy, your voice must express that very well. It really was not easy because after a while, we were relieved of our duties; I had a sick husband suffering from diabetes and hypertension, and also a family to take care of.”
Though, I had some experience before coming into the industry, God has a way of leading you to the right path. In His program, there is nothing like time lapse. He is always on time, never late. He does His things the way He feels like, irrespective of who is involved. God led me through a sister to Chika Okpala’s (Zeburdaya) crew, and really that is how it started. On my very first day, I was given the lead role without auditioning! Since then, God has been faithful. Hitherto, the smaller roles used to be the preserve of actors and actresses in the Enugu axis, but with me, they would send their scripts all the way from Lagos in advance.
Before ‘Authority’, the movie that shot me to limelight, I had played challenging roles in movies like ‘Amina’ and ‘Odum.’ These roles actually paved way for the lead role I got in ‘Authority’
Great Talent at Work
I enjoy what I am doing. If you enjoy what you are doing, it means you are finding fulfilment. Though I have found fulfilment, it is not over for me. I still have lofty aspirations that must be met.
Well, outside of Nigeria, I have done some movies in Germany, Holland, and Cameroun, but my ultimate desire is to do a movie in Hollywood (the mother of all woods), I believe God will answer my prayers. I was glad last year to be honoured by ‘African American Women in the Movies’, in America, for the movie, ‘Deeper than Sex.’ It is a stepping stone towards the fulfilment of my aspirations.
I must confess, God has been my motivation. He has never abandoned nor forsaken me. He is my inspiration. As a widow, I came to Him, and He has consistently upheld me with His right hand of righteousness.
"When the going gets tough, that is when I see him coming in His full might" - Patience Ozokwor
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