‘I worked hard to be responsible for myself’
A graduate of English from the University of Port Harcourt, Maureen Okpoko is not a stranger in the Nigerian movie industry, otherwise known as Nollywood. Having featured in a number of movies, TV commercials and music videos, the actress has indeed made her mark. In this interview with FLORENCE UTOR, she spoke on his Nollywood career, her recent Peak Milk job and family.
How did you prepare for Nollywood career?
Nothing really prepared me for Nollywood; I studied English at the University of Port Harcourt, but I also did some courses in Theater Arts. When I finished from school, I picked up a regular 8am to 5pm job for years, but I didn’t get the satisfaction I wanted until I decided to come into Nollywood six years ago; a passion I had nursed all along. I featured in the movie Champions of our time and The Part of Darkness by global effect then I stopped acting. But I came back again in 2010/2011 and since then, I have not looked back.
How has it been so far in terms of getting jobs?
It’s been great, I get like four to five jobs in a month. In fact, sometimes, I have to do a refund to some producers when the jobs are clashing because, you can be delayed in a production. Right now, I have been delayed for three days on this set; I just left a production house where I acted an Igbo and English movie. I have also featured in the Flavour’s musical video for the song titled Golibe where I played the Queen, with uncle Pete Edochie as the King. The Song was nominated for Kora award.
How did you secure the Peak Milk deal?
It just happened; somebody submitted my pictures for the job and I was contacted for the casting. When we got there, I met some white guys and one of them asked me what I did for a leaving, that was all. I think I fitted the type of mother figure they were looking for.
There’s this rumour that your career success led to the separation with your husband?
Not at all, I started acting when I was still with him; he blessed my first script that I brought home. But when a man keeps listening to gossip, it will break his home. When people outside see that there is a measure of peace in your home, they are bound to scatter it; that was what I realised after the whole thing happen. People I thought were my friends were actually the ones behind the whole storm, but I know better now.
Any hope of reconciliation with your husband, considering kids?
No, I’m coping. With the nature of my Job, I don’t want to be at the beck and call of any man. Right now, marriage is the last thing on my mind; we have been separated since 2010. When my late father was alive, he didn’t come one day to say what his reasons were, so, I’m not interested anymore. It has been six years now and I have moved on big time. I work hard for my money; I don’t sit down waiting for anybody to give me things. I’ve had that firm resolve right from when I was a child; I had everything I needed, though I do not want to say I’m a silver spoon child. We were very comfortable; even at that, I worked hard to be responsible for myself. I have three lovely children (a boy and two girls). I Love them, they are my treasure and they love me that is all that matters to me.
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