Beautiful mother of two, Uche Iwuanyanwu Nnannah is set for a great comeback to Nollywood after taking two years off to raise a family. Uche, who has taken up some raunchy roles in the past, is now a mother and a wife. In this interview she talks about her plans for Nollywood and what has changed or not changed about her.
You haven't been acting lately; what happened?
You are right. I have been off for more than two years because I needed to focus on making a family. If I remember correctly, my last film was 'Second Honeymoon' in October of 2015. Shooting that film was particularly exciting for me because I was pregnant and no one on the set knew it. I remember how I was stylishly concealing my bump during the movie shoot.
And at the same time I had to give in my best despite all the hormonal challenges that come with being pregnant. I remember I was six months pregnant at the time and no one knew it. It was my first pregnancy, so, it wasn't obvious. I have since had two boys and now ready for the camera again. I had both kids in the United States of America.
Why did you feel the need to conceal your pregnancy from everyone?
From the moment my husband and I were informed about it, we decided to keep it secret. I felt like the best way to stay pregnant and safe in my kind of field was to conceal it. Like keep everything on the low till the bundle of joy arrives. I can't really go into details; I just wanted it that way; you know? Keeping personal business personal.
So, what have you been doing in those last two years apart from raising a family?
I have been very busy with the fashion line I just launched. When I took a break from acting I went into fashion. I didn't just sit at home; I opened a boutique, a fabric and a fashion store with other things. Right now, I am making a comeback to the industry because Nollywood is where my heart is.
Is it a trend now in Nollywood to have your kids abroad?
I don't know of any trend of actresses wanting to have their babies abroad, but for us, we thought we could afford it and we went for it. Besides, I wanted to feel safe and had good medical care.
What is the difference between Uche the single girl and Uche the married woman?
The truth is that, there's no palpable difference, I am still old me. The only difference is just motherhood. Seriously, being a mother changes your reasoning, your attitude to life and makes you more caring. I have come to learn to love unconditionally, tolerant and accommodating. I think of myself last now. It sounds very funny but so true.
You have taken up some raunchy roles in the past, would you still take them up now?
I think I can still interpret my roles perfectly without showing too much of my body. But if my script demands I show some skin, why not? It is acting; it has nothing to do with my private person. My husband understands my job and I don't think he would have any problem with that.
Do you really think he would be happy seeing his private property on public display?
Of course, I am not going to go butt naked. Never, I never did that as a single girl, why would I start now as a married woman? Seeing me nude will definitely piss him off. I can't do that. Kisses and hugs can go, but no nudity please. My husband is not your average Nigerian man, he endorses what I do on set and accept them as doing my job.
What should we expect from rebranded Uche Iwuanyanwu?
You should expect to see a better and matured person. The little time I spent away from the hustle and bustle of the trade, I have honed my skills and studied the craft more carefully. Watch out for me, I am coming with a bang.
Is your coming back to make money or what?
The trophy that comes out of acting is really not so big. The truth is that it is only passion and love for the job that drives you. Just like they say, when you have passion for something, the passion drives you to achieve the unimaginable. This job is not about money but about love for the job.
Have you been propositioned for a job yet?
Yes, I have a script right now. I got the script about two weeks ago, so, I am working on it. I think we should start our shoot soon.
What is your own story concerning sexual harassment in the industry?
They won't ask me because I won't answer. They may ask indirectly but never directly because I don't think anyone can openly ask to make love to me for a script because I know my onions. This is my job and I know it, I don't have to beg or open my legs for anyone to get a job. If you try it with me, I will just walk out on you.
What do you think is the solution to the problem of sexual harassment in the industry?
Desperation is the first thing that brings about sexual harassment. Once a director or a producers smells it, they begin to offer conditions. Even when you are good at what you do, once they sense desperation about you, the game may change. The girls don't need to be desperate when they are good. Why no one has ever harassed me or openly asked is because I have never been desperate. I don't need to be because I know my craft.
Another thing is that some girls actually present themselves to be harassed because they are so desperate they would do anything for the job. Some actually ask for it and dress for the occasion.
My candid advice is, don't ever get desperate and draw a line in your communication with these people. Most importantly, you are addressed the way you are dressed. Most producers see themselves as demigods because we have given them the power to feel so.
Yes, we need them to showcase our craft and they need us too to produce their films. If you are good you don't need to worship anybody to be successful in the industry.
What will you do if your husband cheats on you?
I don't want to think of that but the truth is, I will not leave my house for some other woman to occupy. So long I have taken the vow of 'better for worse', for richer or for poorer, it means I will have to live with whatever situation I find myself. For as long as my husband still wants me I will not leave him unless he's doing it for another reason.
Fashion is becoming more and more of nudity, where do you belong in this?
People see fashion in different ways. Some like to show off their body slightly while some like to show plenty of it and there are some leaning towards going almost naked. It is just an expression of inner self and whatever gives you joy is okay with me. I have done a movie where I was semi nude before I got married but I can't do that again. To me, fashion is what makes you feel good.
Is it wrong to use pornography to spice up your sex life?
For me, it is wrong. For some people it may be okay. I don't need pornography to spice up my sex life because my imagination is enough for me. Pornography may have other adverse effects like driving you to see what you don't want to see and affect your imagination.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I'm coming back to the industry, not only as an actress but also as a stylist and a producer. In the next five years or so, a lot will happen.