Veteran actress, Patience Ozokwor, aka Mama G, is unarguably one of the best that the silver screen has seen in recent times. She speaks with Punch about her career, marriage and other issues.
Do you sometimes regret acting ‘wicked’ roles in movies?
Any actor worth his salt should be able to deliver on whatever role he or she is given to play. For people to be so affected by the roles I have played means that I did a good job in interpreting the characters I was given.
However, I wouldn’t like to pass wrong messages to anyone through my movies.
Don’t you feel stereotyped at times?
If you study my career, you will realise that I have played a lot of roles over the years. However, the ones where I act as a strict or vocal person are the ones that have been more popular. I guess that’s what people like.
However, I always strive to strike a balance and I don’t act just one type of role.
Some people feel you are able to act as a wicked mother-in-law so well because you are one in real life. Is that really so?
Nothing can be farther from the truth. I am a simple person who doesn’t like to interfere in other people’s lives.
Sometimes, I cry when I watch some of the movies I acted in. I am nothing like that and you can never see me where wicked acts are being perpetuated. If anybody close to me does something wrong, I will not shield the person. Like I have said several times, I am an actress and every character I have ever played ended on the set.
You got married at a young age. In what ways did that experience impact on your growth as a person?
I believe firmly that everything that happens to a person is ordained by God. You may not understand why you’re going through certain situations but as you grow older, you will recognise the hand of God in your life.
Truly, I got married at a young age due to the bidding of my parents. At that age, marriage wasn’t what was on my mind but I had to go into it to make my parents happy. It was a combination of good and bad times but I thank God because that experience really built me as a person and taught me a lot. It made me more mature. As a young girl going into marriage, I didn’t have it rosy at that point because I didn’t understand many things. At the time I got married to my husband, I had a lot of suitors vying for my hands in marriage but I had to go with my parents’ choice.
However, my late husband was a good man and he took care of his family.
Why do you think your parents made that choice for you?
The question would be best answered by them.
Your late husband was sick for sometime before he passed. How did you cope then?
It wasn’t really a palatable experience and I don’t like to recollect it. However, God was able to get us through. Living with someone who is ill could be very challenging because you have to do many things on your own. At times, it could be frustrating but one would keep hoping that the sick person gets better. When he finally died, I felt very bitter but I could not question God. Recall that I was also quite young at the time.
After you got born again, you changed your style of dressing and advocated same for others. Considering that people have criticised you for that, how do you feel?
I did not advocate anything for anybody. We all have our lives to live and we have different relationships with God. That I decide to dress in a particular way doesn’t mean everybody else has to do the same. The important thing is to be decent at all times.
What will Nigerians find surprising to know about you?
I am very soft-hearted and I cry easily. However, I believe in facing whatever is at hand squarely and doing a good job. Even if I will cry later, I could do that in my closet.
How do you like to dress?
I dress simply and comfortably.