25 years of age, she has already acted in at least 50 movies. She has
travelled wide and she commands a wide-range of fans.
A bundle of beauty
and brain, she exudes confidence and conviviality with a smack of
straightforwardness. Passionate and methodical as an actress, she allows
nothing to distract her attention. A goal-setter and a thoughtful
goal-getter, she has learnt the secret of success and stardom. As she
claimed, she does not need a man to be a successful woman. Independent
and prolific, Nora Okonkwo is perhaps the biggest young female Nollywood
holds dearly. In spite of her fame and achievement, she still holds a
second job as a business developer. Nora, an International Relations
graduate and indigene of Okwu-Apkela village, in Iyioma town in Orlu
Local Government area of Imo State, speaks with Oge Ezeliora about her
life in Jos, her strict father, her pains and gains in the movie
industry and what she thinks about men and her teeming fans
- I Respect Genevieve and I Like Mercy Johnson
- Losing $1,500-Wristwatch on Movie Location Was Terrible Experience for Me
You know a lot of times younger people would say, ‘No be passion I go
chop; na money I want.’ But the truth is what the Bible says, ‘Seek ye
first the kingdom of God and all its righteousness and every other thing
would be added to you.’ If you seek first the passion of the job,
success will follow because the passion will keep you going. The passion
will make you do better things and the money will follow. The job also
afforded me the opportunity of meeting important personalities at that
time that influenced my life in different ways. Acting has given me the
kind of image that has really guided me from that point to date.
good. I love entertainment. I love showbiz and I think I have talent in
terms of drama. I have tried to do couple of things in life as a career
but at one point I felt bored. I also regret at the end. But since I
started acting, reverse has been the case. I always feel fulfilled
whenever I come back from location. I believe acting is something I do
with joy and I am happy at the end of every production. Anytime I watch
myself on the screen, I just smile and pray that God should uplift me to
be a great actress. I love acting so much and I happy I went for it.
I have acted in. You know as you are acting, more films are waiting for
you. Another issue is that I don’t check the names or write it down
somewhere. Remembering all the movies I have acted to date is a bit
difficult for me. But frankly speaking, I have acted in over 50 movies
and I am still acting. Well, the ones that I hold most dear are: ‘Bank
Romance’ and ‘Enough’. I really enjoyed every part of these two movies.
It was wonderful; a lot happened with these movies. I can never forget
my roles. I gave my best and to date I have never acted any challenging
role like I did in those movies.
Nollywood actor. If God says Nollywood actor will be my husband, who am I
to say no? In marriage, all that matters is love and affection.
more favour than negative things. Although everything has its own ups
and down, I believe I have been uplifted because I am a Nollywood star.
What I cherish most in acting is the experience. Every day, you met
people from different places. Both the high and mighty will respect you
because you are a known face. People appreciate us at all times. Acting
will expose you to a lot of good things and places. It also helps you to
be patient because acting entails a lot of patience. But the bad aspect
of it is that you don’t have your privacy. You may not be able to do
some of the things you used to do before. It also exposes you to
tolerance. Like some people you may not be able to tolerate as an
ordinary person but because you are a star, you will tolerate them. It
also exposes you to critics and gossips.
was ‘Enough.’ It was filled with suspense; very interesting and it was a
challenging story. I actually fulfilled my aspiration of becoming a
good actress. When I started acting at the initial stage, I told myself
that my aim was to get to the pinnacle and doing it as a professional
which I’m doing very well today. But the first attempt was a glimpse
into the reality that yes, I could do that. So it’s quite memorable.
Bsc honours from Imo State University. I wish to go further in my
education up to the master’s level by the special grace of God.
the first time I faced the camera. But luckily for me I was on location
with famous actors and actresses. So after my first and second attempts,
I seemed to be stuttering. So my producer called me aside and gave me
some pep talk and encouraged me that I was very good and all I needed
was to put more effort and I was happy. I concentrated on what I was
doing and since then, I have never looked back and that is why I am
where I am today.
sincere to you: from one job to another comes success after success. I
look forward to the next success. So it is like conquering at every
service as well as our work are not comparable with what is obtainable
abroad. The way we work here is like a 24-hour service. It was when I
went abroad some time ago that I discovered that in working in this
industry, you have a time limit. You have a time to resume and a time to
close – eight hours a day. But here, we work more than eight hours a
day. We are not complaining but we wish it would be better. We also have
the challenge of fees. Of course, we want to be paid more.
Cache, which specialises in interior decoration. The company is based in
Italy. It has a branch in Nigeria; at Ikoyi, Lagos to be precise. We
are into furniture, interior decorations, contracts and I am a business
developer. When we have contracts here in Nigeria, we will contact our
company in Italy for production and they supply as ordered by our
customers. I have my schedule; I can work two times in two weeks and
this helps me to attend to other things.
is not too tasking. I can work from anywhere. Like I said, when we have
contracts I go to the office and focus on the job and anytime I am
called on for my acting job, I also focus on that. I go to work once in a
week and that has really helped me to focus more on my acting career.
Plateau State. I attended my primary school in Jos and continued in Imo
state. Later, we relocated to my hometown. My mother was a teacher while
my father is a businessman. I am the second child of my parents. We are
four girls and two boys. My father was strict, always monitoring our
movements in and outside the house. We spent most of our time indoors. I
loved watching movies. But I would not say that it is the reason I
wanted to act. I just felt that being able to represent a character that
is not I would be exciting to do and to convince those who are watching
that I’m actually the person.
acting. I was a graduate and I was working. So convincing my parents at
that stage was easy. Although my mother did not agree initially, I was
able to convince her. My parents always tell me: I don’t want you to act
nude. I don’t want you to expose your body and other things.
easily carried away by men. I know what I want. And my job comes first.
Men will always admire you as long as you are a beautiful woman. Anyone
that approaches me, I will tell him straightaway that my job comes
first. Before any further communication, I always make it clear that I
am not into men.
sexual harassment. But I don’t believe in that because it is a personal
thing. For you to be harassed you must first accept the person’s
invitation. No producer will rape you if you don’t come too close. I
always advise young girls to focus on the job and put sentiments or
financial gains aside. Of a truth, anybody can be harassed you if you
are ‘loose.’ You have to make up your mind that this is what I want to
do. If you feel you want to sleep with a director or producer for a
role, then it is your decision and you are not being forced.
forget. One day, I was on a movie location. I noticed that my wristwatch
had been stolen. I was so sad that I refused to talk to anybody. In
fact, it took me time to recover from the loss. I don’t know who to ask.
It was a sad experience but after some time I let go.
confronted the person I gave the watch to hold on to for me while I was
on set, but the person stated that he kept it in my bag. I could not get
the police involved because I didn’t want to stain my identity. I don’t
want people to see me as being troublesome. I let it go and bought
another wristwatch. So I became more careful with my things on
when you are shooting a movie who will you hold responsible? You cannot
hold responsible the producer for what he knows nothing about. You
cannot even accuse a particular person when the location is crowded.
now compared to when we started. We are trying our best to ensure that
we don’t lose the essence for which Nollywood became what it is today.
We are trying our best to remain on that path. There will always be
different shades at any film industry. Even in the US, all films are not
like the ones we get to watch all the time. The films that are made
here in Asaba are mostly the kind of films that relate directly to those
who watch them and whether you like it or not, there are some people
who love and would die for our local movies. People love them. They are
making money and those who come to operate within that realm are happy
with it. Over the years, tragedy has remained a consist