Nollywood actress Uche Jombo-Rodriguez is one who has paid her dues in the industry having being around for over 17 years and still counting. NAIJ.com Entertainment hooked up with Uche who spoke about why she married a foreigner, her cult-like friendship with Omoni Oboli, Ufuoma McDermott and Chioma Chukwuka- Akpotha.
The mother of one also talked about her latest work Kondo Game in which she played the role of a gossiping police officer’s wife alongside Mercy Johnson. The movie, she said, afforded her the opportunity of seeing how Nigeria Police officers and their families survive in the barracks. Excerpts…..
How do you combine acting, directing and producing together?
Why don’t you guys always ask an actor how he juggles things up and you go further with the actress by asking how she combines all these with being a wife and a mother. The thing is, they have been doing this all over the years. The fact that I have a choice of when to work makes things easier for me; some women don’t have that same choice. I have the luxury of time to say I want to devote this time to family life and that time to work so. It is a privilege, other than beat myself up from not having time or for juggling it all, I am kind of grateful for having the opportunity to be able to dictate my own job and the timing I share between my family and my job. And then again also keeping in mind that I am juggling different roles, it’s human I might drop a ball and it is also human to pause and pick it up. Don’t think everything must be 100%, no. once in a while a ball will drop and I will not blink, I will pick it up and continue that’s life.
Let’s talk about your friendship with Ufuoma McDermott, Omoni Oboli and Chioma Akpotha, that I called the four cardinal points. At what level did you people decided to stick together? Oboli once posted that you people holds vigils via the telephone and others.
(Laughs) Our Fantastic Four, I have been around as an actress for almost 17 years and I have known Chioma the longest. There was a time we kind of lost communication, that’s how the industry is that you go into your personal lives and we had the opportunity of working again and a sisterhood was born. Some days back, someone said how did you people picked two Igbo girls and two Urhobo girls and then two people married to foreigners and two people married to Nigerians and I’m like nobody designed it things sort of happen. And we kind of have some things in common and that’s it. It’s just like minds coming together and all that. I am a very hardworking person and I am quick to spot another who to support. We have a lot to prove even though in our sector even if a woman is more qualified than a man you still have to prove that this position I’m worth being given the opportunity. And I think women we can do a lot if we support each other especially when those sisters are to be supported. I think the sisterhood just came about us working together on a project and moving on together from there and going on to support each other’s private and personal project. If I see something that will benefit my sisters I will call them and despite that we are all still doing different projects.
Omoni Oboli’s Wives On Strike was my first job after being away for some time and I needed to leave an impression so I was everywhere doing the cinema tour across the country with her.
Why are Nollywood actresses settling for foreign husbands?
I don’t think so; I think we have more actresses marrying Nigerian men. And for us married to foreigners there was not a time we agreed to do so. The same way we never said Nigerian men ara bad. It is a coincidence.
At a point it was a trend in the industry?
How I wish we all sat down together to marry a foreigner but there is nothing like that. It’s not that I even sat down to say I’m marrying a foreigner it just happened which I think can happen to anyone. You don’t really plan love, I think the ones you plan are the ones you lose so it’s something that happened and here we are.
Is Kondo Game your first comedy movie?
My very first movie as a producer Nollywood Hustlers was a comedy back in the days. Actually Wives On Strike is also comedy even though it is an advocacy sort of. I also featured in Mrs Somebody which is also comedy and I have been told that I have comic timing. When I got Kondo Game script, the comedy really is not in my character or the female characters in the film, it lies in the policemen. I worked with Prince Jide Kosoko, Mercy Aigbe, Cossy Ojiakor, Funnybone and Francis Odega. And working on this script gives me an opportunity of working with some people I have never worked with before and it was nice.
How was it playing the role of a pregnant woman after your first pregnancy?
It was fun, though I have played the role of a pregnant woman before I got married or pregnant with my child. The characters are typical police wives living in police barracks where people don’t mind their business always ready to gossip about the next person. So it was like being pregnant and jobless and talking about other people character.
Watch Uche Jombo in Kondo Game below:
Was your role challenging enough for you?
It depends on what you mean by challenge. I never take myself too serious. Kondo Game is a feel-good movie. It is a story filled with humour, suspense and thriller about two police officers and their families. When I first read the script, I thought of how unique police barracks really were and couldn’t wait to see that in pictures. That is the good thing about acting. You have the opportunity of stepping into different roles to learn how people live in other neighbourhoods.
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