BN Saturday Celebrity Interview: “BlackBerry Babes” Star Oge Okoye celebrates 10 years in Nollywood – Talks to BN about Success, Marriage & More

Posted on Saturday, January 28th, 2012 at 10:00 AM

By Adeola Adeyemo

Nollywood actress, Oge Okoye, has been acting since 2001. Born in London, the  actress cut her teeth into the movie industry while in her first year studying Theater Arts at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Anambra. Since then, she has starred in over 50 movies including BlackBerry Babes, Blood Sister, Marry Me, Lady Gaga, The Girl is Mine amongst others. Married, and mother of two children, Oge has played a wide range of roles. From reverend sister to prostitute, from classy executive to poor widow, her roles have been versatile and her appearance in movies has been consistent. She spoke with Adeola Adeyemo about her marriage, career and aspirations.

The first time I saw the photos of Oge Okoye’s shaved head on the set of a new movie, I wondered how much it would cost to get an actress to go bald. While “shaving it all off” is trendy in some countries such as South Africa, in Nigeria, it is synonymous with certain cultures which force widows to shave off their hair after the death of their husbands. I wondered how a glamorous actress could do without her “crowning glory”. I thought she would go down the track that many of her other colleagues have by donning a lace front wig. Nope! Not Oge, her confidence shone through as she walked into the restaurant we held the interview – bold, beautiful and all smiles. She laughed easily and was easy to talk with.

I had so many questions to ask…but I just had to start with the hair!

What is it about this trend of actresses shaving off their hair in Nigerian movies? Why did you do it?
It takes a very good script for someone like me to be able to shave my hair. I did that for the last movie I acted in December. It’s not out yet but the working title of the movie is “Royal Widows” but I’m not sure if that’s what it is going to come out with. I’ve never acted that kind of role and it was a good experience for me. I scaled through. I leave the fans to judge when the movie is out.

How much did you get paid to shave off your hair?
It’s not really about the money, but about the script. Let’s just say I got paid very well.

Do you feel self conscious walking on the streets with a shaved head?
I don’t feel shy. I was at first. I was like how am I going to face the world? Am I going to go bald like this or should I just put on a wig. But I asked my husband and he said I looked good. I sent him some pictures through BB and he was like “Ok, you look good, why shouldn’t you flaunt it” – He gave me the courage.

Talking about your husband, you are based in Nigeria while your husband is far away in Holland. How often do you see each other? How are you coping with a long-distance marriage? Any plans of you two coming together in one location soon?
Honestly, it’s not a problem for us. We understand ourselves, we love each other, we know when to draw the line, we are like brother and sister. It’s all about the relationship, it’s all about communication. He calls me almost 10 times in a day. For example, he just called me now and he would still call me again. Every night, I must talk to him before I sleep, it’s a must. It’s not much of a problem. I’m always there, and if I’m not there, he is here. Next week, he would be around so it’s not much of a problem.

As a star, there is significant gossip and media reports about your personal life – we know it comes with the territory, however, there have been constant rumours of marital issues between you and your husband. Are the rumours true?
It’s not true. That is what amazes me. I really don’t know why people would be breaking our marriage and bringing it back, breaking it up for us. I really don’t get it.

The Nigerian movie industry is very competitive with rumours of spats between actresses. There have been publicized rifts between you and follow actresses Ini Edo and Chioma Toplis. 
Concerning Chioma Toplis and I, I wouldn’t want to say anything about that because it’s not necessary, so no comment. It’s a new year, we shouldn’t be revisiting stuff that happened in the past. Let’s just forge ahead and talk about new things.

Ini is still my friend, I still work with her. We still have that working relationship and we are not quarelling. What do they mean that we fought on set because it never happened.

Tell us about the movie you shot recently in the USA?
It’s not out yet. The movie “Turning Point” (Directed and produced by Niyi Towolawi and co-produced by Egor Efiok) was just God’s plan for me. It happened just like that. I got to know about it just two days to the time I was to go and shoot the movie. When my manager told me about it, I said it wasn’t possible but she encouraged me. We negotiated, I wanted to use the price to scare her away but she insisted. So I went for the movie and thank God, the production came out well, everything just went so perfect. It was my first time doing a Hollywood movie, a big one at that. There were other Nigerians, and Americans in the cast.

Many accomplished actresses are now diverting into directing and producing. You’ve been acting for a decade now? Why haven’t you followed this trend or are you just bidding your time?
One thing with me is that I’m one person that likes to take my time when I’m doing things. If I’m going to produce a movie, I shouldn’t do any half baked type of movie or just do it like fast fast because I want to produce a movie. I want to do something that in the next 10 -20 years, you’d still refer to it and say it was a good movie. I really want to take my time.

So what is the next level for you then? What should we be expecting from you this year?
Expect something big. I know that before the end of this year, something wonderful would happen. I already have 3 movies lined up for this year and I’m making plans on writing my own book soon.

When and how did you meet your husband? When did you get married?
It was really not love at first sight, I personally don’t believe in love at first sight. I believe in working it out, knowing ourselves, if we are compatible, so that is what exactly what happened between me and my husband. We were friends at first and it was going on like that then the marriage came. I got married in 2005. I met him early 2004.

What is one good thing that marriage has done to you?
Marriage has made me more matured in life. I am so matured that sometimes when I am having a discussion with my very close cousin who is like my sister, she would tell me that I’m talking like an old woman.

Yummy Mummy Oge in 2010 - Pregnant with her second child

How do you cope with raising two kids and your career as an actress?
I have two lovely kids. My boy is 5 years old, and my second a girl, is 1 year and 4mnths. It’s really hard, but it takes a whole lot of hardwork and a lot of sincerity. There are some questions they will ask you, you wouldn’t even know what to say and you wouldn’t want to lie, you are just like caught in the middle. You go extra mile, you want to stay with them more even though you want to be at work and all that so you are like caught in the middle. But one thing I just don’t do is I don’t let anyone suffer; my job, my career, my family. I try to make a balance.

Are there any plans of you having more kids soon?
We are taking a break a little bit. My husband and I agreed to take a break on child bearing.

You seem to be a workaholic. Do you make out time to relax and how?
I do relax. In my quiet time, I like reading a lot, learning about different things, different cultures. I relax with my family. If I want to have a quiet time with myself alone, I go to the beach, I just stay there, have fun, read.

Oge Okoye - Childhood Photo

How long have you been acting and how did you get into it?
I got into acting in 2001. I had always wanted to act so I went for audition. My mother would always say that since I was young, I was always saying I want to be a super star someday, that I used to walk up and down the house doing fashion parade as a child. She thought I was going to be a model, not an actress. I love everything about drama, in church, I started the drama lessons.

I was in Enugu State University of Technology at first reading Accountancy. I did that for a whole year and I was like, God in heaven, you know I shouldn’t be doing this. My father wanted me to be a Doctor and I knew I wasn’t going to do it. So I persuaded him and I left for Nnamdi Azikiwe University where I studied Theater Arts. I started going for auditions here and there. I was so lucky when I got a minor role in “Caesar to Caesar”, a long time ago. After that, it got me “Spanner”, my first and only comedic movie that starred Nkem Owoh and Chinedu Ikedieze. I was so scared at first to act with Nkem Owoh, but I did that and after that, “Sister Mary” and on and on since then.

How many movies have you acted in since 2001?
I’ve lost count really. Should be between 50 to 60.

Which of them would be your most memorable?
I really love the first movie that shot me to limelight which was “Sister Mary” coming from the stables of Great Movies Production.

Oge Okoye's Red Carpet Style

How about your recent movies?
I know you guys might have mixed feeling about it but I still cherish that film, “Lady Gaga“. So many people were mocking the title, they were really castigating it but I would want you guys to go watch that film. It’s something else, it’s something more than the ordinary. I just let it out in that film, that is one of my best.

You have played sassy roles in various movies including “BlackBerry Babes” and “Lady Gaga”, are there any similarities to the real Oge?
People say I’m quiet, that I look quiet. I’m kinda so mischievous when I’m with my friends. It depends on the mood really.

Will you ever sign on for a role that requires nudity?
Honestly I can’t because of our society, where we come from. The way we see it, I will just be seen as the worst person on earth. I wouldn’t do that because our culture it doesn’t allow it. But I could do other sensual roles but for nude, I wouldn’t.

How does your husband feel about your romantic scenes in movies?
He is not complaining. I really don’t know if he feels bad, but I know that being a human being like I am, he might be feeling bad inside but he is not showing it. He encourages me a lot, he is always there for me. It’s not much of a problem though he doesn’t watch my movies, unless maybe you see him hiding somewhere watching it.

What will you like to tell your fans?
I’ll tell my fans that they should be themselves, never imitate anyone. They should bring out their own talent because in every personality, there is something beautiful about everyone. Be yourself, bring out that you, the sky would be your starting point and not the limit.


Photo Credit: E4PR | BellaNaija.com | Nollywood by Mindspace

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  • 57 Comments on “BN Saturday Celebrity Interview: “BlackBerry Babes” Star Oge Okoye celebrates 10 years in Nollywood – Talks to BN about Success, Marriage & More”

    Comments
    • sunshine January 28, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      Nice expose’.

    • brenda January 28, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      hurray!!!!! first to comment.love u gurl u rock

    • rogotigi January 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      The turning point movie dsnt look bad…. looking 4wrd to wtching it!

    • u-jay January 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      i just like dis chic,i dont know y

    • Enny January 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      nice one Oge okoye.

    • esther January 28, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      Oge dear, Love you too much! keep doing your thing!

    • ally January 28, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      A very good if not underrated actress and I hope this movie propels her to even greater heights.I love her style and of course her smooth flawless skin. Oge you rock!

    • Ester January 28, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      i always love her work, go girl

      http://www.mrs-ca.blogspot.com

    • phoebe January 28, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      Wow!!! Nice figure after 2 kids and years of marriage. it’s not easy….lol

    • ibukun January 28, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      love you Oge!….
      awwwww just feel sorry for the girl in d clip….her shocked face

    • Iphy January 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      U rock baby. Keep doing d good work.

    • no dignity January 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      Wonderful actress….Go Oge, u soooooo rock!! Thumbs up

    • Shida January 28, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      That’s ma gurl! I jx like u!!!

    • faith January 28, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      Saw her once in a bank during ♍γ̲̣̣̥ first year in d uni…mhennn Oge ȋ̊§ tall n beautiful n intimidating!…love her!

    • Shut up coolcat January 28, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      Nice interview!

    • e-bukun January 28, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      Hmm…I don’t know o, I’ve tried but I can’t stand this chic.

    • cutietemi January 28, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      I think I liked her a lot better in her old movies. I feel like now, she is more too sophisticated, rather than in playing her role but her look: makeup and her fashion- sense in her latest movies. Just saying.

    • cutietemi January 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      oh..and please when next you interview Nollywood stars, could you ask if they provide their costumes themselves or if their set-manager or person who owns the movie does..I just think its a little unfair if actors have to carry that responsibility…or maybe not?

      • cindy January 30, 2012 at 12:19 AM

        Nollywood stars provide their own clothes 90% of the time

    • eye January 28, 2012 at 6:12 PM

      I soooo love this chic! Met her once during a movie shoot and she was soo friendly to everyone and approachable!!! LOVE YA

    • nollywood January 28, 2012 at 8:00 PM

      SHE IS ONE OF THE BEST

    • Jerry January 28, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      She is beautiful

    • Eyes On You January 28, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      This lady has been acting for so long……i want to see her in bigger international movies, she does a lot of local stuff

    • Edgar January 28, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      Nice interview BN

    • Big Guy January 28, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      She has a lovely smile

    • Ovie January 28, 2012 at 8:13 PM

      Her husband doesnt watch her movies? So what does he watch then?

    • Jive January 28, 2012 at 8:14 PM

      I think she is well grounded and interpretes roles quite well. Keep it up girl!

    • noniii January 28, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      She should come out and tell us how much she was paid. Maybe i’d consider acting too..

    • sassy chic January 28, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      I’ve never seen Lady Gaga. I was put off by the title3

    • Muna January 28, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Has her husband been in Holland since the beginning of the marriage? Wow! Some women try sha

    • baraqat January 28, 2012 at 10:38 PM

      she is pweety i like

    • Purpleicious Babe January 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM

      She looks good in the pic n her cut suits her…

      I don’t know about the american movie (turning point)… the scene did not appeal to me.

      http://lifeinstagesdoz.blogspot.com/

    • mekhi phifa January 28, 2012 at 11:27 PM

      Her husband staying in Holland is totally her business not urs @muna ok! Then @ Eyes on you abeg which of d 9ja movies wey no dey “local” even d so called movies dt appears on Cinemas ds days.
      Ds Chic is js unique in her own way, I like her 4not licking any1s ass to jus 2b counted among d “A-listas” by surfacing every where.
      As 4me she has bn collecting her dou 4rm acting in movies being paid noting less than N600 to 800 per movie since 2010.
      As 4her Haters u can call her names but u should know by now dt she is one very Cool Nigerian Actress.

      • TessySays January 29, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        You must be drunk or in a state of confusion. No sane marketer has paid Oge more than 300k. Somebody that even works for free just to belong. Jokers lying up and down about what they earn

    • mekhi phifa January 28, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      *been paid N800k since 2010*

    • novex January 29, 2012 at 1:06 AM

      looks like its gonna b really good ……… was impressed! …… kudos one ….. but abegnovex …… someone should have told that yankee chic not to mess with anyone in yankee called are … wale … olu etc na lol! even for naija …. we know that ish lol ….. i jus day feel for the chic even jaw see no free close after the news … ahya!

    • diva January 29, 2012 at 5:11 AM

      always liked oge okoye right frm time. one of my best actresses

    • Lola NYC January 29, 2012 at 5:44 AM

      Oge, if Lady Gaga is your best film….God help us

    • kizzle January 29, 2012 at 7:40 AM

      @ lola nyc, ikr! that movie didnt make it @ all.. but shes good..i like her.

    • Lovin it January 29, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      Saw dz chick 1ce in ma church n mhen…cldnt bliv ma eyes. She luked so pretty n flawless. Nw i bliv wot i c in d movies aint fototrick. shez clean mheen. She evn had her baby in her arms n a lil boy stood near her. Thumbs up Oge!
      N.B. I knw ma bro trips 4 ur figure too…he calls it uncommon.

    • BukiOni January 29, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      Oge was really open and honest which made for a great interview. It kinda irritates me when celebs do interviews and are cagey with their answers. If they don’t wanna do an interview they shouldn’t do one, they should just get their ‘people’ to do a press release and be done with it.
      http://www.emblemofbeauty.blogspot.com/

    • CaRaMeL SeXy NoNi January 30, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      10 years and she still cant act!!!! wow, and to say the obvious she was a dark skinned child!!!!! Nawa o!

    • ty January 30, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      @caramel, if u look closely at her childhood picture, u wld notice that she wasnt dat dark-skinned…it is d nature of the picture….oge acts well abeg

    • Level with me January 30, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      Both of you level with me, if Asaba movies were paying 800k and above per movie, Ramsey, Genevieve, Omotola, Rita, Uche & Stephanie would still be doing Asaba films and the films would be of much better quality. Many Asaba films don’t cost up to 2 milla to make

    • Cecilia January 30, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      she is lovely, i like just d way she is

    • Yinka Ogunbajo January 30, 2012 at 8:43 PM

      Nice! Love your movies! keep it up!

    • akamu January 31, 2012 at 3:51 AM

      is that what the hollywood movie looks like? poor lighting in the teaser scene already.

    • jackie January 31, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      NIGERIANS AND GHANIANS KEEPING IT REAL IN THE US FILM!

      IT’S A MUST WATCH*

    • pynk January 31, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      hm childhood picture dark small sha. Didnt know she was married with 2 kids. Interesting.

    • Eric Anderson February 2, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      Nice interview Oge, keep it up.

    • ifyoma February 2, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      some comment are just so irritating sorry to say……………….of cos everyone haff their own opinion but u mustn’t post shaaa…@mekliphifa plsssss in all d 50 comment here i didnt notice anyone hating on ma gal………………………#dancing ma freinds n family say i haff her look still wondering sha……………..but serious she just too natural biko…………..

    • Sunshine February 3, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      Liked her in two movies, Eagles Bride and Black Bra. Though she seems like a nice and grounded person in real life, her acting talent seems just average to me. But, may God bless her and her wonderful family.

    • Naveah February 9, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      She needs to stop acting in movies like Blackberry Babes and Lady Gaga if she want to be taken seriously. She don siddon dere and new comers like Tonto Dikeh, Ini Edo, Mercy Johnson have come in and relegated her to playing best friends when she used to play lead roles. She has been in the business for too long to be where she is in the industry, she should have been up there with Gen, OmoT, Rita, Stephanie, Stella etc but she keeps showing up in razz movies. She’s playing second fiddle to Jackie Appiah in Turning Point, a role that she could have played with her eyes closed but because she never guarded her image, never worked on cultivating that star quality that Gen, Omot, Stephanie etc have managed to cultivate, she will continue to be a support character and not a leading lady.

    • Naveah February 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      I don’t understand her comment, “we are like brother and sister”…I guess she is trying to say that they are very close. My husband is my partner, lover, confidant and best friend but he ain’t no brother of mine. I don’t sleep with my brother but then again, that is just me. I pray that their marriage works, it is hard enough work when both partners live in the same place but a translantic marriage? Well, actually that might make it work better because it is always a honeymoon when they get together due to the long absences LOL.

    • shola March 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      I love your swag babe.After Mercy Johnson, u are the next on line.Keep it up gal, u are a good actress.

    • patrick March 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      Beautiful oge.I love ur acting.I love all ur movies especially face of africa,black bra,nd eagles bride.u also did well in the movie fulani.I love ur work pls keep it up

    • princess ify March 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      OGE I LUV D INTERVIEW VERY MUCH.UR MY ACTRESS,AFTER MY BABY MERCY JOHNSON UR NEXT PERSON ON POINT.I LUV U SO MUCH.KEEP IT UP,AD I REALLY LUV ALL UR MOVIES ESPECIALL BLACK BERRY BABES,SISTER MARY,SPANNER AD LADY GAGA.COUNTD MAKIN NIGERIA HPY IN UR MOVIES.GOD WILL GV MORE POWER 2 TK CARE OF UR FAMILY IN JESUS NAME AMEN.LUV UR OUTFIT