Evangelist Actress Patience Ozokwor
Nigeria Nollywood actress Patience Ozokwor isn’t just a veteran and talented, Popular for movies like “Submission, Old School, Authority, Behind Closed Doors, Private Sin, among others”.
Mama G, the actress earned the name after her role in the 2002 movie “Old School” but she actually shot into limelight in 1999 after starring in the movie “Authority”.
Ozokwor is a Nigerian actress musician, fashion designer, gospel singer, and actress. She won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 10th Africa Movie Academy Awards.
Ozokwor was among 100 Nigerians honored by the government to celebrate the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates in 2014.
She was born on March 25th, 1958 in Ngwo, Nigeria. She is 60 years old as of 2019.
Ozokwor has been earning since she joined the film industry in Nigeria. Her networth is still under review and will be updated soon.
Her only biological daughter is Chioma Nnenna Lameya Ozokwor. The daughter married her heartthrob Chielozona Ugwu Ani in Enugu, Nigeria.
She has three biological children and adopted five other children who bear her name. Her 1st son is an engineer while her last born is a professional soccer player with Rangers International football club in Enugu.
The actress got married at the age of 19 in an arranged marriage. Although she had many suitors at the time but her parents forced her to get married at an early age for reasons she didn’t know. While marriage was not easy for her, she remained in it. She learned later to love her husband and he was her companion until he died in 2000. Patience says she still misses him after a decade of him passing away.
She attended Abimbola Gibson Memorial School in Lagos. She won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 10th Africa Movie Academy Awards. Ozokwor was among 100 Nigerians honored by the government to celebrate the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates in 1914.
When asked about her roles, Ozokwor said: “When I play the role of a bad woman, I see myself at that instance as a mirror through which I want society to see and appreciate the fact that it is not good to be bad. This is the reason I do it with so much passion that it becomes almost believable and by extension, I also see such roles as an opportunity to minister to lost and wicked souls that jealousy, hatred, envy and all the likes can only bring one to ruins.”
Tonto Dike’s mother passed away when she was aged three. She was the third born out of five, but years later, her father remarried and got two more children. As she was growing up, life was not easy for Tonto, but she worked hard to ensure that she became a popular Nigerian celebrity. Therefore based on the biographies of Patience and Tonto, it is evident that they are not related to each other at all.
How did you feel when you received the Centenary award?
Patience Ozokwor: I feel very elated to have received the award because it is a sign that Nigerians appreciate my good work. It is indeed a dream come through for me as a thespian, and I promise to always make Nigeria and Africa proud with my work.
How do you feel about all your achievements as an actress?
Patience Ozokwor: Stardom has to take me to so many countries in the world. I have been able to meet presidents of different nations. And I appreciate the fact that people commend and appreciate my acting skills whenever they meet me anywhere in Nigeria and outside the country, which gives me great pleasure and ability to work harder, knowing that I have fans all over the world is worth celebrating.
How has Nollywood helped to transform Nigeria?
Patience Ozokwor: Our movies have been able to affect people’s lives as well as make them happy. In fact, Nollywood has transformed Nigeria’s image abroad positively and I am delighted to be part of this achievement.
Has your profession affected your life positively?
Patience Ozokwor: I have been able to assist my family financially through my work, my children were able to go to school and they are living a comfortable life with their families as graduates by the special grace of God. In fact, the movie industry has affected my life positively in every ramification and I don’t have any regret of being an actress and I give God all the glory.
Have you achieved all that you set out to achieve?
Patience Ozokwor: I have not yet achieved everything, personally there are things that I have in mind to do in the industry, but when I look back there is nobody yet qualified to take over the mantle from me. And I pray that God will raise someone that will be better than me, which will be a great achievement to have someone who will replace me when I finally leave the industry.
Would you support any of your children to go into entertainment?
Patience Ozokwor: My second son is already into entertainment, he has a music record label. While my daughter ended up in the church drama. Though my son acted in a few movies before he left for the United Kingdom, hopefully, he may do more in acting or movie directing in the future. And I will give him every encouragement if he decides to go into acting professionally because he is passionate about entertainment.
While growing up did you ever think of becoming a movie star?
Patience Ozokwor: I have always been an entertainer from childhood, so getting to the level I have attained in the industry is by the grace of God, consistency and hard work.
Could you share some of the experiences you had in your early days as an actress that almost discouraged you?
Patience Ozokwor: During my early days, sometimes when I get to the location with a script, they would tell me someone has taken my place, which was so disappointing. But I endured and believed God for mine, and He gave me what belongs to me. Today, God has celebrated me as an icon and I give God all the glory.
Your husband died in 2000, precisely 14 years ago, how is life as a widow?
Patience Ozokwor: God has always been on my side because without Him there is nothing we can do. Again, I lived in the village, maybe if I were living in the city, things would be happening to me and nobody will know what I was passing through. And my people in the village know that I am always on location working either in the eastern part of the country or Lagos and Abuja. But when I am not working you will see me in the comfort of my home in the village. I appreciate my people for all their love and peaceful co-existence which I am enjoying. My husband’s family loves me so much, even before I became a star; we were so attached to each other. Everyone in the family calls me Patia; they are fond of me.
Are you saying you still live in the village?
Patience Ozokwor: I don’t live in the city; I still live in my village. It is nice to live in the countryside where everyone is everybody’s business. (Laughter).
Not minding the fact that you are a celebrity?
Patience Ozokwor: If you see the way people appreciate me in my village, whenever I go to the market to shop everyone will be calling me ‘Mama G’, ‘Gee’ for general, in fact, you will appreciate me more. But my office is located in Enugu town. So, I enjoy living in the village, my hometown. I still live my life of simplicity regardless of fame.
How do you manage to shuttle from the village to other parts of the country?
Patience Ozokwor: I have a guest house in Lagos where some of my jobs are concentrated like soaps, endorsements, commercials and shooting of movies. I have a three-bedroom flat in Asaba. Because I am tired of staying in public hostels, some are sub-standard; and sometimes you run into small girls that you know. So, I decided to rent an apartment each in Lagos and Asaba for comfort. I have adopted children who I take on holidays, so because I would not like them to grow up in the village without being exposed to city life when they are on long vacation and I am in Nigeria, I take them to Lagos or Asaba for a change of environment.
Your son had his wedding in the United Kingdom sometimes ago and your daughter also got married in Nigeria, how many children do you have?
Patience Ozokwor: I have three biological children. But because of my love for children, I adopted five other children who bear my name and I am very proud of them as my children. But I intend giving two among them to my younger sister to love as I have been doing. I am grateful to God for their lives, my son-in-law and beautiful daughter-in-law I love you all.
Your late husband was supportive of your career, would you say you miss his presence now that you have hit stardom, especially being honored with the Centenary award?
Patience Ozokwor: I wish my husband were alive to witness my Centenary award because he was highly supportive of my career. Though he was sick for a long time before he died, I wish he were still alive. But God knows the best. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
What did you really miss about him?
Patience Ozokwor: I miss the togetherness when two people work together trying to train the children, bringing them up in unity and love. And all the affection he showered on us. I miss the way he celebrated my children’s birthdays, he was a true father and husband when he was alive. I miss my husband’s companionship and love.
Have you ever acted any role related to your experience as a widow?
Patience Ozokwor: Of course, one or two things that happened to you as a widow will definitely come up in the movies, but I have not acted any widowhood role that has to do with my experience as a widow negatively. My in-laws have been very supportive and caring; we have always lived like one big family. I always visit them in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and those in Nigeria are united in love with me. When my husband was hospitalized, my sister-in-law and I were taking care of him; she stayed with him at nights while I took over from her in the morning before going to the location. On that fateful day, I was on location when my husband died, before my sister-in-law arrived at the hospital. Thereafter, they informed me about his death and they put him in the mortuary and asked me to continue with my job, because they understand my kind of job, but I blatantly refused. I took permission from the producer and stayed away for some days. I later came back to finish the production of the movie.
Tell us about your parents?
Patience Ozokwor: My parents were loving and caring, I miss them so much. My mother was a popular trader. I never had it rough as a child, I only had it rough when my husband fell sick, but my in-laws did not leave me, they took care of my husband’s hospital bills. It’s just that you don’t have to wait for people to survive; instead you struggle to make life meaningful for yourself.
You are looking younger and beautiful even at your age, are you thinking about remarrying?
Patience Ozokwor: It is not about my look but my age. I am not thinking about remarrying. Since my husband died, I have been rearing my children to the glory of God. And I decided to occupy my mind on my job and service to God to give my children the best in life.
How old are you now?
Patience Ozokwor: I was born on March 25, 1958, so do the calculation.
At 56, you are looking elegant. What is the secret behind your healthy look?
Patience Ozokwor: God is the secret behind my ageless look, and I also eat what my body needs, I take a lot of fruits and exercise when it’s necessary. And most imperatively, I don’t drink alcohol because I have realized that alcohol does a lot of damage to the body and makes you look older than your age.
Nollywood producers have stereotyped you with roles that make you get bad remarks, how have these roles affected your life?
Patience Ozokwor: I don’t owe anybody any apology for the roles I play, because I get paid for them and it is my job. It is only people who don’t understand that acting makes belief that perceive an actor to be living his or her life the way she acts on set. If I could read my script and interpret the role to get the best production, it means I understand acting.
Who is Patience Ozokwor outside the set?
Patience Ozokwor: I am a very loving mother, nice, caring, jovial, understanding, and above all God fearing. But I don’t take nonsense because I am a disciplinarian.
You attended teachers training college were you nursing the idea of becoming a teacher?
Patience Ozokwor: I attended teachers training college in Afikpo; and then I proceeded to IMT, Enugu where I studied Fine and Applied Arts, specializing in Graphics. But I am not a teacher today, because my interest is in acting where my passion also lies.
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