Tkbesh! Celebrity Interview: OGE OKOYE-DURU
Tkbesh! , met with multi-talented actress Oge Okoye-Duru in Lagos. The Team had nothing to say about the star other than her humility and what a great company she is. Only empty vessels they say makes the most noise. Oge Okoye need no introduction and didn’t have to say anything about herself. The people speak for the most humble actress you will ever come across.
Please state your date of birth for Tkbesh!
I was born on 16th November
Where are you from and a brief family background?
I hail from Anambra State, Nnewi to be precise, am only the child of my parents. My growing up days was in Enugu where the journey of my acting career started. My father was a disciplinarian/an engineer/a loving father and died in the year 2000. My mother is a wife/loving mum and a business woman who believes in hard work and not sitting around the house, waiting for the man to put food on the table; whatever a man can do, a woman can do better if given the chance to.
What’s your educational background?
I had my primary (University primary sch)/secondary (Holy Rosary College) school days in Enugu and my University (Nnamdi Azikiwe University) in Awka where I read Theatre Arts.
When and how did your acting career started?
As a little girl, I’ve always wanted to act/to be a superstar.
My first encounter with acting started way back in the church where I joined the drama group. As the years kept rolling by, I knew I had the urge and zeal of taking my act to the next level and believed the only way to achieve this dream was starting up a good foundation for me. Following my destiny and dream, I got into school to acquire more professional knowledge by reading Theatre Arts. Even though in school, driven by that same urge, I would sneak out from school then to attend Auditions, till one fateful day in the year 2001, as God will have it, I was offered my first minor role. I was so excited that I practised and rehearsed day and night in front of a mirror because I wanted to impress the stars and the producer of the movie. Immediately after that movie, they were so impressed with my performance and interpretation of the character. After a couple of weeks, I was called upon again for an audition in Obosi which I went for and surprisingly, I got my first lead role and only comedy role in the movie titled ‘spanner’ where I was supposed to act alongside the big guns in the industry such as our famous ‘king of comedy’ Nkem Owoh and Chinedu Ikedieze popularly known as ‘aki’ and then after that, another movie came almost immediately called ‘sister Mary’ from the stables of Great Movies Production. Thank God! that was the movie that catapulted me to where I am today. The movie shot me to limelight and my name stuck in the memory of all.
Any awards and achievements yet and which one is your best achievement?
Well all thanks to God, I have bagged a couple of awards to my name which includes;
a. Youth Empowerment Award (2004)
b. Accolade Most Decorated Female Celebrity of the year(2009)
c. UPWF lady of the year (2010)
d. National Heritage Award (2011)
e. United Nations Youth Ambassadorial Award (2011)
f. African Peace Global Patron Award (2012)
g. African Children Talent Discovery Foundation (ACTDF) Ambassadorial Award (2012)
h. Most Prolific Actress of the year(2012)
i. Classic Africa Merit Award (CAMA): Actress of the year (English) 2012
j. Recently I was given an honorary award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature.
Really and honestly, I cherish and thank God for all this achievements, though this is not the end of it because I am still climbing that tree.
Is there any actress in UK or Hollywood that your fan compare you to?
Really not any I know of (can’t say)
We know you are a role model to millions of your fans and aspiring actors and actresses. How much influence do you think you have and what are your advices to those aspiring?
Like my mum will always say, “Do the one thing you think you cannot do, fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire”. I held on to those words all the time. Now am giving the same words back to my fans and aspiring actors and actresses. Dream it, Believe it, Work towards it and trust me, it’s a Done Deal.
What are your biggest project and the most challenging?
The biggest for now is my first Hollywood/Nollywood film I shot in the U.S where I had the opportunity of acting with the famous Hollywood stars we see in movies. It’s so mind blowing and I pray it comes out as a bomb among others. Had the likes of “Joe Estevez, Todd Briggs, Cyda Williams, Ernie Hudson and K.D Aubert among our own Nollywood big names too.
How do you handle this much fame and still maintain your humbleness?
Nothing much but being myself (real as possible), humble and consistent in what I know how to do best (my job).
Any upcoming projects, movies or soaps?
Am about launching my foundation (NGO) called Positive Life For Children Foundation (PLCF) that tackles on the most challenging needs of the less privileged children and children with special needs anywhere in Africa. Saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that these categories of children live a positive life and make meaningful impacts in the society and becoming agents of positive change in Africa. Helping them find themselves and becoming who and what they want to be in life by building and empowering them through scholarships.
What is one thing you wish you could change about Africa and Nollywood?
We all living on this continent as one, in peace and harmony… Though, we’re of different tribes, different spoken languages and religion but we are one body one soul. Let’s make the world a better place in unison. Be it Ghanaians industry, Yoruba /Igbo/Hausa/English. To the best of my knowledge, I foresee no differentiation but all put together as ‘Nollywood’ AND the Nollywood collaborating with the Hollywood in making movies.
What fashion designer do you love?
There are so many talented Nigerian/ African designers but I love our fashion designers that speak volumes through their designs using our beautiful African prints/products to achieve this goal.eg Deola Sagoe,JBL,JD7,Needlekraft Couture, Tiffany Amber to mention a few.
How would you describe your own style?
Style to me is simply an expression of one’s personality. It predicated on how it fits, comfort, elegant and what’s trendy too.
What are your big fashion tips?
Fashion to me is freedom, how well, different pieces could be put together to accentuate and enhance well enough on your curves and body, pairing with a good foot wear/bag and accessory. You are good to go.
When you’re not filming, what do you like to do?
Having swell time with my family in my comfort zone due to my busy schedule.
What’s your favourite food?
Beans and plaintain (of late)
Any last word you want to say to your fan?
Treat people how you would want to be treated. Always respect whomever you meet on your way to the top as you may meet them on your way down!. I love you all (fans), without you all there will be no me. Last but not the least, always belief in yourself.