Nollywood actress Uche Ogbodo in this interview opened up on her past life and why she decided to work on her body,
..She talks about life as a single mother,her relationship with her baby daddy, Arthur Apo, and the real reason she refused to abort her child.
What led to your decision to work on your body size, was it criticism?
No, not really. I don’t care about body shaming actually. It’s one of the things that happened in my life years back that made me take this step to make myself a better and happier person. My daughter is now four-years-old. Before I had her, I had issues with my ex. So, I told myself that if I want to do what I want to do, I have to lose some weight, some baby weight and all. I had to re-orientate myself. The bottom line is that I am happy.
Losing weight could be quite challenging, did you at any point feel like giving up?
No, I never did. The minute I hit the gym, I knew the results I was looking out for and I never looked back. Each time I look in the mirror, I see a more beautiful version of myself. I’m happy I never gave up. Now, I have started a movement, Body Positive With Uche Ogbodo, which is designed to inspire women to work on themselves. I have noticed that some women go through a lot, and seeing the changes in their bodies, some get depressed and even contemplate suicide. So, I knew such women needed a push to look better and become happier and I decided to become that push for women. Nobody gave me that push before I hit the gym, but I want to inspire other women to find themselves. That’s how I want to give back to the society. I want to help women see how beautiful they are. Nobody is ugly.
What actually happened between you and your ex?
It’s part of life. I don’t want to go back to that because whatever happened in my life happened for the best. God has a reason for it to happen. I’m happy and that’s all that matters.
So, you don’t think you made a mistake?
I’m happy it (the relationship) didn’t work out. I’m not an advocate for people staying in a relationship they are not happy in.
If you are not happy, go away. It is not a do or die affair. You don’t have to die in marriage. If it is no longer convenient for you, walk away. Don’t care what people are going to say; just move on, it’s your life. There are other means of happiness lined up somewhere. So, come on, move on girl!
But you believed in him before you married him?
No, I didn’t marry him, never married him. I’ve never been married but the media portrayed me as a married woman. I was in a relationship with someone and it lasted about a year and then we broke up. We were engaged, waiting to get married actually, but the minute we said that, everything just fell apart. So, about a month after we parted ways, I found out that I was pregnant. I didn’t want to tell anybody about it. I just wanted to reflect on my life.
I was like ‘should I go back to him because of this pregnancy or should I just move on?’ It took me about nine months to realise that I didn’t want that kind of a man in my life, because he would only drag me backwards, and then I forged ahead.
How involved is he with his daughter now?
He hasn’t been involved because initially, he said ‘this girl is not pregnant, she just wants to get at me’. Until I went to America to have my baby, he wasn’t interested. I wasn’t interested in saying anything to him as well. Over the years, I’ve been able to take care of my child alone, and I don’t mind. It’s been a great experience!
What would you say is the major reason actresses barely last long in marriages and relationships?
I don’t think relationship is hard for any Nollywood person to handle. I want to believe that we are a blessed people. Nollywood exposes you to better opportunities and takes you to greater heights.
It gives you exposure that a businessman or banker will never have. So, whatever you do, all eyes are on you. And sometimes, you are entangled with people that don’t understand you or your job and they expect you to be a super woman. You meet people who don’t compliment you. It happens everywhere and even to those outside entertainment.
What have been the challenges of single motherhood?
It has been tough. I never believed I would be a single mother because I’m a Catholic.
We preach against abortion and all. Then, when you have a covenant with God that you are going to be a mother and a good wife, you don’t ever want to break up with your husband when you get married. But things have changed. I thought about marrying the father of my child but the relationship didn’t work.
It’s unfortunate. This child came as a blessing; maybe, God wants me to have this child in order to teach me a lesson. My parents told me that I am not married, that I should move on with my life.
I was like ‘I think there’s a reason for this child growing in me. I didn’t get pregnant while in other relationships, so why this one? Why now?’ There’s a reason for this child and I’m keeping her. That’s why I kept her. It hasn’t been easy.
What’s next for you, any plans for marriage?
I am still positive. I want to get married. I’m a Catholic. I want to be in a relationship where I would be happy, where I would be allowed to live the way I want to.
I want to be happy. So, if you want to make me happy then, come on.
So, there’s no one in your life at the moment?
There is actually, but we haven’t defined it yet.
Do you have any new project you are working on?
I had a job in the cinema about two years ago. It was premiered in London, Switzerland and Spain. Now, I’m doing more jobs for myself. I’m now more into producing my own movies.