Nigerian Movie Star Profile
Mrs Patience Uzokwor is a popular actress who plays the
role of a wicked woman so well. In fact, many people find it
difficult to separate her role in drama from her actions in
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Besides, when Uzokwor is not playing one
of her negative roles, she is likely playing that of an old
Mama Youngy - the type she played in the movie, Old School,
which eventually earned her the name Mama Gee.
proud and caring mother of four, Uzokwor's first son is an
engineer while the last is a footballer with Rangers
International of Enugu.
Although she lost her
husband a few years ago to a terminal disease, Uzokwor was
full of joy and gratitude to God for her achievements in the
entertainment world. The actress recalled her days as a
teacher, broadcaster and owner of a fashion institute before
she went into acting by accident or better still, as fate
would have it.
I come from a humble
family here in Ngwo. My village is Amaobo. I attended
Abimbola Gibson Memorial School, Lagos. I gained admission
into Methodist Girls, Yaba but it was in the heat of the
political crisis that later culminated into the civil war,
so we had to relocate to Enugu.
My father insisted that
I was too young to be in the secondary school and that I
should go back to Elementary five. I obeyed him and went two
steps backwards in my education and later re-wrote the
Common Entrance Examinations that I had earlier passed in
Lagos. I got admitted to Girls Secondary School, Ngwo, where
I had my entire secondary education and on completion, my
result was not good. I took the private G.C.E and passed all
my papers. I got married immediately afterwards.
Later on, I attended Teachers Training College in Afikpo
from where I proceeded to IMT Enugu where I studied Fine and
Applied Arts, specialising in Graphics. But I never
practiced for one day. Initially, I never had the intention
of joining the film industry. I did not even know anything
about the industry. I was a teacher by training and I taught
for about four years before venturing into broadcasting. I
was employed as an announcer with FRCN Enugu and was later
retrenched when they closed down all the medium wave band
stations. I went into business.
During my teacher training days in Afikpo, I had a competent
Literature teacher who made us present a play each term.
When it was the turn of my set to present a play, I was
given the Role of Hamlet in William Shakespeare’s play of
the same title and the production came out fine. Other
schools that offered Hamlet as a subject paid to watch our
production. In fact, we were invited to stage the play in so
many other places in Eastern Nigeria. I was very popular
then and everywhere I went people were calling me Hamlet.
But after the teachers’ training, I forgot everything about
drama until I went into Radio Nigeria.
I was really angry when I was retrenched because I was
enjoying my job. I even tried to go back there, not because
of the salary but because I found fulfillment doing the
things that I was doing on radio. People knew me then as
Madam Social because whenever anyone was on transfer, I
would be the one to organise the send forth and also to
prepare food for fellow staff members. My appointment was
terminated under General Buhari on January 4, 1985 and there
was no way I would ever forget that date because it was a
date that I felt that I was unduly robbed of something that
I really cherished.
How Zebrudaya discovered me
It was Chika Okpala (Chief Zebrudaya of New Masquarades)
that invited me to take part in a commercial in which I
played the wife of Pete Eneh. The commercial was a mass
orientation promo by the Anambra State Government to
encourage her citizens to acquire education before venturing
After the promo was shot, there was
this positive reaction from the people, and Chief Zebrudaya
himself was so impressed that he said, ‘what have you been
doing with yourself, where are you, I am so impressed.’ He
later confessed he never knew that he was doing the right
thing by inviting me for the commercial. When Pete Eneh had
the opportunity of shooting a serial (Someone Cares) for a
television station, he gave me the lead role. During the
shooting of the serial, many of the established faces that
saw me commended me. They urged me not to light the candle
and keep it under the table.
But as a member of the
Scripture Union, I just felt that coming into Nollywood
would give me an unnecessary exposure and secondly I was
very shy. But those of them that wanted me on board were
adamant until they succeeded in pulling me in and I was
pleasantly surprised the way I rose in the industry.
After my first movie in 1998, I was already being recognised
by people. But when I did Authority (1999), the movie became
very popular and it really shot me into limelight. After
Authority, I have been moving from one movie set to the
another by the grace of God.
Mother in Nollywood
For a long time now people have started calling me Mother
Africa. I have played the role of a mother to almost every
prominent actor in Nollywood. I usually joke with Olu
Jacobs. I tell him, ‘ It is only you and Pete Edochie that
have refused to let me play your mother’.
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 extention, 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.
Entering into character
Surprisingly, I am very lazy at reading scripts over and
over again. As soon as a script is given to me, I get into
the character as soon as I read a few lines from any scene
in the script and to tell you the truth, it baffles even me
that I can perform such near magical acts.
I give all the
glory to God because I think it is part of the special gift
he has deposited in me. A few glances at the script easily
exposes me to my character and once I discover this, I would
proceed to getting the lines into my head and of course,
adding some other things that would make my role stand out.
The way I memorise lines baffles me and once I get the lines
in, it takes a long time for me to forget them.
I have lost count of how many movies I have taken
part in. Initially, I tried to keep the records because
sometimes you run from one production to the other that you
may not even give an accurate date or month of the year, let
alone keeping records of the movies one has been involved
in. But I can say that I have done more than 200 movies to
Don’t ever go into anything because
someone else is making name from it. Go into something
because you have a talent in it. We must try and discover
our own talents - that is the only way to move forward in
I want to thank my fans for the
interest they have shown in me and for the movies I have
featured in. They have made me what I am today, because if
they don’t like me, no producers would give me important
roles to play.
I want to encourage some of them that see
me as their role model to join the industry. They should
come in with the talents God has given them and discover
themselves the more.
I also encourage all my fans to keep
being there for me. I will continue, by the grace of God, to
improve on every new movie that I do and I will always keep
Women around me always feel my
impact. A lot of girls here do run into trouble and when
they come to me, I always give my support. A lady in the
movie industry who lost her parents got pregnant and when I
discovered, I threatened her that if she aborted the baby, I
would hand her over to the police.
Later, I took her to
my house and took care of her until she delivered a baby
girl. I am still taking care of the baby girl right now
while the mother is back to her career. I do such for girls
and I also advice them not to have sex outside marriage. I
hate abortion with a passion so if any girl should get
careless and get pregnant, let her come to Mama Gee and I
will shelter her so that she does not destroy God’s special
In addition, I help widows and other women to
create job opportunities for themselves and sometimes for
their sons and daughters. I think they feel the impact and
are happy with me that I am a woman like them. I always tell
women to be faithful to their husbands and they should stop
behaving like widows while their husbands are still alive.
Building in my husband’s name
Most widows in this town
are really encouraged by my story because I was able to
build a house on my late husband’s ancestral land. He could
not build one in his lifetime but I really thank God that
through acting, I (a poor widow) was able to build a roof
over my children’s head.
I want to be
remembered for helping humanity, I want to touch any life
that crosses my way, no matter how small the impact is.