GRACE Egbagbe was a top official of the Nigerian Television Authority ( NTA) before she retired from the federal government-owned broadcast station. She’s an embodiment of beauty, class and brains. The Edo-born lawyer, now a retiree, obtained a degree in English from the University of Ibadan, another in Theatre Arts, Film and Television Production at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Law degree from the University of Buckingham, England. Grace Egbagbe had a successful career in the media spanning 27 years at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and culminating in her role as Executive Director, Marketing. The amiable fashion pace setter was at the recent The Sun Awards held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. In a lighter mood and as she was leaving the venue that evening, she had a brief chat with Sunday Sun.
By Christy Anyanwu
What do you do now?
I’m retired. I do what retirees do. They rest and just take life easy. I just incorporated a mentoring blog different from other blogs, www. askauntygrace.com where people ask questions and I answer as best as I can, knowing that a problem shared is a problem half solved. I have consultants working with me. If it’s a medical question, I consult our medical consultants and they oblige me with the answer but most of the questions border on relationship matters, which hopefully, I’m able to deal with.
My people gave me the Orufoneye of Okpekpe title not long ago and it means “she who gave us light.” The title was given to me because I facilitated the rural electrification of my village. In fact, I was honored by my community with two chieftaincy titles: Orufoneye of Okpekpe and Ogawenopa of Weppa Wano but the Okpekpe title has become famous because Governor Adams Oshiomole constructed an express road, which runs through my village.
Now we have the Okpekpe road bridge and Okpekpe has become very famous because of the Okpekpe road bridge. The International Federation of Athletics has rated it as a bronze category. Now every year, athletes from all over the world come to compete in a 10-kilometer race.
How do you relax?
I read and I watch a lot of movies. I go to the movie theatre a lot just to watch movies. That’s my greatest pastime because I relax at the movies and I don’t think of anything else.
What kind of movies do you watch?
I like drama and comedy. I don’t like science fiction.
What has life taught you?
Life has taught me that you will be whoever God wants you to be, but you must first trust Him and then strive to be who you want to be. Dream big, because dreams are achievable if you work hard and you trust God. If you trust God and you work hard there is no dream that is not achievable. Look at Richard Branson who incorporated Virgin Atlantic Airlines. If you read his story you will know that when you have a dream you can achieve it. Now, he has an aircraft that plies the space.
Could you tell us the secret of your beauty?
You know what? I’m beginning to believe it. I think it’s mainly genetic. If you see my mother (she will be 87 on April the 5th) you will think she’s 76 years old. I think it’s slightly genetic. Also, what makes women age is when they have matrimonial and children problems. Fortunately, I don’t have either. So, I’m happy. That’s why I glow and people say I look young.
I’ll tell you also that if you don’t begrudge anyone and you just live your life one day at a time, trust in God, you will look as young as you feel and I certainly feel young. Most of my friends are young people because I relate better with young people, I don’t look down on anybody whether they are younger or not. That helps I guess.
Your dress sense is remarkable can you talk about it?
I’m still waiting for a reporter that will not ask me about my dress sense. I’ve always grounded my dress sense on comfort. I wear whatever I’m comfortable with. So, no matter what’s fashionable or trendy I don’t follow blindly or stupidly.
No matter what’s trendy, if I don’t feel comfortable in it then I won’t wear it. When you are comfortable in whatever, you can walk the walk like a princess but if you are not comfortable, no matter how expensive or how beautiful the outfit is, you won’t look good.
What’s your style like?
Style is comfort. If you’re comfortable you’ll step out looking nice but if you wear something uncomfortable, you’ll look uncomfortable and there’s no way you’ll look stylish that way. I don’t follow fashion fads, if it suits me I’ll wear it, if not I won’t. You must learn to study your body type and dress appropriately.
Where is your favourite holiday spot?
Anywhere my kids are is my favourite holiday spot.
What’s your favourite item in your wardrobe?
Every item in my wardrobe is a favourtite, which is why I still have them.