Nkechi Chima Onyele
With a career spanning over 10 years and over 50 films to her credit, delectable actress, Uchenna Nnanna Maduka gained recognition for her role in ‘Two Sisters’.
The Abia State-born Theater Arts graduate, however, confessed that being a celebrity has given her lots of privileges and preferential treatments. In this chat, she talks more about her career, marriage and motherhood. Enjoy it.
Marriage has really changed you from a girl to a woman, how did you find your Mr. Right?
I met my charming husband, Richard Uchechukwu Maduka, a native of Isukwu-Ato, while I hail from Arochukwu, both in Abia State, through a friend. Gradually, we became friends, fell in love and got married to live happily forever.
What was the attraction?
Our love for God is our greatest attraction, aside love. I admire his charming looks; his hardworking nature, humility and respect for others. Inclusively, he is such a caring husband and I pray God garnish our union with continuous affection, long life and prosperity.
At what point in your relationship did he propose to you, what was the conviction he’s your missing rib?
Though, we didn’t court for eternity for him to realise my place in his life, which is part of the reasons I love him dearly for believing in me. However, we share the same chemistry and our bond is incomparable, which was a driving force on our marital decisions. Also, as an optimistic woman with visions, I discovered he has the right keys to open the doors of success for me through the grace of God. Above all we share the same dreams, so God has used him immensely to discover my potentials as a career woman, wife, mother, daughter in-law and sister-law.
Are you saying he actually approached you strictly for marriage without courtship?
Yes! Of course, as a decent lady before I got married and changed my status, I was strictly careful with men, because I was scared of heart break. However, my self-esteem as a woman was my priority regardless of any fun any man would render, but I’m thankful God gave me a soulmate, companion and brother as a husband.
Are you fulfilled been a woman?
Sincerely, I’m more than fulfilled with the grace God has given me.
Could you share your labour room experience?
Honestly, it wasn’t a palatable experience; but it’s the joy of every mother to go into labour and be favoured with the glorious delivery of her baby with amazing cry. As a mother, regardless of the pains, you charmingly return the grins back to your crying baby. I must attribute my first labour room experiences to the mercy of God, because I didn’t encounter early morning sickness, vomiting or spitting, but a peaceful pregnancy and birth of my baby boy. Sincerely, my love for my mother increased after my delivery experiences, because she never told me about the pains. I want to urge Nigerians to always give kudos to dignified mothers for the blessings of motherhood.
Was your husband around when you gave birth to your baby?
No! He was not with me at the time of the delivery of our baby boy.
Would you have wished he was there?
Of course! It’s every woman’s desire to have her husband around during labour, to caress her body and encourage her on the arrival of her baby. So, it’s an aspect I miss dearly, but God was solidly behind me, but then a wonderful friend was available to encourage me on the troubles and enjoyment of motherhood.
When exactly did you get married?
We had our traditional marriage on September 28, 2013 while our wedding took place on April 21, 2014.
So far, how has marital life been?
It’s been interesting and joyful to the glory of God.
Could you tell us about your motherhood experiences?
Motherhood rocks; honestly, it is an experience you go through with happiness. However, I gave birth to my baby in the United States of America. And I was faced with the challenges of executing my post-natal duties (Omugwo) like in Nigeria, where I have my mother, siblings, relatives and friends who could assist me. Although, it was an ecstatic stress because my baby’s smiles strengthened me. Also, I discovered I couldn’t sleep or relax like I used to before he was born. In fact, I was always breastfeeding my baby at night and morning to enable him stay healthy as advised by medical experts, that exclusive breastfeeding is the best for babies, which I blissfully complied with.
Do you envisage quitting acting due to marriage?
No! I wouldn’t quit, but get deeply involved in acting, since my husband is highly supportive of my career.
Do you discuss roles with your husband before going on set?
Definitely, we discuss every script on the phone or through emails when he is in Spain, and while in Nigeria it becomes topic for conversation before hitting the set. Admirably, my husband has never made me turn down any script for any reason. However, as a married woman, I’m selective of the roles I play. Meanwhile, I never played abusive roles such as going nude as a single lady, why would I epitomize myself negatively?
Could you tell us about the movies you acted after marriage?
I have featured in countless movies after marriage, such as ‘Mama Ukwu Goes to School’, ‘The Voice of the Poor’, ‘Ifunanya the American Nurse’, and ‘Money Miss Road’ among others. Though, it hasn’t been easy shuttling between Nigeria and Spain to stay with my husband and also concentrate on my career, but God, hard work and passion have been my driving forces.
So far, how many movies have you played?
I have lost count, but I am sure it’s over 50.
Do you have any plan of going into movie production like some of your colleagues?
Presently, I’m working on my flick entitled ‘Bond of Bondage’. The movie is suitable for mothers and children; it espouses great lessons on vital roles parents should play on rearing their children positively for their future benefits and the society.
Among the actors you have worked with, who would you say has actually inspired you?
Honestly, we have talented actors in Nollywood, but star actress Mercy Johnson Okojie is outstanding. Above all, she is hard working, respectful, sociable and diligent.
What has being a celebrity done for you?
Amazingly, it has offered me lots of privileges and preferential treatments everywhere. Though, it also has its advantages with some fans; sometimes, it denies me freedom of association in public places. Sadly, some people want you to be flying on air because you are a movie personality.