Nigerian actress, Angela Okorie has spoken about the day she helped to save a man from jumping inside the Lagos lagoon.
Actress, Angela Okorie is a woman of many parts. From modeling to acting, filmmaking and now music, she is always seeking new frontiers to conquer.
In this chat, the mother of one reveals her greatest fear, and debut single, Someday, which dropped October 1 and designed to foster peace, among other issues.
You have been in the movie industry for a while. What would you say is the biggest misconception people have about you?
By mere looking at me, you will think that I am a snob and I don’t relate with my fans. But trust me, I relate with my fans 100 per cent and I am not a snob either, because my fans are the ones that made me, and without them, there is no Angela Okorie. If they don’t watch my films, download my songs or comment on my stuff, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So, I respect my fans a lot.
Looking at you, it seems you have never passed through hard times. Has it always been easy for you?
Things haven’t really been easy for people, and it is not just me. I am not talking for myself but a lot of people out there, because a lot of them are going through pains. A lot of graduates end up jobless. People are committing suicide on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, I saved a soul on Ikoyi Bridge the other day. He wanted to jump into the Lagoon. I was driving when my boy suddenly screamed ‘Mama, see, someone wants to jump into the Lagoon’. I had to come down from the car and run straight to the guy and speak with him. I said ‘Why do you want to kill yourself? You think by killing yourself you will make heaven or everything you are looking for you will get when you die? What about your family, the people you will leave behind?’ The guy said he just wanted to kill himself because for eight months they had not paid him where he worked and he had no money to eat. I asked him ‘what about those that have stayed for 10 or 15 years without jobs and are still living? Why do you want to die? There are people that will hear of your death and will just collapse and die. Think about the future’. Then I gave him some money and told him that when he gets home, he should tell his people to make chicken and vegetable soup for him. I gave him my phone number and he communicates with me till today. However, I didn’t put that on social media because when you do things from your heart, God sees and blesses you and no man can curse you.
What do you have to say about the belief that most Nollywood actresses don’t stay in marriage?
That is an individual thing. Celebrities are just like everyday people you see on the streets, but because they are in the public glare, people talk about them everyday and when anything happens, they just blow it out of proportion.
Would you say you are fulfilled as an artiste?
I will feel fulfilled when violence stops in Africa. I will feel fulfilled by the songs I am dropping, which preach peace and unity and impact Africans. Until there is no more insecurity in my country, until there is no more xenophobia in Africa and killings by Boko Haram, I will not be fulfilled. Remember, the message I am conveying through my music is that people need to understand that you don’t gain anything by killing anybody. Peace and unity is all we need to be alive.
What gave you the inspiration?
I felt very bad when I saw a video of some killings of Nigerians in South Africa. I saw a video where policemen were beating someone. They were fighting the person. What would you gain if you make that person a better person and he comes back to say thank you? We need peace in Africa, we need peace in the world, we need to be our brother’s keeper.
You featured Joel on that song, why?
Joel is a very talented artiste. Joel is inspirational. He doesn’t like what is going on around the world too. I talked to him. I said ‘let’s talk to the world about the killings, let’s save souls’. He was the perfect person for the song.
What is your greatest fear?
Sometimes I just think about my son. What if it was my son that was killed in South Africa? I am an old woman and I send my son out to South Africa for greener pastures and he’s working and all of a sudden somebody stabs him to death. What do I do? God forbid!
Combining music with acting, has it been easy for you?
Music has always been my first love and that is because I was singing in church before I started modelling, and then the acting came later.
If you want to describe your genre, what would you say is your kind of music?
I sing gospel a lot, I also sing inspirational songs. I sing songs that calm the spirit, songs that calm your nerves.
Do you have any plans to go into secular music?
Yeah, when you are a musician, you try as much as possible not to be stereotyped.
Talking about inspiration, how spiritual are you?
I am very spiritual; I communicate with my God 24/7. When I worship, things happen. You know grace differs. My grace is different and peculiar.
Tell us about the last movie you produced.
It was entitled ‘What Lies Within’. It is about the daughter of a governor whose father died and left her alone in this world and she was burdened with the challenge of searching for true love.
What is the craziest thing a fan has done to you?
I was in New York when a fan walked up to me and said ‘I love you. I am your fan. You can kill me if you want but I f**king love you’. Talking about how I handle my fans, I don’t know how to fake it-o. I just tell you the way it is. If you like me the way I am, fine. If you don’t, forget it. It is left for God to judge me. I know how to handle my fans.
Have you ever been sexually harassed by a producer?
They will look at your face before they come. It has never happened to me.
If someone brings you a young girl to groom, what advice would you give her?
She should just work on herself. The sky is going to be her limit once she is good at what she does. You don’t just come up and say because you look like Angela or because you sing like Angela, you will make it. Be who you are, come out as you are. Sing the songs that you have and the world will adjust. Once they love you, they will love you for who you are.
Is there something you are craving to have that you have not achieved?
I have achieved everything. I have the voice, I have the fame, I have my child, and I have my family. Everybody is fine.
Do you have any regrets?
I don’t have any regret at all. As a matter of fact, I am thankful to God for creating me as I am. I am thankful to God for bringing me this far because a lot of people in our industry don’t even have the opportunity to get to this point.