Nollywood actress Steph Nora Okere has always hugged the limelight, not only for her talent, which is top draw, but also for her readiness to pick roles some of her colleagues wouldn’t dare. Her roles in ‘Indecent Girl’, “Angels Forever’, ‘Lagos Babes’, ‘Sharon Stone’, to mention a few, shows how well this Nollywood beauty performs.
The Imo State-born actress and newly elected Vice President, Screenwriters Guild of Nigeria, talks about her crashed marriage, her romance with Jim Iyke in a new interview with Vanguard. Excerpts:
You have been away for a while. What happened?
I have been everywhere. I only reduced the numbers of films I featured in and concentrated more on soap operas. And that was for two years. I have also been working on my talk show that would soon hit television screen.
You joined the industry as a spinster. Would you say this affected your love life?
I joined the industry when I was 21 and a graduate. Perhaps it did but I didn’t just notice. It’s possible a suitor was somewhere eying me but didn’t show up because of my profession. I was too engrossed in my career that I didn’t encounter one but there would have been someone like that.
After separating from Jim Iyke, you said you still loved him. Is it still the same till date?
(smiles) Is it possible to live my life away from Jim Iyke? He wasn’t the first person I dated in life.
(cuts in) The first in Nollywood?
So what? I want to be mute regarding this issue. He has never talked about me anywhere. We have an understanding and I don’t want to break it again.
Do you still have crush on him?
I don’t hate him.
Your marriage to Lanre Falana did not last. Why?
I was never married but I was involved in a marriage process which got truncated along the line. Marriage begins with paying the woman’s dowry, traditional and white wedding. All these did not take place. My family didn’t support marrying a man who kept one woman in one place and plans keeping another one in another place. I attend Catholic church and the marriage process in Catholic, begins with the intended couples tendering a marriage certificate issued by a court to the church. This was the main reason we were in court in the first place.
Was it cultural differences that led to the break up?
Not at all. It was based on personal conduct and irreconcilable differences . We were not living together. We had the court marriage in July and he went abroad September. Only for him to come back like a year and half later.
You said in an interview that you had no regret about your ‘’truncated marriage process.’’
That is because I am not a party to pretense. That marriage would have made me a sad woman. I have learnt not to judge a book by its cover.
Any plans of marrying again?
It has not been easy. You hardly can differentiate between a man who truly wants you as a woman because he feels for you , or one who wants to be seen with a known actress. Some men can go as far as taking a bet over you because you are a known actress. But when a good man comes around, I will settle with him. However, my Bible has not told me I can not make heaven as a single woman.
Do you feel lonely as a single woman?
How? Because I am not married? Why should I feel lonely? I have my family. I have brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours.
You seems not to be aging. What’s your secret?
I stay stress free by dealing with issues as they come.