For her ability to speak to the hearts and minds of her audience, transmitting the moral message that evil does not pay; For leveraging Nollywood and helping in no small measure to make it a competitor to Hollywood and Bollywood and for being proudly Nigerian, Mrs. Patience Ozokwor is The AUTHORITY Icon
Actress, musician and fashion designer, she has acted in over 200 movies. With little question, she has used her bountiful natural artistic talents to touch a society navigating difficult straits. The medium of screen theatre has inspired many themes and spawned many participants. But in all of this, she has emerged a unique queen, especially in peculiar roles that explore the deeper human contradictions. Meet Nollywood’s Mrs. Patience Ozokwor – Mama G.
She was born on March 25, 1958, in Amaobo, Ngwo, Enugu State. Married at 19, she later attended the Teachers Training College in Afikpo; and then proceeded to IMT, Enugu where she studied Fine and Applied Arts, specializing in Graphics. According to her, “But I am a not a teacher today, because my interest is in acting where my passion also lies.”
She caught the bug for acting during her school years when she played the role of Hamlet in Shakespeare’s classic drama, Hamlet in an all girl’s school. Hamlet was received so well that she started travelling with the show. Afterwards she began to audition for acting roles, at first small ones and then larger and larger roles, until her career was launched. After her first movie in 1998, she already had some recognition. But when she did Authority (1999), the movie became very popular and it really shot her into limelight. After Authority, she has been moving from one movie set to another. Her now traditional roles as wife and mother ultimately shot her to stardom.
She has played the role of mother to almost every prominent actor in Nollywood. She reportedly usually jokes with Olu Jacobs, then, that, “It is only him and Pete Edochie that have refused to let her play their mother.” According to her, “Our movies have been able to affect people’s lives as well as make them happy. In fact, Nollywood has transformed Nigeria’s image abroad positively and I am delighted to be part of this achievement.”
Her loving husband died in 2000, some 15 years ago, leaving her a widow with three children, in a very challenging situation, given her intense love for acting and the imperative of caring for the kids. Notwithstanding this, along the line, she adopted five other kids to care for. This showed many that Ozokwor is indeed passionate about children. Just recently, her son weded in the United Kingdom and her daughter also got married in Nigeria.
Explaining her many roles as a ‘bad woman’, she explained: “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 extension, 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.”
She won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 10th Africa Movie Academy Awards. She was also among the 100 Nigerians honoured by the federal government during the centenary celebration marking amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates, in 1914.
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