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I Regret Not Fighting For My Marriage – Nollywood Actress

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Gorgeous Nigerian actress, Rachael Oniga has revealed many of her regrets including the mistake of not fighting for her marriage.

Speaking with Olushola Ricketts about her career, regrets, decision not to remarry after a failed marriage and love for her children, she said;

When did you know that you wanted to become an actor?

It is unfortunate that a lot of people think that actors always say acting is in their blood or that they have been acting since they were in the womb. As for me, I have always had the traits since I was in primary school. I attended Princess Girls School at Abule Oja in Yaba, Lagos. In those days, we had missionary, private and Federal Government schools.

My school was like a private school even though it was a missionary school. We did not pay school fees, but the teaching standards were quite high and we used to take drama classes. I was also part of the Girls Guild and we had different sporting groups, which I joined. Despite being an only girls’ primary school, I enjoyed playing the role of a boy whenever we had dramas. I always used costumes that belonged to my younger brother. Parents used to come around to watch us perform. My late mother was particularly very proud of me. Elementary school was fun for me and I took that spirit to secondary school.  After school, I became a professional computer programmer.

At what point did you leave computer programming for acting?

I worked for some years with an engineering consultancy firm. It was an European company, but the head office for the West African region was in Nigeria. I stopped working when I got married and started having children. But unfortunately, the marriage did not last. When I got separated from my children’s father (that is what I call him; I don’t call him my late husband), I took to acting again. Even though most people don’t know this, I already had my three kids before I started acting. When my marriage didn’t work out, I told myself I would not go into the street to look for any job. At a time, I was a student of the Federal School of Science, Victoria Island, Lagos. Then, Victoria Island was so small. From where we had the students’ union building, you could see the bar beach and the fresh air straight from the beach would touch you. There were very few buildings at that time.

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After school, we (students) were irresistibly drawn to the Nigerian Television Authority to go and see rehearsals and the actual shooting of the Village Headmaster. From there, we got to know a few members of the cast. I was so fortunate to meet Uncle Lai Ashade of the Village Headmaster, who was interested in what I was doing at the time. I told him my situation and he asked if I needed a job. I told him that I didn’t intend working for anyone. He asked if I loved to act since a few of us had shown interest earlier. Of course, I was interested in that. He later connected me to a movie project, Memorial Hospital. The camp was situated in Badagry. He told me they needed some roles to be filled. He gave me the address and I went to meet the producer and director.

On getting there, I was given a script for the first time. I didn’t know what it looked like before then, but I had witnessed the shooting of Village Headmaster as I mentioned earlier. I read through and I told the director I was ready to go on set. They gave me a costume, did my make-up and other necessary things were put in place. After the first scene, they asked if I had ever faced the camera before. I said it was my first experience, but they found it hard to believe. The director couldn’t just believe how I didn’t show any stage fright since it was my first time. That was basically how it all started for me in 1993.

Don’t you think you would have been richer if you had focused on computer programming?

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I know that could be the case, but I have never reasoned it. I thank God for my life. I believe no destiny can be changed. One’s destiny can be delayed or turned around, but what God has written down for you cannot be changed. I believe destiny has put me where I am today.

How have you been able to stay relevant for years in the movie industry?

I give God all the glory. It is not by my making, and it is not like I am the best. It is just that God has been merciful to me. In actual fact, a lot of people started before me and after me, and they are nowhere to be found again. But I thank God that I am still relevant and I plan to continue to put in my best.

As a single mother with three children, how did you manage to build your acting career?

My first born, Olamide, was four years old when I left my marriage. I had to put them all in boarding schools. That is one of the most painful things I have had to do. Whenever I talk about this, it always brings me close to tears. My children paid the price for something they knew nothing about. Children don’t beg parents to have them; we ask them to come to the world, so we should be able to take good care of them. It is not all about money, but I had no choice. I had to work; I had to be a mother and a father to them. I had to make sure that they had all they needed to have. While they were in school, they didn’t lack anything. I got them all the things rich children had. I understand all I did was not enough, but I thank God for the children He blessed me with. I think God knew I had nobody but Him. In a way, he saw us through and I thank Him for that.

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