In a recent chat with Dupe Ayinla Olasunkanmi, Taxi Driver Oko Ashewo movie star, Ijeoma Grace Agu talks about her marriage and career.
A graduate of Biochemistry, how did you end up as an actress?
I have always been passionate about acting. I actually started taking it (acting) serious at the age of 14. I was part of a theatre group called the Creative Squad if I remember correctly. That was in Benin. We were performing at the Abacha Cultural Centre then. I think it’s named something else now. That was for me my very first stint in professional acting. And then I went to university. While at university, I was writing films and sending it to marketers. And then finished with university in 2006/2007 and started doing this full time.
How do you manage your time as a woman and filmmaker?
Every day I learn as I go. There is no manual. Sometimes I mess up but keep it moving. It’s not been easy but when you have support, it seems like it is easy but it’s not easy. With every responsibility in life, you just have to man up and do what you have to do. So, for me, when it comes to the work, we do the work. When it comes to family, it’s all about the family. I just do not like carrying over family into work. They are separate entities and I treat them as such.
Tell us about your role in Taxi Driver Oko Asewo. How would you describe it?
I played Delia – a call girl. It feels good to be able to impersonate and play any given character. This was no exception.
Have you always had hair on low-cut?
No… this was for a movie my company did, Taxi Driver Oko Asewo. I had a pink and purple mohawk for the movie. And after that, I cut it for another I did where I was a car thief. It was J and Hustle but called Jimi Bendel. I kept the look because my husband likes it.
You had to cut your hair for Taxi Driver?
Yes. Because I wanted the role and the director, my husband, didn’t want me to play the part because it was an asewo (prostitute) role and I’ve done a lot of asewo roles in the past but I don’t care. I just wanted to work. I wanted to act. It was my company producing it and I really needed the part. And I remember when he was writing about the character, he encountered a woman at Oshodi, a young girl who was a sexual worker. When he came home that day, he said, ‘oh, her hair was like this, like this. I want that character to be like that.’…