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Playing Mama Ajasco changed my life – Patricia Mokwuonye

Posted by By ONYEKABA CORNEL-BEST on 2007/01/25 | Views: 1673 |

Playing Mama Ajasco changed my life – Patricia Mokwuonye


The popular saying that one man’s misfortune is another’s fortune aptly describes Patricia Ifeyinwa Mokwuonye’s sudden rise from obscurity to stardom.

The popular saying that one man’s misfortune is another’s fortune aptly describes Patricia Ifeyinwa Mokwuonye’s sudden rise from obscurity to stardom. Before now, the popular actress in a T.V comedy, was just an everyday woman struggling to make ends meet with whatever job she could lay her hands on.

A final year student of Creative Arts Department of the University of Lagos, and a devout Christian, Mokwuonye, who hails from Delta State, picked interest in acting as a member of her church’s drama group. The artiste said that at a point she became totally discouraged by the attitude of moviemakers at audition venues. Nevertheless, she has high regards for Wale Adenuga, the proprietor of Wale Adenuga Productions.

As fate would have it, a friend of hers came along and gave her Adenuga’s phone number. The rest is now history because she appeared at a time when Wale Adenuga Productions had a shake-up. Daily Sun recently caught up with Patricia and she speaks on her rise to fame, and how she had adjusted to the lifestyle of a star because she can no longer walk down a street as freely as she could do before.

How I became Mama Ajasco
I believe that it is the handwork of God and I would be sinning against Him if I say that it came by chance. The truth is that, over the years, I have been trying to meet Wale Adenuga as a person but I was unable to, until a friend asked me why I had not joined Nollywood since I act very well and deserves to be on the screen. So, I told him some of the nasty experiences I went through in the hands of movie producers in the past.

To my pleasant surprise, my friend told me that Wale Adenuga is his friend and gave me his number. I called Adenuga few days after and introduced myself and he told me that he was through with audition for the year. He told me to get in touch with him later. When the time came, I went to him and he interviewed me and was excited with the fact that I was studying Theatre Arts and more with the fact that I speak the three Nigerian languages: Ibo,Hausa and Yoruba fluently. Thereafter, he told me that he was already thinking of giving me a role. I went for the auditioning without knowing what was at stake. After that, I was asked to star as the new Mama Ajasco . It was more than I could have asked for.

The former cast
Initially, nobody told us what happened to the original cast until we returned from camp and our producer called us to a press conference. It was there that he told journalists about why he had to change the first cast.

Discipline and W.A.P
Coming from the ugly experience he went through with the former cast, Wale Adenuga spelt out the terms of our contract before all and sundry and told us what his likes and dislikes. For example, we are allowed to feature in another movie or appear in the characters we play in Papa Ajasco and Co. or promotional adverts without due authorization from the company.

Mama Ajasco changed my life
I must say that playing the role of Mama Ajasco has changed my life and worldview. The role brought me into limelight unexpectedly. Now, I cannot walk on the road without people screaming: ‘Mama Ajasco, Mama Ajasco’. Even when I am not in the mood to smile, it is expected of me to put up a cheerful face because as far as they are concerned they know me and I must act as if I knew them as well. In all, you have to be careful so that you’re not seen to be rude to anyone. I was never used to that type of life but now I am trying to adjust.

Getting into character
If someone claims to be an actor, such a person should not have any problem with taking-in his lines and putting up a performance. I hardly have problem getting into character, because when I am given a script, I switch over to the role and abandon my own person. Again, I do not like to see a director shouting at me, so I do everything possible to master my lines and role before shooting commences.

Between the trained and untrained
I can say that often, the difference between a trained actor and the untrained one is not often too pronounced. A trained professional usually have something unique which he brings into the game, so that in no time he will win the heart of the producer and members of the cast and crew. Sometimes, you need to know how much you are appreciated by the crew. You would hear them talk about actors who do not give them problem on set. From there, you can begin to make valid judgement of how others see you.
Future plans
I want to get to the pinnacle of this industry. But I hope to do more Christian movies than the secular type.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.