Behind the scene | 11 March 2007 15:19 CET


Mrs. Patience Ozokwor, a popular actres, does not need any introduction. Popularly known as “Mama Gee” in Nigeria's thriving movies industry, Ozokwor toiled for over 16 years to save her husband from a terminal illness.

But she lost the battle as her husband eventually succumbed to the cold hand of death. Shortly after his death, life became hellish for the entire household as it was extremely difficult to raise, single-handedly the five children left behind by her late husband.

The popular actress recently shared her experiences whit She speaks on her relationship with God among other things.

Relationship with God
He is my God, Alpha, Omega and my source of life. I give Him every praise and adoration. I have a very cordial relationship with Him because without Him, there is no me, without Him, I cannot even do what I am doing today. God has inspired me, encouraged me, given me everything. In fact, God is not owing me anything. I am owing Him my life, everything that I have. The relationship between me and God can never be broken. I cannot do without Him and I know that His eyes are ever on me. He looks down with pity on me and handles me with care.

Doubting God
I have never questioned the existence of God in my life. That is one thing I learnt from my pastor. Just like when someone is bereaved, you are crying, oh God, where are you? In Igbo, they lament thus: 'Chineke inozikwaya o' (God, are you still in existence?) I have never done so in my life, because I learnt very early in life that nothing under the sun happens without His knowledge. In fact, God knows everything and I trust Him to be a merciful God always.

Believing the Bible
I study the Bible and listen to the gospel a lot. You know that our work involves moving from one hotel to the other and often times, we sleep in air-conditioned rooms. There was a time I got this cough that refused to go and it was becoming a serious burden to me. I went to so many hospitals, both here in Nigeria and in Europe and the doctors were busy giving the condition one name or the other, without finding any solution to it. However, it was during one of such times that I was listening to a preacher called Benny Hinn on my television that I received my healing. He had instructed that those watching from their homes should as an act of faith, place their hands on the television and make a claim to be healed. I did as he instructed and to the glory of God, I received my healing instantly.

I consider my entire life as a huge miracle. In fact, there is nothing I lay my hands on that has not prospered. However, my greatest miracle was the day I received my salvation.

Moment of trials
During the period that my late husband was terminally ill, the temptation was great, the anxiety was always there each time he went into coma. Sometimes, for three weeks, during that period, I didn't do any other thing than to be running around to get things going, raising money for hospital bills and to feed the family. This situation lasted for almost 16 years. It is best imagined. Some times, there was no money to pay bills or to even buy drugs. I had to depend on relatives abroad for assistance. Even, at a time, someone volunteered to send drugs from abroad but to my surprise, I was told that it was only made in Nigeria drugs that would work for him. That was the frustration I faced, but God was merciful to the end.

Born Again
Well, I became born again at a tender age, you know, I was in the Scripture Union.

Conflict of interest
When I went into full time acting, my fellow members in the Scripture Union did not seem to understand me, because they felt and said that I was exposing my body and all that, but I did not see things from that angle. So, I had to quit the Union and joined the Pentecostal movement.

I believe I am a better Evangelist now because through my movies, I reach a greater number of people and if I play the role of a bad woman, I am only telling the world that it is not good to be bad. Different churches have invited me in order to pull crowd for them, especially, when they have programmes and they are always happy the way I go about it. In this my house, I run a kind of counseling clinic here because young girls and boys have more confidence listening to my advice than they would do to most people. I think, they see me as a role model. Don't you think that by playing this role, I can rightfully be described as an Evangelist?

I believe in paying my tithe. As an actress, if I receive money in Dollars or Pounds, I pay my tithe in the same currency and if in Naira, I pay in Naira. I may not be completely faithful in paying my tithe because most times, my fees are paid into my account; so, it becomes difficult at times to even be around to pay tithe in my local church. And sometimes, it takes me a while to remit my tithe but I always make sure I do pay the money. I believe in paying my tithe because, it is biblical to do so.

Heaven and Hell
I believe that both exist and it is the choice we make while we are alive that determines where we go when the trumpet sounds.

I don't leave my house without praying. A day without prayer for me, is like a day that never was. It is through prayers that I encounter my creator and it is through prayer that I hear His voice assuring me that, 'all is well'.

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