Chief Patience Ozokwor is a veteran Nollywood actress, musician, fashion designer and gospel singer, who has won several awards.
Ozokwor was among the 100 Nigerians honoured by the Federal Government of Nigeria to celebrate the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates in 2014. In this interview, she talks about her journey in life.
At 60, what are the things you are grateful to God for? How can you ask me such a question? If I am not grateful to God for anything then I will be grateful to him for life. The greatest miracle one can have is to be alive, more especially when one is healthy too and not begging for food.
There are so many other reasons why we need to give God praise and it can never be enough. I can never thank Him enough.You started acting on stage while you were in secondary school. What attracted you to the craft?Passion! I enjoy it. Once you enjoy what you do every day, it will be like it is coming from the inside.
I remember in those days when we were young, I would always gather children around me and we would stroll to the nearest market, picking (Egusi) melon where they were grinding it and coming home to cook and eat. Sometimes we go to a tailor’s shop to pick pieces of cloth and bring them home.
There was always needle and thread at home and we would make dresses – tiny dresses – and hang them. And people would see them and say wow.
I didn’t even learn how to make dresses but I make beautiful wedding gowns. I can show you the dress I am working on. I had a workshop and the National Directorate of Employment used to send me students to teach the craft.
Do you have any regrets in life?The only regret I have in life is that I wasn’t allowed to marry the man of my choice. That is it but I was able to cope. I had suitors, I was going to choose one among them but my parents said that I would marry their choice. If they had allowed me, I would have loved to make my choice.