She is one of the actresses who popularised the tomboy authority figures in the Nigerian movie industry. A scriptwriter, producer and television personality, Uche Elendu, rose to limelight after starring in the blockbuster, Ada Mbano in 2004. A graduate of International Relations from the Imo State University, Owerri, Elendu is known for funny, creative and multi-talented acting. The beautiful actress, born in Aba, Abia State in 1986, joined the movie industry in 2001. In this interview with Newton-Ray Ukwuoma, the mother of two reveals some of the issues and challenges in the industry. Excerpts:
We are in the last months of 2019. How has the year been for you?
It’s been a fantastic year. I’m so fulfilled. God has been very faithful. This year has been an amazing year. I have achieved a lot of my goals. Meeting my expectations, though the year is not yet over but I have been able to achieve all my goals for 2019.
What’s your best achievement so far?
Setting up my personal brand and pushing it to limelight; helping a lot of women to achieve confidence with their bodies, which is something I’m really passionate about. I feel so fulfilled that my brand is reaching out to a lot of people and they are getting good results. Also, I am working on my personal movie this year. I hope to get to it to the cinema as well. The plan to start filming is in top gear, things are falling in place; and I am getting sponsors and setting up crew and cast. Things are really falling in pleasant places.
But you have been somewhat scarce in the industry. Did you take a break from acting?
I didn’t take any break. Acting is my first love. So, I’m still very much in the sector but I only slowed down because the movie sector no longer pays like before. Not like I am into movies just for the money, but it is my job, so I am supposed to make a living out of it. Recently, we have had lots of piracy issues; that’s why producers no longer invest in movie productions. There was a drop in the production and marketing of movies. That’s the main reason most of us decided to venture into other businesses to boost our finance.
What other business did you venture into?
I went into beauty generally. I’m a beautiful woman and I know what it takes to keep myself beautiful. So, I decided to extend it to other women who don’t know how to keep their bodies in good shape after delivery. I am also into skin care, hair, body sculpting; I run a beauty store basically.
Why did you name your beauty business Killer Curves?
Because I want to entrench the passion for beauty, for looking good. I want to help more women achieve their beauty goals. It is actually something that I’m passionate about and fortunate to benefit from a product that I was introduced to by a friend of mine in the United States. So, I gave it a shot for some time and everybody was complimenting my new looks. And that time, I thought if I could achieve, why do people risk going under the knife for same purpose? That’s how I decided to do more research on it with the intention of touching lives with my product. ‘Killer Curves’ gave me that satisfaction. I was able to touch lives and help women achieve their body goals without surgery.
Just to be clear, what does “killer” in the name suggest?
Excellent, winning, perfect and more attractive curves! Of course, killer does not mean deadly or death-causing curves. I gave it that name because of the way it defines the body. It flattens the body, takes inches off the waist, lifts the breast and has a butt lifter. I made sure I have the best quality ever with the sculpting garment. I make very little profits from it, but seeing the customers’ satisfaction makes me more fulfilled.
Your Instagram page is full of prayers and review. Does that give you the impression you are doing the right thing?
I cannot estimate the way I feel about the reviews. But when I check my Instagram business pages and see lots of women praying for me, thanking me, I feel touched. I am excited women are getting their desired shapes back. It doesn’t come easy, but with consistency. I feel it’s an idea God put in me. So, with my products, we put things together to make every woman appreciate and love her body again. It might take time but adherence to instructions and determination, nothing good comes easy. I’m totally grateful to God for everything.
When did ‘Killer Curves’ start operation?
I started in November 2018, that was when I brought my first batch of products.
Divorce cases are increasing every year, celebrity marriages are crashing more than ever. Do you think your products add to the problem or helps to solve it?
First, marriage is the coming together of two different people from two different opinions, backgrounds and understanding of life. So, when that understanding is not there it’s a big problem. Curves do not crash marriages. I have come to know that most men feel insecure and threatened when they marry a celebrity as a wife or a highly successful woman. They become jealous because their wives have more fame, more money, meet a lot of people and are more influential. This is one of the major causes of divorce today.
Why is that a major cause of divorce?
Let’s face it: we have more successful women today than before. More women are working and making a living for themselves. They are fully independent of their husbands. And so it is a problem in most homes. Also, most people feel female celebrities always cheat. It is not always that way in most cases. Celebrity women have admirers, they are also admired by their fans, they have male colleagues, but their ability to keep these relationships cordial is the main issue.
I don›t like to hear people say female celebrities’ marriages don’t last. But I must also state that good women are scarce. This is why I tell men that when you find a good woman, learn to protect her, love and appreciate her efforts. Make her happy. We have more women than men, but we have very few good women. Most women out there are materialistic and wicked. Most of them are out to frustrate men because they have been hurt by other men.
So, when you get a woman that loves you unconditionally, with or without money, appreciate her. Not all women are materialistic. Some women just want you to show them love, most of them go to church to pray for their husbands to have money, pray for their husbands’ protection and favour. Most spend their last card on their husbands to make sure they are happy but at the end what they get is rejection. Their husbands leave them to follow slay queens that will suck the little one they are able to get. It is just painful and obvious that›s it happening in our society today, that’s why marriages are crashing.
You mentioned that men go for slay queens or women with “killer curves”. Do you think making more women slay queens is healthy for the society and to marriage?
It is true that men prefer slim girls; girls who wear bum shorts, women with good physique. And that’s exactly why I tell women to stop tying wrapper at home. They should go and buy ‘Killer Curves’, shape up their bodies, so, that their men will respect them. Men appreciate women because of their looks, but you don’t expect a woman who has given birth to always remain chic. Respect your woman, give her a sense of belonging. Show her love, do not drive your woman into depression. That’s why I advice that if the marriage is violent and you can’t bear it anymore, my dear run for your life. Being single is better than being in the casket. I’m not in any way encouraging divorce but rather, I am saying: Men love your wives. Women should also know their worth, love their husbands and be faithful. But never stay in a toxic relationship.
Do you think today’s marriage can be totally healthy for both partners, seeing that more women are becoming independent?
I believe understanding, tolerance and love of God make a huge difference. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, the Bible says. When you have a woman that fears God, the marriage is bound to work but when you have a woman that fears God and a man that doesn’t and you try to make the man fear God and he refuses, be on red alert. I believe people that fear God have conscience; they do things because they feel that God owns their lives. I would say, before a man goes into marriage, he should make sure it is with a woman that fears God, that loves and tolerates him; a partner with whom he can share thoughts together and that understands. The two parties should love each other, tolerate each other, pray together and share ideas together.
Do you have any project you’re working on presently?
I am working on my new movie and also my physical store for ‘Killer Curves’.