Nollywood actress and movie producer, Regina Chukwu was recently interviewed by Vanguard newspaper. The beautiful mother of two opened up on her marital status and how she has been able to raise her kids on her own since the death of her husband. The Enugu State born actress also cleared the air about her alleged police arrest and false accusation/speculation by the press. Read excerpt from the heart to heart interview with Vanguard correspondent, Damilola Shonola below...
Are there roles you cannot take on because of language limitation?
You must realise I was born and bred here in Lagos. I have no language barriers whatsoever. Apart from some dialects, like Ijebu dialect and others there is no Yoruba accent I cannot deliver perfectly. I can even speak as a Yoruba village girl, infusing the right accent as required. I was born in the Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos and had both my primary and secondary education in Alimosho area before proceeding to Laspotech, Lagos State Polytechnic for my tertiary education.
Are you married?
I am a single mother with two kids; one twelve and the other fourteen. I lost my husband, four years into our marriage. Then my second child was just four months old. At a time in the marriage, while pregnant with my second child I had to hawk to survive because my husband of blessed memory was sick and bedridden. There was no one to cater for the family so I had to take it upon myself to do what was necessary to survive. I started the business with N5, 000 somewhere in Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos.
Are you still planning to get married again?
Yes, if the right man comes along.
Have you had a crush on any actor before?
Yes, in those days before I came into the industry. Saint Obi, RMD and Ramsey Nouah, were those I really loved. Then, there was Genevieve, I used to think she was an angel, that, she does not exist in this world. Maybe it’s because of my love for the job so that anybody I saw on screen, I was love struck.
Have you faced any scandal so far in your career?
Yes. There was one I would never forget. Before that unfortunate experience came up I was one of the scandal-free actresses in the industry. Before then I used to think most of the things writen on the blogs were true until I read about myself and how what happened to me was twisted and blown out of proportion. Though as they say, there’s no smoke without fire; but these bloggers don’t care to do their findings to know what led to what or why what happened. Naturally, I have a thick skin but this one got to me and I fainted when l learned about it.
What was it about?
Some two or three years ago, a guy walked up to me and said, “I’ve seen your movie, I saw Akun and I loved the movie. How much would it take me to shoot that kind of movie?” Merely looking at that guy, to me he couldn’t be older than 21 years or thereabout. I told him that if he wanted to shoot something like that it would cost him a lot of money.
I didn’t go into the main budget but I just told him he would have to have like N4 million to shoot that kind of movie. He told me what if all he has is between N1.5 million or 2 million. To which I replied that the budget he has would determine the quality of the film and the cast. He now said okay, that for a start, he’s going to bring N1.5 million and I said no problem; I thought he was joking.
After then he was always coming to the set with some of my colleagues, hanging out and I noticed that he was a very heavy spender. The day he came to me, he gave me in Naira N500, 000, and 1,500 in Euros. He said the money was for the movie, that, I should keep it. Immediately I took the money to my mum who took it to bank.
But before we could deposit the money we changed them into naira. Mum said when he’sready; I should go and withdraw the money for him so we could do what we wanted to do. She advised me not to spend the money and make sure we did a good job, I said no problem.
About a week later, I called this guy’s number, his numbers were not going. I pinged him, it was not delivering and I was worried. Before then, we were always communicating because there was this other actor he gave money too to produce. Like two days after, he called me early in the morning with an unknown number.
He said something happened that he had to travel out to Ghana. He now said as it is, he wanted to travel to Benin Republic and he has some money with him that he wouldn’t want to take along and he wanted me to keep it for him. I said okay and asked him where he was. He said he was somewhere around Igando. I just put on my clothes even without taking my bath, I washed my face and then cleaned up; and drove to where he was.
When I got there he was in another car and asked me to follow him. We got to an office he had told earlier belongs to his father. We got to somewhere around Igando and we got down and went into an office. When we got into the inner office, I saw someone I assumed was his father. When I greeted the man he just asked if I was Regina and I said I was. There were others guys in the office too but I noticed immediately that they were all hostile as they responded coldly to me.
Before I knew what was going on, the man, the guy’s father asked if the guy (Ibrahim) gave me any money. I was shocked so I asked if there was any problem and the man shocked me some more when he said Ibrahim has been stealing from him. He then asked if I saw some girls at the reception on my way coming in and I replied that I did.
He told me they were Ibrahim’s girlfriends whom he had been lavishing money on. He said he had detained them for three days and asked me if I could refund all he money Ibrahim gave me. I said it was no problem that I would come and give them the money. I took them to my bank, GTB to withdraw #500,000 and then I took them to First Bank which is my mom’s bank to withdraw #500,000 too and then I gave them.
The man said he didn’t want the Euro that I changed to Naira in Naira that I had to go and change it back to Euros and as at that time, the value had gone up so I actually lost out but because I didn’t want any problem. I later balanced the remaining money. I got to hear some two days later that I was arrested because I stole some people’s money. I was never even near any police station.
It was I who lost money because before then I had already paid a costumier for costumes. I lost the N100, 000 given to the costumier because she never refunded the money. When all these things were happening, people started saying Regina duped someone of money, Regina did this, Regina did that, it got to me; it was painful. Since I started my life, nobody had ever come and knocked my door that I owe them money.
I don’t owe people, Instead of me owing people, people owe me; that is why I don’t do buy and pay later business because they would not give me money. It is unfair to write things that are totally false because you want to drive traffic to your site. If you hear anything about me, call me to clarify. I am a type of person that picks unknown calls.