Veteran actress, Ngozi Nwosu, reflects on an ailment that recently compelled her to undergo a surgery abroad, writes JAYNE AUGOYE
For Nollywood actress, Ngozi Nwosu, life begins at 50. Having been to what she calls hell and back, the fair-skinned entertainer may have finally conquered the storm.
Bubbling in a celebratory mood, Nwosu was resplendent in a black body fitting dress and blonde weave at an event organised to celebrate her birthday on Wednesday.
Save for a walking stick placed by her side, there was nothing to suggest that the buxom actress recently underwent a surgery. For many years, she brought laughter to many homes, playing, “Peaceful Peace”, one of the troublesome wives of Chief Fuji in the Amaka Igwe’s soap, Fuji House of Commotion, until she was diagnosed to have a kidney related ailment.
Nevertheless, Nwosu said she remained upbeat throughout the ordeal. “I was positive throughout the experience but at a point I thought I would die and not make it to 50. But I have received the grace of God, and He has given me a new lease of life. It is like a second coming to life. God has given me my life, it is a gift I really treasure. And my advice to people is: just live your life, nobody knows tomorrow,” she said.
Unlike some of her colleagues who passed on before financial assistance could arrive, Nwosu has been lucky. Fans, colleagues and the Lagos State Government succeeded in raising the N6m lifeline required to offset her medical expenses in a UK hospital in December. But before respite came, the Imo State-born actress chose to keep mum about the true state of her health, which gave rise to a series of speculations.
Her silence was because she wanted to handle the situation on her own. She explained to The PUNCH, “I felt it was something I could handle on my own. So, it was as if I turned a deaf ear, thinking and praying that it would be over soon; until God said, ‘ No, my daughter, I will handle it the best way for you, and here I am today.”
Between February and April, she had been undergoing treatment in the UK. In past interviews, Nwosu, who has been out of the acting scene in the last two years, said she was initially diagnosed of pile (haemorrhoid), and had an operation. She had already resumed working until she discovered that she had developed some issues with her kidneys.
Choosing not to comment on her personal life, thick-skinned Nwosu said she couldn’t be bothered about the speculations at the time.
She, however, declined to give more details on the nature of the ailment and treatment abroad.
“They (critics) said so many crazy things but I don’t want to think about it. I just want to thank God that I am alive today. I also thank the critics because they have contributed to making me strong and alive to prove them wrong. To those who felt this was the end of Ngozi Nwosu, I just want to tell them that this is just the beginning of Ngozi Nwosu.”
She also discarded reports making the round that she had been sighted at various movie locations. She explained: “I have only gone on the set of Fuji House of Commotion because I played a major role there, because they had been waiting for me all along and had run out of episodes. So I just had to be there to play a little of my role. It is just to tell people that I am still alive and I will be back on track.”
While she admitted her readiness to take up new scripts, the key word for now, according to her, is moderation. “I still need to rest, and if I have to work, I’ll do that at my own pace. I’m not going back to work fully. You will see that my gait is not really smooth. For now, I’m using a walking stick and that is going to take some time. I will be taking everything at my own pace, until I get back to the normal Ngozi Nwosu,” she noted.
Sounding a word of advice to her colleagues in the movie industry, Nwosu said, “They should always take time out to do medical checkups. Since the time I got sick, there are many people that have dropped dead. But I am still alive, I went through death and I am still alive.”
On her relationship with fellow actors, she has this to say, “I don’t have friends in the industry. When you are rich they are your friends, but when you are not, they leave you. Most of them are a flash in the pan so I can’t keep them.”
Looking forward to the future with bright expectations, Nwosu is already dreaming big, hoping to regain national prominence. “I wish for myself the best things of life. In fact I just wish someone can come and park the latest car in my house, and build a house for me. I don’t want my case to be like that of the Nigerian flag designer, Taiwo Akinkunmi, who almost died before they recognised him,” she noted.