A thespian, Tessy Ijeh, says that marriage breakups often experienced by actresses are mainly caused by the herculean task of combining the home front and acting.
Delta-born Ijeh, a Continuity Manager at Nollywood, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos that combining the homefront and acting was a task many actresses found difficult to manage.
“Acting really takes a woman out of her home because it is tasking; most of our husbands don’t recognise this as they mount pressure on us.
“Some actresses, unable to cope with this task, often abandon their homes to face their career because even the husbands cannot provide all that their wives need.
“Children are the most affected in relationship breakups, because once the parents are divorced, and the mother still goes on with her career, the children are left uncared for.
“The children will miss their mother’s affection more and this is one thing that we have yet to find solution to in this part of the world; but others have gone ahead,’’ Ijeh said.
The actress, who had her secondary education at Eko Girls Grammar School, Okota, Isolo in Lagos, said that sexual harassment in the entertainment industry was real.
She said that she had faced one before but she took her stand.
“Sexual harassment is real in our business but everybody has a choice to make. I once faced the devil and the deep blue sea before and I chose the one that I felt was right.
“I was faced with sexual harassment when I first joined the industry. It is a sacrifice that I have to make because I started as a model.
“The director made a pass at me and I told him if this is what I will face to be popular, I will rather remain in the background and I left.
“Sometimes, some film directors ask for our bodies in return for a role, but it’s unfortunate that some ladies will even throw themselves at the directors. It is wrong on both sides,’’ she said.
Ijeh said that roles played by actors and actresses in a film might have some spiritual undertone, while some might not, adding that it takes courage to stay off roles.
“Roles that we play in movies sometimes come with some spiritual undertones which I have an experience about.
“I acted in a movie called `No Money, No Sex’, and in the movie, I acted as a bi-sexual which I have to put myself in it; later I discovered that I’m having strange sexual feelings.
“I quickly readjusted and pray against it and stayed off. It also affected me when I played the role of a witch in a film. There is spiritual side of every act,’’ she said.
Ijeh, a product of Institute of Management Technology, Enugu, and a former teacher, said that though some roles in a film come with its inherent dangers, the dangers could be averted if adequate caution was adhere to.
“The roles we often play in films are sometimes dangerous of which we should be extra careful in dealing with; nevertheless, we can take
precaution to counter the dangers.
“Actors get roles based on their interpretation of previous roles played. This particular role may stick to them and be their favoured roles; but actors must be dynamic.
“For some playing the role of a gateman, it may be their strong point and they may never get other roles; likewise a witch or wicked person in the case of Patient Ozokwo.
“Roles sometimes also define how far an actress will go. If an actor continues to get a role of a gatekeeper, how many gatekeeper roles will he get to make it,’’ she said. (NAN)