After serving under Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State for two years, Shirley Igwe has returned to Nollywood to continue from where she turned off the klieg lights.
While the rumour mills have it that she’s “emotionally attached” to the governor of her home state and couldn’t have left his cabinet midway to the end of his tenure “just like that,” the actress seems to be fully focused on improving her craft.
Being a neophyte in the game, Igwe’s foray into politics has, indeed, opened her eyes to a lot of things about the game of governance and so she has to beat a retreat for now as she could no longer cope with the heat.
She tells The Point, “I do not wish to go back into politics, at least for now. You need to see what it did to my career, because I gave two years of my life to politics. I’d not say I regret it because it was fun and I appreciate the fact that I took those two years off to get such knowledge in politics. I could use the knowledge later in life.”
Though she is not thinking of going back to politics soon, perhaps, due to her experience, she says she’s still open to playing on that tough turf later in life to touch the society at large.
According to her, “If one has Nigeria at heart, if one has his or her state at heart and if one has the human race at heart, he or she’d want to lead someday.” And Igwe stresses that she’s not different from anyone who wants the best for all others.
On the rumoured romance with Governor Okorocha, she says it’s normal for people to think they are dating because she worked so closely with the governor at a time.
“I worked as his protocol officer, which made me quite close to him. I handled everything apart from his visitors and guests. I was with him at all conventions and meetings. So, I would not be surprised if they say I am having an affair with him. If people see a man and pretty lady together, here and there, they would just jump into conclusion without hearing from them. I learnt a whole lot working with the governor,” Igwe explains.
Though she is 30 years old, she’s not under pressure from any quarters to get married. She says if her mother was alive, she, perhaps, would have mounted pressure on her because “mothers are mostly worried.”
“I do not feel any pressure to tight the knot at this age. I am from a family where the right time is the right time. You should not get into it and get out too quickly. Take your time, choose your man and make sure you are doing great for yourself,” Igwe states.
Inspite of her beauty, certain people keep wondering why the Mass Communication graduate of the Imo State University is still single. But, according to her, being beautiful has nothing much to with having a stable relationship.
“I want a God fearing and loving man, everyone wants that. He must be financially stable, everyone wants that as well, and I want it, too. I have not seen all the qualities I am looking for in a man, I must confess. I only dated once while I was in the university. I got out, I got busy with work, I dated again and it did not work out. It is very true that pretty girls find it hard to find true love. Don’t get me wrong; I get loved everyday, but I am talking about a stable one,” she says.
However, u n l i k e most ac- tresses, who make deliberate efforts to hide their real age from the public, Igwe was not shy to declare hers while celebrating her last birthday in April. She says disclosing her age came so easy for her since she’s always looking younger.
“I was 30 in April. For me, it was a milestone; so I had to celebrate it. I know I do not look 30, but I had to put my age out there. My age is totally different form how I look. So, it was easy for me to let it out,” she explains.
Though she has been lucky to be free from being stereotyped in the industry, the ex-Delta Soap beauty queen feels she does not get opportunities to play some characters she’d like to do.
So far, regardless of the many movies she has starred in, she admits that she has not done anything she would applaud herself for. So, she says she’s still waiting for that special script. Whenever she’s approached to be part of a movie, she takes time to study the script. For her, she chooses to be on a movie for the story; not just for the money.
“The script is very important to me, what does it say or represent in the society. Like a new movie, ‘Sandcastle,’ coming out soon, I felt it would represent the physically challenged in the society. So, the human part of me said I should be part of it,” the actress says.
Reacting to a controversy that she couldn’t afford to pay N11,000 for the service a certain man rendered during her last birthday bash, the Nollywood star asks, “Do I look like one who cannot give out N11,000?”
The man, who prepared grilled goat meat for her birthday party, had accused her on social media of refusing to pay up the balance of the agreed fee for his services. But apparently, Igwe refused to pay up the balance because she was not satisfied with the services he offered.
“Who goes to America with N11, 000 in the pocket? I just got back from America at that point. I just didn’t want to give him that leverage. That was just me putting people where they belong. I employed you to do something for me; so you have to take my instructions. I do not care how much it is, but you must take my instructions. It was not about the money, it was about failing my instruction. I didn’t know if it went out of proportion or not. Look at me, does N11,000 look like my problem?” Quite fashionable, she says she likes to be trendy, but comfortable in whatever she puts on.
I worked as his protocol officer, which made me quite close to him. I handled everything apart from his visitors and guests. I was with him at all conventions and meetings
“Your style is you. You are defined by your style. So, that should be your business, so to speak. For me, I dress to suit my body. I do not really care about what people wear. If you choose to go skimpy, it’s your life but don’t forget who you are. I do online research and shopping for exclusive designs,” she explains.
She is, however, so excited about her forthcoming project, ‘Middle of Nowhere.’ Though works are still ongoing, the movie, which features the likes of Wole Ojo and Femi Jacobs, will be unveiled to the media soon.