The beautiful, classy and talented actress, Oghenekaro Itene, is one rising star to watch out for in Nollywood. Having starred in one of the most successful Mnet Africa series, Tinsel, Itene is not slowing down in her career as she wows movie lovers. In this chat with DGossip247, the Delta born reveals what many don’t know about her sex life, career and more
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Oghenekaro Itene. I’m an actress and a makeup artist, CEO Kadia Makeovers and I am currently on Tinsel. I played the role of the wedding planner. I did ‘Glass House’ with Africa Magic original films directed by Kabat Esosa.
I was also in ‘Shattered Mirror’, directed by Lancelot Imasuen. I worked with great names like Majid Michel, Nkem Owoh and Ngozi Ezeonu on that particular set and I played a sub-lead.
At what point in your life did you decide to go into acting and when did you start professionally?
Actually, I was just a makeup artist on set when the opportunity for acting came. I have always had the passion for acting, but I just thought the right platform hadn’t showed itself.
I was doing makeup for this particular job, ‘Shattered Mirror’ and Lancelot noticed me on set and they un-casted someone, tried me on set with another actress and luckily for me, they said I did better and that was how I got my first acting role.
Meanwhile, I had been getting scripts to act from other movie jobs I did make-up for, but I had not really considered them because I felt it wasn’t the right time. This was the right time because Lancelot was directing and he is one great director.
I really admire his works and when the opportunity came, I said yes. And for your second question, I went into acting one year, eight months ago, and God has been good to me.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Basically, auditions were my challenge before I got into Tinsel because I actually auditioned for Tinsel with the stress and all, but with time, it will pass.
Do you select scripts, or you just accept everything?
For now, I select jobs, knowing the fact that I am even on Tinsel platform on MNet, I don’t want to ruin everything I have gotten right now and basically, the kind of productions coming for me right now are good productions knowing the fact that I am on a good platform.
Take us into your background.
I have five siblings, and I am the last of the six of us.
My parents are late and I am from Isoko and Urhobo in Delta State. I was born and breed in Benin.
I went to the university there where I studied Biology.
When you go out for auditions, do you get harrassed sexually by anybody?
Never! I have never experienced that because the auditions I go for are professional auditions.
When you do well at an audition, they call you back and give you a script and the script they will give you is according to performance.
Of all the auditions I have gone so far, I have never experienced such and I pray never to. Have you ever been harassed by lesbians? No, not at all.
What length would you go for acting; can you pose nude?
The thing is, if the script says go nude, it is my decision to read the script and know if I will do it or not and also know the people that will be involved in the job if they are very professional because we have so many people doing movies these days.
If it is on a professional level and I know that even if I open my body, there is a way they will edit it for it not to show the whole world the parts I don’t want to be shown.
So are you saying if you are to be featured on set with the likes of Genevieve, and your script says you should go nude, you would?
When you say nude, do you mean stark naked?
I’m saying, what part of your body can you reveal in a film?
So you can’t strip for 1million dollars?
No, at least not now, but we all know that change is constant
Who do you look up to in acting?
When it comes to acting in Nigeria, I love Genevieve Nnaji. I look up to her a great deal. Rita Dominic is also one person I love. Nse Etim and Ngozi Ezeonu also. I’m looking forward to working with Genevieve and Rita Dominic.
Who are your celebrity male crushes?
For music, I’m crushing on Don Jazzy, I love his creativity.
If he asks you out, would you accept?
I don’t know oo! (Laughing) I’m just crushing on him because of his creativity and personality. He is very intelligent and I love intelligent people.
Are you married or in a relationship?
I’m not married and I am not in a relationship. I am single for now.
I think for now I am just concentrating my energies on my career, but if God says it is the right time for a man to come, why not?
Considering the fact that you don’t have a man in your life, how do you cope sexually?
I am a born again Christian. Basically, I think every human has that feeling. So when it comes, I just pray. I am a very spiritual person, I’m being realistic, I work every time, but I don’t miss my service.
I go to service two times in a week as an usher in my church. Most times, I don’t even think about it, seriously, when you are so spiritual, you don’t think of such things.
Do you look forward to producing your own movie soon?
Yes, I look forward to directing, but I will have to do a course on that first, but those are my future plans.
Five years from now, where do you see yourself?
Five years from now I see great things coming my way because my career is divine. I told you how it happened, so I know that the God I served brought me here and is going to take me higher, so people should be expecting great things from me.
You’re 18months in the industry. What is that one thing you noticed which you are not down with and you wish to change?
Basically, I think we need more good African stories. I think that is where we are losing it.
Most of our movies are like western world kind of movies.
I think we should do more of Lancelot’s ‘Invasion’ and Kunle Afolayan’s ‘October 1’, because we have so many traditions in Nigeria.
We have 36 states, we should go to these places and explore their cultural style and do something about it. I think those kinds of movies will sell better.
What else do you do aside acting?
I run a makeup company called ‘Kadia Makeovers’ and I also do other businesses as well.
What are your hobbies?
I love to travel, cook, dance and sleep.
Which Nigerian artiste’s songs do you love?
I love Orente by Adekunle G o l d , Dorobucci by Don J a z z y and the M a – vins, and Tiwa Savage.
You top five Nigerian Directors?
Lancelot Imasuen Oduwa, Kabat Esosa Egbon, Kunle Afolayan, Sunom Kura (one of the directors on Tinsel).
Do you think it is helping the actor in anyway when the directors first showcase the movies in the cinema before going on DVD?
Yes, I think so.
The more people watch your movie, the more people get to know you and the more jobs you get as an actor, so yes, it is benefiting the actors.
The producers and marketers are working so hard to spread the movie nationwide and all over Africa.
At what age did you have your first Kiss?
I had my first kiss at 14 by my childhood crush that happens to be late.
He played basketball then. I went with him to the basketball court and that was where I had my first kiss after which I ran away.
Your favorite perfume?
I love Paco Rabanne for women.
How do you describe your fashion sense?
My style is simple, I love African wears, promoting Nigerian culture, so I wear lots of African attires.
Who are those people you will love to work with?
I will love to work with Kunle Afolayan, Emem Isong and other great directors.
What part of your body do you think men admire the most, and which is your favorite part?
I love my nose, but I think men love my lips a lot; I love my lips as well because they are a good feature. With my lipstick, I can do different colours and they will come out well.
When a man compliments your lips, what comes to your mind?
Something like that had happened, someone just walked up to me and kissed me and I was so shocked and he said, I have watched you on Tinsel and I think I deserve that kiss.