Veteran Nollywood Actor Pete Edochie was Interviewed recently by an SDK Correspondent in Asaba,D elta state and he opened up on how he feels about the current baby mama trend and also explains why someone might be born gay or lesbian….
How TO preserve our culture and appreciate IT
What can be done is that you people should listen to your father, you don’t. I have 5 sons and they are all married. None of them has ever beaten up their wives and because they never saw me beat up their mother. I mean let us face it. All the teachings begin from the home. If you don’t teach your children properly from the home, when they get outside, they get wild. Women get over protective about their children and the moment you do that, you spoil the child. It is even in the bible… spare the rod and spoil the child. My father has seven boys. So when he wants to go to work, he assigns duties to all of us and by the time he goes to work, we all go out and play football. So, one day he came back very hungry. And his favourite soup is bitter leaf soup.
My mother believed that we had prepared the bitter leaf and she just poured the thing into the soup. My father came back, we pounded yam for him. He tried the first ball and he managed to drive it down. We saw the effort on his face. Nobody knew that it was because of the soup. He tried the second one. He saw that it was an affliction completely, so he washed his hands and asked me to go and get him a bottle of star. I did.
When he was drinking that star, he was thinking of how to deal with all of us. When he finished drinking his star, he went into the compound, brought out a branch of a guava plant, if you have ever been flogged with that, you know what it means. It doesn’t break. He called all of us and locked my mother inside and belabored us thoroughly. You see, if he hadn’t used that kind of hand on us, we would have been useless. So, he dealt with us.
Most of the women are responsible for messing up their children because they want to over protect them. It is not a question of generational gap. You people should know. A bad thing is a bad thing. It doesn’t turn into good over time. Family values don’t change ever. If a child goes to a soup pot and picks a piece of meat, wallop him. Tell him it is wrong so he does not do it again. If you leave him to continue, it becomes a habit and there is no way he can break it anymore because you never told him this is bad. So if you people who are growing up are willing to listen to your parents, you will learn.
RECALLS WHAT HURT HIM MOST
What hurt me most was that I was inside a taxi with a woman. It was raining she looked at me and identified me and asked the driver to stop. We were inside a pool of water and the driver stopped. This woman came down from that car and did the sign of ‘God forbid’ flipping her fingers over her head. I kept imagining what I must have done to this woman. I didn’t tell her anything when I came into the taxi. She was there before me. She recognized me and asked the driver to stop. It was raining profusely. She insisted she must get out of the car. The driver stopped. Before she came out, she looked at me and did that sign and banged the door. The driver looked at me and asked me what I had done wrong to her. I didn’t know how to respond to him. So, if you play a good role very well, people will conclude that you are very bad person. Playing a bad role is very difficult.
Again, you are invited to come and play the role of a native doctor. That is one role that a lot of people neglect. It is a very serious role. For those of us who consult with native doctors, we know what it means to be a native doctor. If you go to consult a native doctor, when he is doing his incantations, those effigies in front of him, the spirits he is consulting, you won’t know what he is doing. After his divination, he has found an answer. Then he looks at you and he greets you. All these while, he is oblivious of your presence. He will not scream. If you are a catholic you go for confession, nobody will know that you are telling the priest. It is the same thing.
But today, most of the people who are engaged to play that role all scream. That is not what it should be. The person who has come to consult you should not know what you are doing. When you are playing the role of a native doctor, all sorts of things are rubbed on your body. It makes you look like a clown and stupid. There is no native doctor that sits down. A native doctor is a normal human being but our make-up artists’ concept is funny.
Most of the things you are doing are wrong because your generation is incorrigible. Let’s be very honest with ourselves. For as long as you remain that way, you will not learn anything.
The people who today are taking commentaries as broadcasters don’t read. They have no details. They depend on what they pick up from their phones. For as long as you are not ready to read, there is no way you can improve on what you are doing. When Wole Soyinka came up with The Man Died, all the University students were carrying the book around. Some put it in their back pockets but didn’t read it. It was massaging their ego to say that they were carrying that book. You ask them why and they say they can’t understand Wole Soyinka. He is so difficult to understand and I don’t blame you too.
HIS THOUGHTS ON SINGLE MOTHERHOOD AND THE BABY MAMA TREND
You see, I appreciate classical music and art and anybody who appreciates these tends to be very conservative. I don’t believe in single motherhood. Really, it does not mean anything to me. See, a man and a woman who are White can decide to get married and agree that they will not have children. They become what you call live-ins.
That is not our culture. Now, some of you are being are being as stupid as some of those White women, you want to have your boobs stand out even after you have had children. That makes you a bloody buffoon. These boobs are meant for those children to suck them dry. That is why they are there. There is no way that you can raise children and still come out and prim yourself. You are not using your brains.
What is single motherhood and what does it mean? Except your single motherhood is accidental. For you to go get pregnant for the fun of it and raise that child on your own, because you can, I don’t think I will encourage that or endorse it. First of all, under what influence is that child going to grow? Because you see, in order for a child to maintain some balance, there has to be an influence from the father and the mother. But if it is coming from just one side, there is no balance.
Most of the people who are born in Lagos regrettably do not know their fathers. You can tell from the scripts that they write. The way they insult older people, you will know that they don’t know their parents. Give me a script that was written from Lagos and I will tell you very easily. And when a boy who is trained in Lagos is talking to an elder, he pockets both hands. And that is the influence under which they grew because of societal indulgence. Ordinarily, women in Igbo land don’t challenge their husbands to fight. It is not our culture. By the way, the best husbands are Igbo husbands and I am not joking.
I came from a production in Abuja recently. The woman I was married to on set was a Yoruba lady. Her permanent regret was that she was not allowed to marry the Igbo man that she was in love with and she kept saying, Chief, I am not saying this to flatter you and I told her you cannot flatter me now. I have been married for 51 years. She said the best husbands are Igbo men. It is true. When you are married to an Igbo man, he goes on tour, makes money and wants to do shopping. The first thing he does, he buys for his wife, then for his children, and if anything is left, he buys for himself. I am being very honest with you. That influence gets amplified along the line. On mothering Sunday, your children will remember their mother and they will buy a lot of things for her. On fathering Sunday, they will buy a bottle of Whiskey for their fathers. The only thing we ever get is things like drinks. Is it fair?
What about some women of marriageable age say late 30s or early 40s without husbands but want kids. What do think about that because automatically, she turns into a single mum?
Individual philosophy comes in. ordinarily; I won’t condemn such a woman. She wants to have children, husbands are not forthcoming, but of course there are virile men who can step in, stop gap husbands, at the end of the day, she gets pregnant, you can sympathize with her as far as I am concerned, therefore in that aspect, I think I will not condemn such a person. No.
HIS THOUGHTS ON LESBIANS AND GAYS
The other day, somebody was asking me questions about lesbians and gay characters. You know, it is very easy to condemn characters like that but that thing is highly spiritual and if I say it, I may not make sense to some of you but I think in due course, you will understand.
I believe in reincarnation. A lady can get so fond of her friend and then dies. She would want to be part of that family so that she can stay very close to that friend of hers. She gets born into that family but instead of being born as a woman, he gets born as a man but remember that the spirit that got into that pregnancy is that of a woman and it now manifests as a man,
When he sees a man he is attracted to him because you know why? The spirit in him is a female spirit. Very few people can tell you this. I am not saying this felicitously but saying this with plenty of metaphysical authority. This is why sometimes it is not good to rush condemnation when it comes to an issue that you do not understand. This is why the Pope said they should be looked upon with plenty of sympathy. He had his reasons for saying that.
It is not everything actually that people understand when it is explained to them. So, when you find the spirit of a woman inhabiting a man, that man will display the characteristics of a woman, get up, paint his lips and he won’t know why he is doing all that and vice versa. People who know are not always in a hurry to condemn.
HIS THOUGHTS ON SUCCEEDING
On a final note, Train. You never lose anything by training. You don’t lose anything if you train. People are apprenticed for various vocations except human leadership. And this is why politicians make a lot of mistakes. If you want to succeed, you have to undergo a period of apprenticeship. There is nothing rewarding in this world that does not involve some degree of sacrifice. Genius is 90% perspiration and 10% aspiration. I want to be this – that is aspiration and you invest energy in trying to be that – that is 90% perspiration. That is what makes you a genius. The way you react to flattery will not guarantee you success in the industry. To criticize is not to condemn.