Veteran Nigerian actress Patience Ozokwor, popularly known by her stage name Mama G, has revealed that her parents forced her into marriage when she was 19 years old.
In a recent interview with a Ghana television station, RTV, Ozokwor said her mother – who was married to a man who practiced polygamy – wanted her to get married early so that she (mother) would outshine her co-wives, who also had daughters.
“It was not my decision to get married at 19. And if it’s not my decision it means I was forced into it. I was forced into it many years ago, and I did not see any reason my parents were forcing me as I was still young,” she said.
“And even at that age, I had so many suitors. You know when you come from a polygamous family and your mother is struggling for her own daughters to get married, and this other one is also struggling for her own daughters to get married, and when this one (suitor) came around; and my mother said go and I could not make a choice. I was not allowed to make a choice,” added Ozokwor.
“At the end, I had to obey my parents. I was not brought up to disobey them at all.”
When asked if she enjoyed her arranged marriage, Ozokwor said: “Sincerely speaking, as a Christian, I did not. The marriage was not easy at all for me as a young girl, it was not easy.”
Ozokwor said she stayed put in the marriage, nonetheless, because her parents’ eyes were on her – and that she could not jump from one man to the other.
Ozokwor’s husband, a mechanical engineer, died in 2002 after ailing for more than 15 years.
Ozokwor, 59, is a mother of three biological children and five adopted children.