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Growing Up In Port Harcourt Was Rough –Ruby Ojiakor

Ruby Ojiakor 1
Ruby Ojiakor

RUBY OJIAKOR: My Accentuating Beauty Is From My Mum


Smart and sexy Nigerian actress, Ruby Ojiakor, a producer; dancer; TV personality and model who grew up in Port Harcourt, her place of birth.
She is the fifth child of six siblings. Though, from a Christian background, she hails from Amaraku in Isi-Ala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, South East, Nigeria, she had her primary and secondary education in Port Harcourt respectively.
Ruby is a graduate of Mass Communication from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu.
Ruby started her career as a dancer before her grand entry into the Nigerian Movie Industry as a professional actress.

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‘Let’s Dance,’ was the lucky key that unlocked the secret door to her fame and recognition in Nollywood, where she has successfully created a niche for herself, an amiable mother of Royalty Chukwu fits into any character assigned to her, she has acted alongside top Nollywood celebrities like Mercy Johnson, Ken Erics, Tonto Dikeh, Yul Edochie and a couple of others.
Creekvibes Oluwadamilare Daniels brings you excerpt from a recent interview, sit back relax and enjoy…

Presently what is in the making for your fans?
In this 2021, I am going to perfect so many films that will thrill everyone, ‘Life of a Seer,’ which was concluded last December is a blockbuster a captivating must watch movie.

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As a growing up child, what were the feeble you were told?
As a growing child, I have always loved helping mum to sell Garri (Cassava flakes) in the market, I will be seen carry a big sack of Cassava flakes on my head, walking to the market not minding the rain nor the scotching sun, many at times passersby steers head in awe.
My mum will say, ‘It is too big and it will make you not to grow tall.’ I will say, ‘Let me not grow tall, but let us make money from it.’

Do you still dance?
Yes, I do, but not in group dance anymore, if I am featured, so long the package will be comforting.

Does dance run in the family?
Not really, I think I created that niche for myself in order to finance my education, when I got to Enugu I was looking for something worth doing, because I couldn’t stand in red light district, I joined dancing group which paid off.

Who do you look like, your dad or mum?
My mum,

Can we say your good looks, is from your mother?
Yes! I took everything from my mum, her facial look, the way she talk, play and smile.

How was growing up like in Port Harcourt?
Haaa… you know Port Harcourt now, with their ‘Dey Bam and Dey Well’, It wasn’t easy at all, it’s a rough area, and I grew up in the hottest part.

Which area was that?
Gborokiri, which was close to the waterside, it was a shanty like environment, I wasn’t from a rich home, sometimes bullet shell drops on our ceiling, there could be chaos, people running helter skelter in broad day light.

Yeah, it was like that, many at times the ‘Dey Bam’ cult group have been to our apartment to threaten us with guns because of my elder brother’s involvement.
My dad died early so, growing up was not easy.

How old were you when he died?
I was thirteen years old, in JSS 3.

How did your mother feel when you started dancing, acting?
After my WAEC, I told her I was going to get admission and further my studies, she was like how was that going to happen, how will she pull the resources of her Cassava flakes business together to see me through my studies?

…on the set of ‘Life of Seer’

I was like, mum don’t worry, God will make a way, while selling I was able to save to secure my admission, mother was like, how will I meet up subsequent payment, handouts, departmental fess and other fees.

When I got to Enugu, on a very good day I walked a friend to her rehearsals, and Prince Chinedu Nwadike saw me, so he said I should join them, I said I don’t know how to dance, especially when it comes to cultural dance, he said an instructor will teach me, that was how I joined them, the instructor took time to teach me, as a sharp Port Harcourt brought up I grabbed the steps quickly and in no time we were rolling together, and when it was time to shoot ‘Oku Gbajie Aka Ji Ngozi Mu’ video which was scheduled to take place in Lagos, we took night bus from Enugu en route Lagos, it was a long night of horror.

Robbers intercepted our bus, sporadic shooting in a Rambo Style attack, they shot at our bus tyres, so it was grounded, a Young Shall Grow Luxurious bus, the driver got shot in the process as a matter of fact, that was my first time coming to Lagos, in the midst of that fear, commotion and confusion my menstruation started flowing.

What year was that?
I think about 7 or 8 years ago, and you know my mum thought I was in school, because she wasn’t aware of my involvement with Nwadike, another bus later came and took us back to Onitsha, It wasn’t easy with my unexpected menstruation I was in a mess. We boarded another bus that morning to Lagos, when we got to Lagos we did the video which was my first appearance, so I said to God to announce me through ‘Oku Gbajie Aka Ji Ngozi Mu,’ that was how the hustling and struggling started.

After the show I went back to school as if nothing had happened, so when the music came out, waoooo, it was a hit topping chats, it was everywhere in Port Harcourt and people started calling my mother to tell her about the video, so when she watched it, she called me and said I’ve become a superstar over night o, just like that.

That was how the calls started coming in because I gave my best for that video.

So, I started funding my education from the money I save, at a point my mother asked me how I was faring, I told her, I’ve taken the dancing stuff seriously, she shouldn’t bother, she can use her resources to cater for other things at home.
Till I graduated, went for my Youth Service.

Where did you serve?
Maiduguri, Borno State.

How many award to your credit?
Sometimes I don’t show up in award venue due to job exigency, I have about 9 award plaques presently.

What is your biggest achievement?
It has not been easy though, getting into Nollywood is a great achievement, I never believe I could get to this point in a short while, my performance in ‘Dance and Let’s Dance’ also helped in paving ways for me, someone suggested they call me, and they did so when the music video came out, it was fantastic, then people started calling me fire dancer, least I forget my babygirl, my daughter is a very big achievement for me, I don’t joke with her, she is five-year-old, I am a single mother, I’ve been taking good care of her since her arrival.

What happened between you and her father?

He is of the opinion that I should stop acting, dancing for us to be together and there will be a legal document backing it. Since that is my career and life, i couldn’t stand that so we ended it there.

If you come across someone who is ready to settle down with you and support your career, will you say I do?
Off course, I will. Anybody that will accept my career and support me, you can’t just come from nowhere and asked me to stop doing what gives me joy ‘are you mad?’ It won’t be easy because it has already been a part of me.

Describe a time when you disagreed with a producer?
We disagree to agree, no man is an island, many at times the director may not know everything, he may want you to do it his own way and you on the other side might try to infuse your own idea which you think will make it more interesting but the producer might frown at it, which could cause quarrel but it takes two to tango, after the quarrel, we will go ahead and do the right thing.

Ruby and her daughter, Royalty Chukwu

Have you ever forgotten your lines while on set, what did you do?
Haha? So many times now (laugh), the continuity guy will cut and I will retake it again.

What makes you go angry?
Angry? It is hard o, I tolerate people a lot with patience and if I go angry ‘heeee, thing go scatter.’

If not acting or dancing what would you have done better?
Like I said earlier, I am very good in business; I was the one handling my mum’s business before I got admission and we were doing fine, but when I got admission she felt it.

Is there anything you won’t joke about?
I can’t joke about my daughter.

Words for your fans?
My fans should understand that I tolerate so I implore them to be patience, they should understand that nothing good comes easy, they should be consistent in what they do, they should not give up easily, tenacity with prayer pays, if I had given up I won’t be where I am today, I do pray a lot too, they should be prayerful as well.

What’s the worst thing about your job… is there anything like sex for role or something?
No, no, no, no, that is not a problem on my part, it is a personal decision, while I was coming up it came, but I stood my ground, what is important is your imbue gift will always speak volume for you, no one will force you, it’s a personal decision if you want, you do, if you don’t want, you do your job professionally and move on.