Actress Steph Nora Okere Opens Up On Her Failed Marriage to Lanre Falana


Nollywood talented veteran actress, Steph Nora Okere, who, last week was given a Special Recognition Award by City People magazine is a dancer, singer, screenwriter, film maker, a producer and an event manager. She has a company (Afro Vision) which does take event management and production.

In an interview with City People’s TESSY MOORE, ‘Steph’, as she is simply called, opens up on her relationship to Lanre Falana and why the union to him did not last as it crashed right before it was solemnized. Excerpts:

Where have you been all this while?

I’ve been everywhere, at home, in church, at work, on the streets in fact, I’ve been around. I only reduced the number of films I feature in and concentrated more on soap operas.

What are you doing presently?

Right now, I’m shooting a new series, Broken Heart in Ibadan that is coming out soon. It is my latest work. I only left the set to come down here to receive my Award from City People because I value this Award so much.

What award did you win?

Special Recognition Award for my contribution to the Nigerian Entertainment industry, especially Nollywood

How long have you been acting?

All my life. I started when I was in primary school although, I learnt acting from my mother’s womb (laughter) Yes, I’ll say I started from my mother’s womb because everybody came out in the 9th month but I came out on the 12th month. I started walking at the age of 6 months. So, I’ll say I started acting a long time ago.

You’re being seen as a tough lady?

Wow! I’m not tough, I’m just firm, there’s a difference between the two but some people will say you are tough if they cannot get you to compromise with them. If you really don’t understand where you are coming from, they will say you are tough. So, I am not tough but just being firm and being myself. I am firm in some areas as a lady.

You are ever looking young and beautiful, what is the secret of your beauty?

Yes, I am young, I take a lot of water  and I detox my body and spirit  of any negative thinking. I don’t let a negative thing stay in my mind. If anything comes on me, I let it go and I wash it off immediately. I don’t let anything disturb me in order to stay healthy, strong and may be young.

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What has been the challenge so far?  

What has been the challenge for me in the industry is that, It wasn’t easy when we started. We had to make people understand that acting is a noble profession I just came out from the university after my 4 years when I went into full time acting

I had to go to my family to explain to them about my new profession because as far as my Dad was concerned, It was a joke. And in 1995 when I joined the industry, the platform was not as it is today for people to leverage on. I was also the vice president, screen writer’s Guild  of Nigeria for 4 years in which I helped build the industry. So, it’s been from one challenge to another. But I’m happy today that we set the platform for others to come in. Take a  look at what is happening today in the media.

Is Steph now married?

No! I am very single.

But you were once married?

Not at all, the press got me married. The press got me married on papers. Let me explain it, let me say I was in the process of getting married but ended up not getting married. Where I come from, there is the process of marriage when you start the process, the Ibo people will go and make research on the other person’s background and If they find out negative things about the man or woman’s family, that means they will put an immediate stop to the marriage. That was what happened in my own case.

A lot of people have been saying I was married, I was married but we didn’t really get through our marriage. I think that is like in the past, which is like 10 years ago. I really wish to forget about it.

Who is your kind of man?

God fearing and honest man.

Is there any man in your life now?

Jesus is the man in my life now I am married to Jesus..

As beautiful as you are, you should have someone.

I have a lot of admirers, those that are close to me but the most important person in my life now is Jesus.

But you are known to be married to Lanre Falana?

I was never married but the Press got me married as I said. I was involved in a marriage process which got truncated along the line. Marriage begins with paying the woman’s dowry, traditional and white wedding. All these did not take place. My family didn’t support marrying a man who kept one woman in one place and plans keeping another one in another place. I attend Catholic church and the marriage process in Catholic, begins with the intended couples tendering a marriage certificate issued by a court to the church. This was the main reason we were in court in the first place.

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What really led to the break-up?

It was based on personal conduct and irreconcilable differences. We were not living together, we had an. Introduction where his family and mine were introduced to each other only. This was the beginning of our problem. For us to discover that we were not compatible. Our court marriage was in July and he went abroad in September only for him to be back a year and half later.

Would you accept him if he comes back begging?

Thank God that the marriage didn’t work out otherwise I would have been an unhappy woman and I have learnt not to judge a book by its cover.

I hope to marry again when a good man comes but for now I am married to Jesus.

How many movies have you done so far?

So far I have featured in over 100 movies, grabbed lead and supporting roles both in the English and Yoruba language movie.

Who is Steph Nora Okere?

Steph Nora Okere is an actress who is from Ngor-Okpala, Owerri in Imo state. I grew up in Lagos and attended St Paul’s School, Ebute Metta and later to Jubril Martins Memorial School but completed her secondary school in Akwakuma Secondary School, Owerri.

Was it cultural differences that led to the break-up?

Not at all. It was based on personal conduct and irreconcilable differences. We were not living together. We had the court marriage in July and he went abroad September. Only for him to come back like a year and half later.

Any plans of marrying again?

It has not been easy. You hardly can differentiate between a man who truly wants you as a woman because he feels for you, or one who wants to be seen with a known actress. Some men can go as far as taking a bet over you because you are a known actress. But when a good man comes around, I will settle with him. However, my Bible has not told me I can not make heaven as a single woman.

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