Let’s start from the first day in South Africa…?
Actress Angela Okorie opens up about her recent theft scandal in South Africa involving actor/producer Prince Eke and an SA based rapper named Prosper. Excerpts from the interview below:
Can you recount how it all began?
There was this job I wanted to do in South Africa for somebody so I decided to use the opportunity to shoot my own movie as well entitled, Nwa Abakaliki. I discussed it with Prince Eke and he agreed to feature in the movie. I got him a passport and paid my agent $1,200 for him to travel to South Africa. I bought his ticket from Port Harcourt to Lagos and from Lagos to South Africa. I paid him a fee of $1000. He can never make such money here in Nigeria.
Let’s start from the first day in South Africa…?
Let’s start from the first day in South Africa…?
I have a big fan of mine called Prosper in SA. When I hit SA that first day I did not call him. It was after three days when we were about to start the job that I remembered him so I called him up and told him I was in SA. The next day he came to my apartment and picked me up and we went to pick Prince Eke from his hotel and brought him to my apartment. That was how they got to know each other. However, when we got to the hotel, Prince said he was not going back to the hotel because he wanted to stay in my apartment. I told him that I couldn’t leave the apartment for him because the reason we were here was to work and after which we should leave. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>>>>>>>>>
Why did Prince insist on staying in the apartment instead of his hotel?
Prince Eke nags about everything like a pregnant woman. When we were leaving Nigeria, I wanted to pay for an apartment for him but he told me not to bother that he will not stay in an apartment because he prefers hotels. When we got to SA he said the hotel was like an abandoned property so he wanted to leave. I asked him if he could stay in the apartment but he said he couldn’t stay there because if his girls came to look for him, he would not be able to sleep with any of them while I am around. I told him to go stay with Prosper but he said no, he needed his own privacy. So he started saying my place was better than his hotel. I had wanted to go to a hotel to stay but then Prosper said I should not waste my money for a hotel that I should come and stay with him. According to him, I should be saving money for my production because I might need the money. That was how I moved in with him and please note that there were other girls in the same house.
What did you mean when you sent Prosper a message that you didn’t want to make him a topic for gossip?
I said I will not gossip him because I didn’t want people to know he almost raped me. I was protecting my name and I wouldn’t want that kind of dirty talk in the public domain. People would start asking ‘why should a woman stay in a man’s house and not expect the man to sleep with her?’ I accepted to stay there because two other ladies were living in the same apartment and they were more like my friends too. What matters to me is how my husband took it and he knows me too well that I don’t sleep around.
While I was still in his house on the night of Good Friday, Prosper came into the room and wanted to rape me. He was touching me and I told him to stop it or else I will deal with him. The next day I told him that what he did was not right but that I have forgiven him. I began to feel very uncomfortable in the house and I was running low on cash. I had plans to leave the house that Saturday and Prosper was aware of it because I told him I was going to travel to Cape Town due to what happened. After the day’s shooting, I came back to the house with my personal cab man who had been taking me around. After I left his house the following day, I realized that whenever he saw me with other guys like Zubi James, he was uncomfortable.
Were the girls around the night he almost raped you?
Nobody was in the house that night; we were alone. The next morning Prosper wore a long face. We both dressed and went to location. It was the same day Prince’s wife gave birth. Prosper brought some girls for Prince and they were in the apartment together. The white woman who owns the house called me and told me that she was not comfortable with so many girls that were coming around to the house and making noise all the time. Prince called and told me that his wife just gave birth. It was when Prosper came to the house that night that he almost raped me. He had been trying to do it but I always told him off. And that was when a situation came up where Prince said he caught us kissing but I am saying it can never happen.
So you left his house. How did he end up getting you arrested?
I was supposed to go out that night with a friend and his brothers but I was tired after talking with my husband. Prosper and Prince called me on phone that night but I did not pick because I was fast asleep. When I woke around 2 am to urinate, I saw the calls and I called all of them to apologise. I called Prince and he said that Prosper called him and said that 32, 000 Rands was missing in his house. I was shocked and asked how come such money was in his possession when he goes about hungry and begging me for money. Prince then said he was coming to my hotel with Prosper. It was obvious that they were together all the while. So when the receptionist called me and said that Prosper and a security man wanted to see me, I said ‘ok, let them come around.’ To my surprise, it was Prosper and three policemen that came to see me. Prince was nowhere to be found meanwhile, he said he was coming to my hotel with Prosper. That’s why I said that he was the one who sold me out.
The police said Prosper accused me of stealing his money. I told Prosper to his face that he was scared that Angela would soon be leaving the house and he won’t have anybody who would be borrowing him money and feeding him and that was the reason he was setting me up. I told them to search my room but one of the policemen started speaking their language to them and I knew that they were actually working with Prosper. I was taken to Santon Station and from there to Honey Dew Station. All the things they did were illegal because they were not supposed to take me from one police station to another. They treated me like a hardened criminal and took me to another station where I then called my friend, Seyi, and told him all that happened. Then Seyi came to the station and gave them 10, 000 Rands.
How did they release you from the cell?
Prosper took the money and went away. It was the following day that he came around and signed an affidavit to ascertain that the case had been taken off from the station, but he still requested he take hold of my passport until I paid the remaining 22, 000 Rands. That was when Prince went to meet Seyi to ask him when the remaining balance would be ready so that Prosper wouldn’t outsmart him.
What do you think made Prince Ekeh to conspire against you after all you did for him?
Prince wanted to use Prosper’s car to shoot his movie. Prosper is also in the movie as well. Prosper wants fame by all means. I told Prosper outrightly that he’s not a professional and I cannot put people that don’t know how to act in my movie; he’s just looking for publicity. Another reason Prince betrayed me was that I refused to do his movie. The movie was entitled, Emeka Too Much Money. I told him that for me to come for an international job, he would pay me thrice what I earn including my visa fees like I did for him.
Your fans are very angry. They are asking, ‘why should a married woman live in a guy’s house?’
They don’t know the situation of things. The answer that I am going to give to them, especially girls, is that, ‘are they going to say that all the male friends that they have are sleeping with all of them? That they have never slept in someone else’s house without sex being involved?’ As far as I am concerned, I have about five people in my house that I am rendering help to, that are not related to me both male and female.
Do you think the whole thing was a set up?
It’s a set up between Prince Eke and Prosper. Can’t you see that it is a set up? If I had stolen this guy’s money, I wouldn’t have sent him my address or anything for them to come look for me. No thief will give himself or herself away and even tell you where to find him. And then look at the money in question, $3,200. How can I on earth steal $3,200 which is just about N45, 000? That is not up to the money that I take in the industry per flick; I earn more than that in a month.
People are saying Prosper wanted to sleep with you because he had spent so much on you…?
Prosper was helping me with my job and I was feeding him. I never knew he was criminally minded. Even if I wanted to cheat on my husband, wouldn’t I have looked for a guy that’s good looking and can give me all I want including what my husband cannot give me? When my husband called Prosper on the phone that he should return the money he took from his wife, Prosper began begging that it was the devil that made him do what he did. He thought that all that he was doing for me like driving me around and running errands for me would make me succumb and sleep with him.
So why did Prosper decide to set up you after you have said you wouldn’t want to make him a topic of gossip?
I don’t know. Maybe he saw something in me that made him come after me. I think while he is angry is because he rented a very big car in order to impress me and he ended up not having his way. So obviously, he must have borrowed money to get that car. Meanwhile, I was still the one who was fuelling the car and feeding him.
Was it the same day you got to the apartment that he started making the advances?
No, it was the next day. Prosper follows us to location and stays with us all through. Sometimes I ask him to go and pick up Prince. Whenever we went to the eatery, he always said he forgot his wallet at home. He was always playing pranks, so I told him that there was no need for all that because he does not really have but pretends to have. I had been feeding him and Prince. I did it all whole heartedly because he was really helpful.
What did your husband say about the whole incident?
My husband knows me. He knows what I am capable of doing. I have a lot of male friends; as a matter of fact, I have more male friends than female friends; that is my kind of person. My husband felt bad that somebody I took to South Africa could blackmail me. Prosper said he was going to call my husband but he never knew that my husband calls me every time and there is no one who doesn’t know that Angela Okorie is married. The guy said on Linda Ikeji’s blog that he didn’t know that I was married. I will never lie to anyone that I was not married; everybody would know that Angela Okorie is married at just the click of a button. Prince was even begging me to date this Prosper guy but I told Prince that if somebody is begging his wife to date someone else, would he be happy about it? I have one word for Prince Eke, ‘whatever comes around goes around.
What lessons have you learnt from the experience?
I have learnt my lessons. I have never stayed in somebody else’s house before in SA and I would never stay in anyone’s house again. I have learnt not to trust people. I was talking to my husband the other day and I said to him, ‘I am scared of my own shadow now because if people that I called my own brothers in South Africa could do this to me, that means anyone can do it.’
Do you think that this scandal can cost you your marriage?
No, it will not cost me anything. As a matter of fact, we went clubbing yesterday night. My husband understands me very well and we are fine. I am not planning to break up or get a divorce any time soon because I know that couples have misunderstandings sometimes and they make up; that’s the most important thing. This thing didn’t shake my marriage at all. Yes, my husband was upset but he knows and trusts me very well and he calls me like every minute to know how I am doing. When my husband called Prosper to ask about the issue he said, ‘bros I don’t know what put me into this temptation.’ He said that he was sorry for the money he took, promising he was going to return it. Since then Prosper has been on the run because he had already shared the money with Prince.
There is speculation that you are no longer with your husband…?
My marriage is 100 per cent intact. I am sorry for whoever wishes my marriage to break-up like they have been doing on the internet. They said that when I get home my husband will throw my things out. I am sorry for them because these people do not have a life.
How many children do you have?
I have a daughter. Chiemenem is two-years plus; she’s going to be three by September. If I am pregnant now I am going to keep it because I am married; my marriage is five-years-old.
What is keeping you from getting pregnant and making more babies?
Nothing is keeping me from getting pregnant. Whenever God says I will get pregnant I will. It is God that gives children, not humans. Whenever the pregnancy comes I will keep it because I am married, I have nothing to lose; children are gifts from God.
How did you get to know that it was Prince that masterminded the whole drama?
It was simply because he called me and told me he was coming with Prosper which he did not. Later when they came to the station, Prince was saying to me ‘Angela, you know that you are a big star, you have built your career. Bring out the money or call anybody who can bring money so that the case could be settled.’ I told Prince to his face that I can’t do that because I was not owing him. Prince left with Prosper and they both went to that same apartment I paid for and Prosper slept there. I got to know through the woman who owns the apartment because she called me and informed me that Prosper slept in that apartment and had been bringing women there as well. Meanwhile, there was a guy called ND who called Prosper up and warned him. Prosper was afraid so he called Prince to let him know there was trouble and Prince then called ND to explain all that happened and while this was going on, the phone was on speaker phone so I heard everything.
Were you charged to court?
No I was not. Rather it was my lawyer that proposed we go to court because my arrest was illegal. If it was legal, the case should be in the court. I decided not to sue them because of the help Prosper rendered to me. I just had to let go and besides, I am a married woman. After that day, the policeman called me and told me that Prosper called him to ask for my passport. The policeman said that when he inquired what for, Prosper said that he wanted to get me stranded in South Africa because I am a proud woman. It was then I realised that the reason all this happened was because I refused to sleep with him.