By BENJAMIN NJOKU
Whether you’re a lover of Nigerian movies or not, you probably would remember the 1994 blockbuster movie, ‘Glamour Girls” which starred top stars and has remained a reference point in the Nigerian movie industry. One of the superstars that rose to fame after starring in that movie and since then hasn’t left the spotlight is Eucharia Anunobi. Others were veteran actress Liz Benson, Sola Fosudo, Tina Amuzian, Dolly Unachuckwu, Babara Odoh, late Jennifer Okere, Ernest Obi, Ngozi Ezeonu, Gloria Anozie, Zack Orji, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey, Pat Attah and Sandra Achums.
Eucharia’s acting career skyrocketed at the time and fans still can’t stop talking about the daring and provocative roles she played in those early Nollywood movies. But when the ovation was loudest, Eucharia suddenly quenched the flames, following her life changing encounter with her maker in 1997. And by 2012, she was ordained as an Evangelist, at the peak of her career. The actress has remained strong in her new-found faith.
In fact, Eucharia Anunobi’s conversion was the most-talked-about conversion to Christ. Some even likened it to the biblical Saul named Paul who was persecuting the followers of Christ in the old religion. Though there were other notable actors that equally towed the line,however, there is something spectacular about Eucharia’s conversion.
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While the likes of veteran actress, Liz Benson, Zack Orji, Charles Okafor, Okey Ogunjiofor and German-based actor, Pat Attah at one point or the other switched over to winning souls for Christ, the Imo State-born actress who ruled the screen in the early 90s with her role in the movie “Glamour Girls” was trailed with many controversies and scandals, most of which bothered on her past relationships and crashed marriage. But after many years of being in the news for the wrong reasons, Eucharia shocked her fans when she announced that she had given her life to Christ.
Few months after the announcement, the actress was ordained at the Fresh Oil Ministry, Egbeda, Lagos, as an Evangelist. Interestingly, with her ordination which was performed by Pastor Psalm Okpe, Eucharia willed the power to preach as a pastor and she’s doing so, without looking back. Today, the actress is more committed to doing the work of God than adorning TV screens. Those who are close to her once confirmed that she already counsels youths in the church and travels at random to spread the gospel of salvation.
This, however, has not taken away some of the traits that made her fans nickname her “Nollywood bad girl” before her transformation. Despite that she’s still flashy and daring, while remaining committed to spreading the gospel of salvation. Weeks after her ordination, Eucharia spoiled herself with a gift of a brand new BMW X5. On several occasions, she had refuted reports that she had dumped her acting career for the work of God. Instead, the once no-nonsense actress explained that she would be selective in accepting roles in movies.
However, explaining in one of her interviews why her face is scarce on the big screen, Eucharia said: “Some people think that when you become a minister of the gospel, you are not supposed to have a career. However, being a minister does not stop you from working. Since I started acting, I have never taken a break. I think what caused this misconception is that because of the activities of pirates, many movie producers were not publicizing our works. So when people don’t see you in movie adverts, they think that you are no longer on the scene. As a matter of fact, I just got back from a movie set.”
She continued, “Even as a pastor, I can still act a movie like ‘Glamour Girls’ because my individuality is different from whatever character I portray in a movie. I always tell people that undue exposure of the body in movies does not mean the character is lose in real life although one has to be more careful. I watch some movies where people bare skin for no plausible reason.
Being a pastor does not stop me from acting any role, as long as there is no undue exposure of my body. I gave my life to Christ in 1997; so, even at the peak of my career, I was a born again.”
Eucharia’s resolve to live out her Christian faith in an increasingly sexualized Nollywood movie industry, is something of a personal sacrifice. She was noted for her daring roles in movies, and now, she’s as cold as ice. This once sexy babe who dared the impossible when it came to skimpy dressing is no longer found in such revealing dresses.
Those in the know say the gorgeous actress now moves from one church to the other, winning souls for Christ. Her new found faith is said to be taking most of her time, as she has reduced her frequency in movie making business to brace-up with her preaching activities.
On her social media platforms, Eucharia has always been sharing prophetic messages with her followers. She once dished out relationship advice to her fans on her Facebook page.
According to her, people should never marry out of pity or sympathy as that is one of the major reasons a lot of people are having problems in their marriages.
When asked why she’s no longer seen at social functions by a female fan, the glamour lady of the 90s said: “I have moved from the things that don’t matter to the things that matter more, which is doing the work of my Father who created me and made me an instant star when I least expected it in my life.”
“I would never want to be remembered as someone who graced all the front pages of all the newspapers and news magazines in the world and did not contribute to the leading of people towards heaven. Of truth, you will agree with me that the job that will be rewarded by God Himself is that of soul-winning. So, why waste my fame, money, life, face, time, speaking ability to do the things that will never be rewarded?” .
Recall that Eucharia’s journey to the pulpit began after her bitter divorce from her ex-husband, Charles Ekwu in 2009, whom she accused of abandoning her and her late son, Raymond. After the marriage was dissolved by the court, Eucharia took a break from acting, only to resurface in 2011, with news of her ordination which almost took everyone that was familiar with her lifestyle then by surprise.
But if there’s anything that will continue to engage the actress-turned-preacher’s mind in a more painful way, it’s the death of her only son, Raymond. The deceased, who was the only source of happiness to Eucharia died from complications arising from sickle cell anaemia in 2017.
And two years after his demise, the actress is still mourning his painful loss despite taking solace in the Lord. Nonetheless, while her fans are missing her on the big screen, Eucharia has proved to everyone that she’s not only a superwoman who has not allowed her personal challenges and ordeals to define her relationship with God and humanity, but also, a talented actress who has brought happiness and joy to many homes through her movie roles.