Home » REVEALED: How I sold my wife’s jewellery to raise capital – Junior Pope

REVEALED: How I sold my wife’s jewellery to raise capital – Junior Pope

by Daudu John

REVEALED: How I sold my wife’s jewellery to raise capital – Junior Pope

Pope Odonwodo, popularly known as Junior Pope, in this interview with Naomi Chima, speaks on his career, marriage, and how he managed to penetrate the Nollywood industry despite being born and raised in Cameroon

How did you end up choosing acting as a career?

Acting for me was a thing of passion since secondary school. I had a girlfriend in school that discovered me and encouraged me to try Nollywood, she even paid N7000 for my registration then under the late Pete Ene. Aside from that, I was also a member of a theatre group called Joyful Family Theatre Group when I was at the university. This also sparked my interest, and before you could say, Jack Robinson, 12 years have gone and Junior Pope is a brand to reckon with.

You grew up in Cameroon, can you share your experiences as a teenager in that country? Would you have preferred you trained your children outside the country?

Yes, I was born and raised in the out east hills of Bamenda, Cameron; my dad was a trader, and he and my mum left Nigeria during the civil war so the war would not swallow them. I am the sixth out of eight kids. Talking about raising kids, my upbringing in Cameron was wonderful. But the Cameron of today is now a war front. In general, training my kids here is not bad, Nigeria has it all and is too wealthy but people travel out because the system has failed us.

You got married to a long-time girlfriend you met on Facebook, a lot of celebrity marriages, especially of this sort, do not last. What is your secret?

First and foremost, I will give glory to God because, like one of my senior colleagues and directors, Emmanuel Lancelot would say, “if your wife dey behave well na God do am for you, no use am brag or compare another person own.” So, it’s been God, and it also partly has to do with my upbringing. The secret is that I carry my wife along, I share everything, and we do not have anything private. We touch each other’s phones; you know when a man says my wife doesn’t touch my phone and I don’t touch hers, there is no more transparency in the marriage. There should be trust in marriage; as Chinua Achebe said, “As long as the bed keeps shaking the marriage will last forever.” I told my wife that the only thing that can make me opt out is infidelity. Aside from that, every other thing is workable.

How do you create a blend as a celebrity, a loving father to your child and a husband to your wife?

My dad taught me all even though he didn’t spare the rod to spoil me. I grew up with a disciplinarian, so you need to pick from all areas and add up. So, the part I didn’t see in my dad is what I am giving to my children and that is the playful part. This is how I try to balance the equation. As a celebrity, you must know where you are coming from. Once you let this celebrity thing get into your head, then you are heading for a fall. Imagine as big as Mercy Johnson is, and the way she is so humble to her husband, why will their home have a problem?

When the woman does not want to be controlled by the man then the home will not be strong; we are in Africa and the man is in charge of the home but the man should not take advantage and weigh both sides. I grew up with a man that says ‘what I say is what must happen’ with so much force, but I do not use that on my wife. I try to make her see reasons why it would be so. I made her part of the decision-making board.

After you got married, which of the challenges you encountered did you still remember and what lessons did you learn in relation to your marriage?

Back then it seemed like it wasn’t working, it was not easy at all. I have not mentioned it before but to the glory of God, today let me share this. After I got married, the first year was not rosy; I collected my wife’s gold jewellery and used it to borrow money from aboki. So, I give Him the glory for giving me a patient wife. Why would I want to touch a woman like this? God forbid. One thing I told myself and God is that the day I lay my hands on my wife, let me run mad. Instead, I walk away.


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