Patience Ozokwo is a veteran Nigerian actress who is also a gifted musician, fashion designer and a singer. She is a household name in Nollywood, Nigeria’s movie industry. It is highly in doubt that there is someone above the age of 18 in Nigeria who does not know who she is. Her fame also extends beyond the shores of her home country.
Patience Ozokwo, popularly called Mama G or G for general, is 61 years old. Mama G was born on 14th September 1958 and has attained the status of a legend in Nigeria. In 2014, Patience Ozokwo was part of 100 Nigerians called upon to celebrate the amalgamation of the country’s northern and southern protectorates. A very high honour.
Let us delve deeper into this icon’s life and find out more details about her.
10 facts you should know about Patience Ozokwo
1. Patience Ozokwo starred in her first Nollywood movie at about the age of about 40.
2. Mama G was forced into marriage at the early age of 19 by her parents.
3. She was once a teacher before she worked as a radio newscaster.
4. Patience adopted five children when she already had three biological children.
5. Mama G despite converting to Christianity, does not insist on not being called the nickname.
6. She is one of the few Nollywood actresses that enjoyed their music careers.
7. Patience Ozokwo and her last son, Uchendu, starred in the movie Why to Marry in 2016.
8. Mama G and Nkem Owoh are both from Enugu and were also born in the same year.
9. She has appeared in over 200 Nollywood movies and is considered a legend in the industry.
10. Despite not appearing often in films anymore, she is still the seventh richest actress in Nigeria with an estimated N300 million net worth.
The early life of Patience Ozokwo
Patience aka Mama G was born to Igbo parents in Amaobo village, Enugu State, Nigeria. However, she attended primary at Abimbola Gibson Memorial School. For her secondary school. Patience Ozokwo gained admission into Methodist Girls School, Yaba bu the onset of the Nigeria Civil War (1967 -1970) caused her family to relocate to Enugu State. There, she got enrolled in a secondary school in Ngwo Enugu State. Patience did not pass her secondary school certificate but had to take the private GSCE to obtain her certificates.
Later, she attended the Afikpo Teachers’ Training College now in Ebonyi State where she came in contact with literature. According to her, she had acted in various stage plays while in and out of college. Mama G also taught for about four years. She helped struggling school dropouts to continue their education and also ran centres for developing entrepreneurial skills.
When it was time for her tertiary education, Patience Ozokwo returned to Enugu State. There, she obtained a degree in Fine and Applied Arts from the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu. She majored in graphics. According to the veteran actress, she didn’t practice for one day.
Is Patience Ozokwo Married?
Patience Ozokwo was married but became a widow after she lost her husband following a protracted illness in 2002. Her husband was a mechanical engineer who worked as a civil servant in Enugu. She had been forced into the marriage by her parents when she was about 18 years old in 1976. Even years later, Mama G did not understand why her parents made her marry at such an early age. And it was not even due to lack of suitors as she said there were many in those days.
Ozokwo and her late husband had three biological children. In interviews after his death, she has said that she really misses him and his companionship. Despite not wanting the marriage when it was arranged, she had come to appreciate her husband and regret his leaving life so early.
Now, Patience Ozokwo has eight children bearing her name. Five out of these are adopted children and she once said that she never had to remarry because of her children. She is also reported to have 16 grandchildren.
The children of Patience Ozokwo
There is a saying that fruits do not fall far from the tree. So, it’s plausible to expect some of Mama G’s children to follow their mother’s footsteps to chart their way into Nollywood. But, that has not really been the case with Patience Ozokwo’s children with one brief exception.
Mama G and her last son, Uchendu, starred in the movie Why Marry in 2016, a movie based on a book of the same name by author and founder of Cameroon Career woman, Bridget Benjamin. Patience Ozokwo was the lead actress in the movie.
Uchendu also acted in a few other movies but has taken a break from the industry. So, it appears he was just testing the waters. Uchendu is a graduate of the Enugu State University of Technology works as an engineer. he is married to married to Gloria Nweze.
One of Patience Ozokwo’s sons also has a record label. Patience Ozokwo has also said he would support children who decide to go into acting/directing professionally.
Mama G and one of her sons.
Patience Ozokwo’s second son is Nduka Ozokwo (he is allegedly adopted) and he is a footballer. He played in many Nigerian league clubs like Enugu Rangers. Now, he plies his trade at a Turkish club called Ankaragücü.
Also read: Meet the richest Nollywood actresses of 2018
The only biological daughter of Mama G known by name is Chioma. However, the last time Chioma was in the limelight she was getting married in 2010. The wedding ceremony, held in Enugu. was grand and she and her husband currently live in London.
There is not much information about the rest of Patience Ozokwo’s children. In 2016 one of her children was rumoured to have died from a blood infection. Mama G was also quoted as saying at one time that one of her children was a pastor. She is also rumoured to have twin daughters. However, we are unable to confirm the information.
Patience Ozokwo biography: Early career
Patience Ozokwo did not go into acting as easily or as smoothly as some may think. Prior to her film entrance, she worked as a radio broadcaster -announcing and reading news. Then she started acting in radio dramas that were common in those days. She quickly gained fame and became a well-known star.
However, Patience Ozokwo’s career as a broadcaster was not something she had planned ahead. Speaking about the experience Patience says: “In 1982, Radio Nigeria came to the school where I was teaching to do a programme. They liked me and asked if I could moderate a children’s programme. That is how I got into radio, and I loved the experience. It was as if I was born to be on the radio.”
However, her career at the station ended after four years, when she was retrenched. She said her family went through a difficult patch during this period and she went back to teaching.
Speaking about her transition to the screens, which happened several years after her career with Radio Nigeria ended, Racheal says that it came after veteran comedian Chika Okpala invited her to appear in a commercial alongside late Nollywood star Pete Eneh. The commercial was encouraging citizens to seek education before starting businesses. The success of the commercial endeared her to viewers.
Thereafter, she was cast in a lead role by Peter Eneh in the now-rested television drama series Someone Cares, which showed on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in the 90s, where her talent was made manifest. According to Patience Ozokwo, despite the success of the series, she was still cautious. “I felt that going to Nollywood would give me unnecessary exposure, plus I considered myself as shy.”
Patience Ozokwo acting career
According to Patience Ozokwo, her debut Nollywood movie was an epic that was titled Sins of The Father, which was released in 1998. In her words, “the character I played died in the process of childbearing. It wasn’t a big role but it was significant to the plot of the story.” She was about 40 years at the time. This was at an age when some people might begin to doubt their ability to cut into the industry anymore. However, not the determined Mama G. At an age where it would be difficult to compete with younger and more beautiful actresses, her sheer talent and determination saw her triumph. This is in part by concentrating on roles that maximise her talent and that are age-appropriate, thereby limiting competition from younger actresses.
Mama G’s popular debut was in the movie titled Authority in 1999. Immediately after the movie, her popularity rose and directors started seeking to cast her in their movies. Since then, Mama G has acted in more than 200 Nollywood movies and she has been cast alongside many veteran actors and actresses.
Despite being able to execute diverse roles, Patience Ozokwo is usually typecast as a wicked mother or stepmother. Her villain characters have become her acting signature such that many even find it difficult to separate the actress from her movie roles.
In several interviews, Mama G has said that all she did in movies was trying to interpret the characters properly. But some erroneously think she is really a wicked person in real life as well. On the flip side, if people confuse your movie characters with your real-life character, it shows the person has high acting skills. An attribute that can easily be attributed to Patience Ozokwo, aka Mama G for General.
One of Patience Ozokwo’s most notable performances was in the movie A Cry For Help. In this movie, she was the villain tormenting Ble Ble, the character of Nkiru Sylvanus (who will forever remain Ble-Ble in the eyes of those who saw the movie). The execution of the roles by Patience Ozokwo and her movie victim (Nkiru Sylvanus) was one of the finest from the Nollywood film industry.
What is the meaning of Mama G?
Mama G or Mama Gee was the nickname coined by fans for Patience Ozokwo due to her no-nonsense attitude in movies. The G stands for General and can roughly be translated as Mama General or “Mother General”. This is likely seen in the fact that her acting reputation was built on playing tough (and wicked) characters.
Patience Ozokwo became popular in Nollywood for portraying an antagonist tormenting her stepchildren. Sometimes, it may be her daughters-in-law that are at her mercy. Or in some other cases, she is bewitching her husband in order to control him or influence him to murder someone.
All of these must-have contributed to the generation of the nickname for her despite that in recent years, she has taken up characters that are not so tough or bad depending on your viewpoint. It also appears that she rather likes the nickname. Mama G has been reported to have not wanted fans to stop referring to her by the nickname, perhaps out of the consideration that the nickname is a reminder to her contribution to the Nollywood industry.
Patience Ozokwo Biography: Music career
As we referenced in the previous section, Mama G really did well in her singing career. We compile a list of songs by Patience Ozokwo at the end of this article. She featured Tonto Dikeh and Charles Awurum on Iyo Ngwo Ngwo. One of her most popular songs is Make We jolly.
Her track Make We Jolly contains sounds that Wizkid sampled in the chorus of the song Maya with Mut4Y. This is another testament to the success of Mama G’s music career.
Recently, she is more into gospel songs as she has embraced her Christian faith more fully. See the next section to learn more about her Christianity journey.
Is Patience Ozokwo related to Nkem Owoh?
No. Patience Ozokwosand Nkem Owoh, popularly called Osuofia, are not related. However, many people think they are because they appeared in many movies together and most times as couples. It is worthy to note that Nkem Owoh is also from Enugu State like Ozokwo and they were both born in the same year – 1958.
Also, another thing these veterans have in common is the fact that they both also had relatively successful music careers besides their acting career. This is a rare achievement because many actors and actresses in Nollywood have tried their hands at singing but they rarely succeed. In the case of these two, they did very well in this area.
Their best movie performance will likely be Ukwa, where Mama G was the wife of Osuofia. The satirical movie is widely watched even today. Despite their many common denominators, they are just professional colleagues in the movie industry.Nkem Owoh is married to Ngozi Nkem Owoh.
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Patience Ozokwo Biography: Patience Ozokwo’s Christian life
In 2016, it became common knowledge that Mama G has given her life to Christ. Becoming a born-again Christian meant that she would have to change her lifestyle and this led to her cutting her dreadlocks according to some reports. Others even ran around with the story that she will have to stop acting as well.
Some of the rumours were not unfounded as it became evident that Patience Ozokwo was putting an end to some forms of dressings that were considered ‘immoral’. She had also been quoted to say that as born-again Christians, women should not wear make-up and trousers.
According to a Legitng article, Patience had encountered God during a 21-day fasting exercise. During this encounter, she claimed that God made revelations to her regarding the kinds of dressing he frowned upon. She also mentioned tattoos as a sin as well.
The latter assertion elicited a reply from Tonto Dikeh who is not just a colleague but a close friend that she featured on one of her old songs. Tonto is known for her several tattoos and also professes to be a Christian. In reply, she had said Christianity was a personal thing and one Christian should not force his/her views on others.
Since the conversion to Christianity, Mama G has been singing Gospel songs as well as preaching online. However, she recently appeared in Chief Daddy in 2018 but the did not play any controversial role characteristic of her ‘old self’ in the comedy movie.
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Patience Ozokwo net worth
As at the end of 2019, Patience Ozokwo aka Mama G or Susu is estimated to be worth about N300 million by Nigerian Infopedia. This is likely from the many assets she had acquired over the years. In one article some years ago, she mentioned that while she was still acting actively, she could make about N1.5 million every week.
However, Patience Ozokwo rarely features in movies these days. This may explain why this veteran actress is placed at number seven among the top 10 richest Nollywood actresses.
Mama G also has an endorsement deal with Globacom, a top telecommunication company in Nigeria. This deal is likely worth big money also. But as regards the overall net worth of Patience Ozokwo, there is no verified data.
Patience Ozokwo awards
Patience Ozokwo won the Best Supporting Actress 2013 at the 10th Africa Movie Academy Awards. She won the award for her role in the movie, After the Proposal. Mama G played the role of Mary’s mother in the movie. Mary and her fiance struggled in the movie to pay her hefty bride price.
She had been nominated as supporting actress in 2012, the 9th edition of the 10th Africa Movie Academy Awards, for the movie, Turning Point.
Final thoughts …
Reading about Patience Ozokwo biography will teach everyone a valuable lesson about time. It is when you wake up that you call your own morning. Despite starting out late in her major career, she is way above many others. Also, considering the characters she usually portrays, it is important to know when to separate art from real life.
We look forward to seeing Mama G in more movies.
Bonus information about Patience Ozokwo
List of Patience Ozokwo selected movies
- Sins of The Father (1998)
- Authority (1999)
- Ukwa (2000)
- Greedy Genius (2001)
- Terrible Sin 2 (2001)
- Desperadoes 2 (2001)
- Desperadoes (2001)
- Terrible Sin (2001)
- Fire on the Mountain (2002)
- The Cross of Love 2 (2003)
- Evil Woman (2003)
- 2 Rats (2003)
- $1: One Dollar (2002)
- Mr. Trouble 2 (2003)
- Arrows 2 (2003)
- Submission (2002)
- Sunrise 2 (2002)
- Miracle 2 (2002)
- Mr. Trouble (2003)
- By His Grace (2003)
- Emotional Crack (2003)
- Last Miracle (2003)
- Billionaires Club 3 (2003)
- Billionaires Club 2 (2003)
- Women Affair (2003)
- 24. Blood Sister 2 (2003)
- Market Sellers (2003)
- Blood Sister (2003)
- Arrows (2003)
- Forever Yours (2003)
- Billionaires Club (2003)
- The Staff of Odo (2004)
- Old School 2 (2004)
- Mama-G in America (2004)
- My First Love 2 (2004)
- Mothers-in-Law (2004)
- Annabel (2004)
- Millionaire’s Daughter (2004)
- Eyin Oka 2 (2004)
- My First Love (II) (2004)
- Annabel 2 (2004)
- Mama, I Will Die for You (2004)
- Millionaire’s Daughter 2 (2004)
- The Staff of Odo 2 (2004)
- Love & Pride (2004)
- Eyin Oka (2004)
- Good News 2 (2005)
- The Corridors of Power 3 (2005)
- Behind Closed Doors (2005)
- What a Mother… 2 (2005)
- Behind Closed Doors 2 (2005)
- Bandit Queen (2005)
- Royal Palace (2005)
- Good News (2005)
- My Business (2005)
- The Return of Mama-G (2006)
- Dry My Tears (2006)
- The Final Days 2 (2006)
- Total Crisis (2006)
- My Mother’s Decision (2006)
- Chicken Madness (2006)
- Asunder 2 (2006)
- No Where to Run (2006)
- Alice My First Lady (2006)
- No Where to Run 2 (2006)
- Alice My First Lady 2 (2006)
- Desperate Women (2006)
- Upside Down 2 (2006)
- Lost in the Jungle 2 (2007)
- Silent Rage (2007)
- Naked Kingdom 2 (2007)
- Pride of a Woman (2007)
- Holy Man 2 (2007)
- Lions Den (2007)
- Holy Man (2007)
- Old Testament (2007)
- Holy Man 3 (2007)
- Final Kingdom 2 (2007)
- Help Me Out (2007)
- Naked Kingdom (2007)
- Silent Rage 2 (2007)
- Lions Den 2 (2007)
- Indian Doctor 2 (2008)
- Heart of a Slave (2008)
- Plane Crash (2008)
- Husband My Foot (2008)
- Naked Wrestler (2008)
- Indian Doctor (2008)
- Marcus ‘D’ Millionaire (2008)
- After My Heart 3 (2008)
- Open & Close (2011)
- Turning Point (I) (2012)
- Deep Water 2 (2012)
- The Enemy I See 2 (2012)
- Sin of a Woman (2013)
- Cry of a Witch (2013)
- To Rise Again (2014)
- Idemili (2014)
- Overseas (2015)
- Evangelist Patience Ozokwo Part3 (2017)
- Chief Daddy (2018)
Selected songs of (Mama G) Patience Ozokwo
1. Mama G – Make We Jolly
2. Mama G – National Moi Moi
3. Mama G – Jolly Forget Your Sorrow
4. Mama G – Iyo Ngwo Ngwo Pt 2
5. Mama G – Iyo Ngwo Ngwo Pt 1
6. Mama G – Jolly Forget Your Sorrow
7. Patience Ozokwo – Ihe Neme N’uwa
8. Patience Ozokwo – Adaeze