Here is Nse Ikpe-Etim’s story got some members of audience listening to her so shed tears. And each time, it happened, she hugged and comforted them.
Nse revealed that she was never going to be able to have a baby as she was diagnosed three years ago with Adenomyosis, a condition whereby the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus.
“I was told I couldn’t have kids,” she said to the now sombre audience.
“And so, I had to have a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) to make me have a life again and to stop going through what I was going through. And I’m literarily telling women and men, it really doesn’t matter if you can’t bear children. What really matters is what you would do for the world, for the universe.”
Recalling the moment when the doctor told her she’d have to have remove her uterus to live a normal life, Nse said: “Tears dropped and then my husband squeezed my hand. It was reassuring there was someone there and it was telling me that this is reality, my reality.”
She fell into a depression.
“I didn’t think there was any point anymore because my society taught me that I have to be a mother to be appreciated and every time I went online, I would have one troll or two say ‘you never born?’
“But I’m thankful that that didn’t break me.”
She is however appreciative of her acting career.
“I’m thankful for Nollywood,” she said.
“I push my pain through every single character.”
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Nse revealed that prior to the hysterectomy, she badly wanted to have children.
“I wanted a set of twins,” she said boisterously.
“I wanted children. I wanted so badly I was brooding forever. Femi, I did IVF. I tried. Femi, I did everything our society wants every woman to do so that we can be accepted as women.”
Reflecting on her marital life:
As teens, Nse and her husband, Clifford Sule, started a relationship and called it off and he came back again. They finally signed the dotted lines in a Registry in Lagos on Valentine’s Day in 2013. Nse said this was even after a story about her with the headline, ‘I’m not born to be married’ was published.
She repeated the same thing at the event.
“I still am not born to be married,” she said, though she admits she and her husband her still very much in love.
“I stand by it. I’m not. The only reason I was born is to affect the world. And if it happens negatively, take me the way I am.”