Model and actress Phina Oruche spent years searching for ways to cope with life, until she found the answer in an unusual place, as James Hastings discovered
Actress Phina Oruche sat down to have her make up done – and when she stood up she had a brand new heart.
The former model and star of TV shows such as Hollyoaks and Footballers’ Wives was used to the pre-show routine.
She had modelled in London and New York. She had filmed in TV studios across the UK and America.
So, just as she had done many times before, Phina sat in the chair in front of the well-lit mirror in the New York studio, and watched the make-up artist reach for her kit.
“I noticed she was wearing headphones so I asked her what she was listening to,” explains Phina.
“She smiled, lifted them off her head and said, ‘It’s gospel music.’”
The words brought a distant memory back to the TV star. She had been born in Liverpool to Nigerian parents.
Her mother had a very strong Christian faith and would read the Bible aloud to Phina and her sister and brother. But by the age of ten, Phina decided, in her own words, to ‘put my faith aside’.
“We used to laugh as mum read the Bible,” she adds.
“We weren’t being cruel, but what mum read out just seemed so remote from our lives. We all had Nigerian faces but we were Scousers through and through.
“On the streets and at school we wanted to be like the other kids. We felt like the other kids and spoke like them, but we were obviously different. It was a bit of an identity crisis with all the usual stereotypes.”
Read the full interview with Phina Oruche in the July 2016 issue of Believe magazine