TELL US ABOUT YOUR EDUCATION BACKGROUND
I am a graduate of the University of Ibadan.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO ACTING?
God blessed me with the talent and skills in acting from childhood but never took it seriously till after school before I went into it professionally.
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN THE POLITICAL PART OF NOLLYWOOD?
The urge to make positive changes and impact on the lives of the practitioners.
DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE AS THE PRESIDENT OF AGN?
The experience is great. It has taught me so many things in life. It’s not easy to lead creative people.
HOW DIFFERENT IS IT TO BE A PRESIDENT FROM BEING JUST A MEMBER?
So many differences. A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. A leader does not set out to be a leader but becomes one by the quality of their actions and the integrity of their intent. In the end, leaders are much like eagles; they don’t flock and you find them one at a time. Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first. As the President, you are at the helm of affairs. You have to take responsibilities and be strong. You have to make decisions under extreme measures, take care of members’ welfare and swallow emotions. It’s like a driver and a passenger case.
IN YOUR OPINION IS THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT SUPPORTING THE INDUSTRY ENOUGH?
Yes. The present administration under Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has supported Nollywood and is supporting Nollywood very well. He has done well for Nollywood.
TELL US ABOUT THE AGN BENEFICIARY FUND.
It’s a benevolence fund set up to assist members who have challenges and are out of work.
YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED THE AGN BENEFICIAR Y FUND AND GOT THE GOVERNMENT TO FULFIL ITS PROMISES. WHAT DO YOU REGRET NOT ACCOMPLISHING?
I don’t have any regrets. I am always content with what God makes me to achieve, thus, I strive for the best always.
IT HAS BEEN A WHILE SINCE YOU APPEARED ON SCREEN, IS THIS DUE TO YOUR WORK AS THE PRESIDENT?
Yes oooh! So much to do as the President of the Guild so no time for location jobs but I still do some jobs.
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ONACTORS WHO GO INTO POLITICS?
It is good for actors to go into politics so we can equally help to create and enact laws that would help reposition the industry. We have what it takes to be in politics.
HOW INVOLVED SHOULD ACTORS BE IN THE PROCESSES OF GOVERNANCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITIES?
Actors should be active in the process of governance and community development. We have educated and intelligent members who can contribute their quotas to national development. Actors are role models and have large fan base.
WHAT NEXT SHOULD WE BE EXPECTING FROM YOU?
Surprises… I am always full of surprises as the grace of God leads me. It’s not by my power though.
NEW NOLLYWOOD VERSUS OLD NOLLYWOOD?
Good quality films, young skilful talents are being discovered, good storyline, better remunerations and general improvement in the industry.
NOLLYWOOD IN ONE SENTENCE?
Creativity at its best.
LOOK INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL OF NOLLYWOOD, WHAT DO YOU SEE IN TEN YEARS?
At the very top…compete favourably with Hollywood in ten years to come.
GREATEST REGRET(S) IN LIFE?
IF YOU WERE TO CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOU WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Nothing. I thank God for who I am and what I am
YOU STILL LOOK YOUNG, DO YOU STILL MODEL?
Once a model, always a model. I still model.
WHAT DOES FAMILY MEAN TO YOU?
Love and unity.
A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT?
Believe in yourself, be focused and don’t be discouraged. Remember no pain, no gain. There will always be light at the end of the tunnel.
INTERVIEW: Innocent Ekejiuba
PHOTO: Courtesy of Ibinabo Fiberisima
This Interview first appeared in Issue 7 of Nolly Silver Screen Magazine