Determined to make a difference, Okechukwu Joseph ventured into the movie industry but after about a decade, the actor believed that he had not made the desired change. and so he travelled to the United States where he enrolled at the New York Film Academy. The result of this is a soon-to-be released movie entitled, Second Chance. In an interview with Christian Agadibe, Joseph talks about his new film, aborted romance with star actress, Genevieve Nnaji and his plans for Nollywood.
How does it feel to come back home after your academic sojourn in America?
I am more than happy to be home. It was strictly an academic sojourn. I got into the movie industry in 1996, shot my first movie in 1997 and 10 years later, I felt it was a good time for some upgrade at the New York Film Academy at Universal Studios; Hollywood was the best choice I ever made. I loved every bit of my experience there. It was life changing.
What project have you been able to accomplish after school and are there any specific benefits of your return to Nollywood?
After I finished from film school I produced a movie in Maryland. The movie is entitled Second Chance. Ever since I have had a few post-production hiccups here and there but thank God, all those are giving way now and Second Chance will soon be released in Nigeria. I am excited to announce that one of the big Hollywood producers/directors with whom I went into partnership some years back is finally here in Nigeria for good. He brought loads of hi-tech equipment and there is now a huge studio set up in Calabar. We intend to extend production services to different parts of the country at a rate never before heard of. The idea is to encourage professional filmmaking without breaking the bank. And we also want to start connecting our Nollywood producers with foreign distribution outlets in America, Europe and beyond.
Did you play a role in the movie?
Of course! I acted in the movie. I was one of the lead characters.
What do you like about the character you played?
The role I played was very sensitive and tasking. It was a challenge I was very happy to take. It had way too many significant transitions and each transition pulled the same amount of energy and required even higher concentration and focus than the previous. It tells you how strong the story was. I conceived the story, took about 18 months to piece it together and finally wrote it in the Netherlands.
Before you left the country, which was the last movie you featured in?
Alice My First Lady! I played Amadi. I married two wives – Alice and Akunne. Alice was the first and for some reasons, I paid a terrible price for my choice of a second wife, Akunne. Alice beat the crap out of my rather fragile Akunne. I think a lot of people like that movie. I do too. Very hilarious! I have featured in over a hundred movies but every time I step out all I hear is ‘Amadi, Alice’s husband’. Or you see some women clapping their hands and cracking up at the sight of me. Ladies laugh me to stupor sometimes because they see me as the weakling of a man who made Alice their perfect symbol of defiant womanhood.
Growing up, were there signs that pointed you in this direction?
Yes. I come from a family of five. I have just a brother and a sister. So, usually, when I was much younger, I would spontaneously just entertain my family and make everybody laugh especially my mother. I could mimic like crazy. Actually, my mom thought I would become a comedian so she fought so hard to distract me from the entertainment industry. You see, she enjoyed my performances but she wanted me to be an engineer because her other son is a medical doctor and the girl is a lawyer. But hey, I am who I am and I have absolutely no regrets.
What is the craziest thing a fan has done to you?
A female fan once brought out her breast in an open place and gave me a marker to sign on it. It was very bizarre. I begged her to let me sign on her chest and she insisted. Trust me I had no choice. I did it! Just made sure my hands were at the upper end of the marker pen.
What is your kind of woman?
Classy, clean and confident.
Has any one of your female colleagues ever solicited sex from you while in the process of shooting?
Truth is a lot of people didn’t know that all that while that I was shooting movies everywhere I was still a virgin! I didn’t know how to explain this to ladies especially. People thought I had other strange feelings. One of my directors even confronted me at some point wanting to know if I was hiding some ailment. It was on the set of this director that two young women attempted to rape me in my hotel room. I will never forget this. It was Singapore Hotel, Ikeja, where we lodged. The movie was Karishika 2. We had returned from a shoot so I left my door open. They came in, stripped themselves halfway and pounced on me. I fought with them for nearly 25 minutes. They gave up when I threatened to stab them. I lied that I had a knife. That was probably the third time that I had had that kind of experience.
Were they your colleagues?
Of course! They were upcoming artistes. They were also part of that movie. Everybody else was fair game, but I was ‘forming superman’ so I could understand their frustration. And they were a crazy bunch. You don’t come across girls like that every day – whether in Nollywood or elsewhere. It was something else.
Why did you find it difficult to mingle like others?
I had no difficulty mingling. What I had issues with was entangling- copulating. And like I said earlier, I wasn’t ready because I was a virgin and I didn’t want to tell anybody. I was always making excuses about why I couldn’t ‘get down.’ In fact this is one of the reasons my very short relationship with Genevieve was such a disaster. This is the first time I am admitting this publicly. Genny and I met and became friends on the set of Mark of the Beast. Of course in her very early days. It was as though we were in some type of experiment. But I learned a lot about her within that short period. Two unforgettable moments- the day she introduced her little brother to me and the day she told me literally everything about herself. She trusted me that much. My mind was racing like crazy and I kept wondering how so little people knew about this young Amazon who was out to play the Esther for her family and did she? She felt like family to me. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go further because of my funny little ‘virgin’ secret. Not that she solicited or asked for anything but of course, my body language was downright repulsive to that effect and it didn’t take anything for any woman with brains to figure it out. She was so full of pragmatic energy and so on-the-go- like woman on a mission. Never ready to play around with stuff she couldn’t put up with. I hope she’s still that way. She has got an incredible story to her glory.
If you have that kind of opportunity with Genevieve again, would you take things to the next level?
I don’t know what you mean by ‘the next level.’ But I would love to play by my rules book at this moment. However, there is not going to be any such opportunity. The young woman has moved on ever so predictably and I’m the happiest for her.
How do you handle those fans coming to you with crazy demands?
If you can’t grant some one’s crazy demands, it simply means that what you have to offer is incompatible with what they’re looking for. So offer what you have. In other words, deploy your self control parachute as politely and diplomatically as you possibly can. You don’t want to get unnecessarily caught up in an ever blazing fan fury. It hurts sometimes.
Aside acting, what else do you do on the side?
I do business. I’m obsessed with new technology. At the moment there is a revolutionary product that I have been promoting in Nigeria. It is known as Atmospheric Water Generator. It is like a regular water dispenser but in reality, as the name implies, it produces water out of thin air. I mean pure, clean, drinking water from humidity! Water produced by this machine is regarded as the purest, cleanest drinking water known to mankind today. It is more than business and I see it as a mission that is why I went into it. You can read more about my business on Fountain Royale Atmospheric Water Generator. Or check it on our website at Aquavolve LLC where you will see machines that are capable of producing as much as 5,000 liters a day from the humidity in the air. Whole neighborhoods can be supplied and boreholes could be a thing of the past with our machines.
Now that you are back in town, what should fans expect from you?
Fans should expect some really good stuff from me. I have done like five movies and one TV series since I returned from the United States. I am currently working on a few others.
I Am The Voice Behind Psquare’s Hit Song ‘Story’ – Helen Paul
Nigerian comedian, Helen Paul has revealed she was the voice behind ‘Uncle, please tell us a story’, in Psquare’s ‘Story’, a song released in 2005.
She revealed this in a recent interview on the Honest Bunch Podcast, stating that she was a receptionist at the time and that she got the gig after the children who were meant to do the voiceover failed to show up.
Her words: “At the beginning, I didn’t know P Square. I didn’t even know they were going to blow. They came to the studio, and they wanted to record their songs. I think they were expecting some children to come and got disappointed. So, Ayoadeife said, “We have somebody who can do this voice, and this person can do all the range children,” she added.
“I didn’t know what range was, but I was just very good at imitating voices to date. I was a receptionist then, and when they told them, they agreed. And the guy just said, Helen, ‘You will work in the nights, but we’re not paying much. I said, I don’t care; just buy me a ‘soft drink’, because I loved it at the time.
“So they gave me the job, and I did the voicing of the children in the song. So they merged all the different children. So it sounded full. When the song started reigning, I didn’t even know what it was to put your name on a song; I didn’t fight for it.”
Helen Paul also revealed that her voice got her many jobs, and she moved from earning N9,500 monthly to over N400,000 monthly.
She said, “The next job I did was for another milk product. I was at the reception when they brought this job, and they told me the child that was to do it was having exams. They said they would not be able to take that in the office because the advert needed to air at 3 p.m. and it was 12 p.m., so they were looking for a baby voice.
“Uncle Ayo said, ‘Let’s try Helen’ and they brought me in to lay the voice, which I did. After the ad, I signed a paper for which I didn’t know the content. At that point, my salary was N9,500; I started receiving about N400,000 or N450,00 every month.”
Davido’s Aide, Israel DMW, Announces Marriage Crash
Davido’s Logistics Manager, Israel Afeare, popularly known as Israel DMW, shared news of the end of his marriage to his wife, Sheila, in an Instagram post on Saturday.
In his detailed account, Israel DMW revealed that Sheila left their home on August 8, 2023, despite his substantial support since their marriage.
Israel also detailed acts of generosity, such as providing financial support, upgrading her phone, and indulging in shopping sprees for her.
Despite these efforts, he described a shift in Sheila’s behaviour after their wedding, where she sought to impose standards on him, believing she had achieved status as a prominent figure on Instagram.
Additionally, Israel DMW pointed out that marrying someone from a Christian background and being a virgin did not ensure peace in his case.
He highlighted that his wife accused him of being a slave to his boss, Davido.
He said, “Marrying a lady because you met her during evangelism as a virgin, a pastor’s daughter, a member of the same Winners Chapel church, might not guarantee anything peace at all. Don’t be too eager or quick to trust people. People can change at any time.
“People can be very ungrateful and deceptive. I met Sheila on February 19, 2022. We became friends, which later became intimate.
“She told me she would only lose her virginity to the man that would marry her since her Ugep, Cross River, mother, who’s now 41, had earlier married two different men, with two kids, before marrying her father and that she was overdue at 21 for marriage.
“We fully agreed with her terms and conditions. I immediately upgraded her unkept situation by giving her 300k and replacing her tattered phone of less than 60k with a new iPhone 12 Pro Max of 860k in less than two weeks.
“I later also replaced the 12 Pro Max with a brand 14 Pro Max of 1.2m that she uses to slay. I did a lot of shopping for her.
“Bought her clothes and bags, including expensive human hairs she’s using without sleeping with her then. I later proposed, and she fully accepted. We later did a legal introduction to traditional and white weddings in Benin City.
“Sheila immediately changed by showing her authentic self after our wedding and wanting to set standards for me. She now felt she was blown as Juju’s wife, fully verified on Instagram, with more followers from her earlier struggling 3k followers when I met her.
“A fully sapa girl I met with just 2,700 in her account. I have never raised my hands on her any day. I don’t beat women at all. I respect them so much. The least money for her upkeep was 100k. She now wakes up to tell me that I derive dignity in begging my oga, that I am fully a slave, and that I am disgracing her on social media.
“I had earlier taken her to show same oga for the first time before we wedded when we were in Abuja Transcorp Hilton, and oga asked her straight forward if she was ready for marriage, and she fully answered by saying yes and oga immediately gave her 500k for airtime. Oga was fully present in Benin for my wedding, after cancelling a 140m show appearance. Oga,”
Mr Ibu Undergoes Five Surgeries, To Continue Treatment Overseas — Family
The family of the Nigerian comic actor, John Okafor, aka Mr. Ibu, has revealed that the actor successfully underwent five surgeries and would be flown abroad for further treatment soon.
This was disclosed in a statement on the actor’s Instagram page on Tuesday, October 31.
It read, “We want to thank God and most especially the general public for their support, encouragement, and prayers during this trying period for our dad.
“We called on good Nigerians, and we are very grateful for the response in every aspect, most especially the donations; they came in very timely and very helpful.
“So far, Daddy has gone through five successful surgeries, and he is still recovering in the ICU. Daddy is immensely grateful, and we are thankful to the general public during this phase of our lives. Thank you, and as soon as Daddy is better, he will personally acknowledge all donations, respectively.
“We are still counting on all your prayers and unwavering support as we pray he gets stabilised quickly to enable us to fly him abroad for further advanced treatment. The John Okafor family is grateful to all Nigerians.”
The PUNCH reported earlier in October that the Abubakar Bukola Saraki Foundation fully covered the medical expenses of the Nollywood actor, John Okafor.
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