Fame, Not Too Late To Acquire

July 25, 2013 |

Everyone regards them as Nigeria’s foremost comedy actors, but one notion generally held is that some of them did not burst onto the stage in their youth. But how true is this? Did their seemingly late emergence affect their talent? Would they have been more marketable if they were younger? PATIENCE IVIE-IHEJIRIKA writes that, perhaps, it is never too late to acquire fame, all the same.

Many Nigerian comic actors may not have broken into the limelight in their prime, and as much as many reasons may be bandied around for that, some things are quite clear. Many actors, as we have come to know, did not have it all in their childhood. Some even acquired basic education late. Very few were privileged.  But, thank God, talent is undying. It shines through; even at old age (do some not say that ‘wine tastes better with age’?). Some discovered their talents late in life, while others did so early enough. However, some of them who started early have been, so far, unable to gain recognition early in the industry.

Sam Loco Efe

The late Sam Loco Efe was one of the most talented comic actors in the Nigerian movie industry.  For many years, he distinguished himself as a rare talent for both television and stage drama, yet he only came into limelight when he was considered to be ‘past his prime’. But it is clear that he had been in touch with the industry, even before Nollywood became what it is today. He was mainly a stage actor.

In an interview shortly before his demise, he explained that a modest attempt at becoming an actor was what inspired his passion for the stage. “There was a time, Government College, Umuahia came to Abakaliki with a production. We all got so excited and I said to myself that if these men can stay on stage before a large audience and render their lines without looking into any book or script, there must be something magical about the whole thing,” he had said.

The late Sam Loko Efe featured in Hotel the Jordan, a popular television series then in Benin and others  but he said Langbodo was his  first truly well paid job and he played the lead role.

John Okafor

John Okafor, popularly known as Mr Ibru, is one of the  comic actors who did not discover their talents early in life. Like others, Mr Ibru was not born with any spoon. Poverty pushed him into trying his hands in so many things including seeing himself through school but at last, destiny had its way in his life.

In a recent interview, he revealed some of the odd jobs he found himself doing as a youth before he ventured into acting. “I sold fire wood, I did hair dressing, I was assembling wooden crates of minerals, I was a photographer and a butcher”.

Chinwetalu Agwu

Chinwetalu Agwu’s story is quite different. He had it smooth while growing up and even the opportunity to study in Wisent College, West Germany. He  joined the industry in 1981 when he returned  to Nigeria and even had his own theatre group known as the “Inspirers” back then while acting  in many NTA programmes, like “Ikoro”.

In 2002, he was honoured with the best actor award in Nollywood, also the most popular actor in 2009 and in 2012, he was given the Nollywood Award for Best Actor in Indigenous Movie (non-English speaking language).

Nkem Owoh

Nkem Owoh, popularly known as Osofia, is another actor and comedian who came into limelight after many years in the industry.

Osofia featured in “things fall apart” with Pete Edochie and while in the university, Osofia began acting in various television and film productions.  But he came into limelight in 2003 when he played a lead role in “Osofia in London”.  In 2008, he won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Others include Hafeez Oyetoro, popularly known as SAKA, Dede 1day, Dan Ibru, Gabriel and  Victor Osiagwu and many others.

– See more at: http://leadership.ng/news/210713/fame-not-too-late-acquire#sthash.eZw5omuK.dpuf

Category: Entertainment

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