It is almost impossible to discuss the Nigerian movie industry without mentioning Nkem Owoh. He is one of the most popular and accomplished names in Nollywood, the Nigerian movie industry. Thanks to his natural talent complemented by a fluid comical personality. The actor fits naturally into most of his roles as he never struggles to find words in any situation. Even when acting in a closed role, he manages to tickle the audience through witty utterances and reactions which leave movie goers in stitches. However, most people know very little about Nkem Owoh apart from his acting prowess. The following are ten things that you probably did not know about him:
1. He Studied Engineering
This would surprise many. The emperor of comedy in Nollywood enrolled for a degree in engineering at the University of Ilorin immediately after his high school. In the course of his studies, he began acting and landed several roles in both TV series and screen productions. By then, Nollywood was still in its formative years.
2. Things Fall Apart Support Act
Owoh had his first major break in acting when he landed a role in the screen adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. The 1987 series had fifty episodes each spanning about 50 minutes and was aired on the Nigerian Television Authority. As Nollywood picked pace, he landed a supporting role in both Ukwa 1 and 2 in 1995 alongside other big names such as Sam Loco and Patience Ozokwor.
3. 83 Films to His Credit
Nkem Owoh is credited in 83 films and several TV productions as at 2012. Most Nigerian producers prefer to have sequels to almost every other film thus benefitting actors like Owoh who have to feature in movies that they have played as lead acts or major supporting casts. His biggest act so far is Osuofia in London which received worldwide acclaim in 2003.
4. Recording Artist
Nkem Owoh is also a recording artist. He recorded and performed I Go Chop Your Dollar, a song that speaks about scamming people in the name of advance fee charged in various industries. It later became an anthem for real life scammers who labelled themselves as 419ers. The song went on to feature in ‘The Master’, a movie in which Owoh acts as a scam architect. However, Nigerian anti-graft watchdog known as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission banned the song following in the footsteps of Nigeria Broadcasting Commission.
5. Banned for fronting unattainable demands
Like any other big star, Nkem Owoh has been accused severally by producers of charging exorbitant appearance fees. The Association of Movie Makers and Producers banned him for making unreasonable demands in 2004. He was among a list of several Nigerian artists who were barred from acting in the country due to their high fees and difficult contract demands.