Zack Orji (real name: Zachee Ama Orji, born on 30 October 1960; Age: 61 years old) is a Nigerian actor, director, producer, and filmmaker best known for his roles in Glamour Girls and Blood Money. He is married to actress Ngozi Orji, and they are blessed with three children.
Zack happens to be one of those Nollywood fathers who have worked and nurtured the industry to its current success. Though not one of the industry’s founding fathers, he is undoubtedly one of the most respected Nollywood actors. Here are facts we have to share to know more about the celebrated actor.
61 year-old Zack Orji Hails from Enugu in South East Nigeria
Zack was born on October 30, 1960, and from his surname, you could tell he is Igbo. He is an indigene of Enugu State, however, he was born in Libreville, Gabon, and was raised in three west African countries – Cameroon, Benin Republic, and Togo – which is why he is able to speak English and French fluently.
Zachee is the eldest of seven children born to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Orji. While further details about his parents and siblings are not given, the legendary actor described his childhood as being tough. He recalls how he and his siblings would fetch firewood and help their mother in her soft drink business before they would go to school.
Despite having quite a busy and adventurous childhood, Zack still successfully completed his elementary and secondary education. His father wanted him to pursue a career in medicine, but his failure to show up for his physics exam disqualified him. For his University education, he moved to Nigeria and gained admission at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), where he studied and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Estate Management. Shortly after obtaining his degree, Zach worked as a shoemaker, but his shoemaking business folded after his shop was burgled.
He made his Nollywood Debut in 1991
Zach joined the Nigerian movie industry in 1991 and made his movie debut the same year, starring in a 1991 movie, Unforgiven Sin. Recalling how he landed the role, Zack gave credit to his friend Ekenna Igwe who introduced him to a group of young creative minds like Matthias Obahiagbon, Emmanuel Oguguah, Obi Osotule, and Ken Madiebo, who were involved in writing the movie’s script.
Zack, then a produce merchant, expressed his interest in starring in the movie, and without hesitation, he was given the script to play a leading role. His role as Chuks in the movie gave him his very first shot at the limelight and earned him his first award nomination for Best Actor in the first movie awards (THEMA AWARDS).
Zack Orji subsequently became a well-sought-after actor, receiving different acting roles and working with other legends like Olu Jacobs, Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD), and Pete Edochie. One of his most recent film appearances was in Kemi Adetiba’s 2018 film King of Boys, in which he starred alongside Adesua Etomi, Osas Ighodaro, Omoni Oboli, Sola Sobowale, Toni Tones, Akin Lewis, Paul Sambo, Samuel Adedoyin, and Nedu Wazobia.
Years after his big break in Nollywood, Zack joined the league of film producers with the release of his movie titled Return To Kazondia. Aside from acting and directing movies, Zack Orji also sings. He did his first music demo in 1987 and has since done some musical soundtracks for movies.
For his excellence in the world of movie-making, the Nollywood veteran has earned himself not just a mouth-watering net worth but also some notable awards to go with. A list of his awards includes the following:
- Best Actor in Nigeria at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards
- City People Entertainment Lifetime Achievement Awards
- Best Actor of the Year at the Africa Movie Academy Awards
- Nollywood Most Prominent Actor in Nigeria at the Best of Nollywood Awards
- Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards
Zack Orji is also an Ordained Pastor
Although he is best known as an actor, Zack Orji is also a preacher of the gospel. He was ordained a pastor in 2012 by Bishop Lawrence Osagie of Power Line Bible Church, and since then, he has been known to function as a minister of God, moving to different places within and outside the shores of the country, preaching the gospel of salvation. He is said to have preached in churches like Shepherd House Assembly in Makurdi, Lafia, Abuja, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the diaspora.
Speaking on how he juggles his acting career with his life as a preacher, the Nollywood legend said the two are a calling to minister to the people and so should not clash in any way. Zack is not the only Nollywood actor who chooses to dedicate their life to preaching the gospel to the world. We also have the likes of Iyabo Ogunsola, Eucharia Anunobi, and Charles Okafor, among others.
Who is Zack Orji’s Wife?
In addition to leading a successful career in the Nigerian movie industry, Zack Orji also leads a very successful married life with his wife and children. The Nollywood legend is married to Ngozi Orji. She is a Nollywood actress, make-up artist, gospel singer, and costumier who graduated with a degree in Secretarial Studies from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu.
Ngozi further attended the University of Lagos, where she obtained a degree in the English Language in the year 2000. To develop her skills as a costume designer, Ngozi attended Piscean School of Fashion located in Ikeja, Lagos State. Zack revealed that his wife hails from his hometown and that he is older than her by at least six years. The two met for the first time when the legend visited his hometown after his youth service, and they dated for three years before officially becoming a couple.
Their decades-long marriage has been blessed with three lovely children in the range of two girls and a son.
Does Zack Orji Have A Daughter?
Zack Orji and his wife Ngozi are blessed with two beautiful daughters and a son. Unfortunately, nothing much has been revealed about them as the actor prefers to keep his family and private life off the media. However, his daughters’ names are revealed as Laura and Michelle, while his son’s name is Lionel Chukwuemeka Orji, who is an uprising musician and songwriter.
Meanwhile, there are some misconceptions about Yvonne Orji being Zack Orji’s daughter. The 38 year old Nigerian-American actress and comedian, whose real name is Yvonne Anuli Orji, have been rumored to be the veteran actor’s daughter, possibly because of the similarity in their names, however, further details about Yvonne show that she hails from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and grew up in Laurel, Maryland in the United States.
Is Zack Orji Still Acting?
Veteran actor Zack Orji is still very much active in the Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood. Although the actor has recently been scarce on movie screens, he revealed that he is still an active actor and is not planning to retire any time soon.
Recently, Zack revealed that he had been involved in a project that involved teaching people different aspects of acting; costuming, lightning designing, and cinematography. One of his most recent movie appearances is in the Nollywood series Want to Stay Alive and the movie Pretty Stain.