Pete Edochie is a Nigerian iconic veteran actor and one of the most successful in Nollywood with a net worth of $3.8 million.
He started his acting career in the 1980s with the movie Things Fall Apart, an adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s best-selling novel wherein he played the character of Okonkwo. A combination of all his endeavors in the entertainment industry and a few other businesses helped him to his impressive net worth.
The 76-year-old phenomenal actor has remarkably remained consistent and relevant in his career that has spanned more than 4 decades, appearing in blockbuster movies. However, his life achievements are not only portrayed in movie roles. The Enugu State-born was a broadcaster before he ventured into acting. He has been rewarded with several awards for his impressive contributions to the industry which cannot go unnoticed.
How Old is Pete Edochie?
Pete was born on the 7th day of March 1947 in Enugu State located in the eastern part of Nigeria. He is currently 76 years old. His father and mother got married at the age of 40 and 15 respectively. He is from a family of 12, including parents and 10 children; 7 sons and 3 daughters.
There are not many details about his parents but there is information that his father died at age 96. Pete grew up alongside one of his brothers named Tony. Tony Edochie is the husband of Nollywood actress, Rita Edochie.
Where is Pete Edochie From?
Born in Enugu State notwithstanding, Pete Edochie originally hails from Nteje in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State. Nteje is a descendant of the Igbo people of Nigeria. According to records, Pete spent his formative years both in the eastern and northern parts of Nigeria. His parents are devout Catholics and trained their children in the Catholic faith and he also followed in the same footsteps.
Pete Edochie’s Educational Background
Pete Edochie was raised in Zaria Kaduna State. He, alongside his family, moved to the town when he was younger and there, he began his basic education at St. Patrick’s Primary School Zaria. He moved over to St. James Primary School Zaria, where he completed his primary education.
He proceeded to St. John’s college for his secondary education where he obtained his Senior School Certificate. During his days at St. John’s college, Pete discovered his passion for acting and did not miss participating in most of the school’s dramatic activities.
Similar to his contemporaries in the 1960s and 70s, Pete Edochie did not consider it necessary to acquire a university education before pursuing his career. However, he grew a quest for higher academic qualifications after he had already commenced working. He furthered his studies at the School of Journalism and Television in England. Pete also completed a number of courses abroad before he returned to Nigeria.
Pete Edochie Began His Career as a Radio Broadcaster at the Age of 20
Prior to acquiring a higher academic qualification in England, young Pete was already working. In 1967, at the young age of 20, Pete Edochie made his foray into radio broadcasting. He joined Eastern Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (ENBC) and worked there for three years. After that, he left for formal training with the British Broadcasting Service (BBS) where he sharpened his broadcasting skills.
The youngster took off from the level of a junior program assistant and subsequently rose to the position of the station’s director. Alongside the portfolio, he sometimes doubled as the Deputy Managing Director, and on other few occasions, he was called to take the mantle as an acting Managing Director. After many years of active service, Pete Edochie decided to resign when the powers that be began to politicize the affairs of the FM station. He would later move into the world of acting.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that Eastern Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation underwent some changes during the Nigerian/Biafran civil war. This led to its change of name to East Central State Broadcasting. Then again, at the end of the war, it went through another change of name and is known today as Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS).
He Left Journalism to Venture into Acting in the 1980s
As earlier mentioned, Pete Edochie started appearing on the stage in his secondary school days which helped him become familiar with acting. The very first time he appeared on the stage was at the young age of 15 in 1962. One of the plays staged by his school was William Shakespeare’s classic drama, Merchant of Vernice where he starred as a cast member.
Pete Edochie’s First Professional Movie Role, Things Fall Apart Established Him as an Actor
During his days at ABS, Pete was called up for his role in Things Fall Apart. The 1980 TV drama was an adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s prose of the same name. In the drama, Pete played the character of Okonkwo, aka Ebubedike, a son of the soil who played an outstanding role in resisting British imperialism. His performance in the movie was highly admired and acclaimed, and thus, did well in bringing him to prominence. The movie brought him to the limelight and made him a household name.
He became a star and his name was on the lips of all Nigerians, as well as across other countries. The success of the movie made the world-famous media outlet, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) come down to Nigeria just to interview the actor about his role in the drama. It also earned him an international award. Just after he hit the limelight through the TV drama, Pete Edochie started bagging more prestigious roles in the industry.
Pete Edochie’s Net Worth of $3.8 Million Was Majorly Built From His Acting Career
Although it is difficult to say exactly how much he receives for his roles in movies, it is not far-fetched that Pete is one of the highest earners in Nollywood. Meanwhile, actors of his ilk are paid millions for movie roles. However, some sources report that he charges nothing less than ₦2 million for a movie alongside a consistent agreement on working terms and conditions that suit his iconoclastic nature. Although his movie appearances have decreased in recent years, his wealth continues to increase.
Living in Darkness, Lion throne, Rituals, Greedy Genius, Last Ofalla, Lion of Africa, Igodo, Evil men, Monkey Chop Banana, 50 days with Christ, Idemili, The Egg, among others are some of his other movies that prove the prowess of this legendary actor. The actor increased his fees as his fame and popularity grew in the industry and today, the film king has found his feet as a successful actor in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the Anambra State native is known for being soft-spoken regardless of his authoritative appearance in most of his movies.
Pete Edochie’s Movies That Contributed to His Impressive Net Worth
Before the advent of the film Living in Bondage, Pete Edochie has already been established in the Nigerian home video industry now known as Nollywood. So, he surfaced as an accomplished actor in Nollywood. Pete Edochie has appeared in over 200 movies in Nigeria. Below are some of the movies that earned him massive recognition and boosted his income, given how successful they were upon release.
Lionheart is a 2018 movie that made massive sales upon release. The movie portrays the story of Adeze Obiagu (Genevieve Nnaji) who wants to take over the company of her father Chief Ernest Obiagu (Pete Edochie) when he could no longer run it due to his poor health condition. Despite many challenges she faced, Adaeze was able to stand strong in saving the company from debt, as well as a takeover threat by businessman Igwe Pascal (Kanayo O. Kanayo)
According to a top Nollywood insider, online streaming giant, Netflix paid a whopping $3.8 million to acquire Lionheart. The film gathered over ₦9 billion in domestic gross, making it to the list of highest-grossing Nigerian films. It went ahead to get many favorable acclaims from critics and was described as a “satisfactory story” by Nollywood Post.
Billionaire Club (2003)
Released in 2003, Billionaire Club is one of the movies that contributed to the popularity of the admired actor. The film directed by Afam Okeke tells the story of a secret society of men who makes use of occultic powers in manipulating people to make blood money. Within its few weeks of release, Billionaire Club had already collected ₦50 million. Starring in the movie are Kanayo O. Kanayo, Clem Ohameze, Patience Ozokwor, Sola Sobowale, Tony Umez, alongside Pete Edochie.
Egg of Life (2003)
In Egg of Life, a chief priestess tries to unravel the mystery behind the death of the king’s (Pete Edochie) only son by sending a group of girls into an evil forest to fetch a magical Egg of Life. The movie was released in 2003 and it got exceptional positive reviews with a box office success of over ₦117 million.
Other Notable Movies of Pete Edochie
- Ebubedike (2021)
- Idemili (2014)
- Dangerous Mind 2 (2004)
- Unroyal (2020)
- My Love (2002)
- Lost Kingdom
- Return of the Ghost
- The Staff of Odo
- Oracle (1998)
- Living in Tears (2005)
- Sacred Tradition (2005)
- Oracle (1998)
- Night Bus to Lagos (2019)
He Has Tried His Hands at Comedy
In an attempt to foster its usage in Nigeria, Wikipedia featured the veteran actor and kid comedian Emmanuella in two promotional video adverts; “Things Come Together” and “Emmanuella Goes to School”.
In the comedy video, Pete starred as a village chief and Emmanuella as a pupil who impressed teachers with her outstanding knowledge and was invited to join a class of tertiary institution. Pete has also made a mark in this area even though he does not have an active career in it.
His Music Career
Asides from acting, Pete has also proven to be versatile in the entertainment industry by venturing into music. In 2019, he released an album titled “Pete Edochie”. The English album directed by Ziadda, Dj Trish contains only one song. Also, Nigerian artist, Larry Gaaga featured him alongside Phyno, Theresa Onuoha, and Flavour in his famous song Egedege released in 2021. The song gained massive attention and thus, launched the actor to another level of fame.
Egedege is one of the Igbo traditional Royal-styled cultural dances in South-Eastern Nigeria. In the epilogue, Pete Edochie is seen using the Igbo language to speak about Theresa Onuorah. The legendary actor’s presence in Egedege alongside other music stars helped the song become very successful and as well gained massive recognition. With all these, you can now see how Pete Edochie’s net worth is estimated at a deserving $3.8 million.
Comparing Pete Edochie’s Net Worth to that of Nkem Owoh
Pete Edochie has built a lot of fame and fortune for himself and definitely belongs to the league of the richest and most famous actors in Nigeria. He is notable for playing lead roles in characters like a king, village head, chief, father, Igbo titleholder, and rich man.
In spite of his wealth, there are other Nollywood icons in his category like Nkem Owoh whose net worth is above his. Nkem Owo has an estimated net worth of $4 million. Besides his flourishing acting career, Nkem Owoh, popularly known as Osuofia, earns decently through his several endorsement deals, movie production, comedy, as well as music.
It is a fact that these two Nollywood icons have in no small measure influenced the Nigerian film industry, yet, Nkem Owoh takes the lead in terms of their net worth. Other successful Nollywood icons behind Nkem and Pete are Olu Jacobs ($3.5 million), Kenneth Okonkwo ($2 million), and Kanayo O. Kanayo ($2.5 million), among others.
Has Pete Edochie Retired From Acting?
Even though it appears that the former journalist has been slowed down a little bit by age, the iconic actor is still active in the movie world. His acting career has spanned over 35 years and he has come to be recognized as one of the most prolific Nigerian actors. In 2018, he graced the screen with a prominent role in Genevieve Nnaji-produced film, Lionheart. His latest role was on the sets of Unroyal (2020), Fatal Arrogance (2020), and Ebubedike in 2021.
Considerably, Pete Edochie has aged but still remains relevant in the movie industry. Since his role in Things Fall Apart, the Nollywood legend has continued to contribute greatly to the growth of the industry and has as well acquired impressive wealth.