Chiwetalu Agu (Real name: Christian Ogbonna Chiwetalu Agu, Born on: March 5, 1956; Age: 67 years old) is a Nigerian actor and comedian. Chiwetalu Agu is still alive and his net worth is estimated at $800,000.
Chinwetalu Agu is by all means a household name in Nollywood. His repetition of specific language slang, phrases, or clichés in many Nollywood films has earned him a wide fanbase among Nollywood movie lovers. As a reward, he has not only earned massive followers but also a mouth-watering net worth of about $800,000. Get to know more about the veteran actor.
Chiwetalu Agu Hails from Enugu State, South East Nigeria
Born in Enugu State, veteran actor Chiwetalu Agu spent most of his years in the southeastern state where he received his primary education at Municipal Council School and Saint Luke’s Primary School in Ogui.
For his secondary education, Chinwetalu Agu attended the College of Immaculate Conception, Uwani where he gained his WASSCE certificate in 1977. He later obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Arts in 1981 at Munchen College, Germany. He, however, returned to his home country and completed his compulsory one-year service to his country in Jos, the capital city of Plateau state.
He Began His Acting Career at NTA in 1981
Chinwetalu Agu’s career as an actor dates back to 1981 when, according to him, Nollywood was not yet in existence. The movie icon expressed his passion for acting since childhood and he began his journey toward achieving his aim as an actor quite early. However, he officially took up acting as a career after his service year when he joined the Nigerian Television Authority(NTA) Enugu Zone which then comprises the states in both South East and South West.
The legend briefly took part in Nigerian Television Soap operas, including the NTA Channel 8 Enugu’s Ikoro, produced by Joe Onyekwelu. He also appeared in Zeb Ejiro’s soaps like Baby Come Now and Ripples. He even became popular for his role as ‘Chief Abunna’ later. He, however, recalls his first movie role being in a movie titled Shattered for Shelter.
Chiwetalu Agu also had a role to play in the popular 1987 movie, Things Fall Apart. Though a minor role, he got the chance to share the stage with other veterans like Pete Edochie, Sam Loco Efe, Funso Adeolu, Justus Esiri, and Nkem Owoh.
He has Since been Featured in Numerous Nollywood Movies
Shortly after Things Fall Apart, Chiwetalu Agu left NTA to solely pursue his career in acting. At that time, movies were a popular pastime for Nigerians, who had more disposable income thanks to an economic boom.
Movie theaters sprung up in urban areas like Lagos, the country’s largest city, showing a mix of international and homegrown films. Leveraging the rising desire for movies, Chinwetalu Agu then formed a group called the Inspirers Theatre Group in 1983 and with the group, he staged tons of performances.
In the early 90s when the Nollywood industry emerged, Chinwetalu was among the actors who played important roles in the rise of the industry. His professionalism and ability to skillfully interpret every role given to him were pivotal in his constant appearance in movies, particularly in both Igbo and English-speaking films.
He was also involved in the production of the movie, ‘Taboo’, where he also played the role of Ichie Ogwu. In 2007, the veteran actor appeared in movies like ‘Burning kingdom 1 & 2,’ ‘The Maidens,’ and ‘Battle of the Gods 1 & 2.’
While Ripples and Lola Fani Kayode’s Mirror in the Sun made Agu popular, he credits ‘Umu Ufe’ as the movie that brought him to the limelight. However, his role in Across the Niger earned him his first award a nomination as an actor.
Chinwetalu Agu’s Movies incude
- Traditional Marriage
- Fire on the Mountain
- Price of the Wicked
- Dr. Thomas
- The Priest Must Die
- Old School
- Sounds of Love
- Across the Niger
- The Plain Truth
- Sounds of Love
- Church Man
- Holy Anger
- Evil Twin
- Beauty and the Beast
- Royal Messengers
Chiwetalu Agu has Received Many Awards Over the Years
Agu is listed as one of the outstanding comedians who have contributed to the development of Nollywood comic genres. His successful career in the industry has earned him a number of award nominations but he is most famous for winning the debut Nollywood Movie Awards 2012 for ‘the best actor in an indigenous movie: non-English speaking language’ for his role in Nkwocha.
This award came after his nomination for the 2011 Zulu African Film Academy Awards (ZAFAA London) following his role in the movie The Maidens. However, his first award nomination was at the 4th annual African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in 2008, where his role in the 2004 drama movie Across the Niger, earned him a nomination for ‘the best actor in a supporting role.
Chinwetalu Agu’s award and Nominations include:
- Nominated for ‘the best actor in a supporting role at the 2008 4th annual African Movie Academy Awards for his role in Across the Niger.
- Nominated for ‘the best-supporting actor’ at the Zulu African Film Academy Awards (ZAFAA London) 2011, for his in The Maidens
- Won the Nollywood Movie Awards 2012 for ‘the best actor in an indigenous movie: non-English speaking language’ for his role in Nkwocha
He now has a Net Worth of $800,000
Chiwetalu Agu could also be listed among the wealthiest actors in Nigeria. His net worth is estimated at $800,000, an amount he mostly accumulated from his acting career. Although not much has been revealed about how much he receives per movie role, veteran actors of his kind are said to earn up to ₦5 million per movie role. This is quite huge enough to build Chiwetalu Agu’s net worth.
Like every other famous celebrity in the entertainment industry, Agu also generates income from adverts and endorsement deals. He recalls one of his biggest deals to be with Glo Nigeria, for which he was paid well enough to complete his own building in 7 days. In 2018, he reportedly built a house for a widow who, according to him, was homeless for many years.
Where is Chiwetalu Agu Now?
Chiwetalu Agu is alive and still very much active in the movie industry. While veterans of his kind try to slow down their activities in the industry as a result of their age, the versatile actor has not shown any sign of backing down on his career as many may have rumored.
However, he has been involved in some controversies, including his staunch support of the proscribed separatist group, IPOB. Also in 2022, he revealed how he was badly attacked by some unknown persons he claimed to be his enemies in the movie industry. He said they attempted to kill him through diabolical means.
In a viral Instagram post where he shared details of his ordeal, Chiwetalu Agu shared pictures of some inanimate objects which he said a prophet retrieved from his body. The objects included stones, bullets, sand, cowries, pellets, a pocket-size mirror, and a minor rusty gold key.
“We live in bad times, this was how they tried as much as they could to eliminate me, but God said No, it’s not my time yet. The movie industry is hazardous, and you could be creating enemies who are your friends in real life without your knowledge. The world is a dangerous place. This is my Testimony,” he wrote in the video he tagged as his testimony, adding that he knew all the people that attacked him spiritually.
Aside from various controversies, he’s been involved in, this Nollywood Icon is still actively involved in filmmaking. His recent movie appearances include ‘The Wedding Party 2, Bad Comments, Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story, Double Mama, Dear Affy, and the Cinema movie The Trade.