Posted by News Express | 18 March 2023 | 529 times
Nollywood actor, Longinus Anyaechiechukwu Anokwute popularly known as Chief Imo, is having the last laugh.
When he started acting, even his wife doubted and discouraged him. Today, the actor is in high demand, as he’s the toast of producers. In this interview, Chief Imo opened up on his journey to stardom. Here are excerpts:
Longinus Anyaechiechukwu Anokwute, popularly known as Chief Imo. I started acting when I was in primary school and it extended to secondary school. Each time I came out to talk, people would start laughing. Gradually, I started building it up. After my WAEC, I joined the Actors Guild of Nigeria. That was in 2000.
When I started, even my wife became discouraged when she saw how things were going. At a time, I began to get frustrated especially when I saw that nothing was coming out from the work, and that no help was coming from anywhere. One day, I was rehearsing a drama with some students who used to come to my house. We were about to present the drama at the local government. As part of the play, somebody died and we started crying. But the people around thought something bad happened and they ran into the compound. Everybody was afraid but later saw that it was all drama, they almost slapped us. They abused me, saying that I don’t want to be responsible. They said all my mates are useful but I don’t want to be useful for myself. ‘Is this what you gathered boys here to do? You are very useless’. They began to say a lot of things. At a time, my boys started challenging them and it raised a dust. The youths rushed in and threatened to set my house ablaze. My mother was crying. But one day, the man that abused me then called me from the United States that he was opening his new house and wanted me to be his MC. First of all, he started appreciating me, telling me how far I’ve gone, saying God will bless me. When I ended the call, I started crying. I later told my wife all the things this man had said about me. From there, I started thinking and that’s when I wrote my next work.
My turning point came when I produced a movie where I mimicked my village people. This brought me into the limelight with a new nickname, Chief Imo. The movie was entitled, Iko Nso. It was written, produced and sponsored by me eight years ago. And from that, the name Chief Imo came aboard.
n new movie, Village Councilor
The movie talks about a young man in the village who is a born again Christian. Everybody wants him to represent them at the local government, because they see him as a responsible person who lives uprightly in the village. Everybody wants him including the Igwe of the town, but he says no. But along the line, one thing prompted him and he said okay. Immediately he became the councilor, things changed. He became arrogant and began to demolish people’s houses, taking people’s properties. Even the Igwe who was promised that a road would pass through his palace started seeing a different thing. What they expected from this man as a Christian was not what they saw just like other politicians.
From costumier to actor
Nobody knows what tomorrow will be, but I kept having it in mind that one day I will become popular. When I was working as a costumier, I remember somebody would tell me to leave costumier and start acting. But I never knew that one day I will be like this, in high demand like I am now.
My kind of music
It is neither hip pop nor highlife, but sometimes I do gospel. This is not my first album, at least I have about seven albums in the market. When they took the film, I had no money. I almost felt discouraged along the line but I pushed on. Today, I have come up again. And that is why I made this song I am about to release.
On stage fright
I am a kind of comedian that if I am going for a show, I don’t write down my jokes. Each time I mount the stage there is this full confidence I have, because I started holding microphone from when I was younger. Facing the crowd has always been part of me. So, now that I am a comedian, no matter the event, I have never experienced stage fright.
I don’t drink, I don’t smoke and I don’t womanise. It’s just my wife and me, and she is the first and only woman in my life. I am saying it with my full assurance. I don’t smoke. The only thing that gingers me is the crowd. Whenever the crowd roars, it motivates me.
I can recall one that pulled his clothes and laid it on the floor for me to step on. Some will jump on me trying to kiss me, and stuff like that. Some women will also pay me whatever I demanded to perform at their events. But when I get there, I don’t give attention to all their feelings. I am not just a comedian; I also have my ministry as a servant of God. I will always be mindful of what I do, and I avoid close doors meetings with women when no other person is there.
How I met my wife
My wife was a singer and dancer. I was also a singer and dancer then. We used to dance in people’s videos. So, we met on location where we went to shoot a musical video.
One thing I have to say here is that nobody is perfect. If you marry one or two wives and you’re still sleeping around, or in a week you sleep with more than 10 girls in different hotels, it is as good as polygamy. The difference is that you don’t bring them home. Some end of up having children outside without their family knowing. If you’re contented marrying two wives, it’s your choice. Everybody goes with his choice. What suits me might not suit another. It is a matter of choice. (Saturday Sun)
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