Comics actor, Eme Bishop Umoh, popularly known as Okon has gradually risen to be one of the most sought after comic actors. His performance in A Wish received a standing ovation, among other movies he featured.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with him about his sojourn in the movie industry and more.
How did you discover you have the talent to go into comic movies?
I don’t think I wanted to be a professional actor. I always wanted to be happy. What makes me happy is making others happy. I discovered I have the ability to make people laugh right from childhood. This has been my life since I assumed consciousness.
My going into the movies was not like one big dream come through. It started from a simple audition.
What were you doing before you got into Nollywood?
I was a student. I was at the University of Uyo. I had this information that an audition would be held. I passed the audition, that gave me my movie debut in 2004. But I was not ready to combine frontline acting with academics. I was not ready to give up my academic pursuit for something I was not very certain of.
So, I went back to school but launched myself professionally in 2007 and broke even in 2010.
Which movie shot you into limelight in 2010?
Okon Lagos, but there is an indigenous movie that Emem Isong produced that brought me to national consciousness. It was a kind of teaser in the mind of people about Okon.
Can you remember the title of the movie?
How will you describe the journey so far?
It is not devoid of challenges but so far, it has been pleasurable. Pleasurably challenging, the bitter sweet experiences, but definitely not insurmountable.
How rewarding has it been, financially?
Regardless of which ever trade I choose to ply, I have this inner conviction that I would be successful, even if I was a motivational speaker, a lawyer, a flautist. Whatever it is, I had that innermost conviction that I would be successful. I am not just going to survive, I would live well.
Can you share some of your challenges as a comic actor?
I can’t place my finger on a particular challenge, instead, every single day that unfolds triggers in me that innermost hunger to explore more, do what is close to what can be achieved in Nollywood.
Within the short time you came into Nollywood, you have risen to be one of the most sought after comic actors, how does it feel?
Fulfilling, pleasurable, all gratitude to God. Doing something is one thing, being appreciated for it is another. I don’t think you can be successful without being socially accepted. In a country of over 150 million people, you can only trace it to God. It is the finger of God. I trace every single strand of my success to God and Him only. What will become of me if people don’t accept me, it is God.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Anything. As a matter of fact, I can say that God inspires me. But I need a very happy state of mind before I can go into humour. The secret of talking, for me, is just talking.
You said you have to be happy to make others happy. Has there been a situation where you were moody and it affected your performance?
Those who live in glass houses don’t throw stones. I know I am a very emotional person, when things hit me, they hit me extremely. When you get me angry, I will not be able to perform as much as I should. So, I will build up barricades, fences and high walls around my emotions so that, it cannot be penetrable.
I will try as much as possible to leave that place.
Who are the people you admire among comic actors?
I admire all of them, Mr. Ibu, Osofia, Victor Osuagwu, all of them. That does not make me want to be like them. I am me, I watch them. In the international scene, my best is Mr. Bean. I love him, I watch him, I love to be like him.
In five years, where do you expect to see yourself?
In five years, I will be bigger and by the grace of God because He loves me and wraps His grace around me, I will go up and defile the law of gravity by staying up.
My wife is still a student, a final year student of communication Art at University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
– SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN