Interviews

Former Big Brother winner, UTI NWACHUKWU speaks passionately about his pet project, UELP

Former Big Brother winner, Uti Nwachukwu is set to pour out the benevolence in him. He’s prepared to share as his brother’s keeper.

The handsome Nollywood actor has floated a charity organization called Uti Empowers Youth and Less Privileged, UELP and Uti Leads The Stars.

In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly the young man poured out his heart on the vision and mission of his organization and much more.

 Would you say 2013 has been rewarding and fruitful?

2013 was an incredible year! It’s the best year I’ve had career wise! I had so many doors opened and so many deals came in. I experienced true blessings also in terms of health and spiritual growth. 2013 was one year I will never ever forget. A lot of ups, life changing challenges/lessons and a lot of gains. I am so grateful to God for such an amazing blessed year. God is so good to me. He always surprises me. His mercies and grace are immeasurable! I’m humbled and I’m in awe of my own growth and success. My family has been happy, my skills have improved. I’m full of happiness, peace, love, rest of mind and joy.  This has truly been an amazing year.  Thank you Lord.

What were your major challenges in 2013?

For me, it was time! I had so much to do but so little time. As a tither, God says He will open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing so much that you won’t have room to contain it. So, I guess that’s what happened. I wish I could do all. But that would have been greed.

Then, I also learnt a lot about loyalty and genuineness. I was really hurt this year and a lot of true colours were revealed! I battled insolence, pride, treason, ingratitude, leeching, sabotage and wickedness from people I least expected it from.  I guess you have to be careful what you pray for, because I prayed for God to open up the hearts of people I care about. Let’s just say if I wasn’t spiritually strong with divine premonitions, I would have gone into clinical depression. But I guess I saw signs before but ignored them.

UTI-NWACHUKWUGod warns me in dreams but sometimes you overlook these dreams. The hardest part for me was to realize that I was being and had been used by the most unassuming people, and after confronting the issues, the parties still act like they don’t need you anymore but continuously gain from your platform! In all, I learned so much about the human heart and also about myself and my errors. I’m stronger (mentally and physically), wiser, more comfortable in my own skin, more tolerant /gentle and definitely a lot closer to God(Hope, trust and faith).

In what ways would you do things in 2014?

2014 will be a year of the Epiphany! I have learnt so much that now I have to apply wisdom. I’m going to make sure I’m less open and more helpful at the same time. I’m definitely taking my music more seriously. It will be a year of music for me, be it financial gainful or not! I’ve always been close to Jehovah but this year I want His grace to take me to the next level of closeness spiritually. Everything will definitely be placed at the foot of God! I’m going to pay attention to my confidants and sieve out all constituents in my life. What is due to Ceaser will definitely be rendered unto Ceaser. Trust me. Everything I do this year will be built on a foundation of love. Yes, more love and tolerance.

What are your expectations in 2014?

I expect a massive promotion and overflow! It’s going to be a year where everyone will be in awe of what my God will do for me. It’s going to be a year of divine restoration, multiplication and upgrade. I can’t even fathom where the grace and mercy of God will take me to! But one thing is for sure! I’m ready!!

How would you rate your career this year?

Over hundred, I’ll say 95!  I starred in four smash hot movies! Jara is still number 1 in Africa, I shot ads for DSTV, MultiChoice and Nokia, I represented Nigeria at the Martini 150th Anniversary in Italy, I released a Christmas single and got excellent reviews! Just name it! Like I said, it’s the best year career wise!

Who do you enjoy working with in the movie industry and why?

Desmond Elliot. He is an actor’s director. That guy is responsible for my improved acting skills! He is definitely one of my mentors in Nollywood. Every time I work with Desmond, I get excited because I know I’ll get to learn something about myself and acting skills. It’s always a pleasant mind blowing education and fun experience. Desmond is the future! Mark my words!

Which is the best movie you featured in and what do you like about the movie?

That’s easy! Finding Mercy, directed by Desmond. It has all the elements of a good movie. It’ll make you happy, angry, cry, laugh, sad, excited, etc. It’s what I call the balanced movie diet. It was the closing movie at African international Film Festival AFRIFF. This year and everyone absolutely loved it! Plus I got to work with one person God used to launch my Nollywood career, Rita Dominic.

What’s the organization all about?

Uti Empowers Youth and Less Privileged (UELP) initiative was created in 2011 by Uti and the fan club executive with a mission to use celebrities to encourage their supporters, friends and fans to cater for the needy by providing them food, clothes and household amenities.

Can you tell us your choice of name for the organization?

Uti Empowers Youth and Less Privileged (UELP). Although the charity events are called, Uti Leads The Stars.

uti-picHow do you raise funds for the organization?

I give my own huge chunk and then I reach out to people via social media to support this cause. People pledge but not everyone redeems. So, it’s all God really. Because from nowhere we just get support. When you work for God, He will surely provide! It’s left for people out there to decide if they want to tap into the blessing! God looks for people who will sow seeds so He can make them harvest bountifully.

Can you share with us your attraction and love for children?

I’m the last born in a family of six. So I was really cared for by my parents and siblings. Growing, I always just felt this compassion and need to constantly do something to help. I was blessed with a caring spirit and I know one reason why God gave me life was to physically care for His people who need it.

Was it a success?

It was a huge success. Like I said, when you work for God, he will always throw His weight behind you. His work will always be fulfilled whether we like it or not! So we have to decide whether we want to be used or not.

What else should we expect from your stable?

I’ve starred in three movies that have not be released. I’m looking forward to the February release of Deep. Inside starring me, Zack Orji, Bishop Umoh and Omoni Oboli,  directed by Lancelot Imasuen. It’s a romantic comedy/drama. Then also there’s the Ghana movie, Devil In A Dress. Where I starred alongside Majid Michelle, directed by Pascal Amenfo. That’s also a hot one.

Also expect music. I have recorded four already. I will record the rest and by God’s grace release a 12 track alternative pop/rock album. Jara is taking it up a notch, more events and more style. Plus there are huge surprises in stock.

– DOLAPO AMODENI

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