BOB-Manuel Obidimma Udokwu is a star actor. He bagged a Master’s degree in Political Science with specialization in International Relations from the University of Lagos. He is also a Theatre Arts graduate of University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The award winning actor from Ogidi in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State, spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly on his new role as Red Cross ambassador, his mission to Haiti and chances of anchoring the Gulder Ultimate Search 6 and sundry issues.
You have not been around, what has been happening to you?
I just came back from Haiti.
What happened there?
I was part of Federal Government’s delegation of the Red Cross, as a Red Cross ambassador. The Federal Government of Nigeria put a body together to go to Haiti and access the damage occasioned by the earthquake of January 12, 2010 and then launch an appeal fund for Haiti and Jos.
For how long were you away?
I came back two weeks ago and the appeal fund is still ongoing. The major one has been done. It was monitored by General Abdulsalami Abubakar (GCFR) and its ongoing, whatever that is realized would be used to help Jos crisis and Haiti victims.
When were you officially corporated into this?
I am a celebrity ambassador for Red Cross and when the trip came up, some officials and myself were called, the delegation was led by Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, so we went to Haiti, the capital, Port-au-Prince was badly damaged and in ruins, I think Gen. Abdulsalami is going to make recommendations to the Federal Government on how Nigerians can help.
Now that you are back, you know that Wyclef Jean wants to run for the presidency and was disqualified on account of one electoral bearer that states that, ‘Only one who has stayed for five years in Haiti can run.’ A lot of people were worried that such a contribution would be lost by the country, what’s your take on that?
The latest I heard from him is that he is going to appeal that decision because the incumbent president made him Haitian ambassador about three years ago, I know that the issue is that you must be resident in Haiti for five years and he has not been there. He is an ambassador, so his argument is that an ambassador is not meant to be within the country, an ambassador is meant to be outside the country, so he is going to appeal that decision. We don’t have to speculate, we have to wait and see the outcome of the appeal. But I think it’s a positive development because more often than not, people think that people in entertainment keep away from issues of their country, it’s a great turn around for people like him to come out, we should not forget that George Weah, a world class footballer came out in Liberia, a couple of years ago and went far. So, people from all sectors should be allowed to take part in the process of electing leaders. You remember Weah’s involvement brought out a lot of people because the truth is, across the world especially in Africa, young people are disillusioned, you look at Nigeria, you find some people we stood at the road sides and waved flags for as youngsters are still in our national assembly. They are still aspiring to be president, what change do they want to bring?
The campaign is on, you have anchored the Gulder Ultimate Search for three years, do you have still have the hope that you will anchor this edition?
It’s only Nigerian Breweries that can take that decision. But to me, I have a very good relationship with them, I have not failed in delivering, in terms of my presentation and artistry, you don’t change the winning team, but anything can happen. I have always been a friend of the brand, so whatever happens, we will keep supporting the brand in its effort to remain the ultimate beer.
Are you optimistic?
I have no reason to be pessimistic.
- THIS INTERVIEW WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENCOMIUM WEEKLY ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2010