KENNETH Arinzechukwu Okonkwo, has passed through two unsuccessful marriages and recently got married. He is an actor who has moved from acting to evangelism and back to acting. He is now a barrister and he told ENCOMIUM Weekly about his career and challenges…
You are successful in this industry, how would you define success?
Thank God, I think movie is the only reason you are trying to punch my mouth with a microphone (laughs). That’s one definition of it. Being an actor gives you a face that the whole world would want to communicate with. It also makes you protocol free. And of course, we started it, so you should expect that we have made a lot of money and we are still making a lot of money. Most of you know me more than I know myself because you’ve got to read both the truth and lies about me.
How do you feel seeing younger people in the industry doing very well?
Do you know when you give birth to a child and he/she grows up to look like you how does it make you feel? Do you know when you prefer a particular type of wig and your daughter grows up to love it as well, it would make you feel very good. I feel good that what I started, a lot of people are following up. It means we are succeeding and people are appreciating what we are doing. Before I came into the industry, people thought that those in the movie world were failures and jokers. But we came and established something that people have followed up. It really gives me a lot of joy when I see younger ones following up.
What’s your success secret?
Having faith in the Lord. Thanking God for what He has done, hard work, honesty and patience.
You are a practicing lawyer, how do you balance it with your acting career?
I am a barrister. Acting is my hobby while the other is my profession. Whatever is your hobby, you do it at your leisure. But your profession you are bound to it.
What steps are you taking next in your career, movies and law?
Movie is only but my hobby so keep enjoying it and as a barrister, I want to be the best around and to win all my cases.
What inspires your dressing for an occasion?
The mood determines what I wear. For instance, today, I felt as an artist attending this occasion (movie premiere), I remembered my hat and chose a suit to match.
Recently, you were scarce, why?
I derive joy in being scarce from time to time. Like I told you, I act when my head is full and when the script is worth it.
How does your new wife cope with your acting career?
Why wouldn’t she be fine? She knew what she was going into and she liked it. Are you sure it wasn’t for my acting career that she married me (laughs). So, why would she stop me, she actually encourages me.
What’s the greatest embarrassment you have encountered as an actor?
I have never thought of this. I have always enjoyed acting. In fact, I can’t remember any embarrassment.
What’s the difference between Kenneth Okonkwo and the one we see in movies?
My reactions on movies are my natural reactions. Kenneth in movies is playing a character. Any role I ma given to play, I get into that role and the expressions I use in that role are my natural expressions.
Has there ever been a time that a role you played in a movie got you into trouble?
Movies often times would get one into trouble, if you act a very romantic scene and do it well, a lot of ladies will see you as that person and would be all over you. If it’s a mean part, people will call you names. Your roles actually get to people when you are very natural about them.
Who do people say you are that you are not?
I think they say I am a playboy and I am not.
I am working on some books, movies and NGO (International League for Social Justice). I want to team up with some colleagues around the world to ensure that we are living in a world where justice should not only be done but seen and adorned.
- THIS INTERVIEW WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENCOMIUM WEEKLY ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010