He reasons that until real professionals take over the movie sector, Nigeria cannot boast of a self sustaining motion picture industry. He also spoke on his life as a family man, a Christian and a man of the screen.
ďI write most of my materials be it films or TV drama. However, my wife is also good at writing too. I donít consider myself a good writer. Although I write, I usually find the scriptory, physical part of writing tedious, I wish I could verbalise my thoughts.
I donít need to be inspired to write. Some people romanticize about writing, saying that they are inspired whenever the sun rises and so on. That is nonsense, I write when I have to write or when I have a deadline to meet.
TV dramas/movies where featured
I ought to have a good sense of history but I have never bothered to record those things, sometimes I donít even buy the movies, I have probably not seen three quarters of the movies I have participated in. I always describe myself first and foremost as a broadcaster, every other thing follows.
Second marriage, after spouseís death
I met my wife. One doesnít meet a person in a dream. We met in the course of work, I was involved in a drama, Jaded Options when we met. I have a fantastic wife, Iím basically a home person.
I am not very eloquent about things like that.
Late wife a sickler? How much of her did you miss?
It is not for public consumption. Hummh! What I miss or donít missÖItís too private to be discussed. When you live with a person for 10 yearsÖ please forget it. I would not gain anything from that and no one is going to get any inspiration from that.
Actor and broadcaster
I have an abiding passion for broadcasting and production. As for film or movies, I just do it because I can do it. We donít have a film industry in this country, we have a video trade. An industry is a systematic production process from conception to consumption with the requisite division of labour. But in a situation where you have some people in Idumota taking the roles of writer, director, marketer, distributor and have no regard for division of labour, then there is no industry.
I am not interested in whether the remuneration is good or bad. I do it because I am bored. Usually, the locations are in Enugu and so it means a short break for me.
What habits did you pick from your father?
I wish I could tell you much about my father but I canít. He died five months before I was born, my father was Itsekiri and my mum is Efik. We don Ďt count children in Africa, it is my father who can be certain about the figures. On my part, I have four children .
I attended Our Lady of Apostles Private School, Yaba, before proceeding to Saint Finbarrís College, Akoka.
For me, I was already learning a trade I know best, and I know I havenít done badly at all. I never wanted to become the godson of anyone but I admired people like the late Martins Okoh and Marius Ugadah. Unlike what obtains nowadays, there was a healthy form of professional rivalry in those days. Practitionersí skills in broadcasting were greatly admired and everyone looked up to them for inspiration.
View on celebrities
First of all, I donít like the way the word celebrity is used here, no normal human being would say he doesnít like recognition but I have learnt to take Nigerian type of recognition with a pinch of salt. Nigerians have a penchant for recognising all sorts of personalities. There are some people who are criminals but who are called celebrities. I would rather not be recognised than fall among fraudsters that are being recognised. So I would, therefore, like to be anonymous.
It is nice but I am my best judge. I am the best person to judge myself, I am satisfied with the quality of work I have churned out. I am self-motivated and I take a lot of pains to do my work. As for awards, such things donít bother me, I have one - the best TV presenter at the first edition of THEMA.
What is your day like?
I donít have a typical day, I wake up and take the children to school, as you can see, the office is near the house. I was lucky to get a place near the house. I am a TV person; I just do what I want. I could edit, shoot or make appointment for marketing. That is what I have been doing for the 24 years.
Was it a lazy alternative?
It was a natural progression. I had the talent, I was good in public speaking, it was either I became a lawyer or a broadcaster. Broadcasting presented itself first. That opportunity was in Voice of Nigeria (VON) as a continuity announcer when I was 20 years old. My mother who had just retired from NBL told me to see someone there. The auditioning went well and the rest is history as they say.
First day at work
No! It was where to be, it was exciting, and my contemporaries at that time were John Momoh, Mannie Onumonu, Bisi Olatilo and Osaze Iyamu.
What dream did you nurse then?
I had already entered into my dream.
Owning a TV station
Setting up a station? No! I didnít think of that then. I just wanted a job to meet my needs. A job that would pay bills. Recently, I nursed the idea of setting up a radio station; because TV is highly capital intensive.
Anyone who tries to do anything else deludes himself. It has to be entertainment, it doesnít necessarily have to be 24 hours of music and it does not have to be chatty too. My radio station would strike a balance between a talk station and entertainment. That has been difficult for many FM stations. It is a paradox for government stations, while the privately owned come in and copy government stations.
Are you saying they are doing a bad job at the moment?
Well, Cool FM is it. But again I quarrel with their extreme Americanization of their speech patterns. They should drop the American accent. Apart from that they have been unassailable.
Location of the radio station
Lagos is not getting any better in terms of living standards. It is congested, it doesnít look like it would get better soon. Calabar is more like it. It is an emerging market with a free market zone, any sensitive investor should be headed for Calabar now.
I have really gone round, I used to present Real Estate This Week which was pure business. I also started a live show Friday Nite Live, that set the tone for entertainment talkshows in the country. I wrote and produced a TV soap, Jaded Options. Then I presented an AM show, Morning Ride. In other words I have done practically everything, news, entertainment, business, drama and documentaries.
There is a point in your life when you take stock, when you decide whether to go on or make a U-turn. I got to that point in 1987, I wasnít impressed with where I was in every area of my life. Like a very sensible person, I had to seek an alternative. That was Jesus. I could have been a 419 kingpin, a drug addict, I was lucky that Jesus presented himself to me as an option.
So you were a bad boy?
I would surprise you to say old things have passed away, I did everything that young boys used to do. I was rascally, that is all I can say. I canít remember the rest, I am now a member of Pastoral Care, Household of God.
Do you think you can be a good pastor?
Every Christian parent is a pastor- they are the first pastor the child sees, I have been called to be a king and a priest.
Filmography: A Million Tears, Angel Of Darkness, Demons In the Land, Light and Darkness, Score to Settle, The Return, The Holy Cassanova, Onwa December,