FULL NAME: Uti NwachukwuDATE OF BIRTH: August 3, 1982OCCUPATION: Actor,Model, TV Personality
MARITAL STATUS: Married
Uti Nwachukwu is a Nigerian actor, TV presenter, model and MC from Lagos
best known as the winner of Big Brother All Stars, in 2010.
He first appeared on Big Brother Africa in Season 3 and was the third housemate evicted, on Sunday 5 October 2008.
He returned to the show in 2010 as one of the 14 “all stars” of Season 5, entitled Big Brother All Stars, and won the season.
EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
According to Uti, who describes himself as a ‘Deltan to the core’, his formative years were spent in Ughelli and Sapele in Delta State. Back in the day, his father who died of prostrate cancer in 2010 while he was still in the Big Brother House was a staff of Delta Glass. So, as a child, Uti had all he wanted.
He grew up in Ughelli, Uloho Avenue to be precise, Uti says going down memory lane: “growing up in Ughelli was really great. When I think of it now I get nostalgic. I had a very sweet childhood. My dad worked at Delta Glass and it was a quiet life. Most of the time, I was in-doors watching TV. It gives me this sense of humility because there was no big city life to make you live a fake life, so we were all real to each other.”
As a child, the dreadlock wearing Uti was a prankster who was never short of mischievous ideas. He played pranks on everybody including his uncles and aunties. Recounting those years, he says: “I was very mischievous and inquisitive. I was that kind of kid who could incite my peers. I could say ‘let’s dash across the road while a car is coming’ and I’ll convince my peers and they will join me. I liked breaking the rules at home and when my siblings said ‘mum and dad will not be happy’ I would retort ‘are they here right now?’ I was a renegade, very mischievous and I loved to prank people; I was a prankster. I played pranks on my aunties and uncles. There was a time I locked my aunty in the store and ran away with the key.”
Despite success and fame, Uti insists that he is still in touch with that little boy who grew up in Ughelli and Sapele and who dreamt to be a star. “I remember where I come from,” he says with emphasis, pointing a finger at his well groomed locks “and that’s why I have not let this fame get to my head. It’s all petty and vane. One minute you’re there and the next you’re out. And the reason why that happens is that many people forget who they are and where they are coming from so easily when they find success, and before you know it, they are blown away. So for me, I am still in touch with that boy. He makes me appreciate what I have and inspires me to work harder.”
Uti, who appeared in a multi-national billboard ad in 2007, holds a 2-year diploma in Computer Science and Education from the University of Nigeria. He previously applied to be on Big Brother Africa but was delayed to the audition because of an exam.
The one-time bank employee appeared on the Nigerian reality series Next Movie Star, which he finished as the runner-up, before being selected for Big Brother Africa 3.
Listing his mom and dad as his heroes, Uti says the best advice he’s received from a friend was, “happiness is a state of mind and it usually begins with a choice.”
A fan of Chelsea Football Club, he dislikes “people going through my stuff, liars, manual labour and arrogant people.”
His favourite quote (“Those who dare to fail miserably are the ones who often succeed greatly”) echoes his belief in life and he says people describe him as a “cocktail of personalities.”
Outgoing and talkative, Uti confesses that he has mood swings sometimes.
Describing Nigerians as happy, confident, smart and fun to be with, Uti says Ofunneka was his favourite housemate on Big Brother Africa 2, not just because she was Nigerian, but because she was smart and held her own in the house.
Asked why audiences should watch him on Big Brother, Uti says, “I think I’m an entertaining person so I think the audience will relate to me on a number of issues.”
His message to viewers is to “please let the best man or woman win.”
If he wins Big Brother Africa, Uti says he’ll do his part to help the disadvantaged and then he’d invest.
CAREER AND LIFE
Following his success in 2010, his career took a new turn as he started getting movie roles and doing music colabos. Big Brother had finally unlocked the doors of success for the Delta State indigene.
Though, he insists that his music is not commercial, it’s finally paying off. He won an award for Best Alternative Video at the NMVA in 2011. Says Uti: “My music is not commercial in Nigeria because I am a rock artiste. I won an award for my video at NMVA 2011. It was for Best Alternative Video. I had top contenders there but I won because everything I do I believe in doing right and besides, I have wonderful fans who made sure they voted and I won. I am still going to make a full rock album after my own fashion. We have a rock crowd in Nigeria, I am sure they will love it.”
Uti is full of gratitude to his mother who he describes as the woman who calmed him down and gave him a whole new perspective to life. He says his mum is the reason he has a kind heart. Hear him: “She is a sweet mum and a widow now. I grew up with this fierce attitude towards life but my mum gave me the reason to slow down. She was always the voice of reason. She made me have this kind heart that I have right now. Because of her I am kind towards people and animals. I don’t believe in revenge and vendettas. My mother is a very kind woman and the exact opposite of my dad who was a go-getter and very sanguine.
“She complemented my dad. She is such an amazing mother. I talk to her every time. We are on the phone always. When she is around I am always with her. I love my mum to death; she is the reason why there is a humane side of me.”
Working as an actor, TV presenter, model and MC, the BSc. Ed (Computer Science) graduate lists some of his good qualities as: “understanding, down to earth, fun to be with, accommodating, genuine…”
He also says that if his friends had to list his worst qualities they would say, “I have a loud voice, I talk too much when I’m excited, sometimes I’m not tolerant of people’s misbehaviour.”
SPEAKING ON HIS MUSIC CAREER AND LIFE AFTER BBA IN A 2013 INTERVIEW:
How is the music thing working out for you?
I just resurrected my music career because I tasted it in 2011 with first single, ‘My Life’
then a few others that I released. The video was nominated at the
Nigerian Music Video Awards, so that has to count for something. People
have heard it and I have not received any bad comment about it. The
genre of music I chose, Alternative Rock is really unique in Nigeria and
there’s a market for it but it might not be very commercial. To me,
music is not really about being commercial. It’s a personal, passionate,
hunger of the mind and I’m just satisfying that hunger. I just met a
producer, McRock, his real name is McDonald. The reason I didn’t
do any other rock music was because I wasn’t really impressed with the
production I was hearing. You know, Nigerians specialize in hip-hop and
dance music and I’m not going to do that. McDonald and I went to BIU
together, so when I met him again this year he told me he produces rock
and he took me to his studio in Abuja, and I was blown away. Right there
and then, we composed a new song and then I voiced it, and right now,
we have like nine songs. I’m not doing it for the money, I’m doing it
for the passion, and for deep people, people that are very emotional and
can connect with me because I’m a very deep person. Before the end of
the year hopefully, the album ‘Epiphany’ should be out. It’s just a collection of alternative and slow rock songs.
How did being on Big Brother affect your life?
Brother opened doors for me, for me. My appearance in Big Brother was
my success in entertainment industry. Even when I didn’t win initially, I
had people like Rita Dominic, Ramsey Nouah, Moses Ewang, Emem Isong
supporting me. They saw the potential in me, even though I didn’t win.
And then when I won, I could connect with producers and entertainment
outfits and from there, life just changed because Big Brother was like a
marketing tool for me. In as much I won the money, I had the added
advantage of displaying my talent on TV, that’s why I tell people that
the show will open doors for whatever you want to do. God used it to
change my life and I’m really grateful.
What did you do with the money you won from Big Brother Africa?
have one or two things I’m doing with the money; small investments here
and there which I’d rather not disclose now, but trust me, I’m not one
of those people that got the money and squandered it. It made me work
harder because the responsibilities increased, and you don’t want to
lose that. I have tasted both sides of fame, when I didn’t win and when I
won. I know how I was treated when I didn’t win, and I’m not willing to
go back there. I’m making sure that with God on my side, I remain
relevant and I keep working harder and harder. You are looking at
$200,000, now the major mission is how to turn $200,000 dollars into $2
million, how to turn $2 million into $4 million, how to turn 4 into 10,
10 into 20, till you get to a billion. That’s the target, you don’t just
rest and say ‘oh! I have won this money’ and then lose it all. That’s
why I work like a mad man. It depends on you, set your own target, set
your own limit, and tell yourself what you want, focus and go for it.
AWARDS AND ENDORSEMENTS
1.MODE MEN AWARD FOR BREAK THROUGH OF THE YEAR.
2.GHANA MOVIE AWARDS FOR BEST ACTOR WEEST AFRICAN COLLABORATION.
3.HONORARY TOURISM AMBASSADOR FOR CROSS RIVER STATE.
4.YOUTH AMBASSADOR FOR DELTA STATE.
5.TRANSFORMATION AMBASSADOR FOR CHANGE.
6.MOTIVATION MAGAZINE AWARD FOR GIANT STEPS IN ENTERTAINMENT.
7.LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPER YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD.
8.MBGA 2011 YOUTH AWARD.