INTRODUCTION Nkem Owoh popularly known as Osuofia is a veteran Nollywood comic actor, he came into the movie industry as far back as 1987 and he’s remained consistent ever since. Nkem is one of the most popular and controversial actors in Nigeria.
EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
Nkem Owoh had his Primary and Secondary Education at Nsukka. Nkem Owoh began his tertiary Education at the University of Ilorin and completed it at Institute of Management Technolgy(IMT), Enugu where he bagged a degree in Electrical Engineering.
Nkem Owoh began his acting career way back in his Primary and Secondary school days. He knew right from time that he had a talent in acting. Infact Nkem Owoh is one unique Nollywood actor that has a way of interpreting his roles. He is a born natural when it comes to acting.
Nkem Owoh worked with WACO Engineering after his youth service but was unfortunately laid off after a year. That became a blessing in disguise because it gave room for him to get involved with radio and television productions.
CAREER AND LIFE
Owoh had his first major break in acting when he landed a role in the screen adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. The 1987 series had fifty episodes each spanning about 50 minutes and was aired on the Nigerian Television Authority. As Nollywood picked pace, he landed a supporting role in both Ukwa 1 and 2 in 1995 alongside other big names such as Sam Loco and Patience Ozokwor.
During his university studies, Owoh began acting in various television and film productions. Owoh starred in the 2003 film Osuofia in London. He is also known for performing the song “I Go Chop Your Dollar” about advance fee fraud. The song was featured in the film The Master in which Owoh plays a scammer. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission banned the song.
In 2007 Owoh was arrested in Amsterdam, Netherlands (Bijlmermeer neighborhood in the Amsterdam Zuidoost borough) as the result of a 7-month investigation by the Dutch police dubbed “Operation Apollo”.Owoh was arrested while performing a musical show when the police raided the event and arrested 111 people on suspicion of lottery fraud and immigration violations. Owoh was later released. In November 2009 Owoh was kidnapped in eastern Nigera. His kidnappers demanded a 15 million naira ransom. Owoh was released after his family members allegedly paid a ransom fee of 1.4 million naira.
Like any other big star, Nkem Owoh has been accused severally by producers of charging exorbitant appearance fees. The Association of Movie Makers and Producers banned him for making unreasonable demands in 2004. He was among a list of several Nigerian artists who were barred from acting in the country due to their high fees and difficult contract demands.
Nkem Speaking On Comedy in Nigeria In An Interview: “Comedy was introduced at the inception of this branch of art as slapstick. At that time, you would come across people putting on funny glasses, like the one I am putting on. I am the only person authorized to wear a sunshade at night. You see people trying to whip up laughter from different situations. But now we have graduated to a level that you can really make people laugh even if you are putting on suit. If God gives you a gift, it is not an easy thing. I talk, you laugh. I don’t know how I do it, sometimes. I am embarrassed. A long time ago, I was asked to say the prayer at a function and I said in Jesus name and people started laughing. I take my prayers very seriously and I became very embarrassed. You see there are good and bad sides to those things. Anything you say, you wouldn’t be taken serious even when you are discussing serious issues. It hurts when such treatment is meted to you. But I think it is more on the positive side.”
Speaking On His The Holland Arrest Experience In An Interview “I was not arrested in Holland last year. It was a kind of experience that left a bitter taste in my mouth. For a bonafide citizen of a recognized country to enter another country and people saw him as a second class citizen. I was there and their police came in their numbers about one hundred of them. They came in their ambulance, on air, police dogs and all that. They told me to end the show. I told the man it’s unfair. I told them that if I was the person they were looking for, they should take me, but should not embarrass the audience. The man said no and that caused my anger. After that, we arranged and staged a demonstration to relate my own side of the story. If that was the option left to us, I don’t think we were wrong in following it. Nobody arrested me the way it was reported.”
AWARDS AND ENDORSEMENTS Has won multiple awards including: The African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
ENDORSEMENTS Signed a multimillion naira deal with MTN in 2012 and they’ve been renewing his contract since then.