It is the rare Nigerian who doesn’t enjoy Nkem Owoh’s work. Not many Nigerian actors have made us laugh as hard as he has; his brand of funny is uniquely his!
Most of us were introduced to him as an actor; little did we know that he had been working in the film industry long before that! Here are 10 interesting facts about the actor fondly called “Osuofia”:
1. Nkem Owoh, who is from Enugu State, was born on February 7th, 1958: his 59th birthday was just days ago and he’s hitting the big 60 next year!
2. He’s an engineer by training. Nkem Owoh studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Ilorin.
3. He was once a newscaster. In the late 80s, Nkem Owoh presented the news on NTA Channel 8 in Enugu and Anambra State Broadcasting Corporation.
4. Although acting brought him to the limelight, Nkem Owoh started out as a screenwriter. He wrote scripts for Basi and Company (late activist Ken Saro-Wiwa’s sitcom), for the comedy drama series New Masquerade, and for NTA Network’s Memorial Hospital.
5. He subtitled Living in Bondage. Non-Igbo viewers have him to thank for the English words without which we could not have enjoyed the Igbo film, which is considered the first Nollywood movie – one that launched the careers of several actors who are still working today including Kenneth Okonkwo, Kanayo O. Kanayo, and Ngozi Nwosu.
6. Although he had a small role in NTA’s 1987 TV series Things Fall Apart (a screen adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s first novel of the same name), his first movie role was in Circle of Doom, where he was also tasked with editing and reshaping the script.
7. He wrote the script for the hit Igbo movie Taboo which starred Kenneth Okonkwo, Rosemary Honnah, and Sam Loco Efe amongst many others. He was also the film’s artistic director, editor, line producer and associate producer, besides acting as the town drunk.
8. His fans can’t get enough of his comedy. In 1997 he played a drunk in the sequel to the first movie he produced, Ikuku 2, and in the same year, he produced Pampam where he and Okey Bakassi had fans laughing from start to finish. After 1997 there was no turning back: his onscreen comedic persona had been established.
9. Osuofia in London was the movie that shot him to international limelight. Already beloved of Nigerians, the role of Osuofia endeared Nkem Owoh to viewers all over the world and earned him the nickname by which he still goes today – although some fans still call him Ukwa, the name of the character he played in Ukwa where he starred alongside Patience Ozokwo and Amaechi Muonagor.
10. He released a music album in 2006 and of course, it was comedic, with tracks like “I Go Chop Your Dollar”, “Agreement”, and “Susana”. “Oh Susana, abi you no dey shame, you no love me again; money go, woman go!” Haha!
Nkem Owoh was most recently seen in the movie Ghana Must Go with Kofi Adjorlolo, Blossom Chukwujekwu, and Yvonne Okoro. Fans around the world certainly have a lot to look forward to, God willing, because “Osuofia” shows no signs of slowing down!