LORD FRANK Odogwu Nollywood: Constantly I hear rumours of my death
…Over 22 years in the industry no advert call-up
With an astounding over 2 decades-long career, the Iconic Chief Lord Frank Uwaezuoke Odogwu Nollywood has acted in over 250 movies, theatrically the veteran actor has acted on the stage; featured in soap operas, and as a producer, director and a scriptwriter his works have transient through several movies.
Odogwu Nollywood has he is fondly called is an extraction of Enugu State, Aninri LGA precisely, according to the thespian he grew up not as an actor but had a premonition that he was a born actor but his Israelite journey took him through the other side of the labour market where he thought he was going to hit it big, he breaks even though.
He had a turning point the moment he had an encounter with the entertainment world and discovered the reason for his existence, it all began while he was in Ibrahim Babangida’s Minna in Niger State with his name on Julius Berger Construction Company’s payroll, he juxtaposes between being an actor and a construction site worker, occasionally he sneaks out to Uyo to attend to some scripts/acting dealings.
As a Civil Engineer (trained operator) he can manipulate different types of machines used for road construction, he was among the pioneer engineers that worked in developing major roads in Abuja.
He was affected by Julius Berger workers down tool during Obasanjo’s era when Julius Berger started having problems, he went to Jadine General Construction Company which was at that time doing relatively well in Akwa Ibom, Odogwu Nollywood was among the engineers that completed Ibom Plaza.
The existing state secretariat along Ibrahim Babangida way in Akwa Ibom was also completed with part of his experience, Le Meridien Hotel, Uyo and the second-largest Tennis Court were not left out of his engineering scope while discharging his duties as a construction site worker in Uyo he occasionally creates time during his off days to be on movie locations.
In 2006 he resigned from his appointment with Jadine Construction Company and returned to Abuja where he staunchly faced his movie career.
He got married in the church while in Benue, while displaying his theatre talents with his theatre group he produced a lot of movies before he decided to move homeward with his kith and kin he was welcome back to Enugu, sadly he lost his wife in 2011.
In 2013 while in Awka he discovered things were not working as expected so he changed base, down to Asaba where he shines like a wild campfire.
While growing up in the 60s he had his primary school education in Bende Town present day Abia State, St Joseph Primary School and Saint Theresa’s Primary School Umuahia respectively, the civil war affected his education, he later became an operator of a medicine patent shop before he was forced by his late elder brother who died as a police officer to return to secondary school, he was absorbed at Sancta Crux Secondary School in Umuahia now Olokoro High School, Umuahia a school that has produced prominent sons in the East.
Odogwu Nollywood fielded some questions from Creekvibes Oluwadamilare Daniels. Excerpts;
As a constructor and as a movie entrepreneur which one can you say has favoured you most; on which pedestals did you achieve more?
There is no area of my life that I did not achieve a lot, while I was in Benue I got married and had my children, I was so loved by every tribe around me, I was a chartist at Saint Jonas Church in Katsina Alla close to Gboko I was also the church council chairman.
As a movie practitioner, what can you say you have achieved?
First I came in to groom people because I discovered a lot of them were walloping in the dark concerning movie making and acting.
My view is to orchestrate up comers to stardom, I created that avenue for them, so to me it is a major pride that I have contributed to the growth of a lot of people in the industry, if a clarion call is made on my behalf people will rally round me.
I never projected for self-growth even though I am not rich because as an actor you make more money by doing adverts; depending on-site fees may never make you rich, I have been in this business for 22 years, and to date, I have no advert call-up.
What are some of the risks you took to get to stardom?
One of the biggest risks that I haven’t stop to take up to date is travelling to locations where I don’t know, many times, if I have a location in Benin, I will be in Benin but going to the location where I was needed, I will run on Okada or bus to cover a distance longer than Asaba to Benin where I was coming from.
Sometimes we usually have a language barrier, you may not understand the language of the indigene at the epic location.
I was in a location in Benin where Yoruba dominated a very massive land and every other tribe was like visitors, I was astonished.
Another problem is going to a location with a mindset of shooting for one day, travelling down will take a day shooting the movies will take a day, and coming back will take another day, so I don’t know when it will stop.
What is your plan for 2022?
By His grace, I will be the best Producer/Director of the year if the assessments will go genuinely with the fear of God.
Are you working on any project at the moment?
I am currently working on a script.
Will you want to share the name with our readers?
There is something about our work, once you mentioned the title the evil ones will go to their shrine to truncate it, I will prefer that to be in the cooler.
As a married man of several years, what will you say marriage has taught you?
Isaac’s marriage in the bible is a big lesson to me, when God told Abraham not to allow his son to marry outside his tribe if I had married outside my tribe with what I passed through in my marriage, I am sure, I won’t be alive to tell the story.
Can you give us insight so readers can learn from it?
My mother needed a wife that can speak our dialect so I took a wife close to home and it paid off she became the best daughter-in-law, and my elder brother and younger brother’s wives were not close because of the language barrier.
God gave me a beautiful and intelligent wife that loved my family more than I do, though she is late now, but may her soul find solace in the presence of God.
One needs to be patient and trust God in marriage, when we got married she didn’t conceive on time but we were prayerful, two years later she did, after my second daughter the evil ones struck by sealing her womb just like they blocked the womb of my younger brother’s wife; husband and wife were strong pastors in the vineyard but the evil ones crept in and blocked wife’s womb, can you imagine?
After 10 years, miraculously my wife took in, I never believe in any other power rather than God so He did it, she gave birth to a male child, she took in again and had another boy so when the second son was about eight months about to start walking the first son died.
While we were mourning I received a message from above that ‘stop crying for this child, he has accomplished his mission on earth, he is your John The Baptist.’
The message was clear so I stop mourning, he came to clear the road for other children to come and stay.
At the moment I am blessed with two sons and two daughters.
How many awards do you have for your credit?
12 awards at the moment but I am still a beginner.
Can you say you have acted in up to 50 movies?
50X5 what do you have…250.
In a year I acted over 40 movies, by and large, I have acted in over 250 movies, approximately I act in 4 to 5 movies in a month.
Since your journey in the movie industry, have you had scandals?
The only scandal I had is death, constantly I’ve heard rumours of my death, there was an occasion the rumour was taken to my son while he was on location, and the poor boy almost lost his life, permit me to let you know that my boys are also into movie making they also write scripts and direct movies.
So, on that day one of my sons heard the news of my demise that, they saw me been moved into FMC Asaba, he almost ran into a moving vehicle, while rushing back to town because he was shooting outside Asaba, immediately he got on his way to FMC Asaba he called me and I picked the boy was mute, I called his name he was silent, I called him again, I actually thought it was network problem until he said, ‘daddy?… are you are the one?,’ I answered him and he started crying, he said, ‘Daddy where are you?’, I said I am in Okpanam, he started coming to Okpanam, he saw me and he was very happy, so he told me what he heard.
It wasn’t once or twice, I have had it several times.
What are the three things you can’t live without?
1, The word of God
2, I lost my wife so, each time I see somebody that wants to take over her responsibility I feel happy within me.
3, No matter my low financial esteem God has blessed me enormously, I have 8 grandchildren at the moment.
When their mother died I asked God, ‘why did You take her instead of me?’ because she has the strength to cater for my daughters, so I prayed to God to provide suitors and He did.
When I came into the industry I met some people that told me that I am a star but I have to come with them to their shrine for me to be the star that I am. But I did not go, and I thank God for His mercies I am doing better than them now.