Nkem Owoh is a veteran Nigerian actor and comedian. He is popularly called Osuofia due to his role in the award winning movie, Osuofia in London.
The actor started acting as far back as 1978 when he featured in Things Fall Apart but he didn’t going into acting full time until the mid 90s.
In this post, you’ll find many interesting things about this Nollywood icon from his family life to his career in the movie industry.
Early life & Education
Owoh was born in, Enugu State, Nigeria. He bagged a degree in engineering from the University of Ilorin. As at the time he was in the university he had already featured in various television and film productions.
Owoh had featured in the movie Things Fall Apart in 1978 but focused on scriptwriting until 1994 when he ventured into acting full time.
The movie that eventually shot him into limelight was the 2003 comedy film, Osuofia in London.
Following the release of the movie, he released a song, “I Go Chop Your Dollar” about advance fee fraud.
This song featured in the movie, The Master in which Owoh played the role of a scammer. Because the song was glorifying advanced fee fraud, it was banned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission.
In 2007, Owoh was arrested in Amsterdam, Netherlands which led to a 7 month investigation by the Dutch police dubbed “Operation Apollo”.
The actor was arrested along with over 100 people while performing a musical show by the Dutch police based on suspicion of lottery fraud and immigration violations. He was eventually released.
In 2009 Owoh was kidnapped in eastern Nigeria and the abductors demanded N15 million ransom.
The actor was later released and his family disclosed that they had paid N1.4 million as ransom to the abductor.
In 2014, Owoh was hospitalised after being attacked by hoodlums. Reports revealed that it was during movie shoot in Enugu that the incident happened.
Owoh was said to have been attacked by hoodlums when these thugs stormed the movie set and demanded some money.
The refusal of the crew to concede to their demands is what led to the attack. Subsequently, the actor was badly injured but he was rushed to the hospital on time and he has since recovered.
There have been reports that Nkem Owoh elder brother, Bartholomew died during the Buhari regime in the 80s and the family have held the President responsible.
According to a source, Nkem Owoh and his family are yet to recover from the trauma of the cold-blooded murder of the older Owoh.
It will be recalled that the three young men, Lawal Ojuolape (30), Bernard Ogedengbe (29) and Bartholomew Owoh (26) were said to have been involved in drug trafficking which led to a death penalty being prescribed. These three men were killed publicly by firing squad.
Nkem Owoh popularly called Osuofia began his career in the entertainment industry as a scriptwriter. But he was often encouraged by friends and colleagues to get in front of the camera which he finally did in 1994. And this marked the beginning of an interesting journey as an actor.
Owoh has featured in over 200 movies since he began acting. Some of these include:
- Things Fall Apart (1987)
- Ukwa (2000)
- Big Man…Big Trouble (1999)
- Onye-Eze (2001)
- Fake Doctor (2002)
- Ifeonye Metalu
- Long John
- Police Officer
- Anunuebe (2003)
- King of the Forest
- Lion Finger
- Mr. Trouble
- Osuofia in London
- Police Recruit
- America Visa (2004)
- My Driver
- My Own Share
- Osuofia in London 2
- Spanner Goes to Jail
- The Master
- Akanchawa (2005)
- Bus Driver
- The Prince
- A Fool at 40 (2006)
- Foreign Base
- Made in Cambridge
- My Kingdom Come
- The Barrister
- The Dreamer
- Battle of Indemnity (2007)
- Covenant Keeping God
- De prof
- Johnbull & Rosekate
- Stronger Than Pain
- His Holiness (2008)
- His Last Action
- Wonderful Man
- Military Zone (2012)
- Ghana Must Go (2015)
The actor revealed that he has focused more on comedy over the years because his comic movies tend to do better than the others.
Although, Owoh isn’t involved in stand up comedy, he is sometimes invited to events to perform where he usually does a comedy show to entertain the people.
Owoh also revealed that one of his best movies wasn’t quite popular but according to the actor it was one of the best stories he’s ever told.
The actor revealed that the movie was about a story his grandmother told him when it was eight. It was a folk tale. The movie was titled, King of the Forest and was released in 2004.
Owoh has also produced several other movies which he has self-sponsored.
In 2008, Owoh received the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the African Movie Academy Awards.
The actor also received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 African Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, for his contributions towards the development of the Nigerian film industry. The ceremony was held last month at Eko Hotel, Lagos.
The actor revealed in an interview that it was the marginalization of the Igbo that was responsible for the agitations by some Igbo groups.
He recommended that the Igbo should be given their right of equity and justice.
The actor also suggested that the Igbos that had being threatened in the Norther part of the country should be to return as soon as possible before war breaks out.
The actor revealed in an interview that he’s not interested in getting involved with politics like some of his colleagues. According to Owoh, his life revolves around film making, show business and entertainment.