Kevwe Ogunje is a Nigerian actor who has been acting in the United Kingdom and has won the prestigious BEFTTA award. The proud Warri-born actor recently returned to Nigeria and has been a choice of top movie producers in Nollywood. He speaks to ADENIYI ADEWOYIN in this interview.
WHAT was growing up like for you, did you ever think you would one day end up as an actor?
To be honest, I think I had the mindset of an entertainer growing up; I never really thought of other dreams and aspirations. Maybe I also wanted to be a computer engineer.
How has your growing up influenced your career?
If you grow up in Warri, you must be humorous, street smart and also society smart. I grew up in the midst of talented hardworking people.
Does that mean you will be taking up comedy roles?
(Laughs) I can do comedy role, but a posh type.
Who were your major influences in the movie industry?
RMD, Fred Amata, Joke Silver and many others
You have gained quite a huge acceptance in the industry since you returned to Nigeria; did you expect this kind of acceptance?
To be honest I had an open mind coming back to Nigeria, as a Warri Boy last last na draw, but the acceptance has been really great.
There are over a thousand male actors in the industry right now, what makes you different from every other actor?
Originality, pureness and maybe exposure will stand me out mixed with the Warri boy blood flowing in me.
Who is your favourite Nollywood actor and why?
RMD, he is just great and has challenged himself over and over again with different characters and roles and he murders most of them.
Would you have real sex in a movie if the director wants you at your realest character interpretation?
Jesuuuuuuuuuuuus!!! I doubt if I may be able to do that, but never say never; if the babe fine we fit close eye run things call am acting now lol
What was it like winning one of Africa’s most prestigious awards in London BEFFTA awards?
It was a dream come true. Myself and my team, we did not sleep for three days, because we did not want the award to vanish or even wake up from the sleep in case it was a dream. On a serious note it made me understand that hard work and smart work is the only way in whatever you do.
With which film and role did you win BEFFTA award?
For my series 2sides. Was a hit in the UK and on YouTube.
How has social media helped promote your brand?
It is cheap and almost free to start with, I cover a wide range of people and possible clients in one post from my comfort zone. It has greatly helped me financially and otherwise.
What would you say about the UK Nollywood and the Nigerian Nollywood; are both contrasting with what you are used to?
No main difference. In the UK, we have less known talents than in Nigeria. Every other thing is same, bureaucracy and politics all same.
What would you say is the biggest problem facing the industry currently?
No proper structure, no proper financial plan and investment in the creative sector.
You featured in Jeta Amata’s American King, what was your role in the movie?
I played court room extra in the Nigerian bit of the film- three scenes but the experience was amazing.
What is the most challenging role you ever did as an actor and why?
First time I was to kiss a lady in the film, London Na Wa. It was shot in London and I did not know how to give a wet kiss in front of camera. That was the most challenging I had faced.
You recently signed on to a management agency. Tell us about your relationship with your new agency?
They are just amazing; they help me in straightening out my growing career, publicity and decision wise in making my brand bigger and better.
What is your most priced fashion item?
I would say my Red beads, can’t do without them.
As an MC, you hosted the Delta state governor son’s wedding, how was that feeling for you?
First five minutes, I was confused and overwhelmed, but the rest is history. It was the perfect welcome I got in Nigeria to set the ball rolling.
Now if you were to change one thing in Nollywood, what would it be?
Equality and favoritism.
How do you handle advances from female fans?
If e no come then something is wrong somewhere. We flow well with it. At least no scandal has been recorded yet.
Is Kevwe Ogunje in a relationship?
When you are not on set or hosting events, how do you relax?
No sleep for the wicked. My relaxation is actually working on a set, I love to be in that environment and once in a while I go to the cinema, which is basically the safest/ cheapest chill spot in Lagos
What projects are you currently working on?
Twisted, trying to syndicate it to TV. It is my second 13 episode sitcom which I produced and was directed by Ruke Amata.
What are your aspirations for the remaining quarter of 2017?
Get more busy, get more MC/hosting gigs, more TV and film sets
What do you have to say to your growing fan base?
Keep flying with me. I need you guys and let’s create and make magic. Love you guys so much.
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