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Comic Nollywood actor, Mcsmith Ochendo, known for his ‘drunken’ roles in movies, in a recent chat with Nigeriafilms.com, disclosed some things he is not happy with in the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). He took us into his background, revealing how his father wanted him to be a professional footballer and his mother wanted him to be a Reverend Father. Ochendo also said despite his public criticisms of Ibinabo Fiberesima’s AGN presidency, he is still a fan of the former beauty queen. Excerpt of the interview. Is your dreadlocks for movies or fashion? None of the above, I just wanted an identity. I had always wanted to stand out from the crowd. So, it's not for movie or fashion. Were your parents happy with your acting career? Growing up was fantastic. I had a very sound upbringing. Though my father was somehow strict but my childhood was fun. My father had wanted me to be a footballer while my mother wanted me to be a Reverend Father. It was quite unfortunate that she didn't see me on TV before her demise. That's the only regret I have in life. My father is happy for me though he would have been happier if I'm a footballer. All the same, I have brought glory to the family. Were you a good footballer? I was a fantastic footballer. I still play football but you know a guy is getting old. I used to play with Manga Mohammed way back in Kano. What about your academic career? I'm a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University Kano. But why did you drop your certificate for acting? I believe I was created for this purpose. I will still want to be an entertainer if there is anything like reincarnation. I'm just a showbiz impresario. Why did you first leave acting for music? I had issues with movie producers. They said my fee was astronomically high but I believe a guy gets paid what he deserves. I can't work like an elephant and eat like ant. It wasn't as if I wanted to move away from acting to music. I have been singing professionally since 2004. Are you still into music? I released my first album in 2008. The reception was something else. My fans were so impressed with my first attempt. The love they showed me will linger for a long time in my memory. What else do you do apart from acting and music? My people are predominantly traders. I have some shops around. My boys take care of the shops. What is your take on the crisis in AGN? First and foremost, I will like to congratulate my president, Ambassador (Engr) Emeka Ike for a well- deserved victory. This victory should be celebrated by all sane members of the guild. I will also like to commend the judiciary for upholding justice. This judgement shows that indeed the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. Do you mean Ibinabo’s repositioning of AGN is not commendable? You are missing the point my brother. Let me educate you. A court of competent jurisdiction had ordered that status quo ante be maintained until the same court determines the substantive suit brought to the court by ‘the liberator’, St Maradona Mikevine. The court had asked both parties not to conduct elections until it decides the matter but because they have a history of disobeying the courts, they went ahead and conducted the elections that ushered in the ousted president of the guild. My brother, that's contempt of court. They should be in jail for disobeying court orders. The court of law is not swayed by emotions. I advise them to vacate the office and stop rubbing our name to the mud. This has nothing to do with the president's plan to reposition Nollywood. After all, Ibinabo was the president of a guild in Nollywood and not the president of Nollywood. Would you say actors do not help one another when mostly needed? My brother, if you fail to invest your money and go broke, who would you blame? Me? We should try and save for rainy days my brother. You see an actor that earns close to N1million go broke after 4-5 years. That's bad. Some of us do not invest so we should stop blaming people for our misfortune. “Is it wrong for an actor to help his colleague who needs help? Nollywood actors are self-centred. Like you rightly said, there is no love lost between actors. You are just on your own but we pray that God should touch our hearts so we can begin to see ourselves as not just colleagues but as brothers. Why have you not acted in cinema movies? Has Nkem Owoh acted in movies that are shown in cinemas? Does it stop him from being the highest paid actor in Africa? My brother, I'm not a candidate of the Baghdad and I'm not a descendant of Lot. Do producers have issues with you on set especially with your good command of English language? Nathan, you are flattering me. I wouldn't want to be seen as a braggart. If you say I'm an authority in literature, I will take it as a compliment. The producers understand my style. I don't think they have issues with my style of delivery. Are you married or still single? I'm unhappily single. Really want to settle down. You know good women are hard to find. Good men are hard to find too. So, how do you cope with sexual urge? No comment (laughs) Do you agree with the notion that Yoruba movies have better storylines than the English speaking movies? To some extent, I will like to feature in a Yoruba movie someday though I don't understand the Yoruba language. Their storylines are something else. I like the way they plot their scripts. But why can't the English speaking producers do same? We have to direct this question to the producers. I think they are in a better position to throw more lights on the matter. There are speculations that marketers have taken over movie productions because producers cut cost. Has that affected you? I don't work for independent producers. As a matter of fact, they are the major headache we have in Nollywood. Who do you now work for? I work for movie marketers. My brother, I'm always at peace with movie marketers. Independent producers are bastards. They always do a wishy washy production. I call them sons of Pharaoh. Are you still a member of the AGN or you have pulled out? I'm the National PRO of AGN and Emeka Ike is my president. So, you are having a chat with an executive of the guild. So, what is your working relationship with Ibinabo like? We have hit the ground running. Our main target is to liberate the people of God from the shackles of the dictatorial Pharaoh. I never worked for Ibinabo. I don't support illegality. There must be something hurting you seriously you are not saying out? She shouldn't have been there in the first place because our constitution frowns at an ex-convict vying for any elective position. Most of the members of AGN are daft. Some of us do not know what our constitution says. If we cannot respect our constitution, then we are doomed. Ibinabo has no moral justification to occupy such exalted position. She was convicted by two separate courts. I have the true certified copies of the court judgements. This administration is not out to witch hunt the opposition. Like I said earlier on, AGN is not a private enterprise. The guild belongs to all of us. We are one big family. What do you think is the way forward for the guild? We are calling all members of AGN to support this administration. What happened is just an act of God. © 2015 Nigeriafilms.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written consent of the publisher © 2015 Nigeriafilms.com
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