Odogwu Michael Nonso, a fast- rising actor better known as Dafe in the popular television soap, Just The Two of Us
A lot of people have come to know you from the exceptional role you play on the popular Soap Just the Two of Us. How did you get into the programme?
Well, thanks for the compliments. After I graduated from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, I went job hunting naturally and bumped into a friend, Steve Onu, popularly known as Yaw on Wazobia FM. He told me how much I can achieve in Nollywood – that is if I was interested and determined to work hard. And as we parted, he promised to connect me to someone in the industry. As promised, he did a few days later as he sent me to go see Pat Oghre who is an actress and also a movie Producer. I guess she saw my potentials as she gave me my first professional role in the industry . She gave me a role to play in the then popular soap opera, Everyday People in 2006.
When you say “professional role,” are you trying to say you have been engaged in acting before 2006?
Oh yes. In 1996, I represented Enugu state in a drama competition. I played the lead role of Emeka in the drama. I got to know later that the drama came second in an national competition that was conducted at that time. I can’t remember the name of the drama now.
So it is true that you never auditioned for that part?
It’s true. A friend of mine, Lionel - Potts Johnson had asked me to accompany him to the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Enugu and when we got there I saw that people were rehearsing for a drama. I watched how my friend got his role and as God would have it, the guy who had the lead role couldn’t get his lines accurately, leaving the director very unimpressed. He just turned round and saw me sitting at a corner and called on me to come try; I did with trembling legs. Anyway, after the third reading and the Director thought I was doing a good job, he gave me the role. I refused it immediately but he convinced me on why I should take it. Well, the rest is history now.
So when exactly did you start shooting Just The Two of Us and how has it been since then?
Whao (Smiles) well, I went for an auditioning and I passed. It was God’s intervention, I must say here, because there were other people who also came and I passed.
You and your screen daughter, many have often said have a kind of chemistry that makes families want to watch you. What’s the relationship between two of you in real life?
We are just colleagues and good friends. She is a very sweet young lady and a daughter I wish I have.
Do you have a daughter in real life?
No I don’t. I am not married yet but hopefully, very soon.
I gathered that you are now a favourite for movie directors and producers. How true is this?
Every actor prays to have something doing. Well, I do not know if I have become a favourite as you put it but yes, I just finished from a set. The name is The Wedding. I played a character called Tony and acted alongside the likes of Justus Esiri and Elebeli Elebuwa. I hope that it turns out a hit when it finally gets into the market because its got a great storyline.
The problem of stereotype roles have always been a cause of concern in the industry. If you are asked to feature in a movie where you are cast as a single father as in the soap, would you do it?
Yes. But it will have to be from an entirely different angle. You know that’s how it is mostly done here. If people see that you are good in one area, they say you should do it again and again, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do any other role. I am always open to new challenges, just as I am hoping for a bigger and better role. See, professionalism demands that any role you are given as an actor should be addressed and done well. I can play any role even if you give me the role of a houseboy I’ll do it. It only adds to my knowledge of acting.
How have you been managing fame?
It hasn’t been easy at all because people mostly think I am the same rich man that they see on television. I keep trying to explain to people that I am not the same person they see on television. By doing this, I hope I have not stepped on toes and if I have, I am so sorry.
Lovers of Nollywood today rate you among the few male sex symbols in the industry. How is this status helping your career?
Well, I don’t know anything about being a sex symbol. What I know is that I thank God whenever I look at myself in the mirror. He created me well and I am grateful. But truth be told, there are many actors out there who have made it big that do not have all the so-called sex symbol qualities that we are talking about here. It only takes the grace of God to make it big in any profession. I don’t go about flaunting my looks or qualities or try to make trouble. What I am after is to make a name for myself in this industry.
But I learnt that you are under lots of pressure from the female folks.
It’s true. I am always bothered. They call me and all that.
So you give them your phone number?
No I don’t. Truely, I don’t know how they get my number. When I ask, they say a friend of mine gave it to them. I think one can’t really stop them from calling but a line has to be drawn somewhere. I do not want to get a bad name.
Some men claim that they have at one time or another been sexually harassed by women. Have you found yourself in such situation?
No. Can’t you see how big I am? I can defend myself effectively.