Nollywood super star, Osita Iheme famously known as Pawpaw in this thrilling interview with AZUH AMATUS, the Publisher of leading online newspaper, Daylight.ng, spoke candidly on several germane issues affecting Nollywood and our nation.
The Imo State-born tested thespian who was on a courtesy visit to our Lagos corporate head office recently, also bared his mind on Buhari and the things he urgently wants from Nigeria’s new president as a famous citizen.
The award winning top entertainer also shared the story of his love life, women and more with your darling and reliable online publication.
Enjoy the memorable and exclusive interaction!
Welcome to Daylight Dome.
Thank you, you are doing great by keeping us informed and updated online.
: What has been happening to Pawpaw?
We are fine and pushing it. Just came back from South Africa where I went to premiere my latest movie – Ada My Love. We are here and giving people what they are expecting from us.
Is the movie out?
No it is not yet out, just returned from the South African premiere. It is my own movie and produced by me and my company. We shot it here in Nigeria.
We would like you to tell us more about this your latest effort as a producer?
It is a story of true love clashing with western culture and society. My fans will see everything for themselves once we hit cinemas and shelves.
When are you having the Nigerian premiere?
For now, we want to do more foreign premieres and draw attention to the movie and we do not have any date yet for the Nigerian premiere. Again, I want my fans outside our shores to feel the movie before coming home. Amazingly, it is a cinema movie and we want to tour many cinemas abroad with it before coming home. We want to create global attention with the movie.
Is this your first movie as a producer?
Not at all, I’ve been producing quietly. This should be my fourth movie. I started producing around 2012/13.
As a love story, does the movie have anything to do with your love life?
No, no. (Laughs heartily)
What inspired the story?
It is just a story line, I saw the story idea and liked it and decided to shoot it. It is a different story and completely different too from what people used to know me with.
Were there things you set out to achieve in the beginning of the year that you are yet to accomplish?
I have a private investment that I wanted to do, but it is still dragging. I believe God that with time I would achieve it.
Your state government, Imo, recently named a street after you, how does that make you feel?
Sincerely, I feel great because when one is recognised back home, you deeply feel appreciated and know that people back home enjoy what you are doing. I also thank my state government for honouring me. The street is currently being developed and has become the most popular street in Owerri. Everybody now visit Osita Iheme Crescent. I’m also developing something big on that street, because very soon, I will be going fully into hospitality business. In fact, very soon, I will invite you to the opening of my grand hotel. It is called The Resident.
Do you see yourself going into partisan politics someday?
Politics! Politics!! Well, I have the intention of serving my people. Truth is that I will pray about going into politics, and if God directs and approves of it, I will go into it to serve my people and the country.
And what if your state government calls you to serve today, would you oblige or decline?
It depends on the offer. If it is a position that is suitable for me, of course I won’t decline, but if contrary I would say no.
Are you scared of going into partisan politics?
No. Why would I be scared? Life itself is politics, whether you are in a party or not. There is even politics in families. In fact, you play politics everywhere.
Did you envisage you’d be this big when you first started?
Actually, you can’t see the whole staircase when you start climbing. I started acting with the belief that someday something big would happen. But even at that, I had always known that someday I would make it big in the industry. This is what I was born to do and with God on my side success is certain. I remember while filling my AGN form around 2001, I said I would like to become an international actor, in a portion of the form where a question of what you want to achieve in the industry was asked. As at the time of filling that form, I had never acted before, my instinct always tells me that something big is coming.
What actually inspired your going into acting?
If you see something that you can do, your talent will always help you achieve success in that field. God again inspired me to act when I talked with Him on my acting career. He inspired me and inside me I also felt I could do it.
As a strong Catholic, how close are you to your God?
I’m very close to my God. In fact, I cannot do anything without committing myself to God. I always ask God first for direction before doing anything. I also believe that God is the greatest in anything we do on earth.
You were very close to the immediate past government at the national level; do you support and believe in the Buhari administration?
Yes, I do.
Do you also think President Buhari will embrace Nollywood the way Jonathan did?
Even though I support the new government, Buhari and Jonathan are two different people. We are still watching him, he just started and we can’t judge him for now. As time goes on we will be able to spot the difference.
If per chance you meet President Buhari today, what are the major things you would tell him to do for our nation urgently?
If I meet Buhari right now, I will take him on the security issue, he should tackle that first. People are dying every day. The Boko Haram people and their bombings must be stopped because it is getting too much. For me that is the first thing first, because people must live peacefully in their country.
Do you see PMB curtailing the high level of insecurity in Nigeria?
Yes, he has been there before as a military leader. I believe in him tackling this national menace.
Again, he just came in, we should be able to give him time to tackle the ugly situation and also to properly study and understand the terrain.
Do you see PMB carrying Nollywood along like Jonathan did?
Of course, he has no choice but to carry Nollywood along because the sector has contributed so much to our GDP and economy. He has no excuse to say he cannot carry us along.
Again, do you think Buhari’s pronouncement can help tackle piracy in the industry?
No, that is not enough. They have been doing that even Jonathan made his own pronouncements on piracy. They should start implementing the pronouncements for it to be effective. The punishment should be severe for piracy. It is not about pronouncements but enforcement, because the law is already there. The security agencies should hit the ground running if piracy must be tackled. Government should protect intellectual property because it costs money and talent to be creative. Again, government, corporate entities and wealthy individuals should invest more in the industry. This is the only industry that can make a self employed and fresh graduate a billionaire over night.
You were Aki’s best man during his wedding four years ago, and ever since there has been pressure on you to get married, what is causing the delay?
(Cuts in) No pressure please. But God is working on that.
How soon will God end his work on this matter of your life partner?
You can’t really say for now, it might be today or tomorrow. But truth is that God can answer my prayer this night.
So there is somebody in your life as we speak?
Of course, there is somebody in my life. Again, when you have somebody in your life, you will also ask God if that person will be with you forever. We are on it.
Is it your Ghanaian lover?
Don’t mind them that was a movie I shot in Ghana, it was a publicity stunt.
Could you please share a bit about the new woman in your life with us?
Don’t worry, at the right time, you will know everything about her. You will get my invite at the appropriate time too.
What do you think about Daylight and our newsletter which you said you enjoy reading so much?
Daylight is no doubt a new force in town, and they are doing great. I always tell people it is not how far, but how well. Daylight is doing marvellously well more than many people that have been there for long. My prayer is that Daylight will go far and outlive its founder and publisher, Azuh Amatus my good friend. You guys are tight and professionals to the core. I don’t miss your very rich, informative and thrilling daily newsletter and Whatsapp news broadcast. Keep it up bro.
Copyright @ Daylight. First Published October 21, 2015.