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Amiable movie actor, Emeka Ossai, came into showbiz first as a model, rose to the top as one time Nigeriaís number one model before coming to Nollywood to showcase his skills and talent. Ossai, through sagacity and dexterity rose to the pinnacle of his career in Nollywood as a talented actor-cum-seasoned producer. However, the bubble burst in...
Amiable movie actor, Emeka Ossai, came into showbiz first as a model, rose to the top as one time Nigeriaís number one model before coming to Nollywood to showcase his skills and talent.
Ossai, through sagacity and dexterity rose to the pinnacle of his career in Nollywood as a talented actor-cum-seasoned producer.
However, the bubble burst in 2000, when Jennifer, his pretty actress wife, died thereby leaving him shattered and crestfallen.
However, seven years after that sad episode in his life, Delta State-born Ossai, is bouncing back to the industry where he once held sway.
In this interview with Daily Sun, the widower, spoke passionately about his latest project, a new movie about AIDS, entitled: Checkered Fate. He also painfully opened up on his late wife, women in his chequered love life, plans and the shape of things to come from him this new year.
My latest project is my new movie entitled: Checkered Fate. The world premiere recently took place at City Mall Cinemas and it was successful. Right now, we are not sure of the date of its release on VCD and DVD nationwide. Being a very good film with a good contemporary storyline, it has enjoyed patronage from different agencies.
Going to the Cinemas
All I want to say is that aside my outfit, Motorola is also partnering with Nollywood to take the film to the next level.
One of things that encouraged Motorola to partner with us was the film itself. Itís high time, we started producing socially relevant films. I am a pioneer of this industry and I know very well that when we started this industry, we were treating issue-based stories. Films that will change the society for better, until impostors hijacked the industry and threw it to the dogs. Today, we are going back to the good old days.
For me, the next level is departing from the status quo and moving to the stage of making films that would make national and global impacts. Films that its qualities can be ascertained by those who call themselves films critics and pundits.
Well, like I said earlier on that from the outset, many organizations wanted to partner with us. They told me that the theme would help in propagating the Catholic faith regarding the dreaded disease. The movie treats mainly abstinence, mutual fidelity and responsible sex live as against the use of condom. They felt we could use my movie as a contemporary avenue to spread the message of having a responsible sex life.
A true life story?
It was not a true life story, but inspired by true happenings. I am an unrepentant optimist; I hate the dark side of life. All the AIDS campaigns I had seen dealt with death and other gory things. I thought that wasnít the best way to carry on with the campaign. Recently, the campaign globally has changed from celebrating death to life.
I also used the movie to bring to the consciousness of Nigerians the new direction in the campaign on AIDS globally.
The main targets are youths and young people in secondary schools. The impact this movie will make in the society is of more concern to me than the monetary gains.
The story revolves around a man called Osaro, he had a chequered life; heís usually battling with one problem or the other. His life is full of ups and downs, but the problem got to a head when he tested positive to HIV/AIDS. When I was conceptualizing this movie, the new campaign of social responsibility as regard sex, had not started.
Then the people preached death. And Iím happy my film is out to advise people to zip up and live a socially responsible life.
It was borne out of social responsibility of Emeka Ossai as an individual and that of Golden Pyramid Production as a corporate entity. It is my little contribution in the fight against the scourge of HIV/AIDS. My first film, Thorns of Rose, treated in detail, the issue of child abandonment, in 1996. Iím a social critic and a commentator.
Break from Nollywood
You knew a lot happened that period, the film, Thorns of Rose, was co produced with my late wife-Jennifer, it was supposed to have a sequel, but that didnít happen, it came out in 1996. And if you remember very well, my wife died in 2000. I am one person who believes in maximizing returns on investments. I also donít believe in churning out films everyday.
I lost my wife in the process of trying to have a sequel to my first movie and it would be very irresponsible of me to carry on as usual, when that happened. Also, there was a lot of backlash after her death, sentiments here and there. All that I needed then was to give myself a little break and that I did.
Well, Iím not somebody who erroneously fixes deadlines in anything that I do. It could be tomorrow, next month or even next year. The truth is that there has always been somebody in my life.
Life without late wife
Well, Iíve been trying my possible best, but it has not been easy because of the kind of relationship that existed between us. With that kind of relationship and friendship, finding a replacement had not been easy.
Plans of going into politics
Severally, Iíve been compelled but have not seen enough reason to yield to that suggestion. I believe in finishing what I start. I know that yielding might not be the best decision to take. Right now, I want to consolidate on my primary.
Iím Emeka Ossai, from Ndokwa West LGA of Delta State. I am the first of several children, and my parents are still alive. I read Food Technology, at the University of Agric, Ogun State. I am a pioneer movie maker/actor. I started as a model and was one time Nigeriaís number one model.
Coping with female fans
I am used to staying in among women and have always known how to handle them. I started modelling as a secondary school leaver. Let me also state it that Okey Ogunjiofor invited me to the set of Circle of Doom. The modelling industry was a booming one before film came.
Biggest problem facing Nollywood
Our major problem is the quality of our practitioners. We have very low quality practitioners, in all the departments and the structures that made up Nollywood.
The way forward is very difficult to chart, because it is not an industry you can censor. It is a free market and that is why we have impostors everywhere. If the industry can be empowered enough for those who have the right ideas and the right films to function, then it can move forward.
Filmography: Greatest Weapon, Executive Mess, Dead End,
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