By Obi Odenigbo
It’s not every day that you come across young men driven to succeed in differing fields of human endeavor; but then, why else would we sing their praises or write about them? When we say “differing fields of human endeavor”; we mean the “Arts and the Sciences”. And as you are aware; these fields have as much in common as Africa does with freezing winter.
In any case; NoCoolStory is in the business of celebrating the select few who blur these lines and transcend the ordinary. They mingle Newton’s gravitational Laws with Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting prowess. They conjoin Hooke’s Law of Elasticity with Luciano Pavarotti’s Tenor delivery.They stimulate a symmetry between Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories with MJ’s evolutionary moon-walk dance steps. These are mad men!
Chukwuemeka Charles Odenigbo ranks in this league. Born on the 21st of November to Engr and Mrs Mike Odenigbo; Chukwuemeka strove to assert himself in whatever field he found himself in.
His pre-teen years were characterized by signs of artistic flair. Early on; he exhibited a knack for drama and theatre and soon blossomed as he grew. We caught up with him and he took us down memory lane; highlighting pivotal moments in his personal memoir.
In December of 1994; the mercurial 7-year old starred in his school Song-Drama as one of the three wise men in the Christmas Story. His rendition of the “myrrh is mine” piece brought his innate talents to the fore.
Drama wasn’t his only thing; Emeka explained. “I loved gadgets. As a kid; I loved breaking them, (laughs), building em and just playing around with all the appliances we had at home. I was just curious as to how a remote control- for instance- could make changes on a screen without any physical content. It puzzled my young mind. And I said; why not break into it and see why?”
He explains that this curiosity led him to get a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering- in which he graduated with honors.
Currently working as a freelance broadcast engineer for South African media giants Super Sports; Emeka- or Effects as he is fondly called- is one of the few trying to find the delicate balance between the Sciences and his love for acting. The talented young’un who has featured in over 30 Nollywood movies; sheds some light on his motivation as well as some useful advice:
“Piracy is a huge problem in this part of the world and that is why our artistes and actors are not as rich as they should be. So while it is possible to hit it off big time in Nollywood or any branch of the arts; it is rare- very rare in Nigeria. It takes time, consistency, effort and inspiration. If it is your only source of income; you’re definitely gonna start out broke and maybe frustrated. And that is why I decided to get a degree in Engineering and work my way up while pursuing my acting dreams. It can be tough; but tough people never give up.”
Strong words- but very true words- that paint a picture of what it take to succeed in the eccentric jungles of Africa’s most populous country.
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