Winner of Arise Africa Best Movie Personality of the Year Award
1. Can we get to meet you? (a) Where were you born and how was growing up like?
My Name is Longinus Anyaehiechukwu Anokwute.
I was born in Nigeria, In Imo State. In Umuduru, Ekwe, Isu Local Government Area in a hospital called "Nnaji Hospital & Maternity "
My growing up was fine but in another way, it was not smooth. I am the last child of my parents. In the family of six. 4 boys and 2 girls.
I thank God for everything he has done in the life of this very man you are seeing here today, the Almighty God I serve smoothened the rough ways for me.
It was never easy growing up as a child. Never believed life can be so rosy towards the end of it. I was raised up empty handely by my mother and elder sister (may her soul rest in peace).
There was no uncle to run for help. I moved from bush to bush.
Back then, help was far from reach despite the daily struggle.
I was doing manual jobs.
It was just me struggling to survive. I did lots of things like going to get igu nkwu and producing broom. On Orie Ekwe market day, I would go and sale to make money. When it was season for corn, I would roast corn and pear- so we won't beg. It was not easy for us at all. My family was the poorest in the village then.
My poor mother, a widow, worked so hard to train us. Most times we slept hungry ,without eating. Hoping that tomorrow will bring something better. One thing that might interest you to know is that when you come to Ekwe then ours was the poorest, it was in a thatched house that we lived in together with our goats, fowls for many years. At some point the back of our house fell off and we used kpam kpam (zinc) to cover part of it
Nobody visited us, because people thought nothing good can come from Israel.
But despite our background, the love of people was around me. I related well with people. I love making friends. I would crack jokes to made people laugh and also love me. I was known for cracking of funny jokes back then. And because of that people started coming around us.
That was actually my background story but I thank God that everything has turned around for our good. All things work together for our good to those that loves God.
As you can see after such sorrowfull beginning, the of it is now joy, joy for us all.
Can we know your educational background?
My educational background,
I started my primary school at Ekwe Centeral school, after that I went to the North to finish up at Army School Gombe.
I came back to the village and had my secondary education at Ekwe Secondary school.Our uniform was red. Did part of my Junior Secondary School but due to financial difficulties,though I was finding it also difficult to understand igbo language. I went back to Gombe for part of my Secondary education at Jss 2,3 - Gantu Secondary School
SS 1-3 was done at
*All Saints Secondary School Gombe* that was before another painful tragedy struck, I lost my eldest sister whom i was living with and had to come back home to Ekwe Secondary school.
then I went back to repeat class because I couldn't speak Igbo. it was all about Hausa.
That was how I started my career with a drama group. Instead of calling a pastor to preach. We would act and dramatize the message of the day and our teachers would appreciated at the end of each performance.
When did you discover your talent?
There is a song, I sing anywhere
_"Chukwu si na afo gozie m o" (God Blessed me from the womb)_
It all started from my childhood when I notice the talent is in born. I am blessed from my mother's womb but many people never took me serious in life due to my funny nature.
So many would say several discouraging things to me but I never looked back or allowed what they said to hinder me from succeeding for I know I have a goal which I much actualize.
I discovered my talent, a long time ago. Despite all the discouragement, I believe in God. That with Him all things would be made possible.
It really didn't start today my Dear.
When did you start your professional career?
I have been in Nollywood, entertainment industry since the year 2000.
I have been working so hard ever since then.
I have done so many movies, comedy, stage shows, music and each one of them, I must perform exceedingly gorgeous. I would make my co-actors laugh till they fell off their seat and they will be pleased with my performance wish to hang around me all time.
Two years ago, I did a story and produced a film that sold very fast. That's how my story changed
I was able to listen and learn Igbo language . I used my local dialect in the movie.
After production I will go to marketers to help sale my Product which they will all insult me in all manner. The film stayed with me for a year or more.
When it was God's time, someone called me immediately that film was aired at African Magic. My story changed, I started receiving calls.
The movie became a hit.
It's all about God's grace. When its rough, you may not know that God is actually using the situation to prepare a better place for you.
Who motivates you to Excel in Life?
Nobody. I motivate myself by myself.
God has been the only inspiration in my life.
Whenever I hear people talking about or see what God has done It keeps me going.
When I see how people live their life as if they are the owner, it baffles me. There is nothing you can achieve in this life without God.
6. Tell us as a boy your humble beginning. How did you nurture your dreams?
Well I refer you to the bible in Genesis 1 which says "In the was the world and the world was with God" that was how my life was as God has Created me to be blessed
I work so hard. I believe in working hard.
People who come across me would tell you that I cannot be ashamed to do anything that would genuinely give me money. I can carry ground nuts from here to umuaka market.
When I saw that nobody is looking my way or ready to help I work so hard.
Outside acting, I do costume. Am a professional makeup artists, I do sound tracks, props and sets, locations. Anyone that I do, I do it so well with all my heart
7. How do you relax?
I relax very well. whenever I am tired, I relax on my chair or the bed.
The most important place that I can relax (laughs..........) I find the best relaxation in my home Because I have a pretty wife who understands me and the nature of my job. Anywhere I am in the world, when it's time to go home I am happy. When I see my children, they jump on my back and play with me. I find comfort in the bossom of my family, not outside.
What kind of environment motivates you the most?
Anytime I am in Church.
Being in the presence of God. Praising God and Dancing in his Sanctuary.
9. When you see yourself behind the camera camera, who do you see yourself reaching out to?
Am reaching out to my culture especially, bringing our igbo language back to life with comedy.
Making the world know that our language is very sweet when you use it to crack jokes not only English
Whenever I see myself on camera I see myself reaching out to you, people of Igboland, people of Nigeria, people of Africa and People of the whole world. I see myself reaching out to people with good heart. There are people who my comedy have relieved them of pains and shackles of this world. I see myself representing my village, state, country. Doing things to make people happy and giving free HBP medication. .
People meet me daily and tell me things like :
" Chief IMO whenever I am sad, I do put on my Television set to watch your movie" (smiles)
It always give me great joy reaching to these families and relieving them of their worries
*10. What do you see yourself doing 7 years from now?*
Seven years is too far, in couple of months, years
I want to see myself at every part of the world blessing people. Doing good. I want to see myself living big.
Doing the work of my father in heaven. I want to be a motivator to those who are depressed.
I want to see myself stand in a large congregation ,talking to people about God.
I want to be a Preacher.
If you watch my comedy, you would observe that I always leave a message.
My comedy is something any mother can allow the child to watch because one must learn something.
I want to give back to the society, Feeding the less privileged, blessing lives.
*11. Any final words to the youths?*
We are in the computer age, youths of these age are always with their handset, laptops pressing phone and computer. What are we looking for? How can we be expecting to receive, when you did not work hard to receive. There is some saying that goes this way " _he that works should eat._ "
I don't believe that manner would fall for you from heaven. How I wish you can see the manner of stress and what I put in my job to get the best.
I advise the youths, let them live uprightly. Whatever you are doing, if God is not there. The foundation would crumble. It is only God that you ought to embrace. It is only God that you can run to, it is only God that will give life in abundant.
Any foundation laid on Him, cannot be shaken.
Everyone wants to wake up today riding a car but nobody wants to suffer, nobody wants to work hard Everyone wants to make it by all means.
Our parents are not helping matters. They can do anything just for their children to get rich quick syndrome.
The order time, we saw some young boys who went to do rituals to make money.
I plead with our youths to bend down and work hard.
Submit yourself to God.
Pray that God would help you and protect you avoid following politicians for peanut instead set a standard for generation unborn to enjoy.
There is no short cut to success. Ihe obula aratra na aga ite na ala na ga onu.
All those things don't last When you work, you eat.
stand on the truth When you say yes, let your yes be yes and your No,be No.
Don't eat money that belongs to another person when you do business with people don't swindle others by eating your own share and their own too, It kills. Always stand on the truth. Be focused. Work so hard.
_In Summary of it all make God your number one and you would see your future would be so bright._
Thank you and God bless you.
I still remain your brother Longinus Anokwute A.k.a Chief Imo Comedy