Ace veteran Nollywood film director, Obi Emelonye was on 24 March 1967 in Nigeria. Obi since his emergence on the scene has produced award-winning movies to include Onye Ozi, The Mirror Boy and Last Flight to Abuja. He has worked with top stars and has continued to be an inspiration for upcoming producers in the industry.
Obi who is a lawyer and one time footballer revealed his reason for joining the movie world.
In his words;
I have always known that my destiny lies in show business. I actually don’t mention it often but I was also a musician, I was the lead singer of a band called, Jacky’s Family in the early 80s and Charly Boy was our producer. We were supposed to be signed onto his label when he came back from America. This was when I was sixteen. I have touched every aspect of what I wanted to do and have enjoyed it and I feel everything I have done in my life is in preparation for what I am doing now. It makes me a complete man and it has broadened my horizon. So, all the experiences I gained in playing football and going for trials in Europe, and practicing as a lawyer in the UK are now part and parcel of my life. But first and foremost, my first degree was in drama from University of Nigeria, Nsukka where I was also a director and writer. Even when I left and was playing football, including when I was practicing law, I was still writing scripts.
One of my most important films before ‘Mirror Boy’ was ‘Echoes of War’. I actually took time off my Bar exams to direct ‘Echoes of War’ in 2003. So, it has always been in my blood, I have always known that things would fall in place when the time was right.
And in 2007, I made that leap and today, I have been vindicated. Like they say, fortune favours the brave and I have been brave about it, and I think fortune is beginning to smile on me.
Here are 10 things you probably did not know about Obi Emelonye.
1. He was born on 24 March 1967.
2. Obi was formerly a professional football player.
3. He directed the award-winning films like Onye Ozi, The Mirror Boy and Last Flight to Abuja.
4. He bagged a degree in Law and BA (Hons) Theatre Arts degree from the University of Nigeria Nsukka.
5. He snagged his Post Graduate Degree in Legal Practice from the London Metropolitan University in 2002 then went on to practise law for a few years before placing his focus on film making.
6. Obi was the head of production at UK’s first African Caribbean satellite TV channel, BEN TV.
7. He started his own company “The Nollywood Factory”, which has offices in the UK and Nigeria.
8. The company released Nollywood’s first film theatrically on UK screens in 2004. The movie is titled “Echoes of War”.
9. He has worked with top acts to include Mercy Johnson, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Jim Iyke and Genevieve Nnaji to mention a few.
10. Obi has been profiled by CNN as ‘the future of Nollywood’