By Benjamin Njoku
Popular actor and producer, Zack Orji who began his acting career in the early 90s, starring in the movie, “Unforgiven Sin” went down memory lane during the week, recalling how he made it to the top in the industry.
Sharing his success story on the Whatsapp group, Filmic, Orji said “When I reminisce on my journey into Nollywood, and my meteoric rise to the top, I always come to the conclusion that it was by God’s unstoppable grace.”
God, he continued “used a group of young, creative and good-natured such as Matthias Obahiagbon, Emmanuel Oguguah, Obi Osotule and Ken Madiebo to give me my first shot as a professional actor.”
“I was a produce merchant and my friend, Ekenna Igwe introduced me to Matthias among others to help me source Shea-nuts and Cocoa. They had just finished the script of a movie titled ‘’The Unforgiven Sin.’ I expressed my interest in starring in it. They listened to my speech, took a good look at my person, and without hesitation gave me the script to read for the leading role, just like that- and to return in three days.”
“When I returned after three days, they assigned the character Chuka, the leading role to me. That first shot they gave me earned me a nomination for Best Actor in the first movie awards( THEMA AWARDS ). It shot me immediately to the top and made me a well sought after Actor.
“Thereafter, my first opportunity as a producer was also given to me on a platter by Cosmos Ndulue, the CEO of Contec Ventures Ltd, the company that marketed “The Unforgiven Sin.” The same Cosmos Ndulue recommended me to Dozie Eriobu of Infinity Merchants a year later; and, stood as my guarantor when I needed N500,000,00 to complete the shooting of my own movie ‘’Return To Kazondia’’ in 1997. “
“Since then, by God’s unstoppable grace and enablement, I have created opportunities for at least 5,000 young people desirous of a career in film and music to receive free training in Acting, Costume Designing, Script Writing, Cinematography, Film Production and Vocal Development through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and my former church Powerline Bible Church, where I was in charge of Youth Development. Some of these youngsters have turned around to employ me in their movie projects. I’m here today because they were there for me yesterday,” he wrote. An actor par excellence, Zack Orji is considered as one of the legends of Nigerian movie industry.