Obinna Nwafor popularly known as Saint Obi is a seasoned Nollywood actor, director and movie producer who was prominent for appearances in sold-out movies and soap operas through out the ’90s into the early 2000s, has a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Jos.
He has discussed the process through which he got into the movie industry in Nigeria, saying his was not an accidental journey as his move was fueled by passion for acting.
In an chat with the Punch, the actor said:
As a child, I had always wanted to be an actor. I was drawn to acting because of the fantasies. I grew up watching American movies and I used to love the actors I saw on screen. As I grew older, I found out that I could be successful without venturing into crime. I found out that it was a very plausible platform to become a millionaire without bribing anybody. All you need is your talent and God’s grace. That made acting more compelling for me.”
He also added : “The other key factor that made me become an actor was to stay away from crime and to become a rich man.” But it was not an easy path for me to travel on, as my parents kicked against the decision almost immediately. I had siblings in the United States but knew it was almost impossible breaking into Hollywood so I stuck with acting in Nigeria. Eventually everything worked out for me and my acting career picked.
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“It was not easy convincing my parents because back in the days, people saw us as jokers and people without future ambition. I had some of my sisters who were in America and I knew that it would take luck for me to break into Hollywood. I knew it was not a joke, so I stayed put in Nigeria. My father died before I gained admission into the university, so it was not too difficult convincing my mother that I wanted to study Theater Arts in the University of Jos. Although my mother is dead, she was very happy that I chose this path.” On whether he had lost his place in the movie industry due to the competition from the younger artistes, he stated that he is still a part of the creation process.
He also states that the limitations before the Nollywood today are mostly as a result of pirates and the volatile nature of the movie industry . He said: “I have not quit acting and the beauty of our profession is that as long as you are sane and you can control your cognitive faculties, then you can act till you die. As you grow older, there are roles waiting for you. I would not lie, I miss the glory days. I want to make better movies and use better props but after doing that, can I get my money back? The activity of pirates at the moment is at an all-time high. If you want to make movies right now, you have to think carefully and understand the strategies. If you invest N50m in making movies, you would want to recoup your money back. I miss being in front of the screen but whatever I am doing now is more important because I am working towards making things better so that when I appear in front of the screen, I am sure it is for better days.”