‘You’ve got to see my mind in my wears’
Bob Manuel Udokwu is one of the best known faces on Nollywood — the Nigerian movie culture. The one time president of Nigeria Theatre Arts Students Association (NUTASA) and University of Port Harcourt graduate tells GREGORY AUSTIN NWAKUNOR what fashion is to him.
Fashion and you
THE individual in you determines the outfits you wear. You may not be a very credible or well-disciplined individual and you wear the highest designer's stuff in the world and still look like a tout. It is only those who know about what the designs are that will perhaps say that individual who looks like a tout is actually wearing expensive designer's clothes, shoes or wristwatches.
I won't say I like designers in the general sense. I like things that fit me. It may be made by anybody. By my nature, I'm not crazy about designer's stuff, I'm more comfortable with the things that when I wear them and I look into the mirror, I find out that they actually fit me. The name of my designer is Afam. But the label is Corporate Vince.
What would you not be caught wearing?
Nightdress, except in case of emergency, where perhaps, life is at stake, fire is burning, an accident or somebody is about to die. Then you won't consider what you are wearing, you just dash out as long as you are able to cover your nakedness.
I would have talked about the perfumes I wear, but they don't pay. So, I don't endorse their products, I just go to the market to buy anyone. Maybe, when they start endorsing, I'll think of that. But again, what I do is a combination. Most times, I get people confused about the perfume that I'm wearing.
I don't have one. What I do, it will be safer for me to say the combination of novels I like to read: crime, complicated plots, horror, thriller and books that are highly philosophical, I don't read romance. By the time I was in class three I had read the whole of James Hardley Chase I could lay my hands on. I even read a whole series of James Bond. At one point, I read the psychic author, Lobsang Rampal. These were some of the books I read when my character was still forming. They taught me a lot, look at the philosophical and esoteric works of Rampal. They taught me a lot about the world beyond and spiritual consciousness. I talk less; the mind is what controls the body. I love reading crime novels that's why I talked about James Bond. If I had the chance, I'll probably want to be a member of the secret service. Those who are into secret service are not loud people. They respect themselves. They don't say much.
I'm not very fussy about food. I like well-made food. Anything that is African, Nigerian or continental that is well made. It might be something like yam or vegetable, as long as it is well made. I'm lucky my wife is a very good cook, she makes it difficult for me to go out. I look forward to going home to her meal.
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Dream for Nigeria
My dream for Nigeria is to achieve the level of development that is comparable to other places I have been to. Other places that you would see as developed. That's my dream. A place where the rural area will have the ambience of rural, but the convenience of modern. In other words, you preserve the eco-system of the rural area and provided them with the amenities of the modern. The aggression that makes people commit crime is because it is the last resort. My dream for Nigeria is to be able to develop to that level where it is only by necessity that its people travel, not as a last resort to where they scrounge for leftover. That makes the come to see the beauty that is Naija.