I don’t discuss my love life publicly –Uti Nwachukwu
Uti Nwachukwu won Big Brother All Stars lastly. In this interview with Reporter, Ifeoma Meze, he speaks about the prize he won and his love life
How does it feel to be a millionaire?
There is no feeling, you just wake up and then they tell you that your account is bigger. It does not feel special, actually, I feel exactly the same, no special feeling. The only thing that has changed now is that when I pass to buy something really good, instead of saying I wish I could afford that, I would say hmm, I would like to try that.
How are you seeing the new life that winning has brought your way?
I have always been a hard worker, I have not stopped working. It is not like I will just sit around and be lazy all day because my account is fat, it's still the same thing for me. I have been working and I am not even thinking of the millions right now. I mean it's just N30 million not like it's N300 million. So I am thinking of constantly working hard to make sure I can turn the N30 million to N300 million with a short period of time. It's all about working hard because the more money you get the harder you have to work to maintain that status because you cannot afford to drop from the level you had gotten to.
What special memories do you remember most while growing up as a child?
I just remember day dreaming about the life I am living now. I remember sitting in front of the television watching TV presenters, watching actors, musicians and I dreamt about being in their positions. I always wished and asked myself if there would ever be a time I could ever live a life like this. So, it all started from my primary school days. I used to be very active in the social circles like in the social department. I started acting, singing; I was also very good at sports in primary school. When I got to secondary school, I maintained the status. I was a social prefect twice. At the variety shows, I always used to direct performances or star in performances. Even in the art festival and culture, so the special memory I hold very dear is remembering the path that I took to get to where I am today.
Your life has taken a better turn, how long do you intend to keep up with the high profile life style you have right now?
Life comes to you the way you want it . If you want it to be hectic for you, it will be hectic. If you want to get lost in the cloud and start saying you are a big boy, you will carry your cross but for me, I haven't changed the way I have been living. Like I said before, I am still a hard worker; the money hasn't gone into my head. The fame is there but I know how to manage fame. I am also lucky I have a good manager and God always speaks to me, so I just stay humble. I just stay humble and don't look at yourself like you are all that. Right now you have to be more disciplined because the slightest thing you do will go to the press, apart from that humility is the key.
Before the Big Brother Africa All Stars, you released an album online and were trying to put the video together before called to participate in the contest, what is happening to the music right now?
I have been working and also the TV presenting gig came up, acting gigs came up so I kind of let it lie low for a while because music is not something you rush. Trust me, in music you don't want to bring something that people would listen to and hiss. We put it on hold till when I am chanced to go to the studio and record good material. It is going to come out soon. My executive producer has been pushing to make the videos and we want to complete the album at least a twelve-track album. By God's grace, before the middle of this year, it will be out.
So people should call you Uti the multi-talented dude?
Yes, I am very versatile. Like I said, while growing up I watched all those things, I don't know how I could do all these things easily. All I will say is that I am just blessed with so many talents. I sing, I act, I started my entertainment career as a model, I am a TV presenter now. I have done radio presenting. I see it as how life is, anything you think you can do, you will do it. It all starts with your mind.
Would you say you are perfect in all?
For me, I am an all-rounder. The same professionalism I approach acting with is the same professionalism I approach singing, presenting and modelling. Though I would say acting comes natural to me but I still do others well enough. I am a natural actor so it is not difficult. I know I need to perfect writing skills and music arranging skills and all that. That is one skill I need to work on but the rest things just come naturally to me.
In terms of your music, would you be into all kinds of music or would you choose one genre that you love so much?
When it comes to music also, I am very versatile. I am into Hip hop, dance music, which is house/techno. In fact, the four songs I have out there are all different genres. There is a funky house one, 'Go Down'; there is the mellow rock, 'Once in My life', which has been receiving a lot of positive reviews on the Internet. There is 'Noa'. 'Noa' is house/techno, and there is 'Teddy Bear', which is the regular Afro pop. 'Teddy Bear' is Churchill's song, he featured me on that one and I have a lot more songs coming out from all genres.
When you put it in a way that says that I am into everything, it makes it sound like or look like I am confused and I don't know what I am doing but I am versatile and let's leave it at versatile. I am very open-minded and I take risks and experiment a lot.
Tell us what it feels like to be an ambassador of tourism?
When I came back, I had to pay a courtesy visit to my state governor because he was proud of me. He sent a congratulatory message to me online and in the news. So, I went to say a proper thank you and right then he made me an ambassador, youth ambassador of Delta State, because I portrayed a very positive image of the state. We don't really get a good image in the press out there but I showed a different side of the South South people, so he was really proud of me. He said I'm “a kind of youth we need to portray positive image of Delta State.” I also went to see the Minister of Information then, Prof. Dora Akunyili and she made me the face of Re-branding Nigeria. She explained that “we need to rebrand Nigeria and learn to speak positively about Nigeria” just like I did on TV. I also paid courtesy visit to first lady of Cross River State because I had been blown away by the carnival right from when I heard about it and I had been active about the carnival. She felt it was right to make me a Cross River State tourism ambassador.
So, how is it going, have you started touring?
All these happened in December, this is just the first quarter of 2011 and I have been briefed. There is so much to do very soon especially after the elections have come and gone.
Speaking about the elections, are you going to vote on that day and are you also going to think about going into politics also?
Of course, I will vote, I have my candidate, which I will not disclose. I don't know about me being a politician but I am going to vote. We need to vote. We need to, not sit there and say 'we need this, we want that, we hope we hope'. Just like how people out there used their phones and computers to vote for me, it is my turn to vote someone in. I will like us to develop the same attitude people had when they voted for me – and I won – towards our politicians so that we vote in the person that we want to lead us.
It is observed that, a lot of girls throw themselves at you, how true is that?
Throw themselves at me makes it sound like I am just walking and people are collapsing on the road. I am not Michael Jackson. I have always had female attention. I have been a good looking young man right from when I was 17, so I am used to receiving female attention. Now, it is a bit worse because the TV sort of exposed me. I just more accessible to people, I have always had female attention and I know how to manage female attention.
So, it is not a problem to you?
It's not a problem. I love all the attention I get.
So can you let us into the person you singled out from the admirers to be the special girl?
That is some personal information right there. It's personal. I cannot tell you that. I have learnt that in entertainment, you have to have your own life. When you bare out a hundred per cent of your life, you start to loose yourself so there are some things I have chosen not to talk about publicly and my relationship is one of them.
Giving the fact that Next Movie Star has a role to play as the platform that helped you to stardom what is your relationship with the owner like?
I respect him a lot. Even though there were times when we would work and not get paid but I guess all the experiences I got from that platform contributed to where I find myself presently. We are in good terms. There is no love lost between us.