Name: Kenneth Arinzechukwu Okonkwo
Location: Nsukka, Enugu State.
DOB: 6th November.
Marital Status: Married
State of Origin - Local government and State: Nsukka LGA, Enugu State.
Languages Spoken: English, Igbo, A bit of French.
Educational Background - Academic and Actors school. Bachelor of Science in Management- University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Bachelor in Theology- Pentecostal International Bible Seminary, Lagos. Masters in International Law and Diplomacy, University of Lagos, Akoka.
Tell us a little about your childhood, growing up, parents, brothers and sisters?
My childhood was basically academic with a lot of cohesion with my brothers and sisters. I played a lot as a child. My Father's name is Chief Ozioko Francis Okonkwo, and my Mother's name is Chief Beatrice Okonkwo. I grew up in a large family of twelve. Nine boys and three girls and we are very close. What was the first paying job ever that you had? - Tailor, carpenter, clerk, foot soldier, etc.?
I was employed first as a Sales Executive to market office equipment products. Apart from that I did other jobs. Basically I am a scholar, so am still studying. In addition, I am a film producer and marketer. I am the Chief Executive of Goal Productions Ltd, a movie producing and marketing firm
What made you go into the Acting career and when did you start Acting (year)?
Interest and talent. I knew I had the talent so immediately I finished my University Education I went into acting. This was sometimes in 1991.
Who were your Idols/Models (Actors) in those days?
We started the movie thing in Nigeria, so I did not have specific models but I was greatly inspired by the Indian and American movies of those days as well as some soap operas in Nigeria.
My first role in movie is “Andy” of Living in Bondage. My first role in TV is Captain John Mark of Ripples- a soap opera. It was basically my major break-through role and film. What were the constraints you had to face and overcome as an up-and-coming Actor (young actor)?
Because we were the beginners of the whole thing the constraints were more like experience. So far, I have been involved in about 40 movies. They include films like Living in Bondage, Taboo, Betrayal, World Apart, To Love a Thief, Windfall, Treasure, My Father's Love, Price of Hatred, Rising Sun. Etc.
As a DYNAMIC, OUTSTANDING, 'A'-List Actor, how have you managed to adapt to the different range of roles you have played in your career?
It has been very challenging but the grace of God has always seen me through. Talent is basically a gift from God and since my performance is as a result of talent I adapt very easily to roles in my movies.
The most awkward or strangest role I have had to take/play was as a mad man. Because madness is a very awkward thing and to act it well you must look and act awkwardly
What film have you been most proud to be involved with so far, and why?
All my films but particularly Living in Bondage because it brought me to limelight and opened the movie industry in Nigeria Did you at anytime want to quit your Acting career for something else or for a reason, and why (if any)?
Naturally from time to time I take stock of my life and ask God for direction before moving on. I never thought of quitting but sometimes I divert a little to accommodate other areas of interest like studying. However the motivation for me or what keeps me interested in this career every morning I wake up is the fact that I cherish making people happy so when people call me and tell me they were entertained by my movies it makes my day in addition to the job satisfaction I derive by doing what I love to do. How important are our Nigerian roots, morals, values, knowledge and sense of wisdom to you and your works?
I am a typical case of a home grown boy so all I have been able to achieve is attributable to my Nigerian roots
As a Producer, Director and filmmaker also, how is this different for you from Acting and what is the additional drive for you?
I read Business Administration and this marks my interest in the business aspect of the movie industry. In acting, you are confronted with the challenge of managing yourself but in producing, directing or film making you are saddled with the additional responsibility of managing others. I am currently working on some very powerful movies with both domestic and foreign partners Where do you see yourself and this industry in the next five years?
As a child of God there is a provision for me to be on top in all I do. God started me with the top, so I believe him to remain on top. As for Nollywood, presently we are ranked third in the world. I believe in the next couple of years we will be ranked first
When you are not working (Acting, producing, directing or making a film), what do you do or how do you pass the time?
I read, play and write articles for publication. I also like playing football and table tennis. I enjoy gospel music too.
What message do you have for your international fans in America, United kingdom, Europe, Africa and its Diaspora?
I am humbled by there outpouring of love and support. I assure them that they have not seen the best of me. As one of the people who opened the industry and who is committed to making my fans have the best movies at their disposal for their entertainment