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I’ll act Majek better than Fashek – Francis Duru

Source: Benjamin NJOKU - Nigeriafilms.com
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Nollywood actor, Francis Duru who recently made headlines as the controversial actor that is leading other entertainers to champion the campaign for President Goodluck Jonathan's ambition in the forthcoming 2011 elections is playing the role of Majek Fashek in the forthcoming bio-pic on the one of Nigeria's top reggae singers, Majek Fashek.

In this encounter, at O'jez , Surulere , last weekend , the versatile actor expresses how much he is looking forward to interpreting the role excellently. He also talks about his latest project, and what he has gained since relocating to Abuja a decade ago amongst other things.
Hear him..

What's happening to you at the moment?

I have been involved in so many things. I had to spread my tentacles in the area of event management, consultancy, and mass moblisation. In fact, I have been at the centre of the national Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign. Everything I'm doing today is in line with what's happening in the motion picture industry. I believe that there are lots of things we have not explored in the industry.

Does that take away your acting prowess?

I'm still acting. But I'm more into producing and directing at the moment. Also I have been at the centre of creating awareness and consciousness for President Goodluck Jonathan using the platform of Nollywood and the entertainment industry.

It just that I'm a quiet person. I don't like to blow my own trumpet, concerning the things that I'm involved in. I'm a professional theatre Arts graduate. I stretch myself beyond the screen.

But you have not been visible on screen in recent times?

That's not true. I have done a couple of movies in recent times. Let me remind you of the movie called, “Total War”, and “Final War”where I played the role of a Liberian rebel which is still the rave of the moment.

Till date, I'm still acting. There is a recent Igbo language movie, “Akwa Eke Na Ugo Agu” which I did. I have not been silent, and that does not mean that my jobs have not been speaking for me.

Let's talk about the campaign you are championing for President Goodluck Jonathan. Is the campaign in line with the constitutional provision of the Actors Guild of Nigeria?

First and foremost, the guild cannot disagree with the campaign. We are in a democratic dispensation, nobody has any right over my right as a citizen of this country. Yes, it's possible for people that shares similar ideologies and philosophies to come together to achieve a desired goal. That does not mean the industry will have to be involved.

Any Nollywood practitioner who has a contrary opinion regarding the campaign is just beating about the bush. The thing is that a lot of Nigerian movie stars, musicians and stand-up comedians believe in the fresh breathe of air in the country.

What's the level of commitment at the moment?

In some of the campaign songs we have been able to utilise our mileage as actors and actresses to give it a hype. The theme song was produced by myself and Samie Okposo. Nobody is paid for participating in the campaign.

What's your strongest point as a actor?

It's my background as a Theatre Arts graduate.

When I look at where I'm coming from, I'm left with no choice to represent that background of professionalism, discipline and respect for professional ethics. That's my strongest point.

What prompted your decision to relocate to Abuja at the time you did so a decade ago?

I relocated to Abuja because there was a hunger in me for newness. I needed something refreshing and fulfillment. While I was in Lagos, getting fulfilled was far-reaching until I relocated to Abuja and embraced God.

I became born-again and a renewed person. I now have a true definition of who I am, in consonance with the word of God.

Meaning that there are some roles you cannot play in movies?

I play every role but I don't associate myself with things that are indecent. Even before I became born again, I tried as much as possible to avoid playing indecent roles in a movie. The business of acting has to be done with moderation and decorum.

We learnt that you are playing the lead role in the bio-pic on Majek Fashek by Charles Novia. How far have you gone with the role ?

It's true. Charles Novia has set me up and anxiety is overtaking me. I can't wait to replicate the life of Majek Fashek on screen . Though the role is both spiritually and physically challenging, I'm very much ready to fit into the shoes of Majek. We are billed to travel to New York for the final shooting of the bio-pic.

FRANCIS DURU Fact File

He is a dynamic and versatile actor born and bred in the Cameroun, but of a Nigerian parentage from Imo state. He is a pioneer member of Nollywood with so many movies in his kitty, prominent among which are “Missing Mask” , Rattle Snake” , “Mama Sunday” , “Dust to Dust” , “Sgt Okoro” , “Rampage” , “love Story” , “Sins of the flesh” , “Total War” which is now a rave of the moment and so many others.

These movies and many more of his movies have become a hallmark of nostalgia in the minds of his audience.

A father of three kids, Duru is artistically endowed as his act in the art cuts across Stand_up comedy, MC extraordinary, events management and consultancy. He is a director, producer, core consultant and resource person in the media culture, and child health related issues.

He has worked with UNICEF, USAID (LEAP, COMPASS), BBC, and a long list of International NGO's that are targeted towards positioning the African Child towards better Education and up-lifting the standard of the African Child in general

Duru is a Sunday School teacher and youth minister with the Family Worship Centre, and is involved in capacity building workshop as an actor trainer with_in and outside the country.

He has established a trade mark of excellence in his acting career as a thorough “METHODIAN” a deep and professional actor. This he owes to the rich academic and professional foundation established by the University of Port Harcourt, a 1996 graduate of Theatre Arts. Here, his talents and skills became refined from crude to pure gold through his teachers he constantly holds with high regards and esteem. He is presently the Interim Guild Chairman Abuja Chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria.

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Majek Fashek