Chico Ejiro ... Mr Prolific
Chico Ejiro with friends Chico is one of the famous Ejiro siblings. The Ejiro family is one of the popular families ruling the Nigerian entertainment industry. Although, Chico got into the game through his elder brother Zeb, he has conveniently carved a niche for himself as Mr. Prolific in the Nigerian movie industry. Chico's love for the make-believe world is traced to the early days when his mother used to take him and his elder brother to the cinemas. But, today, with over 100 flicks to his credit, he ranks as one of the best directors in the Nigerian movie industry.
Revealing his humble beginning, he said: “I give thanks to God and my elder brother Zeb Ejiro, who gave me the opportunity, right from the days of Ripples. That was in 1988 when I was studying Agric-Economics in the then University of Ife. During the holidays, I used to come around to assist in the shoot of Ripples.
Therefore, I started from production assistant to cameraman and later become a director. I have had the interest in movies right from the childhood when my mother used to take my elder brother Zeb and I to cinemas to watch movies way back in Equatorial Guinea,” he said. Recollecting his first time on set, “Directing Barbara Soky and Alex Usifo, who were big stars during the first episode of Ripples was a big task.
I was scared and nervous working with people who I've been seeing over the years on TV.” On his best movies among the lot, the ace movie director, who sees his wife, Joy, as the pillar of his success said, “I don't have any particular one, but I have a few I can count. Silent Night was one movie I loved because it was a very emotional story, which a father had to sentence his own son to death by firing squad. There is another one entitled Festival of Fire, which I won an award for in Geneva, Switzerland.
I also like Full Moon, because to make that movie I had to travel to many parts of Nigeria. I went to Jos, Abeokuta, a cave in Onitsha, Osogbo and Sango Ota. Outcast is another good one, there are so many others.” For the sad moment when he felt like quitting, he said: “That was during the shooting of the movie titled Slave. It was a big budget movie, which I shot in Abakaliki. I spent N3 million to shoot it with Infinity Merchants. At the end of the day, one actor died on set. After the shoot, the actor jumped into the river and was drowned.
I had problems with the family of the deceased and the film did not do well. I lost my total investment. But that is life for you,” he reveals.