Aliko Dangote is my role model
For the period of that super story entitled No Pain No Gain (a Wale Adenuga's television series) lasted, he held viewers spell bound, playing the 'evil genius'. “ His character was something you love to hate. Playing the bad boy, but interpreting it so smartly that you cannot help but applaud his devilish intelligence,” a lady had remarked about the character of Richard which was played by Uche Anyamene a University of Lagos Business Administration graduate.
The young man's popularity is not in doubt. Twice, the reporter flip briskly through his files and twice did someone request to see again an image that looked familiar. It turned out to be the photograph of Uche. Ask Uche why, this is so and he says, “This is what Super Story did for me.” Once, he was taking a walk with actor Emeka Ike, and it turned out that the fans were hailing him more than they did Ike, a far more experienced and better known actor, shouting "Richard Richard", referring to his Super Story character. Ike, could not help but remark (E bi like say you come popular pass me self".
Uche, who has director Antar Laniyan to thank for his professional tutoring, reflected that at the very beginning of his career, he was treated unfairly by movie producers. He said: “I have been decanted for my height, I have even been decanted for not having a car m-a-n (laugh) I don't want to mention names. They did this because they had some things to gain from that but, look at me today. By the grace of God, the producers cast me first before thinking about who is going to be my father or mother or even brother".
Today, Uche who is also a cross over artiste has featured in soaps and home videos such as Oh Lah Lah, Papa Ajasco, Big Flies, All the world, The girl in the House, White House, Rough Edges Colour of love, Bombshell, Dark Soul, Who is my father, Angel of Destiny, Eja Osan, Ase Oluwa, Aato Aaseku, Owo kan pa and so on.
Uche said he is not half as rich as his fame suggests, but feels it is better to have the fame before the money. He thinks it is easier to manage riches than stardom. He reasons that if the riches come first, one may not be able to learn and build his capacity. He has no regret starting his career on TV because he said though the remuneration may be quite low, the mileage is about what you stand to gain in future. "Recently, I received a call from a group in University of Ibadan, saying I have been nominated for an award. Such instances occur now and then. To tell you this, I got two soap offers recently and could not help but listen to myself telling the producers what my charges were and then they had to plead with me to bring them down. What they resolved to pay is what I never dreamt of collecting for a soap, considering how I started.
Uche's role model in the industry is Ramsey Nouah, whom he said was to him the best actor in Nigeria. Ask him why he is so impressed by Ramsey, he says “Some years ago, Ramsey used to be cast for his features as a fine boy, for his complexion and good looks. But one day, he stood up to ask a producer. “This particular character, are you casting me because of my looks or because you think I am good as an actor?” But today the world knows that Ramsey is a good actor who has carved a niche for himself. His handsomeness is even a problem to producers who cannot find replacement for him like they tried to do about other actors after the ban”.
Revisiting his period of learning, Uche, who said Laniyan directs from an actorial perspective, added that he has also been fortunate to have worked with directors such as Teco Benson, Dickson Iroegbu, Kabat Esosa, and Theodore Anyaji, who he said are directors who would always take you back to the good old days when professionalism thrived and when acting was done more out of passion than for material gains. “I want to be careful in building myself professionally. I want to be relevant at all times, because some actors after a while fade away having been carried away by the euphoria of stardom. When RMD said that no one could ban all actors, he simply meant that when a man is good, he is good and nobody can bring him down”.
Fired more by the desire to be a professional, Uche who speaks Yoruba fluently, said apart from acting in Yoruba language movies, he wants to be a crossover by also performing on stage and be seen to be relevant too by the theatre practitioners.
Born in Lagos, Uche hails from Abia State, and is the first child in his family. He says he would like to be a philanthropist. He says he is inspired by Aliko Dangote's business acumen and the fact that he is the highest employer of labour in Nigeria. If and when he becomes rich, rather than ride in flashy cars and wear expensive clothes like most of his colleagues in the film industry, he wants to affect the lives of the less privileged.