As Nollywood actor, Zach Orji, goes deeper in the Lord’s vineyard, he is a bit disturbed that decisions by some actors to go into other businesses or callings attract what he sees as undue attention or comments.
“All over the world, it is normal for people in any field of life to go into something different when they get to a certain level. Here in Nigeria, civil servants and teachers try their hands on different things besides their regular jobs.
So, I don’t know why those of actors should be any different. This is a normal human endeavour. More so, most times your salary is never enough to take care of your responsibilities.
“So, I don’t know why that of an actor should be considered different. Being an actor does not stop us from doing other things. So, let’s not look at it as abnormal. People can always choose to express their talents in other areas,” he says.
Orji, who was recently ordained a pastor at the Powerline Church, in Lagos, also countered claims that he had quit acting due to his new calling.
“While it is true that I am now a pastor, it has not in any way affected my career. I have featured in various movie projects lately, the most recent being Chimamanda Adichie’s best-selling novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, which was recently adapted for screenplay.
Besides, I have been on various sets. I won’t be able to tell you their titles because most times all the producers do is to bring you scripts, without a title. I will be on set of a new movie by ace Nollywood producer, Rosemary Ingbi, next week,” he adds.
Although Orji, who is most famous for his gentlemanly movie roles, maintains that these actors are simply expressing themselves, for some of his colleagues, this is not the case. Apart from losing juicy deals to music stars, some consider this move as a basic survival instinct.
After all, it seems that it no longer pays to be just an actor, with piracy and absence of structured distribution networks threatening the fabric of their industry’s existence. Some are even tempted to say that Nollywood is no longer in vogue.
Some actors have tried their hands in music, though it can be argued that this is often a show of other talents. Genevieve Nnaji, Jim Iyke, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Kate Henshaw and most recently, Nollywood bad girl, Tonto Dikeh, are examples. Yet, pundits have said that it is important to note that the success of an actor’s decision to delve into music goes way beyond just being a popular face or possessing good looks.
Before now, one area where a good number of the screen stars had found consolation is in endorsements by corporate organisations, especially telecom giants that include Globacom and MTN. But the tides is changing. Many music makers now own the day and in turn, call the shots anywhere they go. They are also fast becoming role models to many Nigerian youths, who hitherto revered Nollywood actors.