For young and talented Elijah Ogann Anighoro, he is determined to make a difference in the Nigerian movie industry through acting and script writing.
In this interview, Anighoro shares his dreams and aspirations of becoming the Nigerian Tyler Perry in the near future. He also talks about his crush for screen diva, Genevieve Nnaji.
Can you tell us more about yourself?
I am Elijah Ogann Anighoro. I am also known as Chukwuebuka. I’m partly Urhobo, Igbo, Itsekiri and German. My ancestors believe in spreading their seeds. I’m an actor, writer, artiste, model, MC and entrepreneur. I have written for major productions like Tinsel, Hustle, Zone 222, and I just got on board The Johnson’s as a writer. I’ve written some originals for Mnet and Irokotv.
As an artiste, I was once label mate with big names like Reminisce, Sarz, Oladips, Kiss Daniels, and had some affiliates with Niniola. I guess music would still happen for me eventually. I’m a graduate of Sociology and Anthropology from University of Benin. Above all, I love God and I believe in the power of grace through Jesus Christ.
How long have you been acting?
I would say a year and some few months, but I’ve been in the movie industry for quite a while as a scriptwriter, until I made the decision to combine writing and acting.
Can you mention some movies or projects you had featured?
I have featured in The Johnson’s. I just got on the show as Chucks. Coincidentally, an offer came later to write for the show. I have also featured in other works like Ruby, Francis, Bloody Bag, Blind Voice, Broken Dream, Find Me A Man, and Heart Trick etc.
Who are those you look up to in the industry?
The first on the list would be Uchenna Mbunabo, he is a producer and the man that first took a chance on me as an actor/writer; I’m forever grateful to him.
Then Sadiq Sule, a producer, director and actor. He is like a big brother that has offered some useful guidance since the start of my acting career. The other person is Obi Emelonye; he is a friend and a big inspiration to me. Rogers Ofime would be another name to mention. Somehow he has created shows that have helped my career tremendously. They include Tinsel, Zone 222, Johnson’s, and I have a feeling we just started.
Then Ramsey Nouah, Jim Iyke, Desmond Elliot, Mary Njoku, Genevieve Nnaji, Mo Abudu, Kemi Adetiba, AY, Omoli Oboli, Ruth Kadiri, Lilian Azizi, Kunle Afolayan, Niyi Akinmolayan, and CJ Obasi among others. The list is endless and they all have one thing in common, they are all industry entrepreneurs doing what I intend doing in the near future. On the international scene, Tyler Perry remains my man, and then Jordan Peele.
You are dark, tall and handsome, the complete spec for majority of our ladies, how have you been coping with female fans?
I love my female fans and they love me too. They are my support system, rooting for me endlessly. So, there is really nothing to cope with. If you are talking romance, well, I’m lucky to have the ones that tend to respect boundaries. I hope it stays that way.
Are you in a relationship at the moment?
Aren’t we all in one form of relationship or another? I have someone I think about (laughter).
Who is your female celebrity crush and why?
Unfortunately, I am on the endless list of the Genevieve Nnaji’s crushers. Why? It’s because she is Genevieve, beauty and the brains. Then, there is something about Rita Dominic that is just appealing. I like Esther Audu but unfortunately, she is married; so she’s more like a sister now.
Rita Dominic, Genevieve Nnaji, Tonto Dikeh, who would you want to go on a date with?
Genevieve Nnaji above any other.
I saw videos and photos of your shoot for Malta Guinness, what is it all about?
I have always had a dream of becoming a brand ambassador for Malta Guinness. So, I teamed up with Romol Couture, a gifted Nigerian designer and John Nathan, a talented photographer to see if we can bring that dream into reality, by doing a photo shoot targeted at the Malta Guinness brand, with a bit of culture in play. We call it ‘The Process’ shoot; the goal basically is to be daring. We can only hope that something good comes out of the attempt with Malta Guinness; if not an ambassador, then an influencer. We intend to put it online and get fans, family and friends to tag the brand. You never know.
What are your dreams and aspirations?
I’m aiming for a never before seen brand – actor, writer, artiste. The implication is I have to make hits on all ends, to make it a reality. I’m putting in the work. I can say for sure that I’m getting there with acting and writing; hopefully I’ll plug in music soon.
Another thing is I’m Pan African at heart, so I’m looking forward to forging formidable alliances with other African countries with the hope of creating a notable Pan African market for movies with actors and crew from all over Africa. I have already started this move with Lamphouse, a Gambia/Malawi movie brand headed by Lilian Azizi; and we hope to launch some laudable contents soon. I hope to have my own film village someday – I’m Tyler Perry at heart. Hollywood is very much in the picture too.
What are your plans for the rest of 2020?
2020 is the year for Netflix-targeted contents and big cinema gigs. I’m yet to get that cinema break; it’s been television all the while. I don’t know how, but I know it would come this year. I am sure to be on Tinsel this year, it would be dream come true. I mean, a writer and later an actor on the show, that would mean something. Good thing is, it is already in the oven and I could get the call for the soothing role anytime now.