Can we know you sir?
My name is Clems Ohameze, from Imo state but born and brought up in Port Harcourt.
For how long have you been into acting?
How many movies you featured in so far?
(Laughs) As about my last counting, it was around 386 movies.
You have been away for two and a half years now, what happened?
Well, well, well, in the year 2007 it was actually 2006, I felt that I have fulfilled my desire in the movie industry. After all the movies and the awards, I just felt I needed to move on and do something else, so I set out for politics.
In 2006, I registered with the presently ruling party PDP and contested for house of reps in Imo state. I won the primaries and immediately after that, I was faced with all sorts of threats.
Some people felt I should not be a star in a movie industry and a star in the politics as well. So they said, no, Clems, you are not supposed to be here, go and face your movie and leave us here.
I felt that was what led them to do what they did. My car was attacked. I escaped their attacks severally. My cousin was killed, my driver escaped with a bullet. It was that serious. They thought I was inside the car and they wanted to eliminate me.
I had to leave Owerri and escaped through Enugu to Abuja, and travelled out of the country to UK and from there to America.
In fact, I was just running around for my safety. What helped me mostly is that I’m a citizen so I do not have limits to what I can do out there. But thanks to God, I’m back home now for good. I came back to Nigeria last year, because I believe everything is calm now.
Since your return last year, how many movies have you done?
I have done at least 26 movies.
Now that you’re fully back, what are we expecting from you?
A lot. Yes we are still doing what we do because we have passion for it. I used to tell my friends that I can’t leave film making, because I want to make fame. This business is the only one that opens doors. As long as you are in this business, any door you knock on, it will open without much stress.
I have a lot I’m doing. I have business interests in U.S, U.K and Ivory Coast.
Now that you are back, what are the changes you noticed in Nollywood?
There’s a revolution in Nollywood. Not the kind of revolution with violence, we don’t need violence.
I always tell people that the industry will always evolve for good, which is why I called it evolution. Now, with the aspect of coming back to the cinema, we are heading to the point where the professionals will take over the business and things will be done right.
Right now, the people in control of the industry are not really the top professionals, but I give them kudos, because without them we won’t have come this far. But all we ask them for is let there be some finance, let there be some structure.
One of the biggest finance today in US is Hollywood. The government here in Nigeria got involved in Nollywood, because they found out that Nollywood is mega money business or structure. That is where they got it wrong. You can’t just jump in from nowhere and take over what people used their life and money to build.
No! We don’t work that way. But anyway the change will come and is coming gradually. And it’s most unfortunate that the people we helped are not the people that will take us to promise land. There are people who have not come out to talk about the faring of the industry, those are the people in due time will take up Nollywood.
Your general challenges?
The job itself is challenging. I can’t really say but we do experience challenges from time to time, especially when you have to go out to locations. But the most important thing I can call challenge is the fact that you have lost your private life. You are now a public figure. You are limited in things you can do.
What inspires you?
The fact that I want to affect people’s lives through movies inspires me a lot.
Apart from acting, have you produced any movie of your own?
Yes, have produced four movies. Two were shot in Ivory Coast and there are French movies, while two others are in English and were shot here in Nigeria.
(Laughs) Women turn me off; I know you will soon ask that.
Good food turns me on.
About your last job and this one you are on?
I can’t talk about it because I’m be selling out the movie to readers. I can only talk about the ones in the market because this is just like piracy to me. I don’t have to break the law.
How do you cope with fans?
Without them there is no me, because they are the mirror that I see myself in. They’re the most important thing in my life and my career, because without them, you are like every other person walking on the street. They are the mirror in which when you are getting older or younger they will tell you.
Anything else you want to tell us?
Nothing more to say, but the name of your magazine scares me. I hope you don’t gossip me (Laughs).
by simon evia