Seasoned actor, Emeka Okoro is now a born again Christian just like some of his colleagues who have abandoned the movie making craft for the pulpit. In this interview with Showtime Celebrity, Emeka who recently debuted as a movie producer with the premiere of his first movie, ‘Flee’, talks about his conversion, acting career, marriage among others.
You’ve been away from the industry for a while, what have you been up to?
I have a media outfit that I’ve been running and at the same time I’ve been acting. These days, the movies we make doesn’t really move except they are shown in the cinemas, but I’ve been acting.
You recently became born again like some of your colleagues. What do you think is responsible for Nollywood heavyweights abandoning their acting career to become pastors?
I think Christ is happening in the industry! And you can’t take it away, it’s like a crusade and God is doing it Himself. You can’t even resist it when God is interested in your case; if you don’t want to answer it, frustration comes your way until you answer the divine call.
Were you distracted before you got born again?
Yes, I was.
Can you share your experience?
The distraction came in form of the opposite sex. It’s a normal thing for a worldly man who is prone to womanizing. But when I got born again, I got to know that womanizing has its effects on a man, because whenever you have s*x with a woman, something is taken out of you. It takes your time, eats into your destiny and so on. So a lot of things happen when you veer off course. When I got born again, I knew that I could do something about it.
What was your experience like with ladies before you became born again?
It has just been the normal going out on dates that they ask for; you just want to do it and see it as a normal life. But when you have the calling of God, it’s a different case; others may continue doing it and refuse to see it as an issue. But at some point, as I got closer to God my conscience didn’t allow me do it.
How did you meet your wife?
We met on set! We became friends at first and along the line we noticed there was chemistry between us and we were connecting. So we became close and I proposed to her.
How have you been able to prevent your marriage from crashing like that of many entertainers?
When you are on the solid rock, when you are in Christ, you don’t have anything to fear anymore. Christ is the base we are standing on and we don’t go outside that principle.
Have you been tempted to go out with another woman since you got married?
That is almost a daily thing and that is why I titled my new movie “Flee”, so you don’t stay there to fight the battle. You have to take off!
What is the craziest thing a fan has done to you?
Writing about me raping someone, calling some gangsters and mentioning my name and the thing is seen on a blog.
What has fame denied you?
A whole lot I must say! You can’t even say you are poor or you don’t have money. Again, when you get into Christ, he takes away a lot from you like pride. So at a time I had to take okada or marwa, and when people see me they are shocked. It’s quite embarrassing though but I think it’s the kingdom process. It’s all over now and I thank God.
What inspired your new movie, Flee?
First of all I’m now born again and as a transformed personality, my wife and I thought about what we can do to affect the kingdom we now belong to. So God inspired us and we came out with this story. So that’s what basically motivated me.
What’s the message in the story?
The story has a message which is don’t let anything or any distraction veer you off course or change your destination, your mission or purpose. We’re trying to sensitive people that along the journey of destiny, they have to be on guard, they have to be careful so that you don’t allow unnecessary distractions take you off course, thereby terminating the journey to destiny.
What should we expect from this movie?
The expectation at the end of the day should be that everyone gets a message; for themselves, for families, because it will make way for sober reflection after they get to know the consequences of their actions and also repentance.
What were the criteria for selecting your cast?
I got some from the church and then I have relationships with the other ones. I called them together to do this because I feel we are all connected.
What do you like about the character you played in the movie?
I played the character of a Chartered Accountant who is principled and has a mission. He didn’t see it coming, he wants to go about his business but some subtle distractions began to beset him along the line. He thought he has hold on his life but he fell along the line.
How were you able to combine being a producer and an actor at the same time?
It was very tasking and challenging. It takes so much out of you just because we are trying to manage funds. So I just had to cope with all of that.
Being an actor or a producer, which one do you think is more profitable to you?
I’ll choose being an actor but now that I’ve ventured into this one, I’ll continue to be a producer and I’ll also continue acting.