Ace Nigerian Actor, Pete Edochie, has revealed his first payment of N50, 000 for his first movie role, as a catalyst to his transformation as a broadcaster to an actor.
Edochie, in an interview said he jumped on the opportunity to be an actor towards leaving his old job (radio broadcasting) where he earned N9, 000 monthly.
The veteran film star said Josephine, his wife of 53 years, also encouraged him to begin his career in acting.
The 76-year-old said he moved to Lagos and by the end of his first year as an actor, he made N750, 000.
“The moment I drove home from Oka, I told my wife my work is over,” he said.
“She hugged me, bought me a bottle of beer and said ‘Pete you have always wanted to be an actor, the time has come’ and that was it.
“I was sitting down with her in the parlor, somebody came from Lagos and gave me a cheque of N50, 000, and at that time, my salary as a director was N9, 000 a month.
“He gave me a cheque of N50, 000 and said come to Lagos and do a film for me. I landed in Lagos and I was doing that film.
“Chiko Ejiro brought me a script, gave me N100, 000 and I worked and got into a set. His brother, Zeb, brought me another script and gave me N150, 000.
“So by the time that year ended, I had earned N750, 000. Whereas my salary a month was N9, 000.”
Before Edochie formally left radio broadcasting, he took the role of Okonkwo, the lead character in a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) series and adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s best-selling novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ in the 1980s.
In 1995, Edochie was featured in ‘Ikuku (Hurricane) 1’, his first movie since his performance in ‘Things Fall Apart’.
In a related development, the legendary actor named his junior colleague, Genevieve Nnaji his favorite Nollywood actress. He revealed this in an interview.
Pete Edochie confessed that of all the ladies he has portrayed the role of a father to in movies, he adores Genevieve Nnaji the most.
According to him, the actress is an extraordinarily smart person.
The actor added that although he adores Miss Nnaji, he wouldn’t call her again.
On why he said so, Mr Edochie revealed that he attempted calling her when he learnt of her mental illness but couldn’t reach her. He said;
“Of all the girls that have played my daughters in movies, Genevieve is the one I love most. I look at her as my daughter and she took me as her father. And she is a brilliant lady, an exceptionally brilliant lady and I haven’t heard a lot from her lately. Ever since I heard that she is a little disturbed, I hope that she calls me and tell me she is okay. I wouldn’t try calling her again, I tried”.