Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Gideon Okeke launched his career in 2006 on the reality show Big brother Nigeria,he has since evolved from a model,musician,TV presenter and most definetly a talented actor with his current role on Mnet Africa's soap TINSEL making him a household name on the African continent and beyond.
He holds a bachelors degree programme in applied biochemistry from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka.
Omoyeni-disu.blogspot.com had an interview with this fine young man and he revealed to us his love for sharing his experiences on the job,love for kids,experiences in the BIG BROTHER NIGERIA HOUSE and his personal life:
HME:WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO FOR BIG BROTHER, WAS IT THE FAME,MONEY,EXCITEMENT?
Gideon: At the time i was bored with my present state,i was 3weeks away from graduating and i thought it would be the best way to let off some steam.I wasnt pleased with my present state of study,i did applied biochemistry and i dont think it added anything to my life,though my dad doesnt like me saying this in interviews i feel i wasted those four years of my life. But in hindsight those 4years formulated me,they were a part of my process and it made me realize that the more you are in the wrong place the more you realize where you wan to be.So when the call came i ran off and came back 6months later to finish up.
So i can look back at a Yinka,Ebuka,Maureen and say i know where we are all coming from and look at our lives now.
HME:FROM BIG BROTHER, TO STORM,NOW TO BEING TINSELS LEADING MAN HOW DID IT ALL HAPPEN?
Gideon:People like to thing big brother opened a lot of doors but in actual sense it made things a lot more difficult, as much as people recognize you and want to give you a handshake it puts you on the spotlight,theres a lot of expectation.
They dont want to see you as the ordinary person they want to see you as someone that has talent,that can deliver and live up to standard so you have to find your foot,be confident about it and arrogant too.
Being on Tinsel didnt come on a platter of gold,i had to do auditions with 10,000 other people thats why i appreciate every moment,every handshake,every nice job because i know what it cost me to be there.
HME:YOU FEATURED IN FRACTURES A STAGE PLAY, DO YOU WANT TO FOCUS ON BEING IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA OR YOU STILL HAVE PLANS OF COMING BACK TO STAGE?
Gideon:Commercially thats the only stage play,with doing stage plays i have discovered other parts of myself.I will teach acting soon because i get the kick from being on both but there's an inner fulfillment when i impact knowledge in other areas which surpasses the perks that come with the job. My life in front of the screen will definetly have its own shelf life and then i would move on to create acting symposiums.I basically love to share so there's still some stage presence coming up.
HME:YOU RELEASED A SONG OGIDIGADA AND WERE SIGNED UP TO STORM AS A TV PRESENTER,WHAT BECAME OF THOSE?
Gideon:Basically a lot of things happened in my life personally and career wise and were not set in stone it was me at that time trying to carve a niche for myself and find my foot,today some of my friends say am a better singer than an actor and other tell me to stick to my day job.
At that moment it was me not wanting to be called Gideon of Big brother,i wanted to be Gideon and the single i did was 4days after i was evicted,went into the studio with Darey and Eldee and was just messing around with "ogidigada","ogidigada" and Darey played added a beat to it and we played it to Obi Asika who liked it and gave it airplay.
NOTE:Thats not my sound am more soulful like India Arie,ASA.
HME:WHAT EXACTLY IS ACTING FOR YOU?
Gideon:If i was doing acting for the money then i would be earning a million dollars per week,because the naira isnt the Dollar we cant say we are making money yet.A lot of us are passionate about what we do but like they say talent isnt enough you have to own it,feed it,train it and am very grateful to my employers at Mnet for the training they give us quarterly and the fact that am making my own effort.
Just myself and Tony(Ellen DeGeneres DJ) are the only 2Nigerians i know that attend the Listra Film institute in New york,its not for the money but the experience and knowledge to be gained and the fact that i want to be able to share this knowledge with others the passion,the drive to want to tell the other man how real the situation you are portraying is.
HME:YOU WERE NOMINATED AS THE ACTOR OF THE YEAR FUTURE AWARDS 2009,HOW DO YOU WANT TO USE THAT PLATFORM TO GET ACROSS TO THE YOUTH?
Gideon:I have done 2 workshops with "THE FUTURE NIGERIA" for aspiring actors on this platform and thats where my love for sharing grew,thats one of the ways i give back.On the long run i want to have my own art institute where knowledge is shared and gained from people from all works of the industry because i dont see why theres only one Terra Kulture or National Arts theater?
Everyday i see myself walking into those shoes and my mentors are people i watched growing up and now i sit down with them and we have engaging conversations. Bimbo Manuel called me one of the most ambitious actors and coming directly from him its a huge compliment and i never want to rest on my oars.
I want to be the "go to Nigerian Actor"the guy that people refer you to when you are looking for Nigerian actor.I dont consider myself a celeb because the power of that hasn't translated to me giving back as much as i want to. I'm the process of me creating my symposium i consider it as a process of change for my generation.
HME:DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE ALWAYS GOING TO BE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY?
Gideon:I always knew i was going to be on tv as a kid and big brother was a perfect platform to be seen and by way of that i have met everyone and its not just meeting everyone but being able to make an impact.For a year i was without a job not because offers weren't coming but it was a matter of being over exposed,am thankful i have a good knowledge of self and had to restrain myself from being all out there.
If you watched the show clearly you would have known that it wasnt for the money but big brother was a stepping stone for me becoming who i am today.I am also grateful for my manager who has taught me everything i know,he is the definition of generous.So no i didnt stumble into the industry,i worked for where i am today.
HME:MAUREEN IN THE BIG BROTHER HOUSE,WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT RELATIONSHIP?
Gideon:That happened when it happened and we have moved on having more respect for each other as with everyone else that was in the house,but we went out for almost a year though.
HME:ARE YOU IN A RELATIONSHIP?
Gideon:*Smiles*Am talking to someone and she's listening,whatever that means.
HME:WHO REALLY IS GIDEON?
Gideon:Hmmmm(pauses for a bit) am still trying to find myself. I am a body of work in progress,i love to have fun,love to have people around me because i grew up as an only kid and that was a bit boring so it turned me to some sort of a rebel, am very loyal to friendships,if i were an animal i would be a dog,horse and a dove all 3 in 1,freedom basically spells me,i love kids and wish they would never grow up.I love to be wealthy but not in an extravagant way,i believe the more famous you get the lonelier hence what centers you has to be strong,family friends.Looking to get married soon when the competition is right.But as a person i rather be ordinary.
HME:5 THINGS ABOUT YOU PEOPLE DONT KNOW?
Gideon:Am a big baby,big big baby,i love music(afrobeat most especially,like its going out of fashion).I love to love,love companionship,i love to share because the more i talk to you the more i listen to myself,sometimes you dont know what you know until you speak,i love to party hard(i work hard for 30 days and i party for 1 day and that 1day covers for the 30days),i love me some beautiful women,i love to compliment make people feel good because you never know what you get back from that. And oh! i love to cook what i know,i am so good with stews its unbelievable and she's teaching me different ways to make couscous and am bad with couscous now.
Posted by HOMEMADE ENTERTAINMENT at Tuesday, February 08, 2011