Saturday, 22 February 2014

Celebrating Next Door Nigerians - Austin Ogbuishi

My people! Trust your weekend is unfolding as planned? Glad to be with you once more today, and in my usual style of identifying ordinary Nigerians who are carving a niche for themselves in their chosen fields,Nigerians who have been able to identify and embrace their strengths,today you'll get acquainted with someone who you would be happy to identify with. How well do you know your movie stars outside the obvious ones? You would agree with me that there are a lot of faces people fail to recognize beyond the established ones.

Which faces would you be quick to identify with Nollywood in the next couple of years? Today i bring to you a rising star who is gradually making a name for himself in the industry. Trust CrunchyApple to stalk him for an interview and i sure got lucky. Here's an excerpt from our chat. Enjoy. 

Please introduce yourself.
I am Austin Ogbuishi, a native of Obollo in Udenu LGA of Enugu State. I am 42, married and happy.

What is your educational qualification?
I hold a Master of Science (MSc.) Degree in Public Administration from The University of Nigeria, Nsukka.  My Bachelors Degree is in Public Administration as well – from The Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu.

How did you get involved in Acting?
Well, although I have always had a passion for acting being that I had been active in different drama groups both at school and in church way back, I would say that I got involved in real acting as a career by chance, more or less.  About two years ago, a long time friend of mine who is a renowned Nolllywood actor and director was holding an audition in Enugu for a movie he was about to shoot. I had gone to see him and on his invitation, I sat with him at the panel as he conducted the audition. That experience really stimulated my interest in acting. I asked him for a role in that movie which he obliged me. I never really got to play that role as my work at the time did not afford me the time. However, the seed of interest that was sown in me by that interaction germinated and blossomed such that when I ran into the Production Manager of that particular movie by another chance meeting a few weeks later, he asked if I still wanted to act and I said yes. He told me there was a role for me in an going production and within hours afterwards, I was facing the camera for my very first Nollywood movie feature. It was just one action scene and the director did not believe I was facing the camera for the very first time. The title of that movie was “console my son”. It’s been released a long time ago.

How long have you been an actor?
Like I already indicated, I started acting on a skeletal basis a little over two years ago but I got really serious last year: 2013. I featured in over twenty movie productions in the course of 2013 alone.

Who/What inspired you to become an actor?
I think my passion for acting is my primary inspiration. As for who inspired me, I would readily give that credit to Okechukwu Nwafor: the Production Manager I mentioned earlier on who was directly instrumental to my getting my first ten roles and still counting.

    How many movies have you starred in? What are their names?
As at today, I have featured in over twenty six nollywood  movies . It will be difficult to mention all the names here for the obvious reason that a good number of them have not even been released yet. Be that as it may, the ones I can remember include Brothers War, The Eye of the Eagle, Azonto Classics, Campus on Fire, Illuminati Cult, Ukpaka the Trouble Maker, The Hero, Ompa, Sexy Vampire, Palace of Sorrow, Street of Canaan, Apostles of Lucifer, Console my Son, Crying Freeman, Mr and Mrs Ukwa......

 Are you working on any movie at the moment?
Yes, I am working on two sets at the moment…both locations in Enugu. Earlier on in January this year, I shot two different movies in Asaba and Awka.

What are your strong points as an actor?
I believe my strong points as an actor, inter alia, include my delivery and use of English and my stature/built which enables me to fit into a variety of roles.

Do you get nervous for auditions?
No. Not in the least.

Think back to your first audition. What was it like?
The truth is I haven’t really been in a formal audition in the real sense of the word. Virtually all the new roles I get are either on recommendation or as a result of the evaluation of my previous performance by the producers. I guess one day soon, I will have to face audition for some big international production.  I look forward to that day.

Which has been your favorite character that you have performed?
Playing “Chief Ikenga” in OMPA and THE HERO remains the fulfilling role I have played so far.

Who is your favorite actor/actress?
I assume you are referring to nollywood artistes. You see, it is very difficult to isolate any one actor or actress as my favourite, truly, because there are many wonderfully gifted artistes in nollywood like Funke Akindele, Mike Ezuruonye, Ini Edo, Mercy Johnson, Yul Edochie and a massive host of others. Having said that though, I think Mercy Johnson is a versatile and lavishly talented actress. The same goes for Yul Edochie.

Tell me about an area in which you would like to improve as an actor?
I know and I have been told that I need to improve on my reactions and non verbal conveyance. The good thing is that I have also been told that I have been improving by each new production. It can only get better.

Do you have good memorization skills? (For memorizing scripts/lines.)
I believe I do and it is another strong point of mine. Be that as it may, the trick here is ones ability to internalize the lines and make them their own.

What have you learnt from the directors that you have worked with so far?
I have learnt so much and these have consistently helped to improve my act. Chief among them is the importance and the ability of being relaxed and confident on set plus the conscious effort to ensure that each new performance is a marked improvement on the former.

What have you learned from your seniors in the industry?
Simply put, I have learnt that determination, hard work and consistent self improvement are the routes to the top.

So far do you think that you have matured as an actor?
Let me just say that as an actor, I am maturing by the day.

On a scale of 1-10, how stressful is this career?
I would score the stress content of the acting career on 7. The truth, my dear, is that acting can be stressful. Long hours at locations, sometimes far into the night or even over night.  Stressful rehearsals, long waiting periods etc. E no easy.

Have you worked with any famous actor?
In the course of the short period I have been in nollywood, I have had the pleasure and opportunity to work with a number of famous nollywood stars.  These include, Yul Edochje, Funke Akindele, Ini Edo, Chika Ike, Bob Manuel, Clems Ohameze, Nkem Owoh, Osita Iheme, Chinedu Ikedieze, Ebere Okaro, Pete Edochie, Amechi Monagor, Eve Esin etc

Do you have other interests besides acting? 
Yes, lectureship.  I have been a part-time lecturer for several years now.

What is some advice that you would give to someone aspiring to become an actor?
I would advise anyone aspiring to be an actor or an actress to double check in order to be sure thats the career they really want. With that in place, they should develop their capacity to deliver lines and speak with confidence.  Ofcourse they should make the move and remain focused, patient, determined and consistent.These will win anyday.

Now you know him, next time you're watching a Nigerian flick, be quick to look out for him. To like his facebook page CLICK HERE

Have a Beautiful Saturday,Cheers...


  1. Ichie gburugburu...Good one


  2. Wow! I'm impressed by the command and good delivery of English. (I hope crunchyapple didn't doctor or edit his version) I haven't been a fan of Nollywood because of the quality of actors the industry has been serving us but this guy impresses me. Good academic background and command of English. Seems to me he knows what he's doing. I hope this is expressed in his movies. Well, i'll check him out them and I hope he impresses me. Keep it up bro. Maybe there's hope for improvement in Nollywood afterall.

  3. He's even from my school. Good one bro!

  4. If all the actors have good academic background like this guy, I'm sure the quality of our movies will change for the better. I hate to see all these illiterate on my screen...

  5. Nice one Austin! Keep keeping it real with nollywood. U making us proud.

  6. How Nice!
    Will look out for him henceforth...

  7. you doing so well Ichie! AO,

    am so proud of you.

    just keep a standard and be the Stand for others - to learn from.

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