There is a lot of information out there on the internet about you, but please introduce yourself briefly to us and tell us what growing up was like for you.
First of all, my name is Emma Emordi Daniels, I’m a nollywood actor, aka Chief Omego, Ozowalu Ini ego n’umuota obosi, Ogiba azungwu… aka man with a bigger picture, aka Somtochukwu. Well, my growing up was in a Christian background, my father was an Anglican priest, next to the bishop, you know the drill. But growing up was interesting. Went to school, primary, secondary, and then to the university where I studied B.Sc in computer science, and then later in Agricultural economics and extension services, and then I later went for a Masters in Information Technology.
What is the secret of your very fast growth in the movie industry, considering the number of movies you have featured in?
Well, the secret of my fast rising and growth in the industry is prayers. I put God first and I don’t let anything distract me, I try as much as I can to stay focused on what I do. I take one job at a time and complete it, when I’m done I go over to the next one. I put God first because I’m a Christian, and I stay humble, because the downfall of a man begins with pride. So I try to be humble and truthful, and down to earth, and I think that’s what has been able to push me to this height.
Tell us about a very challenging phase of your career and how did you pull through?
Well, about the challenging phase of my career and how I pulled through, I will say starting from the beginning wasn’t easy, because you will just have to look for a way to get a job, and then make producers believe that you can do it. It wasn’t easy doing that, so what did I do? I had to go into the production crew and moved from there. First, I went into production assistant, then I went through to continuity. In fact, I went through the different offices of the industry, from make-up, to props and set, to script writing, I even ventured into cinematography. Then I became a production manager, and from there I started producing. I kind of produced most of the jobs I starred in, so as to be able to get good roles I can do. So, gradually from there, I started picking up, and here I am today.
Where do you see yourself in a few years from now in your acting career? Do you have specific plans? Please share
Where I see myself in a few years from now is Hollywood by the grace of God, doing movies with big shots. I also look forward to being a full time producer, with my own industry and equipment, my own things, and all that, you know, just having things working out for me. I know it’s a gradual process, but I believe I will get there soon.
What are your thoughts on dating or marriage? Can you be with someone from the industry?
Okay, on my thoughts about dating and marriage and if I could be with someone in the industry. Why not? The bible says he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtaineth favour from the Lord. Compatibility is the keyword here. Understanding and communication is all I see about dating and marriage. When you guys communicate well and have trust for yourselves, then sure, it can work. Most of the things that actually kill relationships in the industry are gossip and rumours, a lot of people are kind of jealous to see you striving well with a particular person, so they spread lies.
And I will advise, whoever is dating or married in the industry should keep their private lives away from social media. It only takes the grace of God for people who bring theirs to social media to strive, because if they tell you what they go through inside, you will be marvelled. But the truth is if there is trust, and there is communication and compatibility, and you build your world around the person, away from social media, it will work.
Tell us about how you started acting, and do you still remember the movie that shot you to limelight?
I started acting like a joke, way back when I was still very young. I had gone for the burial of a family friend, and I saw actors come for the burial. My friend was among the actors, and I played guitar and sang because I was in a gospel band in my church. I saw the way they carried themselves and I was like, I like to be one of these people. Before then I used to act in school and I loved it, so when I saw them, I saw an opportunity for me and I had to leverage on it, and I moved from there. I had a few friends who shared the same dreams with me, and before I knew it I found myself in Enugu, and that was how I started. For now, I cannot remember the movie that shot me to limelight but by God’s grace people always have good things to say about my character in movies.
Who is your role model in the industry? And what do you admire about him/her?
How will I actually say this, uhm.. I don’t have a role model in this industry though, but I like what Ramsey is doing. I also like John Okafor because I was his PA for about nine years. Those nine years taught me so many valuable lessons, but I would say I got my mentorship from Leonardo Di Caprio. I have followed him from the very beginning to this very date, and I like his interpretation of every role he plays.
What is the most embarrassing thing someone has ever said to you? Or an embarrassing moment in your life.
I have had so many embarrassing moments in my life, one that always comes to mind is an incident that happened when I travelled to my hometown one time. I just stepped out of the house to get some drugs in a nearby drugstore, I was wearing just a shirt and shorts. And this guy just walks up to me and says “are you not the one we see in the movies? I said “yes I am”, and the next thing he said was “why are you looking so poor, we see you guys in the movies looking so polished and fresh, why are you like this”?
I just smiled and walked away. Not long after that, as I was leaving to go back to my station, I was driving, and I came down to lock the gate after I drove out of the compound. It was in the morning, and this same guy was passing. He stopped again and was like, “are you not the guy I just saw a while ago? I said, “It’s me”, and he was like, “Oh my God, I am so sorry for whatever I said to you” and I just smiled again and told him not to worry, I actually deal with people like that all the time. That incident was really embarrassing, but then again, we are used to it because we see a lot of people who cannot draw the line between movies and reality. They just conclude that our lifestyles in movies must be the way it is in reality, and that mentality is really not a good one.
Tell us about an average day in your life as an actor, producer, and production manager. How do you deal with all the stress and pressure of shooting and moving from one location to the other?
Okay. First of all, what actually gives me the kick as an actor is passion. And like I mentioned earlier, what I do is that I try as much as possible not to take more than one job at the same time. Although there are many actors that will do up to five productions at the same time, that is not my style. Personally, I try to enjoy what I do. If I’m to play a role, I wear that character, I swim in it and try to portray that character even in my day to day activity in my personal life, so it doesn’t stress me. I take one job at a time, so that I’m able to give different reactions and interpretations, so you won’t see me having same reaction for different roles in different movies. And I must read my script thoroughly to understand everything about the character I’m portraying before I go on any set. That is me for you, and most producers I’ve worked with will tell you that.
And then, after the job I rest, my comfort is very important to me, I don’t joke with that. And food also, I tell producers, feed me well, not just any food, but good and nutritious food, then you can shoot till whenever you like, Emma is ready for you. Actors eat a lot of junk and at odd times too, and at the end of the day, you find out that we later pay the price with ill health and stuff like that, so I try as much as possible to reduce that risk by eating healthy and resting well. That is my style.
Final words for your fans?
For my fans out there and all those who will be reading this, what I have to say is simple. Put God first. There is nothing on earth we can do without God because He is the author and finisher of everything. He is the giver of talent and all good things, He made heaven and earth. I am not trying to be a preacher here, but the truth is, without God, we are nothing. Another thing is, try as much as possible to be humble, and never think ill of any human being. Be happy for the progress of others and prosperity and progress will come to you.
We were all made in the image of God, hence we ought to be our brother’s keepers, even though it is not like that anymore, everybody just looks out for only themselves, it ought not to be so. Also, we rise by lifting others. Whatever you can do to help anyone, do it genuinely and do not expect anything in return because, if God were expecting anything in return from us, would we be alive today?
Irrespective of all our sins, we still wake up everyday and go about our daily activities, we sometimes even forget to pray in the morning, and yet He is always there for us, interceding on our behalf spiritually and all that. So, let us try to emulate Him in doing good and the world will be a better place for us to live in. Thank you very much.