Pete Edochie, a well-known Nigerian actor, claims he was paid N50,000 for his first film part.
In an interview with media personality Chude Jideonwo, Edochie stated that he jumped at the chance to be an actor after abandoning his previous profession (radio broadcasting) where he earned N9,000 monthly.
The legendary actor stated that his wife of 53 years, Josephine, also inspired him to start his performing profession.
The 76-year-old said he moved to Lagos and earned N750,000 by the end of his first year as an actress.
“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 check of N50,000, and at that time, my salary as a director was N9,000 a month.
“He gave me a check 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.”
THE WORTH OF N50,000 in 1995?
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’.
‘Ikuku; was produced by Nkem Owoh, another ace actor.
Nigeria’s foreign exchange in 1995 was around N22/$ — meaning Edochie’s pay from his first movie was roughly above $2,000.
With N50,000, one can purchase a fairly used car in Nigeria in 1995.