Veteran Actor Pete Edochie Speaks On 4-Decade Acting Career

Pete Edochie has reflected on his nearly four-decade career in Nigerian film.

In an interview with Afia TV, Edochie stated that when he made his acting debut in the 1985 version of Chinua Achebe’s best-selling novel, ‘Things Fall Apart,’ the concept of Nollywood, as it is known now, did not exist.

The 76-year-old film star says Nollywood began seven years later with ‘Living In Bondage’ in 1992.

Edochie stated that his performance in ‘Things Fall Apart’ helped him attain global notoriety.

“I am senior in the movie industry. I mean, when I did ‘Things Fall Apart’ in 1985, there was nothing like Nollywood. By then, Nollywood was slumbering sonorously in the womb of time,” he said.

“It was seven years after that Nollywood came on board with ‘Living In Bondage.’ I went round the world before Nollywood came. By the special grace of God, after I did ‘Things Fall Apart,’ I was celebrated internationally.

“The BBC flew in here to interview me and flew into America to interview Chinua Achebe. And Achebe said, ‘Pete Edochie gave that role an interpretation after my heart.’ Before he died, he was calling me Okonkwo.

“Seven years after Nollywood came and when I retired from broadcasting, I joined Nollywood.”

Edochie began his career as a radio broadcaster in 1967.

He had starred in ‘Things Fall Apart’ before he formally left radio broadcasting.

In 1995, Edochie was featured in ‘Ikuku (Hurricane) 1’, his first movie since his performance in ‘Things Fall Apart’.

He has appeared in over 200 films and is regarded as one of Nigeria’s most important and respected performers.

He has also garnered numerous prizes and accolades for his exceptional performances and craft.

Nollywood, or the Nigerian film industry, was formed in the 1990s. However, the name ‘Nollywood’ was coined in 2002 by New York Times journalist Norimitsu Onishi after observing film-making activity in Lagos, Nigeria.

After home video sales made director Chris Obi Rapu’s 1992 feature ‘Living in Bondage’ a blockbuster, video films became the industry norm in Nollywood.

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