Williams Uchemba Opens Up About Life as Child Actor in New Interview

Nigerian actor Williams Uchemba has been acting for a very long time. When he was young, as young as 8, Williams started his career in Nollywood, and grew to relative fame. Then, he disappeared for a while before re-emerging as a full grown man and continuing his career that has gone on to be quite a successful one.

Now, in a new interview with Nigerian Tribune, Williams is looking back on his life as a child actor and also talked about his life in the creative industry.

Williams Uchemba as child actor

“You started out as a child actor and grew before our very eyes. How has that journey been for you? “

It has been amazing. I got into the industry at the age of 8. It’s my 22nd year in the industry. At a point, I took a break, travelled out of the country to focus on my education. Yes, it has been a great journey so far.

“Were there older actors who took you under their wings?”

I wouldn’t say I was personally mentored by anyone, but their various works inspired me to do more. I remember the first movie I did with Pete Edochie, who is a great, living legend of our time I was overwhelmed with enthusiasm. He inspired me quite a lot along with others on that production set: Clems Ohameze, Hilda Dokubo and others.

“You have been in the creative industry for a reasonable length of time. What is your assessment of the Nigerian creative industry? “

I think it is doing extremely well, I think Nigeria is one of the most creative and one of the most respected industries in the world. Of course, our contents trend on the global market, which means that we are doing something right. We have created jobs for a lot of young people that could have been doing something illegal, having depression or suicidal thoughts. It has been an escape for some of them and I just pray they use it to promote our culture and to have a better nation in general.

“How did you find your niche in the comedy industry? “

It wasn’t planned, as a matter of fact; I have always been hilarious, to the best of my knowledge. We are just a funny family. My dad, siblings, I never for once thought of taking it out of comfort zone outside. Because of my ‘status’, I thought when I go out there, I need to be cool as an actor. But when I realised the power of being yourself, it changed everything.

I started comedy when I was in California. I just tried out a video and people loved it and kept reposting. It got a lot of views.

One day, I received a message in my DM (Direct Message) from a woman who requested to speak with me. When she called, she was crying, saying ‘Thank you so much, you don’t know what you have done for us’.

She said her mother had been sick with cancer for over 6 months and she had not seen any reason to smile until she came across my comedy and she had  been laughing all through. She said that it got everyone emotional and they thought they should call and thank me. That was when I realised that this is not just what I do for an art but a ministry, especially in Nigeria, where you have a lot of people who are going through so much. The least I can do is to release stress by humour. They say laughter is a good medicine. People call me a comedian but I prefer to be called an actor, because an actor can make you cry, make you laugh, can play around and that is what I consider myself to be.

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