“I am a professional through and through and secondly, in all modesty, I am a role model to a lot of people who see me and believe in whatever I represent. I think it’s some virtue for me. And it’s not my intention to let them down. Societal expectations compel moral rectitude and I don’t want to disappoint those expectations (June 20, 2015).
This week our city icon is Pete Edochie, a Nollywood Legend from Enugu who is globally renowned for his lead role as Okonkwo in an NTA adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s all-time bestselling novel, Things Fall Apart. Until he assumed this fame, he was a professional broadcaster, and had acquired vast experience in broadcasting and administration.
Born on 7th March 1947 in Enugu, Enugu State, South-East Nigeria, Pete completed his Primary and Secondary education in Zaria, Kaduna State. After his secondary education, he did a course in Journalism and Television in School of Journalism and Television, wrote for some newspapers before joining his father in the Nigerian Railway Corporation. By mid 1960s, he proceeded to England to further his education.
In 1967 at the age of 20, he joined the Eastern Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation as a junior programme assistant and subsequently rose through the ranks to become a Director, and he retired as a broadcaster in 1988. Earlier in 1969, he had married a professional colleague, and in 1980, was trained formally in the BBC as a broadcaster.
Pete, though a seasoned administrator and broadcaster, came into limelight in 1987 during an NTA TV series where he played the lead role of Okonkwo in an NTA adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s all-time bestselling novel and literary masterpiece, “Things Fall Apart”. Until then, little did people know that Pete had earlier played other little roles on television such as Segment of Shakespeare, Every Man, Realm of Violence, Resurrection, among others.
After retiring from broadcast media, Pete moved into the movie industry as an actor and has over 200 movies to his credit. These accomplishments have attracted numerous awards, national honours and Hall of Fame adoptions.
Today, he is considered a culture ambassador, role model and one of Africa’s most talented actors, not just by his fans and upcoming artists, but also by established corporations such as the Movie Awards and Movie Magic’s Africa Magic Cable network.
Some of the things that endear Pete Edochie to people include his appreciation of African culture, his sense of humour, his trained voice, his values as a father and an actor, and his command of the English language.
This actor resides in Enugu and is blessed with six children
Pete Edochie on the Marble
As an actor, Pete Edochi is known to be adept in interpreting his scripts, flavouring his speech with proverbs and always taking up roles as a rich man or wicked man in movies to pass messages. Both on set and off it, this great actor has not relented in his effort to motivate youths, and often uses his constant post of proverbs on his social media page to this goal. Here are some excerpts:
“If your Soup always finishes before your Eba (a starchy Nigerian delicacy), you can never be a great manager.”
“However kind a man is, he would never give his wife as a gift to his friends.”
“if a poor man is wise, then he is richer than a foolish king.”
“A rich man’s lie is trusted more than a poor man’s truth.”
“A big goat does not sneeze without reason.”
“He who pelts another with stones invites metal in return.”
“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
“It’s easy to make a woman happy But expensive.”
“It is no shame at all to work for money.”
“Before you say there’s “No Good Men” Just make sure you are a Good Woman.”
“The child that accuses his/her father of not grinding pepper right, wants to hear about what sent his mother away from his/her father’s house.”
“You don’t say Proverbs When you are with your elders.”
Did you know? Pete Edochie:
- Was a renowned broadcaster with the Eastern Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation?
- Had acted in at least 4 other TV series before he came to limelight when he acted Okonkwo in NTA’s adaptation of Things Fall Apart
- Is a pioneer inductee into the Nigerian moviemakers’ Hall of Fame?
- Is a polyglot who speaks Hausa, Ibo and English Fluently?
- Bought a car for all his six children after they graduated from University to motivate them
- Has acted in over 200 movies
- Was never called his real name by Chinua Achebe— Achebe’d always call him “Ebube Dike” the character he acted when the late author’s “Things Fall Apart” was adapted into a TV Series.
- Is 23 years older than his first son.