Melvin Oduah Of BBA The Chase Opens Up About His Career So Far
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We all know Melvin Oduah represented Nigeria in (Big Brother Africa (BBA) season 8 tagged, ‘The Chase’). The graduate of pure and industrial chemistry from the University of Port Harcourt also holds a postgraduate degree in business administration from the Lagos State University. He had participated in the Gulder Ultimate Search and Mr. Nigeria competitions. Oduah has won a lot of awards, including Achievers Award, Most Promising Model of the Year 2010, TAVA Award 2011 for his role in Happy Family, Lagos Fashion Awards as Most Fashionable Male Personality of the Year (2014) and others. In this chat with GERALDINE AKUTU, he shares his modeling and acting experience.
How did you get into modeling?
Well, this happened when I was doing my compulsory national service in a school at Olodi Apapa, Lagos, where I was teaching. You know, teaching gives one time to do other things. I met a friend, Rita Jones, when I was at UNIPORT, who asked me to go into modeling because, I had all what it required. After graduation, she kept on telling me to consider going into modeling till my service year. Later, I accepted and she introduced me to her agency, Apple House, in Lagos. Though, there were some challenges, but I scaled through. Thank goodness, I am not doing badly today.
How many years have you been modeling, professionally?
What makes modeling fascinating to you?
If you are getting a lot of jobs, you will enjoy it more. It is fascinating in the sense that if jobs are coming in constantly, you earn more money and that’s cool. I’m blessed, and I’m grateful for that.
Your role models in the industry?
In runway modeling, it has to be Tyson Bedford, while in photography modeling, I admire David Beckham.
What ignited your passion for acting?
I’ve always had passion for acting since I was in primary three. My dad, who worked with Federal Government, was transferred from Lagos to Osogbo. So, we had to attend a staff school. There was a time when we were supposed to do a drama, a boy told others that they should try me out and I was giving a role.
What was your initial experience when you started acting professionally?
It was quite tough, but I had that positive mindset to excel. There are good producers and directors to make you feel you can do it or even do better. They might be strict, but I’m the kind of person that pays attention to details, because I believe it will help me to learn more and become better in acting. I’m always open to learning, because no one is perfect. I learn from more experienced actors and this has helped me a lot.
Role models in Nollywood and Hollywood
Genevieve Nnaji. She was born to act, her facial expression is superb. I must say here that she’s really good at what she does. Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise are exceptional actors.
Can you share your growing up experience?
I come from a family of six. My father and mother had two set of twins, with my sister and I, as the first and followed by my younger ones, a boy and girl. I had an interesting childhood and never lacked anything. We were well brought up.
Best movie you’ve featured in?
Well… most of the movies I featured in are not out, but for now, I would say History Box, which I acted alongside Joseph Benjamin, Uti Nwachukwu and David Nwagu and was directed by Desmond Elliot.
Which actor or actors do you admire most in Nollywood and why?
Olu Jacobs is exceptionally good and unique in his own rights. I also admire Pete Edochie, Ramsey Nuoah and Desmond Elliot.
How do you balance acting and modeling?
I try as much as I can to set my priorities right. Sometimes, one clashes with the other, but I try to manage it well.
You were known for your calmness in Big Brother, in 2013, what was the secret?
Everything I did there was the real me. I wasn’t acting. There is no way you stay in there for three months without your real personality playing out. I prepared my mind to be myself before I went into BBA.
What impact did the show have on your life?
First of all, career wise as an entertainer, you would always look for a platform that will shoot you out. BBA was a big platform for me and had elevated my career. It really shot me into the limelight, because people recognised me, and since then, I’ve been getting roles, lot of jobs, guest appearances, compere events and so on. In three months, I learnt a lot about other African countries, culture and people. It’s been wonderful!
How do you handle fame?
It’s not the first time fame has come to me, but it hit me in a big way. I’m managing well. I’m still the cool-headed dude.
How do you cope with female admirers?
By His grace, I’m coping well. I treat them with respect, but draw boundaries.
Your style of dressing
I’m not the corporate or too casual kind of guy, but love to look comfortable, neat, fashionable and classy.
Your choice perfume
Who are the stylish people you admire in Nigeria?
Uti Nwachukwu and Bryan Okwara.
How do you unwind?
I relax by hanging out with friends and family. I love to watch movies and party when I have the chance.
Where do you hope to see yourself in five years’ time?
I want to see myself doing entertainment and acting. I might not be fully involved in acting, because I hope to go into movie production very soon. By the grace of God, if I’m opportune, I will go to movie academy and learn more about movie production.