‘The storm is over… after brain surgery’
Julius Agwu speaks on operation, sets up foundation
AWARD-WINNING comedian and artiste, Julius Agwu, said he is delighted to be “given a second chance,” by God, after overcoming a difficult time during which he underwent a surgical operation to remove a tumour from his brain.
Agwu spoke about his recent health problem at the 19th edition of the African Film Festival, where he was honoured with an award, alongside Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, at the Stratford Town Hall, on Friday night.
Agwu, who received the Excellence in Entertainment Award, openly expressed his delight on the stage, knelt down and said that he was happy that “nobody came to collect the award on his behalf.” Speaking exclusively to The Guardian about what the award meant to him, Agwu (switching to what looked like an American accent) said: “I’m very excited about it.”
He then acknowledged the award founder, Prince Mike Abiola and his veteran actress wife, Golda John-Abiola, noting that “they’re the ones who made my entry into the United Kingdom possible in 2005.”
Continuing, he said: “I was just on my own, doing my own thing, not knowing that people had identified what I was doing, right from my foray into the acting and movie industry.”
He recalled that back then, the Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood, “had not been given its name, so we were just doing our own thing.”
He stated further that he was particularly excited to receive the award, because not only was he being recognised and honoured again , 10 years after his debut in the United Kingdom, that the award was still ongoing for the 19th year, “ is both remarkable and testament to the organisers’ commitment to showcasing and uplifting Nigeria’s entertainment and movie industry .”
On being given a second chance and what that meant to him, Agwu was a bit emotional, saying that “it’s simple and everyone who has the opportunity of a second chance should appreciate God, because not everyone has the privilege.”
He noted that “there are those who have health challenges and gunshots, and don’t get the opportunity of being rushed to the hospital and even when they do,” some don’t make it.”
He revealed: “As a matter of fact, I’ve already done a song, “second chance.” It’s a song of thanksgiving to God, for what he has done, for bringing me back to life. I’ve re-dedicated myself to the service of God and humanity, through my foundation – the Julius Agwu Foundation Worldwide.”
Asked to disclose the nature of the health problem he actually had, Agwu was -understandably – a bit emotional again, before revealing: “I had a brain surgery. They found tumours in my brain and I had a brain surgery.” Almost immediately, he then switched to his normal cheerful mode, saying “the storm is over. I’m just like a younger version of Julius Agwu.”
Governor Amosun was represented by Senator Lanre Tejusosho at the award ceremony.
Attendees at the award included prominent Nigerian-born British politicians such as the former Mayor of Enfield, Councilor Kate Anolue, and the duo of Labour councilors for both Hackney and Waltham Forest, Susan Fajana- Thomas and Anna Mbachu. Other award winners included Ali Nuhu and Funke Adeleke. Arik Air’s Managing Director, Chris Ndulue, also made the podium list , but was represented .