Government should get more involved in Nollywood –Elvis Duke

He is better known as Abulu in The Johnsons, a popular family sitcom on Africa Magic channel on DStv. In this interview with ROTIMI IGE, he speaks about his journey into Nollywood, among other industry issues.

Tell us a bit about your background, growing up and early memories of family life.


I grew up in the eastern part of Nigeria , Enugu State precisely . I come from a family of five children; four boys and a girl. I am the last of the boys; the girl is my immediate younger one . I was born into an average Nigerian Christian family. My parents were civil servants and so they believed so much in education and discipline. I studied Civil Engineering at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology.


How did your journey into acting begin?

My journey into acting started from secondary school. I was a very active member of the drama club and so I became the social prefect. I was also part of a theatre group outside school called “World African Theatre”.  We were very passionate young people who wanted to be actors . We went on stage and would pick up the then WAEC recommended African play for the art students , rehearse them properly and write to schools to give us a chance to act them live on stage for the students . Funny enough, we got good reception. We sold tickets to the students and then we would perform our magic on stage. Honestly, I miss those days. That was how my journey began.


What challenges did/do you face?

First of all, every career path comes with its own challenges. I am not a very tall person and so most times it was a challenge having to cast me in some certain roles. Again, it was hard being a new comer who in nobody knew basically.


Before The Johnsons, what were you doing in the entertainment industry?

I was in the corporate world doing a nine-five job.


How did you land your role in The Johnson’s?

I came for an open audition call at the National Theatre; I didn’t know what the audition was about really. A friend sent the notice to me and I went reluctantly, after much pressure from the same friend. I got there and met hundreds of people who came for the same audition. Long story short, two persons were picked from that audition and luckily, I was one of them.


Tell us, what has the experience been like working on set of the very popular family sitcom, especially with the cast and crew?

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It’s been amazing working with everyone, both cast and crew. We have been on the show together for eight years and it’s been a great and interesting time together.


Since joining the cast of The Johnson’s, what has changed in your life?

Everything has changed, yes everything. Career-wise, it’s been upward and forward. My choices also changed. Knowing that I have a lot of young people I inspire, I tend to consider these ones and the impact my life choices might also have on them.


Any particular embarrassing moment that you care to share?

Embarrassing moments? There is none that I can remember at the moment.


Your sitcom has been nominated for various awards. How does this make you feel?

I feel good each time we get a nomination because for me, it basically means we are doing something right .


Do you also act in movies or involved in any other entertainment business?

Yes, I act in other films, a whole lot. Asides acting, I am also a voice over artiste.


What would you want to be remembered for?

I would want to be remembered for my contribution in helping talented and young unknown actors achieve their dreams and hit the spotlight.


What challenges do you feel is still affecting the Nigerian entertainment industry and what solutions can you proffer?

Our challenge is basically funding. The federal government should get more involved.


What would you have become if not an actor?

I would have been a radio presenter. I love radio.


Your typical day?

I am more of an introvert, so my typical day would be sitting at home and watching movies.


What fashion accessories/gadget can’t you do without?

A fashion accessory I wouldn’t do without will be my wristwatch and for gadget, my phone.







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