The Authority Icon: Bob-Manuel Udokwu
For his pioneering role in Nollywood, helping to establish the industry in Nigeria and the continent; for deploying his huge talent in acting, directing and production to a big effect thereby inspiring countless rookie artists to greater achievement, Bob-Manuel Udokwu is The AUTHORITY on SATURDAY Icon
He is a leading and pioneer Nollywood actor, director, producer and politician. In 2014, he received the Lifetime Achievement award at the 10th Africa Movie Academy Awards and was nominated for Best Actor in a supporting role at the 2013 Nollywood Movies Awards for his role in Adesuwa. Meet Bob-Manuel Udokwu.
He was born in Enugu but hails from Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government of Anambra State and is hugely proud of coming from the same town as the literary legend Chinua Achebe. He is an old boy of St. Peters Primary School now Hill Side Primary School, Enugu and Oraukwu Grammar School also in Enugu. In 1986, he gained admission to study Theatre Arts at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He also holds a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Lagos.
He is an actor of vast credit and producer of ‘Wedding Bells’ - his first foray as a producer. But it was not until 1986, the same year that Bob gained admission to study Theatre Arts at the University of Port Harcourt that his artistic bent manifested and became really noticeable. Since then, Bob, one time National President of the Nigerian University Theatre Arts Association (NUTASA) and coordinator of the NYSC drama troupe during his service year in Oyo State has not looked back.
Prior to his graduation from the University of Port Harcourt, he had become something of a local champ. In school, he was a part of every other stage and screen show. Off campus, his involvement in the production of a musical on the prime time belt of the Federal Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Enugu, ‘Kata Egwu’ (guess the tune) conferred on him a star status.
He also joined an amateur theatre group, the People’s Theatre based then at the grounds of the Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Enugu to hone his skills. Bob is a recipient of a number of industry awards amongst them the Nigerian Christian Filmmakers Role Model Award for the year 2004 and the THEMA and REEL awards Best Actor award first hit the mark when he featured as a supporting lead actor in that long rested television soap ‘Checkmate’.
It was that outing that undoubtedly shot him into prominence. Soon as the award winning ‘Checkmate’ was rested. Armed with a training in theatre arts and a pouch filled with stage and screen productions he had taken part in, It didn’t take long before Bob became the toast of most first-rate home video producers and directors.
It got to a point where everyone wanted him to play the lead. His debut on home video was in the phenomenal production ‘Living in Bondage’. This was in 1992. Between the time he featured in ‘Living In Bondage’ and 1995 when he featured in the romantic thriller ‘When the Sun Sets’, Bob who recently set up a modeling cum event packaging outfit - ‘Sapphire Bond’ has featured in over 70 movies.
In Bob’s acting oeuvre are such celebrated movie productions like ‘Evil Genius’, ‘Tokunboh’, ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Risky Affairs’, ‘Pestilence’, ‘Ogbaje’, ‘My Girl’, ‘One Dollar’, ‘Gun Powder’, ‘Apology’ and ‘Beyond The Alter’. Currently the host of the Gulder Ultimate Reality Show, his most memorable run as many of his teeming fans will agree was his gripping run as a randy Reverend in that ground breaking religious thriller from the stable of Gabosky films ‘Beyond the Vow’.
He is married to the love of his life Cassandra, mother of his two lovely children - Garvey Chibugo Udokwu, Elyon Chinaza Udokwu.