Ifeanyi Akogo, a Nollywood actor and radio producer has said that he discovered himself as actor way back as a primary school pupils, but he was shot into limelight in his acting career when he played the role, ‘Mr Midas’ – a proud, stylish and cunning character in the popular Tinsel TV series on Africa Magic Television, showing in almost 50 African countries.
However, years before then, he had made his acting debut as an eight-year-old in his primary school stage production, where he played the role of “Owolabi”. A role which he has said was not to his mother’s liking since Owolabi was a thief in the story. Undeterred, he went on to perform in several stage productions during his primary and secondary school education.
Born in Lagos Nigeria, to parents who are from Ukwuani in Ndokwa West in Delta State, Nigeria, Ifeanyi Akogo has certainly paid his dues in the Nigerian Creative Arts Industry. He acts, sings, dances writes, comperes hosts radio shows and is also a voice-over artist, but he maintains that his primary passion is being an actor.
In a recent interview, he said “It was an innate thing in me because right from primary school, I participated in various drama groups that moved round the country to perform. This was when the interest grew and sharpened my desire to participate on stage plays. I did about 20 stage plays then.”
Growing up, he was further inspired by watching Nigeria Television Authority’s epic TV shows such as, ‘The New Masquerade’, ‘Village Headmaster’, ‘Second Chance’ and others. “Watching the characters on these shows, inspired my passion to become a professional actor.”
Akogo credits the development and encouragement of his talent to his grandfather, a retired sailor with the Merchant Navy, who told remarkable stories about his journeys across many seas and cheered on Ifeanyi’s love for the arts.
His journey into Nollywood wasn’t easy. After studying Health Education at Delta State University, he worked for several years in the corporate world but stayed on the periphery of the movie industry before taking a full dive in.
Ifeanyi’s movie debut was in 2006, in a film called ‘Choices’. It was produced by the late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya of the Fountain of Life Church, Lagos and directed by Don Pedro Obaseki. Afterwards, he also featured in “Tango,” a 26 episode TV series that was also produced by the Fountain of Life Church.
He has since starred in various feature-length Films and TV series, which include “Crystal” and “Ordinary People” both directed by Desmond Elliott, “The Cleanser” by James Abinibi, “Living with Angel” by Ben Chiadika, “The Bait” by Rok Studios, “Mourning Karen” by Fehintola Olulana, “Façade” by Mahmoud Ali-Balogun, and “Eve”.
Ifeanyi Akogo has been cast in primary roles alongside various actors in the Nollywood Film Industry some of which includes Segun Arinze, Lala Akindoju, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Femi Jacobs, Van Vicker Linda Ejiofor-Suleiman, Somkele Idhalama, Chiwetalu Agwu, Jide Kosoko, Bolanle Ninalowo and many others.
His biggest role yet, was in the recently concluded “Battleground” and “Battleground – Final Showdown” a spellbinding Mnet/Africa Magic TV series that ran for over two years, where he played the role of “Boniface” who was a fearsome henchman, for his tyrannical boss “The General.”
• Bukola Gbede, a freelance journalist, contributed this piece
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