Born on this day in 1947, Chief Pete Edochie is a veteran Nollywood actor who is undoubtedly one of Nigeria’s living legends as far as the entertainment industry is concerned.
The screen star of Igbo descent was born in Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria but had his primary and secondary school education in Northern Nigeria in Kaduna state.
Following the completion of his formal education,
He quit ENBC (at the time now known as Anambra Broadcasting Commission when Anambra and Imo states were created) because the government had decided to politicise the affairs of the station. His exit from radio found him fame in the world of entertainment, The Guardian reports.
Edochie who is a Catholic rose to prominence in the 1980s and thanks to his lead role as Okonkwo in an NTA adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s best-selling novel, “Things Fall Apart”, Edochie was honoured with an International Award. He was also interviewed by the British Broadcasting Commission (BBC) for his role in the film.
With several awards and accolades to his name, his journey to success is one that has seen him contribute immensely to the growth of Nigeria’s film industry. In 2003, he was honoured as a Member of the Order of the Niger by former president Olusegun Obasanjo. The Africa Film Academy has also honoured him with an Industry Merit Award by Africa Magic and Lifetime Achievement.
However, his career has not been totally scandal-free as in 2005, he alongside several other actors were placed on a one year ban by the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria. The actors were accused of collecting huge fees from producers due to their A-list celebrity status. The ban placed on these actors was seen as doom in the Nigerian film business, but currently, the actors are back in filming. The other Nollywood stars affected include Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Nkem Owoh, Ramsey Noah, Stella Damasus Aboderin, and Richard Mofe Damijo.
Also, on August 16, 2009, Edochie was kidnapped but later released unharmed by his captors on August 17, 2009.
In September 2017, Edochie endorsed Wikimedia movement in Nigeria by appearing in a video to increase awareness and use of Wikipedia among the older generations.
In 2013, a 24-year-old Kenyan man, Ephy Saint alleged that he is Edochie’s lovechild as told to him by his (Saint’s) mother. Edochie was quick to dispel the rumour stating emphatically that not only has he never been to Kenya but he is not a wayward person.
Edochie has starred in over 70 films in his career such as “Igodo”, “Egg of Life”, Billionaire Club, and more recently, Nnaji’s hit film, “Lionheart”.