After watching the remaining section of “The Master,” and enjoying the accompanying music video “I Go Chop your Dollar,” I became very curious about the actor appearing in both as well as the reception of the each of the videos.
Nkem Owoh is a comedian, actor and musician born in Enugu, Nigeria. He went to a university and has a degree in engineering. Owoh went on to win an African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in “Stronger than Pain.” His IMDB profile lists over 80 works he has starred in, including a “Things Fall Apart” tv series. He has a huge fan base, is incredible popular and has even been dubbed the “king of comedy.”
Despite all of this success, his name carries a certain amount of controversy. According to the various Nigerian web forums I read (many of which read like straight gossip blogs, its fantastic) he has been arrested, kidnapped and even banned from performing. In 2004, he was one of a number of actors who was banned from appearing in movies by Nigeria’s Association of Movie Marketers and Producers. The association felt that actors demand unreasonable salaries and contract details. Owoh continues to be one of the highest paid actors in Nigeria, but the ban was only temporary. In 2009, Owoh was also kidnapped, and only released after his family paid a ransom fee of 1.4 million naira.
“I Go Chop Your Dollar” was released in 2005. The song was banned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission. I am not sure if this was a permanent ban. Two years later, Owoh was arrested in Amsterdam, allegedly during a musical performance. He was one of many suspected 419 scammers arrested in Amsterdam at the time.
However, Owoh says that he was NOT arrested (I found many sources that said he was including this and this). He says, in this interview, that they simply “staged a demonstration” and that he wasn’t arrested “the way it was reported.” This interview is hilarious, I would recommend reading it, and further looking into the lives of the Nollywood stars we have watched. Not only are the stars fascinating, but the way they are written about. The grade some of these articles are just about on par with the production quality of the films themselves. These Nigerian Celebrity reporters certainly give Perez Hilton a run for his money.