Chiwetalu Agu: Profile of veteran Nollywood actor

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Chiwetalu Agu was born in 1956. His career as an actor started about 31 years ago, long before Nollywood was fathomed.

Unknown to many, Agu obtained a Bachelors degree in Dramatic Arts from the Munchen College, Former West Germany between 1977 and 1981.

Being one of the foremost actors in Nollywood, Agu’s ingenuity is unique as an actor because of his wit, humour, invention of specific clichés, customized phrases or slang in every film. For his numerous fans, he is fun to watch any day.

Agu has acted in at least 950 movies playing different roles since 1981. He started acting and formed a theatre troupe called ‘Inspirers’ Theatre Group in 1983 with loads of performances around Nigeria. It was this group that was sought after when the performance was intricate both in Enugu and around Nigeria.

The versatile actor was in the famous ‘Things Fall Apart’ in 1986, written by late Prof. Chinua Achebe. He was drafted into playing the role of ANIIKWU in Things Fall Apart, the famous NTA network drama. The character was one of the fathers-in-law of the character OKONKWO, the leading character.

Still in 1986, Agu played the role of Chief Abunna in ‘Ripples.’ Ripples was a soap opera on NTA then. He was co-opted into it by Zeb Ejiro. He was also involved in the production of the movie, ‘Taboo’, where he also acted and played the role of Ichie Ogwu.

In 2007, the veteran actor took part in the movies: ‘Burning kingdom 1 & 2,’ ‘The Maidens,’ and ‘Battle of the Gods 1 & 2.’ Agu’s role in ‘The Maidens’ earned him nomination for ‘the best supporting actor.’

The year 2008 appeared to be Agu’s best, as he took part in over 23 Nollywood movies. He took part in movies, such as: Return of Justice By Fire, Traditional Marriage 1 & 2, Fire on the Mountain 1 & 2, Price of the Wicked, Dr. Thomas, The Priest Must Die, The Price of Sacrifice, The Catechist, Police Recruit, Sunrise 1 & 2, Old School 1-3, Honorable 1 & 2, Sounds of Love 1 & 2, Nkwocha, Across the Niger, The Plain Truth 1 7 2, Sounds of Love 1 & 2, Church Man 1 & 2
Holy Anger 1 & 2, Evil Twin, Beauty and the Beast 1-3, Royal Messengers 1 & 2 and Royal Destiny 1 & 2. In the movie, ‘Across the Niger,’ Agu was nominated for best actor in a supporting role at the 2008 4th annual African Movie Academy Awards. The movie also featured Kananyo O. Kanayo, Rekiya Ibrahim Atta, Segun Arinze and Chinedu Ikedezie.

Historically, Agu was one of those involved in the audition of the blockbuster movie of 1992, ‘Living in Bondage’ which was produced by Kenneth Nnebue. The movie featured the likes of Kenneth Okonkwo and Kanayo O. Kanayo who later became a popular Nollywood actor.

The versatile actor also played the role of family elder in the ‘The Wedding Party 2’ in 2017. ‘The Wedding Party 2’ sets in Dubai, was a 2017 Nigerian romantic comedy drama film directed by Niyi Akinmolayan. It was a sequel to ‘The Wedding Party,’ which was released in December 2016.

In the first Nollywood Movie Awards in 2012, Agu was nominated for ‘the best actor in indigenous movie for his role in ‘Nkwocha.’ He won that award that year. The veteran actor also took parts in several movies not mentioned in this write-up.

Chiwetalu Agu is currently one of the richest and most influential actor in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $800,000 as at 2018.