This blog today features Patrick Uchenna Attah. The Anambra State-born actor has equally ventured into music. Hear him. "I’m a big fan of Bob Marley. Aside God, he is my only role model. I had always wanted to be a successful musician.
Here is an excerpts of an interview he granted to Daily Sun Newspaper in 2005. Enjoy.....
It was in the early 1990s. Then, I didn’t have acting in mind. What I really wanted to do was music. I later settled for acting as an alternative. Ramsey Noah brought me in.
Coming into limelight
Well, it was quite an experience. But prior to that time, I had acted on TV in Rivers State. Mega Fortunes gave me the needed push because it was on NTA Network. It was my first major job and it was quite challenging. I really enjoyed every bit of it.
I grew up in many places. As a matter of fact, I’m from a family of six and I happened to be the last child. My father was a former Federal Pay Officer. Being a civil servant, my father was always on transfer from one state to another. So, I grew up in different parts of the country. Well, it was quite an experience for me.
I will say that it is an added advantage to me. And it has also affected the way I see and relate with people regardless of tribe, background or religion.
I had my primary and secondary schooling in different states. Later, I was admitted to the University of Port Harcourt, but I could not complete the course for certain reasons. I don’t like discussing the circumstances that led to my leaving University of Port Harcourt. I later ended up at the Nigerian Institute of Sports where I did a course in Basic Sports Management. I still have the plans to return to school, but not too soon. I do my things one after the other.
It was Glamour Girls by Nek Videos in 1994. I’ve come a long way in the industry. I’ve put in 14 years in the movie industry.
Coping with female fans
The fact is that, most of the time I speak with them on phone. I hardly see them face-to–face. I’m also an introvert, if I don’t have any business to attend to outside, I hardly go out. I like staying indoor doing one thing or the other. I also write, compose songs and design websites for my clients.
Most challenging role
I won’t describe any role as the most challenging. I see all my roles as very challenging. But my role as a mad man in Boomerang was very tasking and demanding. Aside playing a madman in the movies, I had to speak like a stark illiterate.
Acting as fun
Acting? I enjoy being on set because that is what I have chosen to do all my life. The only thing I don’t enjoy about acting is changing of costumes on sets. It’s quite stressful. I get tired easily when asked to change my costume.
Likely alternative profession
Well, if I’m not acting, I would have been a footballer or a volleyballer.
Oh, I pay my bills; that is how comfortable Pat Attah is. I won’t say I’m a millionaire, but I’m very, very comfortable.
I want you to know that every young man needs a lady in his life. Pat Attah has a lady in his life presently, but I wouldn’t disclose her identity now for security reasons. But she is not an actress.
Marriage is a lifelong commitment and a man has to prepare adequately for it. Definitely, I will get married as soon as I’m ready. In marriage if you rush in, you will rush out. I will get married, but I’m not in a hurry or under any pressure to do that. But don’t be surprised if it happens this year.
Managing my career
Let me say that one cannot eat his cake and have it. Being famous has really spurred me to do better so that those who look up to me as a role model will not be disappointed. They also appreciate what I’m doing and that is why they recognise me whenever they see me.
No! I’m not a playboy. People get that idea about me because of my roles in home videos. The truth is that I’m a one man, one woman kind of person. I don’t believe in double dating. In fact, I detest men who double date. People should stop judging me with my playboy movies. I’m not one.
Assessment of Nollywood
We are still growing; it is still a baby industry. Sincerely speaking, we are not doing badly. There are rooms for improvement. We can do better than what we are doing presently. Do you know that aside from petroleum, Nollywood is the second highest foreign exchange earner for this country. We have also created employment for the masses of this country. The government should start assisting us, they should come to our aid now.
Improving Nigerian film industry
If I have my way, I want better and improved welfare packages for artistes. Aside the few big names that earn big monies in quote, others take home peanuts. And when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys as results. We should try and pay all stakeholders in Nollywood very well, so that we can bring out the best in them.
I’ve collected over half a million in some movies. I’m eagerly looking forward to the day I will collect one million and above. I have over fifty movies to my credit.
Influence of Nollywood
Nobody except God. He is my role model and inspiration. But in the music world, the late Bob Marley is my only role model. I appreciate the acting skills of my colleagues, both locally and internationally. I do criticize myself whenever I watch the bad roles I had played.
Projecting into the future
I can’t say precisely where I will be in the next 10 years, but I know that I would have moved real forward. It is left to God to decide. I’m sure that I would have done a couple of hit movies in Hollywood by the special grace of God.
I have a lot of plans. I have also done a number of recordings, but I had to suspend everything because music comes by inspirations. I stopped when the inspiration stopped coming. I’m praying to God to continue to inspire me so that I can go back to the studios to complete work on my album. Before the end of 2005, my debut album will be out. It’s a fusion of reggae and R&B.
I love pets a lot. In my house here, I have a monkey, parrots, dogs, and a live aquarium. I’ve ordered for a chimpanzee and a wild cat like cheetah. They are processing the licence for these animals. I love animals because they are very loyal and will never betray you. I love them with a passion because they can die for you while protecting you. They are my best friends.