With Spouse’s Secrets, Sam Uche-Anyamele is living his dreams
The Cinema Hall in Ikeja was filled to the brim. It was unusual to have such a large turn out of moviegoers on a Monday afternoon for a Nollywood title. But this must be an engaging Nollywood movie to attract such a crowd.
Few infomercials and the credit lines reveal that it is a Sam Uche Anyamele’s feature, titled, Spouse’s Secrets, about Ella and Sam, a young and dynamic couple held unto their sheer secrets at the expense of peace and harmony in their union.
Amidst a myriad of side attractions and distractions, the long-held secrets are revealed and the result, fruitfulness, openness and love thereon. “It is engaging, thought-provoking and has loads of life lesson,” said Bakare, a movie buff, who came to see the movie with his fiancée.
“I totally enjoyed myself and learnt one or two things that I will apply in my love life,” he enthused. Even though the dream of every filmmaker is to take a movie to the cinema and record box office success, the producer and co-director of the movie, who also featured as the lead act in the movie, Anyamele said the major motivation for signing the movie as producer was beyond the “cash that would come from the box office.”
Although the notable stage and screen actor acknowledged that box office figures and figures from other sales outlet matter, especially if the dream is to keep making movies, the major motivation for producing and directing Spouse’s Secrets was to address the issue of increasing rate of divorce in society.
“I discovered, while researching for the film, that infidelity, as overtly emphasised by many, is not the only reason; hence the film,” he clarified. But why did he decide to wear the producers and directors garb? Anyamele, who is notable as an actor and had indeed received several awards and recognitions, including the winning the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for upcoming actor, replied: “Although I have functioned in a couple of television and film productions, either as a co-producer or director, but I decided to tell this story and tell it well under my company name- SUA-Global Infinity Concepts, and I will definitely do more acclaimed productions upon availability of special funds.”
An actor of vast credit, who in the early 2000s met most television viewers in their living room and warmed his way effortlessly into their hearts with his convincing acting run every other week as lead actor of No pain, No gain series, one of the earlier episodes of the gripping television soap, Super Story, this Abia State-born actor from Ukwa East Council is roundly admired and regarded as a reliable actor, who sambas off and on screen because of the streak of success that has so far come with his involvement in the movie.
Said to be unpretentiously humble and friendly, Anyamele ranks amongst the preferred and toast of most motion picture producers, especially those whose forte is producing content for television.
Born and bred in Lagos, the actor, who holds several degrees from the University of Lagos, Anyamele, popular as Richards, the role he lived convincingly in that Super Story series regarded as the most-watched television soaps in the country, was educated at Farounmbi Primary School, Isolo and Isolo Grammar School, now Holy Saviour College, where he was male senior prefect, his childhood ambition was to become a pilot.
The first of a family of six, however, had a change of plan when he was exposed to visuals of a plane crash, which claimed many lives. The next vocation he thought about during his formative years was to become a business tycoon. He explained that it was indeed that ambition that informed his decision to study Business Administration when he decided on a course of study.
But as he filled out the university matriculation form, a voice inside told him of a greater career ahead. He didn’t make any sense of what he heard until an encounter with one Chimezerem Odimba, a chap he said had a lot to do with his incursion into the entertainment world.
He explained: “He nurtured me way back in the Assemblies of God Church. He got me involved in church activities like acting, choreography, music and Bible study.
“It was my involvement in church that paved way for my learning how to play the musical instrument. I was later to become a choir director and I also learnt how to play the musical instruments there.”
But at what point did he decide to beat the acting path? “It started all the way back in church. I think it was the actor, Emeka Ike, who influenced me again. He grew up around my environment and was like a big brother to me, as well as like a challenge to me.
“I recall telling myself that if this big brother can make it as an actor, why not me. I believed that with time, I would become as significant as he has become in the acting world. I knew I was doing well as a musician, but it was not particularly too encouraging.
“I like results and I like to work. The result instinct in me was what led me into acting.” With his mind made up now, Anyamele hit the road in search for audition notices, took part in a few movies and had even done a soap, Scheme in 1999, long before Super Story.
But he admitted that it was the time he got the offer to be part of Super Story, produced by Wale Adenuga Productions, that his career swivel chair turned for good.
Indeed, it was his role in the epic television soap that gave him his acting break. And he became an instant success and a household name.
Anyamele has taken part in a number of Nollywood productions since he started out a little over five years ago. His ability to communicate freely in Yoruba has also earned him role in that divide of the industry.
But he said he doesn’t want to rely on the number of movies he has grossed, rather he wants to be part of movie productions that would stand the test of time.
In his creative pouch are works, such as Kill the Bride, which he named as his favourite movie run, Unforeseen, Bombshell, Who is my Father, Power of Love 2, Soul Mate 2, Two Brothers and Colours of Love.
Anyamele also played prominent roles and indeed lifted productions, including Song of Sorrow, Occultic Wedding, Innocent Criminal and Sincerely Yours.
Asked what has kept him going as an actor, Anyamele, who is a member of a number of professional association, including the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), replied: “It is God Almighty, who he named as his greatest source of inspiration.
“Inspiration for me is solely from God, because before I pick up a script, I pray over it and I ask God to help me make a statement with it,” he added.
Not one who is particular about star sign, as according to him, “it limits one’s abilities,” Anyamele disclosed that he spends his off acting periods playing and producing music.
He still attends music rehearsals and also likes adventures, just as he is currently pursuing a doctorate degree at the University of Lagos. His greatest career ambition is to get to the top of his career, just as said he longs to be recognised globally.
“I have won a continental award (AMAA), but my dream is to win a global award and to be known globally. And it has started for me, at least with my work o stage and screen. I want to get there and be recognised for what I know. I see successes tomorrow.”
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