Swanky JKA: Making History As A Trailblazer
Jidekene Achufusi popularly known as Swanky JKA is taking the Nollywood scene by storm and very quickly. With features in the latest hit blockbusters including award-winning Living In Bondage, Jidekene who recently won the AMVCA Trailblazer Award, speaks to The Guardian Life about his aspirations and hopes for a better Nollywood.
Who is Swanky JKA?
JKA is a lot of things. First of all, he is God’s son and also a man of few words. He doesn’t like clout or tries to be in the news for the wrong reasons. JKA is a devout child of God who thinks of himself as a very honest and dedicated man.
When did you start professional acting?
I can say I started professional acting in 2014. I graduated and decided to take more frequent trips to Lagos. I searched for gigs without having to miss classes or get in trouble with my lecturers and my parents. It was also the time I got my first lead role in a big project in the East. It was a film called Poka messiah by Mr Ernest OBI.
What has been your most challenging role so far?
The most challenging role so far for me was where I had to play a slave. To have become Nnamdi Okeke was no easy feat. So many things happened that made me better as a whole. I was the first to arrive and last to leave, I was sickly on set. This made me prayerful at all times and humble.
How does it feel winning the trailblazer award at the 2020 AMVCA?
I prayed about it. I have been thinking about getting a new car and one way for sure to make that happen would have been winning the trailblazer award. I never would have thought that my work in the past year would have been rewarded. It was an honour. I always wanted to be a public administrator, someone to hold public office and would help shape Nigeria into what it should be. This platform allows me to interact with kids, and women. It allows me to discuss with public and corporate bodies for the good and provision of better health care infrastructure, and to shape tomorrow’s leaders.
I’m definitely excited about working with Multichoice Dstv Africa Magic to create the best for the most active year as a trailblazer. I think I’m also the first male to win this award, so I thank the organizers for saying my work was enough. God bless them.
Do you feel under pressure now that you have this feather (trailblazer award) in your cap?
I feel no pressure about this award. I feel very blessed. I like that I am right in the middle of where I have always wanted to be; a voice for change. I believe I am a voice now for a lot of people; a lot of people are looking up to me. I hope to be able to inspire a lot of people with my speeches and my actions. Our Country needs youths in power who are very effective with their voices. I feel no pressure, I feel blessed and ready to go
What is your dream role?
That’s a difficult one but I would like to think it would be doing whatever role that helps to reach millions of Nigerians. For now, there are no stories that focus on the Biafra war or how we Nigeria gained independence. So generally, any story or role that enables me to manage the emotions of the average Nigerian across geographic regions. Any role that teaches them about our history, past mistakes and how we can be better.
Nollywood or Hollywood and why?
Hollywood sounds like fun and mark my words we will definitely get there and make our mark. There are honour and blessing in being global if, under my watch, Nollywood can raise the bar and compete globally.
In what capacity do you think your contribution to the Nollywood industry will fix things?
Well, not to give glory to me but to God Almighty who gives wisdom, knowledge and technical know-how to be able to continue where our fathers have left off. To be able to invent something you have had to use raw materials the people before you have maximized. You can just claim that you have invented the ceiling or a duplex whereas somebody taught generations before you how to get sand from the seabed. So whatever contribution or change that I am able to bring to this already blossoming industry, I only feel blessed to have been able to have contributed my quota. I am only a messenger of God who would be able to change the industry in a new light, give it the breath of fresh air it deserves and table my own ideas. When my journey comes to an end, some of the younger persons at the time would also bring fresh ideas. So generally, I can only contribute as much as God would want me to.
You mentioned during your speech, your hopes to clinch the best actor award. What plans are in place to achieve this?
Haha. You that is reading; did you see Living In Bondage? If yes? Then who’s your best actor? So you see; right there!