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Another cap that fits for Segun ‘The Voice’ Arinze

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Segun Arinze

It didn’t come as a surprise to many when news broke that notable Nollywood actor Segun Arinze has been elected President of the Association of Voice-Over Artistes, Nigeria (AVOA). Those who have followed the shinning career of the Badagry, Lagos native know that outside acting, the other thing that has distinguished Segun Arinze is his voice, which he has put to good use as a singer, Master of Ceremonies and voice over artiste.

Segun’s smooth voice has laced a number of commercial and non-commercial advertisements. Indeed, in the voice over industry, Segun, one time President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), is regarded as a guru. So, when it was time to elect a new President, members of AVOA overwhelmingly elected Segun Aina Padonu aka Segun Arinze to lead them as President and to do so with an executive council made up of Abdul Mohammed, Vice President; Joy Ogbekene, General Secretary; Tessy Brown, Finance Director; Udeme Udom, Publicity Director; and Michael Nnabuchi, Business Director.

An elated Segun who has already been sworn in thanked members of AVOA for the confidence reposed in his ability to lead the association to the next level. The award-winning actor also canvassed the support of stakeholders and members of the executive council.

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In the words of the actor of vast credit who is popularly known as Black Arrow, “I am grateful and thankful for this huge honour bestowed on me by my colleagues. Together we shall move AVOA to greater heights. Thank you and God bless you.”

First known nationally for his portrayal of the role of ‘Black Arrow’ in that action movie of the nineties by Chico Ejiro titled Silent Night, Segun walked into limelight as a singer with an irresistible voice, one whose hit track from his debut album, Nwanyi Ganga was on repeat on radio. Later, Segun, son of the late Bamidele Padonu of Badagry became notable as one of Nigeria’s most gifted show host and voice over artiste who makes jingles and commercials a delight to listen to.

And when Nollywood ticked, Segun instantly became a household name. He emerged as one of Nollywood’s undisputedly ‘bad boys’ and the producer’s first choice for an actor who can add zest to a picture. And since he joined Nollywood, Segun’s rating has not dropped. The talented and resourceful actor is one of the not too many actors in the Nigerian screen acting space whose popularity is so overwhelming and whose simple precepts are roundly admired.

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A compelling actor who is increasingly regarded as an imaginative performer, it didn’t take long for Segun, the eldest of the seven children born to a mother who is a fashion designer, to make his mark after he took the decision to step on the entertainment runway a little near thirty years ago.

Although he started out professionally both as a singer and an actor, it was as a singer that he first shot into prominence and that was after the release of his debut album Dreams, which was not particularly a commercial success. With his dreams not coming through with that debut effort, largely because of some human error, Segun recoiled, recalled his training in acting and hung on to that divide of entertainment full time.

Again, it didn’t take long for Segun who speaks his native language Yoruba as well as Hausa and Igbo fluently to shoot into prominence. He again became increasingly regarded as a fiery actor who possessed something rare among top tiers – this ability to convey ideas with clarity, flair and wit. No wonder Segun has remained on the top rung and it is believed that the actor of Eye for Eye and Not My Will fame is likely to hang on there as long as he exhibits his kind of art that comes from the guts.

Rightly respected by many for his charm and geniality, Segun would have at least assumed a status of an uncle to a lot of today’s afro pop singing artistes if his desire to play a long game as a singer was not truncated by his record label.

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He alleged in a previous interview that the record label frustrated him out of the music industry. In his words: “My record label, Premier Music, didn’t keep to their side of the agreement. So, I moved on and continued with what I trained in, which was acting; I trained as an actor. I decided to go into acting and voice over full time and that was where I had my break and now I am just in the mood to sing and I am ready to go again.”

Asked to state the gains of being a major player in the entertainment industry, Segun offers a two liner: “I would say that I am very comfortable. At least, I can take care of my needs and myself.”

Asked also to state his likes and his first day ever on stage, Segun replied: “My first day on stage was on the set of Transistor Radio. We had about 11 people in the hall to watch the play; it was funny. When I was getting ready to go professional, I took part in Femi Osofisan’s Once Upon Four Robbers.”

As for likes, “I like traveling a lot; I can hit the road or jet out of the country at the slightest opportunity. I like to also rest when I can afford one and I like also to listen to music a lot. Lately, I have been listening to all sorts; I use to only enjoy slows. And as for food, I love to eat Amala, Gbegiri and Ewedu.”

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