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Efa Iwara: My love for acting started out from boredom

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
25 December 2021   |   4:10 am
I don’t want to sound cliché but first and foremost, prayer is key. There is also constant practice and being able to commune with the characters at some level.


Efa Iwara is an actor and rapper. Born in Ibadan, Oyo State to his professor of Linguistics father and librarian mother, he hails from Ugep in Cross River State. Iwara attended University of Ibadan Staff School for his primary education and International Secondary School, Barth Road, in Ibadan. He graduated from the University of Ibadan with a bachelor degree in Geography. Iwara started out his career in the entertainment industry as a musician in 2006 in a group called X-Factor. Following the dissolution of the group, he released his first single and five track EP called Waka EP in 2011. He made his acting debut in a 2011 episode of Africa Magic series and Tinsel as a debate moderator. He was, however, still focused on music at this point. His next appearance was in the first season of MTV Shuga Naija in 2013. He was absent from the acting space until 2016 when he appeared on Life 101 for Ebonylife TV. Since then, he appeared in TV series including Ajoche, an Africa Magic original, Rumor Has It and The Men’s Club. He has also featured in movies like Isoken, Seven and Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story. He earned his first Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA) nomination for his performance in Seven. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, he shares his journey into acting and favourites.

You have been in very popular TV series in recent times and you’ve been able to show expertise in your craft. How are you able to hone your skills?
I don’t want to sound cliché but first and foremost, prayer is key. There is also constant practice and being able to commune with the characters at some level.

Your role in King of Boys wasn’t something we saw coming. How did you prepare for that?
Preparing for the role was beautiful because I had long conversations with Kemi Adetiba, the director and producer. You don’t want to know the ideas that we shared. There were a few things we thought but we couldn’t do for different reasons but the important things are time and dedication.

What attracted you into acting?
I was bored. I was at home, I was rapping and my manager at the time thought that it would help my stage act if I got into acting. I always used to act as a kid with my friends. I decided to go for auditions and have fun. With time, I decided to take it more seriously and learn but it all started with boredom.

Why do you say boredom?
Because I wasn’t doing anything; I was at home. I was bored after my university education and I was a rapper for a while before deciding to go into acting.

In your years of acting, how would you access your evolution?
I would say I’m still in my evolution time. God willing, Iwill still continue to evolve. I don’t think I’m at my peak yet. My evolution is constantly evolving.

What’s your fashion style?

Your roles depict you as a detective. Is it a stereotype?
Not really. In the men’s club, I was a lover boy, in Ajoche I was an Igbo king, in King Of Boys I was a journalist. So, I don’t think it is a stereotype.

What’s your comfort zone while acting?
I’d say lover boy. It comes easiest to me. Everything else involves a lot of work.

What’s your most comfortable fashion piece?
T-shirt and joggers.

What’s your favourite local dish?
Pounded yam and Egusi soup

What advice do you have for younger people looking up to you?
Be prayerful, be hardworking and never give up.

Are there challenges you’ve faced so far?
Yes. Sometimes it could be hectic schedule, sometimes fatigue; sometimes it could be distribution for your project. But gradually, things will get better in 2022.

Describe yourself in three words?
Adventurous, Humble and Hardworking