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RMD, Olaotan and Zack Orji are the Three Wise Men of moviedom

By Shaibu Husseini
03 December 2016   |   4:18 am
Moviegoers cannot wait for tomorrow, December 4, to come. On that day, humour merchant and long-standing movie producer, Opa Williams, would fete guest ...
Zack Orji, Richard Mofe-Damijo and Victor Olatoan

Zack Orji, Richard Mofe-Damijo and Victor Olatoan

Moviegoers cannot wait for tomorrow, December 4, to come. On that day, humour merchant and long-standing movie producer, Opa Williams, would fete guest at the premiere of his comic movie, Three Wise Men.

Directed by Pat Oghre Imobhio and produced with the support of the Bank of Industry’s (BoI) Nolly Film Fund, Three Wise Men features Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD), Zack Orji and Victor Olaotan in lead roles.

Set in Lagos, the movie revolves round three elderly wise men who decided to spend their retirement like youths and among youths.

Scheduled to open in cinemas across the country after the December 4 premiere, it is to the three lead actors- RMD, Orji and Olaotan- that credit should go to for the excellent outcome of the movie, as they gave a believable portrayal of their respective roles.

Celebrity salutes the ever-dependable RMD, Zack and the veteran actor, Olaotan, for showing stuff in the movie. Indeed, they collectively deserve a great deal of credit for their work in the movie.

Richard Mofe-Damijo
RMD, as he is simply called, is no doubt, one of Nigeria’s and indeed the continent’s leading actors.

A top rated actor with vast credits, the Warri, Delta State native and former Delta State commissioner for Culture under the administration of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has had a remarkable career as an actor and has indeed enjoyed super roles on stage and the movie turf.

Acting, for the actor’s actor, who has proved to be a world-class material, came naturally. As a young boy growing up in Warri, Eyimofe was the acclaimed king of boys. His family’s little home in Warri was usually a beehive of performances and laughter. It was the meeting point of those in RMD’s age bracket whom he had some form of control over.

As a tot, RMD was particularly a “terribly” shy person, so his best escape was to always be in front of the people- his mates, acting or telling jokes that kept them delighted.

The multi-talented artiste and publisher of the defunct Mr. magazine was born on July 6, 1961 in Warri to a mother (who had a tremendous influence on his life) and a father who until his death in 1990 worked for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Warri.

Upon completion of his secondary school education, RMD proceeded to the University of Benin and graduated four years later with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Theatre Arts, majoring in Dramatic Theatre and Criticism.

The deep actor, who became an instant acting success after he featured in Bobby Ejike’s (the musician and actor) The Wrath of the Gods, then for Bendel Playhouse, recalled that his parents had no objection to his course of study in the university.

RMD, who has been called to the Nigerian Bar at a time, traveled abroad and returned a year later and got neck deep not just into acting, but into public relations and journalism, which he had tried his hands on shortly after his one-year national service, and into publishing.

Indeed, it was on his return from England that he got involved in a number of stage performances, which was the vogue then.

But it was the Ajo Production series that formally launched the former ‘king of boys’ and star of the popular Michael Power series to Lagos and the acting scape.

Married to the broadcaster-turned communication consultant, Jumobi (nee Adegbesan), RMD has remain as relevant in the Nigeria motion picture industry as sugar and icing is to cake.

His effort in Three Wise Men is one of his many recent screen efforts.

Zack Orji
Ask for an actor who still grabs attention with credulity and easy mien whenever he finds time to act and fingers would point easily to the dependable actor, Zack Orji.

A pioneer of the Nollywood industry, the tale of how Zachariah ‘Zachee’ Ama Orji Oke stepped up into the arts justifies one of those popular sayings, cest sera sera, or ‘what would be would be.’

Even the 1984 Estate Management graduate of the University of Nigeria (UNN) had always looked at life from that point of view. He still strongly believes that God makes a divine connection and only uses men to bring it to pass.

But it has always been Zachee’s dream to live a role. The bearded actor had always wanted to act. He grew up going to the theatre a lot and watching Hollywood stars, such as Clint Eastwood, Bruce Lee and Sean Connery. He also read whatever he could find on these stars of the screen. It was from that point that he truly desired to be like them.

So when the opportunity came, through a friend, to be part of a movie production, Zachee, who keeps well-tended beard, grabbed it, and he has since never looked back.

The movie was titled Unforgiven Sin and Zachee was cast in the lead role. It was just that debut outing that got the smooth talking native of Mgbowo in Agwu Local Council of Enugu State on the movie run way.

With that outing, an actor, and one that has continued to samba on and off screen, was born in Zachee, who combines acting with singing.

So far, the popular actor, whose debut gospel album, titled Hossana, is at the release stage, has grossed so much, in terms of movie credits.

At the last count, Zack has featured in over 200 films with a dozen others still at various stages of productions.

His memorable screen credits include Evil Men, Brotherhood of Darkness, Out of Cage, Blood Money, and the controversial two-part movie, Glamour Girls, and Love in vendetta.

Victor Olaotan
An accomplished actor, who cut his teeth on stage featuring in Ola Rotimi’s epic play, God’s Are Not to Blame, Olaotan was born in Lagos in the early 1950s.

He studied Drama at the University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University and Rockets University in the United States (US).

A well-groomed stage and screen actor, Uncle Victor, as younger colleagues call him, began his career as an actor in early school and took it up as a career when, through the help of his fifth form teacher, he joined the Ori Olokun theatre troupe at the University of Ibadan.

An actor who learnt under the feet of theatre greats, such as Profs Adedeji and Dapo Adelugba, Victor had a stint as a footballer and indeed played for the Ibadan, Oyo State-based Water Corporation Football team.

But as he was at that, the urge to act crept up. A chance meeting with ace television producer, Laolu Ogunniyi, and Victor was on the television screen in Ibadan. From the screen, he journeyed to the US, lived abroad for over 20 years and returned in 2002.

While there, he got married, had children, worked and got educated further.

He also had opportunities to take part in a couple of stage productions, including touring with the epic play, Sizwe Bansi is Dead and playing Othello in Shakespeare’s play of same title.

Always looking dapper, Victor plays tennis, reads and watches movies whenever he is not on any set.

He also finds time to watch over Clean Ace, a laundry business he founded out of his love for caring for garments.

An actor’s actor of vast credit, Victor’s best screen run yet is playing the leading role in Tinsel. Only few episodes of the soap that started airing in August 2008 and he has become a household name. Clearly, Victor brought his training and experience to bear on Tinsel.

It is a similar experience that he has brought to bear on Three wise Men, and fans say they cannot wait to see him, RMD and Zack in the movie.