Swanky JKA: Wearing suit puts me in good light
Jideofor Kenechukwu Achufusi popularly known as Swanky JKA is an actor and model. The indigene of Anambra state was born and raised in Enugu. Originally a model, Achufusi began his acting career by playing supporting roles in Nollywood films, Poka Messiah, Black Rose, Pretty Little Thing, Ofu Obi and A Lonely Lane. He made his breakthrough in 2019 by playing the charismatic Nnamdi Okeke in the movie Living in Bondage: Breaking Free, which earned him a Best Actor nomination and a Trailblazer award, both at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards in 2020. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, he talks about his big break with the remaking of the1992 original film, Living In Bondage, and what informs his dress sense. Excepts!
You are known for your role in Living in Bondage. How are you able to take on such a lead character?
IT was very trying because I was acting with a lot of veterans and I was not at that level at the time. I have been acting for eight years before the time so, it was very challenging because not only did I need to impress and let them know what I was capable of, the burden of the movie was on my young shoulders and I knew I had to pull it off. I knew I had to put my head down and work almost double of what I used to. I wasn’t even so sure about what I did and I was even scared to watch it at the premiere.
What prepared you for that role?
There’s a movie I did in the East, it’s called Poka Messiah; that movie is the reason why I was able to do it. Sometimes, you shoot a film for two days and what you get to watch when the movie is out, takes only 40 seconds. So, working on Poka Messiah prepared me in terms if endurance and patience because there were tears, misunderstandings, misgivings and a lot more.
So what keeps you going as an actor in the face of these challenges?
I don’t face these challenges anymore because I’m like a superstar now. More importantly, I’m a very humble person that doesn’t like wahala. I love to be committed because a lot of people are expecting so much from me; that’s the new pressure now. Like the saying: new level, new devil. I like to handpick the projects I want to do because I’m very attentive to details. I don’t think I will be a full time actor so I need to decide the movies I want to do and not just be given any role people think is suitable.
What’s your fashion style?
I grew up wearing plain shirts and trousers but coming to Lagos, I decided that the safest clothes to wear is suit because it puts you in good light for politics and being the money man.
Are you saying your next line of career is politics?
Of course, most definitely.
Describe yourself in three words.
Circumspect, Dogged and Articulate.
What’s your favourite local dish?
Ofe ora this is just what works for me any day, give me swallow of any kind to go with it.
What advice would you give to younger people looking to get into the industry?
If you’re here for the money, go home. If you’re here to be a star, try but know that you won’t last long. If you’re here because of passion and to make a print in history, wake up everyday like it’s the day you’re allowed to live in history and do it with joy.
What’s your life mantra?
Clap for others until it’s your turn, also, whatever your hands find to do, do it well.