Uru Eke, Nollywood’s DazzlingNew Talent
But the delectable I.T specialist and latter day actress, Uru Eke has joined a growing list of talented actors who have through a dint of hard work and dedication, re-written that narrative.
The amazing and very articulate entertainer is definitely not very far from the front row if you consider the quality of the jobs she has signed as an actress and if you also consider that she has only put in a few years and she is also not based in the country.
Indeed ever since Uru took the decision to venture into the acting, it has been one success story to another.
From her debut in The Gift, Heal my Soul, Forgive me father, Timeless Passion, Save the Prince, African Soldier, Catwalq (a soap currently showing on TV), Weekend Getaway, Last Flight to Abuja, Dream Walker and lately Being Mrs. Elliot, The Duplex, A Few Good Men, Finding Love, Silver Rain and Remember Me, Uru has shown with her efforts in some of these critically-acclaimed productions that she belongs to the new crop of Nigerian screen actresses to whom the future of screen acting belongs.
Not only is she beginning to cut a swathe among the industry’s recognizable faces, producers are now commissioning writers to hang stories on her or to have her play supporting lead roles.
A trained Information Technology practitioner who had her early and higher education in Britain, Uru who will always nicely admit that she is merely “just taking off” and that so far “it has been good and steady’’, grew up with a healthy appetite for movies and had exhibited a flair for acting and singing as a child.
No wonder then that it was easy for Uru who is the second of a set of twins and who has two other sisters, to switch career from IT to the arts.
“I have always had a burning desire to be an actress, even when I was schooling and working in England. I used to shuttle between Lagos and London and on one of my trips, a friend who was planning a production offered me the leading role and I put in my best and that was how it started for me,” she said.
Born in Newham, East London and raised by her single mum whom she described as a “super woman” and one person who has made the most remarkable impact in her life, Uru has a degree in Business Information Technology from the University of Greenwich, London.
She had previously gained a certificate in computing from Lewisham College. She worked in the IT industry for five years majorly as a Business Acceptance Test Analyst with some of the UK’s leading financial institutions such as Zurich International, HSBC and Lloyds TSB and as months passed, she couldn’t resist the urge to switch career so she could focus on event hosting and acting.
Although while still working as an IT specialist, Uru who has signed two movies including Dream Walker as Associate, took up vocational training courses to prepare herself for her new career. However she plunged headlong into acting in 2011 and she found a London based acting group called ‘The Association of Multinational Performing Artists (AMPA)’ a good platform to begin her acting career.
While at AMPA, Uru was featured in a number of stage plays which she said prepared her for a career in acting both on screen and on stage.
Indeed for Uru, it was the ‘passion for acting’ more than anything else that made her switch from a thriving career to a career in Nollywood. A few of her friends didn’t think it was a good decision.
But she felt great taking the decision and ever since she latched on to Nollywood, Uru who admires the acting chops of the dependable actress, Bimbo Akintola has not looked back. She has continued to samba well off and on screen.
“I.T is what I studied and already know. So I can always fall back on it. But I am more passionate about acting and I don’t regret taking the decision to pursue a career in acting”, she said.
But didn’t her family resist her decision to switch career? “No”, she quipped. “My sisters are my biggest supporters and fans and mum has always allowed me to follow my heart. So I am good, once I have that home support”, she said.
Described by close friends as very humble, kind and respectful, observers believe that what shot Uru up and made her become noticeable in the industry came in September 2012 when she was featured on the popular ‘Inside Africa’ programme on CNN.
The programme afforded Uru the opportunity to speak about her journey into acting and to comment about her role as Chief Hostess in the 2012 Nollywood blockbuster Last Flight to Abuja.
She rode on the back of the success of that programme to earn an invitation to represent Nollywood at the celebration of the International Youth Day in Gambia in July 2013.
Uru was guest of the African Youth Panel, a body that organized the Africa Youth Charter Ambassador program, an extensive training and grooming programme for young leaders.
Back home, Uru’s talent will not go unnoticed as she was nominated for her roles in different movie projects in some of the industry’s notable awards including the 2014 ‘Best of Nollywood Awards’ and the Golden Icon Awards.
She has also emerged as one of the most sought after industry show hosts. She has so far co-hosted some industry events including the 2014 Nollywood Movie awards and the closing ceremony for the 2014 edition of the African International Film festival.
Currently working on a few projects including wrapping up work on her feature film Remember Me and working on the launch of her foundation and personal website– www.urueke.net, Uru who was raised in England, New Jersey, United States and Nigeria, listed humility, patience and being positive as some of the greatest lessons that life has taught her.
Her words: “I would say patience, absolute faith in God and then humility. My mother is the most humble woman you would ever meet. She is also a very pleasant woman to be with. I took that from her. I have also learnt to be positive and shoot for the stars”.
Has her involvement as an actress been rewarding? Uru, who is pleased with the fact that more people, other than the mainstream producers and marketers are getting involved in movie production in Nollywood, admits that it has been so rewarding. She said: “It has been so good. I am still pushing things and moving up. Not that one is there yet but it will be good and can only get better and better”.
Uru’s career ambition is to be counted among the top talents in Nigeria. Her other ambition is to act alongside Hollywood star actor Leonardo DiCaprio. She also wants to be able to impact positively on the young and old.
She recently took a bold step to actualize this ambition with the setting up of her Non-Governmental Organization called the ‘Chime for Art Foundation’, geared towards encouraging social change and responsibility through the use of film.
“Part of what we will be doing is to counsel them on the fact that they can dream big dreams and achieve them no matter how late it comes in life”, she said.
Marriage is definitely on Uru’s mind. In fact, the gorgeous actress who revealed that part of her day’s task is “handling male admirers with tact, a bit of diplomacy and firmness”, hinted that she is in love with a “lovely man” who is waiting in the wings to put a cool ring on her bare finger.
She however adds that they both think that she should for now focus on building and getting her acting career steadied. “So it will happen at God’s time”, she said.
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