Osita Iheme, aka Pawpaw, is one half of the popular Nollywood comic pair known as Aki and Pawpaw. Both men have since moved up the creative ladder, from being just comic actors to making their own movies.
Osita released his fourth movie last April. It is titled Ada my Love. Although most Nigerian filmmakers often shy away from seeing their own works, he is not one of them. Out of the four movies that he has shot so far, the one that appeals most to him is Mr. Limpopo. He is likely to be caught seeing the movie for as many times as possible.
“I simply love that movie. The story is good and the casting is fantastic. I’d love to work on the storyline again and do it in a better way,” he says.Unlike his alter ego, Aki (Chinedu Ikedieze), whose wife put to bed a couple of weeks ago, Osita is still a bachelor. Asked why he has not followed Aki’s example, the comic actor looks confused and he is speechless for awhile. Then he says, “Marriage is not something that anybody should rush into. I will get married at the right time. When it’s time for me to get married, you will know. You will be informed.”
The actor dismisses the rumour that he is still waiting for the proverbial Miss Right, saying, “There is no Miss Right anywhere. I don’t believe that I should meet Miss Right before I make up my mind about marriage. Besides, there is no wife for anybody. Once you get somebody attached to you, she will become your wife.”
Despite the popularity that he enjoys among millions of movie fans across Nigeria, even beyond the country’s borders, Osita says that he has been publicly embarrassed by the same fans and admirers on some occasions.
Recalling a particular incident, which occurred somewhere in neighbouring Benin Republic, he says, “An excited fan removed my cap and gave me a knock on my head. He said he had been seeing me in the movies and only wanted to confirm if I was really the one. Although I felt quite embarrassed by his behaviour, I let the incident pass because I could see that he acted out of excitement.”
Film acting, he says, did not come by accident.
As a youth, he used to be a member of the drama group in his church. At a point, he had decided to take up acting as a career if given the opportunity.
But, the actor says that he would have liked to be a singer if his dreams had failed to materialise.
“I would have become a singer. To me, singing is a means of expressing myself,” he says.
Osita also takes a look at the impact of the present economic situation on the movie industry and concludes, “It is tough getting by nowadays. This is probably because filmmaking is no longer as lucrative as it used to be. But what else can we do? The recession is affecting everybody and the entire nation.”