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Jide Kene Achufusi : The Face of a Nollywood Blockbuster

On November 5th 2019, Living in Bondage: Breaking free movie launched in various cinemas across the country. Veteran act – Ramsey nouah was wearing the director’s cap for the first time.

Together with his team, they had only job set out for them – Make Living in Bondage Sequel a Box Office hit

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Ramsey Nouah LIB Poster

Now for this uncommon phenomenon to occur,  the movie must ride delicately on the 1992 original which was also considered a hit for the film industry at that time.

Asides that the movie really had to find a way to please cinema-going audiences in the urban regions (Lagos and Abuja) meaning there was a serious responsibility for the casting directors to pick the near-perfect talent to be the main character – Nnamdi, the son of Andy Okeke.

This person ultimately becomes the face of this movie.

Now from our perspective, it seems two things were considered for talent to be selected for this role.

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Familiar Faces Eastern Caucuses Recognises

First, the talent must be a citizen from the east and audiences from that locale must have experienced his characters before on their screens – (DVD, TV, POSTER) To rephrase, It had to be a familiar face they know, like and trust.

Second, he had to be fine. Not anyhow fine but possess the qualities that the urban caucuses dream in their dreams and pray for every day –a Tall, Hot looking responsible dude

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Anyway, Jide Kene Achufusi was profiled and yea, he ticked all the boxes they were aiming to tick for their ambitious goal of hitting Blockbuster mode in three weeks or less (100 million figure earnings)

The Box Office Earning Trail

Day 0 – The movie had private weekend screenings before it’s official date and earned over a million naira (N1,377,000)

Day 3 – For its first-weekend run, the movie debuted N28 Million Naira and smashing 2019 weekend debut records formerly held by Bolanle Austin Peters – The Bling Lagosians

Day 7 – Figures rounded up to N51, 250, 028 beating out terminator dark fate and Maleficent: mistress of evil to earn top spot on box office rankings.   – 14th November

Day 14 – Earnings ramped up to N75 Million naira (Joker movie in its seventh week run grossed over 78 million) – 17th of November

Day 21 – Earnings increased to N88, 009, 211 and still on the number one spot  – 21st of November

And a few days later, on the 24thof November precisely: Living in Bondage Sequel Hit Blockbuster Mode! – N100 million Naira

As of the writing of this post.  Earnings stand at N112 Million Naira

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Swanky JKA: The Face of a Blockbuster

The Face of a Blockbuster Movie

We reached out for a Brief Q and A session – Here, Read!

My name is Jide Kene Achufusi, i am also fondly called Swanky JKA.

I was born in Enugu. Went to primary school in Ebonyi state and then did my secondary schooling in imo state, Logiss (Watchman Owned Secondary school )

I graduated from Enugu State University of Science and Technology with a degree from geology and geography alongside other diplomas and degrees in film and business.

Your acting journey. How and where did it start?

I think this is the first film that I have done in Lagos. I usually work in the eastern part of the country. That’s where I lived.

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Jide Kene Filmography

My acting career all started in the city of Enugu, I think I have only done just two films outside of Enugu with LIB making It the third one.

I have always done films that were distributed majorly in the east. been around for some time, but most of you Lagos people don’t know we are here, grinding (putting in the work)

How did you get your role in the LIB Sequel??

Auditions. I did not know anybody. It’s Purely God and hard work.

What’s the one thing that challenged your performance in the movie?

The legitimacy and legendary status of the original. That definitely challenged everyone for the sequel

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Kenneth Okonkwo and Jide Kene

How was your experience working with first time director Ramsey Noauh?

Well, Tough. Annoying. He will always push you to the extreme end but you get to see the end result.  We are happy. We are best friends now.

Your Character in Lib sequel is making waves. How do you feel about this?

Well I don’t feel any kind of way. I just love the reviews. I also keep sinking in what people are saying they loved and most esp what they didn’t love. so that’s it.

What made you connect with the Nnamdi Okeke Role?

I saw a lot of similarities between my real-life self and the Nnamdi person

Youths working on their legit businesses and then all they want is just that break, and also want a good life –Nna  eh  ka mmadu bitukwanu ndu ah.

You only live once and you should really get to enjoy. This is not greed. Normal hoping that your fortunes turnaround for good is because you know you deserve better.

Would you consider LIB Sequel as your breakout role?

Of course. I would not be here without it.

What should audiences expect next from you??

Praise and worship – Facts! Trust me, praise and worship is what they should be expecting.  I am dropping a music album where I will be singing gospel songs *laughs… Just kidding guys.

I was told by my friends that I literally now owe a lot Nigerians a career. Like it’s not just mine alone. I can’t just wet audiences’ appetites and then vanish.

so what do you think is coming next? Iono I will leave that you.

Is there anyone you would like to thank for your journey leading to this moment?

Ernest Obi and Okechuwku Oku are the two names wrapped around my early career as an actor.

I did a lot of films almost getting to 10 with Ernest Obi. He has his own genre of films maybe not in more circulation here but those that knows him know him. I mean if people recognize you in countries that don’t speak English knows his face then that for me shows he has his own following.

Also, I have worked with Obi Emelonye too. so yes I would thank them all

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LIB Sequel Enugu Movie Premier

Let’s Wrap!

As we continue to observe the growing film industry, box office numbers and as well as the powers behind it we cannot but say these three things.

1. Nollywood has gotten a new-minted star that commands the attention of both the urban and eastern audiences, but would they use him appropriately ??

2. Play Network has attained cinema big boy status which is no mean feat as per this is their first film product being exhibited.

3. Film One is still sorcerer supreme and shows no trail of dropping that title anytime soon

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Thank you for reading. Follow us on twitter @ShockNG for box office insights you don’t want to miss

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