Ghanaian actor, Chris Attoh, in a recent interview with The NATIONS, says that Nigeria has blessed him with a lot. He spoke with OVWE MEDEME on a couple of issues, including family, career and life as an actor.
Read excerpts from the interview below.
What has been your biggest challenge in the industry?
I think my biggest challenge as an actor has been choice. In a growing industry where you are looking for the best stages and the best platforms, I’ve never limited myself. I’ve never had to, which is why as a Ghanaian you find me here in Nigeria. I’ve done some productions in the States also.
As one who has acted in Ghana and Nigeria, what relative difference or similarities do you see in both industries?
The similarities are very much like the culture. There are so many similarities with the Ghanaian and the Nigerian culture. It is funny. I mean, if you want to go back in history, you are talking about pretty much the same people. Because the Ghanaians migrated from here. Especially where I am from, the Ghanaians migrated from the Nigerian people. They were among the Yorubas who came and settled. The similarities are many. In our food, in the way we talk, the way we express ourselves. So you find that especially in the desire.
The same desire for both industries to thrive. You have a smaller industry in Ghana pushing to give quality stuff. Wee have a much bigger industry here with more varieties and with numbers. Huge numbers. Nigeria always has the numbers which has created more varieties. So we have two thriving and yet challenging markets that are striving to be the very best that they can be. And I foresee that we will get there because now we are looking at a world where Kenyans, Ghanaians, south Africans and Nigerians are all together in one production. It will finally get better.
What is your biggest vice?
I think my biggest vice would be caring too much. Whenever I have the opportunity, I would always encourage other people to do the same. Imagine a world where all I cared about was you, and all you cared about was the next person. I think we will all truly look after each other. Unfortunately, we are increasingly faced with a world where we are taught that separation is the key. It is not the key. We are all one.
You are also on Tinsel…
Tinsel has been a huge blessing in my career. It was a training ground for a lot of the things I’m able to do today and I’ll always be grateful to Mnet for that. On a personal level, I’m also very grateful because that is also where I met my beautiful wife and it has been wonderful since I got married to her. It is like we are acting every day.
What was the attraction when you first met her?
The attraction to my wife when I first met her is, her birthday is on the 18th of May while mine is on the 17th. That is the first thing that caught my attention. I said this must be my sister. If I’m a day before her, then our thoughts are probably the same and our desires are the same. We did find out that our desires are the same. She is an amazing person. When Dami walks into a room, she steals the attention so it is very hard not to notice her. Obviously I was meeting new people, new faces but she definitely made an impression.
Will your child be Nigerian or a Ghanaian?
(Laughs). First of all, it is interesting that you ask that question because the beautiful thing is that my child is a reflection of the world that I get to enjoy and the world that I get to share. My child is a reflection of Ghana as well as Nigeria. As the great Kwame Nkrumah desired, that is true power, where Africa comes together.
When you got married to a Nigerian, did your Ghanaian sisters not get angry with you?
My Ghanaian sisters, my Nigerian sisters, my Canadian sisters, my American sisters were all angry. Don’t mind me. That is all I’ll say.
What was your reaction?
My reaction is that you enjoy life until you find that one person who you decide you will not let go, you want to share the rest of your life with that person. Unfortunately, it has to be one person. It beats being whether the person is Ghanaian or Nigerian or Italian. I was lucky to find myself a hot, beautiful Nigerian woman. Me, I need some fire in my life, so there you go.
If you have to settle down somewhere, where would that be?
That is an interesting question because I am thinking about that now. I’ve had the pleasure of exploring the world. I don’t think that I’m done yet. Home will always be home but now that I already have two homes, Nigeria and Ghana. But I think that at the end of the day, home is where the heart is and where family is for me now. And that is what I’m loving about it. Whether it is in the States, whether it is in the moon, as long as my family is around, I’m alright.
As one acts and your wife also acts.
To remember that every moment is golden, to appreciate everyday as it comes and to take it one day at a time.
What plans do you have for when the job takes both of you away from home?
What we get to that bridge, we will cross it. Really, there is nothing impossible. Many have done it and I suppose we are coming as well.