OC Ukeje: More room for bravehearts (30 Days, 30 Voices)

I don’t know where I’d be today if someone didn’t give me a chance. I have no idea.

It is super difficult to find something to talk about. I couldn’t agree more with Toolz. You rack your brain. You search for something. And there are many things to touch on…but you’re looking to strike gold…but most importantly…communicate something.

I’m coming from a long way off. In the business of showbiz and in my personal life. And I have had the seasons when it was all for the fun of it. And at the time, it didn’t matter if I made money or if I was a name that rang a bell. I just loved doing the music, the acting, the holding-a-mic-to-speak…I just had fun doing all of it and getting feedback about what I had done. And I enjoyed all of this because someone gave me a chance to try.

I had done several stage plays and sung at different gigs for quite some time before my break into mainstream acting in 2006 – the year of the reality TV show that set up the stage for numerous movies shot; appearances in the right circles;good network of all kinds; all-expense paid trips; some decent income (no matter how sporadic) and most importantly, a better sense of value of myself and what I can ACTUALLY do. And so far I have enjoyed all this because someone (or some people), on the 8th of November, 2006, declared me winner of the reality TV show. Someone gave me a chance…to try.

With a burgeoning reputation and a good image in the eyes of people, I have come to the point where I’m being taken seriously enough to be asked my opinion on quite a number of things, ranging from who to recommend for what to what figures would be decent to pay people. My opinion actually matters now. But beyond the importance of my opinion is the joy I feel when I know that I can actually put out people’s names for different things without fear of competition or the need to be the ONLY person ‘on top’. I can actually recommend people! And give them a chance to try!

We are in one of the most difficult seasons as a country. And we are fighting very many things just so we can stay legit and believe that we can make a contribution. We are trying to understand why the people ahead of us aren’t interested in our well-being or what we can really do and we are afraid for the ones coming behind because of where we fear their heads are at.

But there are some of us who are looking for opportunities to try.

There are many talented and truly gifted people. Sadly, we aren’t paying attention to developing what talents we have that will come in handy in the future. And this is a large group – living averagely, but seeking a place called forward. And we have woken up to realize that we have to find ways to train ourselves and create opportunities for ourselves. We have smelt that coffee – we actually drank it.

I don’t know where I’d be today if someone didn’t give me a chance. I have no idea.

And the question isn’t if we are talented or gifted, because we are.

But I seize this opportunity to ask every parent, every high-network individual, every senior citizen, every uncle or aunt…everyone…someone around you is looking for a chance to try.

Please let them.


Okechukwu Ukeje, or OC, as he is known, is an extraordinary talent. With a unique combination of good looks, an acting prowess, a great voice as well as a flare for broadcast, he is doubtless, a performing artiste to reckon with in entertainment at large. He was nominated in the category of Best Actor at the Best Of Nollywood Awards, 2011 and has worked with actors like Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Sarah Wayne-Callies, Joke Silva, Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Desmond Elliot, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Stella Damasus, Bimbo Manuel, Bimbo Akintola, Kalu Ikeagwu, Blessing Effiom-Egbe, Wale Ojo, Nse Ikpe-Etim and a host of others.


30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians to share their stories and experiences with other young Nigerians, within our borders and beyond, to inspire and motivate them.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

One comment

  1. Simply well said.

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