Today is Pete Edochie’s birthday. And for many of us who grew in the eighties, our first brush with the sixty-six year old actor was in the TV adaption of the Chinua Achebe epic, Things fall Apart, in which he played the lead role of Okonkwo.
Edochie who hails from Anambra State started his career in radio broadcasting as a junior programmes assistant at the state’s radio service where he rose quickly to the position of a director. The veteran actor however left his position to enroll at a movie academy following the scheming of public officials to manipulate the broadcasting organisation for political advantage.
Apart from news of his kidnap in August 2009 and his rumoured death in January 2013, Edochie has kept to our television screens featuring in nearly 300 movie flicks since his award-winning performance for his role in Things Fall Apart.
Edochie, known majorly for his depiction of pan-Igbo characters, can be considered one of the greatest movie acts to come out of Africa and a mentor to many young actors including sons, Yul and Linc Edochie.
Like his contemporaries in Hollywood John Travolta and Liam Neeson and as with fine wine, growing old has its tastefulness. Well done Mazi Edochie. And many happy returns!