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‘Joromi’ video shot me to fame – Joseph Momodu

Joseph Momodu, a Mass Communication graduate of the Delta State University, is gradually coming up the entertainment and modelling ladders in Nigeria, following a major…

Joseph Momodu, a Mass Communication graduate of the Delta State University, is gradually coming up the entertainment and modelling ladders in Nigeria, following a major appearance as Mr. Joromi in Simi’s Joromi music video which has opened doors for him including a lead role in a KONGA advert. In this interview with Weekend Magazine, Momodu talks of the impact of the music video on his career and the problems of coping with celebrity status, among other issues.

Weekend Magazine: Your surname – Momodu rings a bell for those familiar with the history of the famous Agbede monarchy in Edo State. Are you royalty?

Joseph Momodu: I am from a royal family – the famous family of Oba Momodu II, the traditional ruler of Agbede, Etsako West, Edo State. It’s a polygamous family with a strong Islamic background but I am a Christian and a dedicated one at that.

WM: You were the lead act in Simi’s Joromi music video. Would you say that appearance lifted your rating in the Nigerian entertainment industry?

Momodu: One hundred per cent, I would say. My playing the lead male in the trending musical video Joromi gave my career a huge boost. It made me a celebrity overnight; I now get direct job calls. People now stop me to take pictures or do videos with me. None of this was happening until I featured in the project. I am forever grateful to God and Simi.

Joseph Momodu

WM: How are you blending the quiet life of Mr Joseph Momodu with the sudden public exposure Mr Joromi has to contend with?

Momodu: Celebrity life is the most difficult and complicated life ever. One must be ready for its attendant results, which could be praises or ridicule. You can no longer do some things freely, socially and otherwise. For some of us who are not yet very rich as ‘A ’ list celebrities, the appearance is fake until you make it. This will even consume your money. 

Moreover, you have to look good at all times no matter where you are going. Fans are so predictable with celebrities. The one thing that comes to their mind once they see a celebrity is to take pictures with him.

Again, it can be very frustrating when you are not as rich as the public consider you to be and the comments you might start getting might make you feel downcast. For instance, I no longer use public transport. Any day I mistakenly do, I get crazy comments from people, directly and indirectly, and that ruins my mood or day. 

Again, you have to put up a good mood with a smiling face at all times. The public doesn’t care that you are in a bad mood. Whenever they see you, all they want for their own reference is to take happy pictures with you. 

WM: What is your greatest fear?

Momodu: Now, that should be poverty as I pursue my career.

WM: Why did you convert?

Momodu: My dad, who was the first son of my grandfather, after more than 60 years of practising Islam met with the Holy Spirit, which resulted in his conversion from Mr Aminu Mohammed Momodu to Evangelist M.A. Momodu. With that came the open door for some of his children who wished to convert also. Some of us did and a few remained Muslims. My mum is still a Muslim.

WM: You read Mass Communication. How has your background shaped what you do now?

Momodu: Apart from acting and modelling, I am a presenter, which is communicating. I do voicing and seldom directing. I trained at  AIT/Raypower FM in Benin City, but I did not stay back to work with them because of the salary crisis then. I anchored a Current Affairs programme ‘How Una Dey’ on radio. I still anchor shows when I am free to do so.

WM: Are you registered with any particular modelling agency?

Momodu: I have grown in the industry to become a freelance model but sometimes agencies contact me for direct jobs and the ratio of payment is usually 70-30 per cent.

WM: What are your hobbies?

Momodu: Play games especially Play Station, soccer, table tennis and swimming.

WM: Are you into music in any way?

Momodu: I can’t sing professionally so I won’t include that.

WM: What moment do you cherish the most in your career?

Momodu: That’s bagging my first commercial gig as a lead in a KONGA advert – a KONGA mechanic.

 

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