FRANCIS Odega is the sensation of the moment, and about the most popular face on television and social media.He has been in the Nigerian movie scene for over two decades but suddenly became the most talked about actor after short scenes from Welcome to South, a movie he featured in three years ago now circulated on the internet.
Popular lines from the movie like Gerarahere and WollupNigga, are being said by everyone. The slogans even bagged him an Etisalat deal.
In a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the actor explained how the journey started, how the slogans were coined, and how he bagged the Etisalat deal.
Check out excerpts of his interview with ENCOMIUM below……….
Clips from the movie, Welcome to South, has made you more popular because of your slogan, Gerarahere. How did you come about the word?
That movie was actually done three years ago. Starring me, Imeh Bishop, Dede Oneday. The story is about three friends going outside the country with the help of a common friend. When they came back, they began to speak with an accent to oppress the others. The line, Gerarahere was not in the script. The script is a guide. The script writer does not know your limitations and a good actor should be able to spice a script up as long as he doesn’t deviate from the storyline. It was South Africa we went to, and we got back speaking Americana English. What the script says is, ‘Hold on my brother, just hold on,’ but I changed it to ‘Wollup nigga wollup.’ I looked at the script and decided to give it my best. I didn’t know it was going to go viral this way. I didn’t post on Instagram and I don’t know who did. I hadn’t even joined Instagram till people started calling that I was trending on Instagram. 50 Cent even posted a video of me. I had to download and join Instagram. I thank God for His mercies. I still believe God’s Hand was involved. When God remembers one, he does wonders and God blesses who He chooses to bless. Nobody forces God to bless him or her.
Definitely, man don blow, levels don change. It has changed everything about me. It has given me popularity and influence. More people watch me now. Everybody wants to attend to me. There are things I do before that I cannot do now, levels don change. So, you got to change with levels.
Can you tell us how you got the Etisalat deal?
I would say it was a divine intervention. I believe God’s Hand is involved. I have been praying to God for an endorsement. To answer your question, I think the deal came from the Gerarahere concept because when they called me, I never believed it was actually from them. They explained everything to me, showed me their contract forms. I looked at it, and took it to my lawyer. He looked at it and signed it. They now invited me to their events. They weaved the concept of Etisalat advert around the slogan, Gerarahere. What are your plans for 2016?
I want to take the Etisalat brand and my own brand to a higher level. I signed a contract with Etisalat for one year and it is going to expire by July 2016. If it expires and they want me back, I will go there because so far, they have been treating me well. I do not want to let the cat out of the bag but when it comes out, you will be the first to know. I am working on something big that will take the internet by storm in 2016.
Can you tell us about your family?
I am married to Eunice Chibuzor Odega. We have two children, Jewel and Success. The first is 16 and the other is 11.
Looking at 2015 in perspective, can you say it has been a great year?
The endorsement with Etisalat made my 2015 and apart from that I travelled a lot for shows and I did a movie in the US. 2015 has been so awesome that is why I say God’s Hand is involved.
Can you tell us how much the deal cost?
They did well and I must say I don’t regret signing the contract.
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