Welcome to Temmy Balogun’s Platform. As always, motivating you remains our focus.
Today we bring to you an in-depth interview we had with an outstanding Nigerian media personality who shared his personal experiences, knowledge, strategies and ethics on how to discover the talents in you, how to build your career around them and stand out in it.
Uti Nwachukwu is a presenter, an actor, event compere, and a model who knows his onions very well and have done marvellously well across all his chosen professions over the years.
Uti became a celebrated personality when he emerged the winner of Big Brother Africa 5 in 2010.
Since then he has been making great impacts in Nigeria and Africa. And this stood his brand out
We admire Uti’s strong zeal and unique approaches toward all his professions,which has led to his continuous success.
So we got in touch with him for an exclusive interview, where he shared a lot of information which is beneficial to both young minds and adults across all fields.
To learn from him, kindly devote few minutes of your time, to read in between the lines, and get the message clearly.
Now take a chill pill, relax, have a pen and notepad with you to write out vital points because believe me you have a lot to learn. Let’s ride on…..
Good day sir, it’s nice having you here. Let’s get close up and personal, briefly describe your personality.
Am a happy go lucky and spiritual person who holds his relationship with God paramount.
I have gone through a lot of experiences to become who I am today.
Aside this have always being a happy and jovial guy. A lot of people tell me, I have a sunshine personality. I Am always the life of a gathering or a group of friends. I am that person that would always speak his mind regardless of what anyone thinks. I am loyal and stand for the truth all the time.
I love to laugh, including laughing at myself and I have a very positive disposition to life. I believe in doing unto others as you want them to do to you, because of this I love sowing positive seeds either financial, physical, or spiritual. Above all am very keen about positive change.
Has this been your personality since childhood? Was there any change when you became famous?
I have always being like this since childhood. I remember that i was made class captain in most of my classes during my secondary school period because of my free and lively disposition.
I was friends with students across different categories ranging from ‘ the efficos’ ‘the shy ones’ ‘the cool kids’ and more.
And yes there was a change in my personality but a positive one. When I won Big Brother Africa , I became more generous, the saying ‘money makes your true persona come out’ is VERY TRUE . yes it brought out the true me . Fame made me more accommodating, I learned to love life better so I started doing a lot of things I wanted to easily. So my change in personality was for the better.
Great! Let’s move the spotlight away from you, enlighten us on ways an individual can unravel what they are best at doing.
For better understanding, I will use myself as an example. I have always been a TV addict from my teenage years and have always loved things related to entertainment. When I worked at GT Bank in 2004, most of the time I was always the first to balance my account so I could change the TV channel to Mnet or Mtv, one day my direct boss noticed and said to me you belong on that TV screen . That was an obvious fact which I had always known and strongly believed.
So, I will say anything ‘positive’ that you can’t stop thinking about, that you find yourself so addicted to, then that is what you can build your career around. But ensure its not negative things like stealing or any fraudulent acts.lol
God drops allusions in our hearts for us to develop and use effectively. So anything you find yourself doing effortlessly from a young age is a good way to start. But make sure they are realistic ones, not the ones you just pick on because you love how they sound or because your friends talk about them.
Let me share a personal experience on this. When I was much younger I told my dad I wanted to be an ‘Aeronautic Engineer’ just because I liked how it sounded and it happened to be one of the first big words I learnt how to pronounce. But I had no idea what it meant back then lol .
So finding what you’re best at should be about reviewing those things you have a strong passion and likeness for. Those things that make you come alive when you do them. It could be singing, cooking, mathematical calculations and many others. Life is now beyond sticking to what you studied in the higher institutions or only professional careers like Law, Medicine, Engineering amidst others to succeed. Im happy parents now understand that.
But at the same time it’s sad that a lot of youth are taking this the wrong way. For instance, many youth see the entertainment industry as a fall back plan when they can’t get a job. No! You don’t do that. You have to be fit for anything you settle for. To be a good entertainer, intelligence and creativity is also much needed like other fields as well.
I studied Computer Science and left school with a high CGPA but when I was done I gave my dad the certificate and he was proud of me #laughs . Then I went ahead to work on my passion. And Here I am today.
One more thing! When you discover that budding talent, don’t ever allow the thoughts of people not succeeding in that industry pull you back. If many have not succeeded in it , then you should see it has an opportunity to become very successful in it and top your game. If you notice in some sectors some people are very successful and others are just making little impact, it is because some are not in the right place, God wants for them.
After detecting strengths, what are the next best steps to take?
Chase it, go out and look for opportunities. Luckily the internet is now very accessible, you can easily search for opportunities. Though there are lot of scams on internet too but don’t allow that pull you back, you just need to be extra careful.
When I discovered my passion for modelling, then internet wasn’t very accessible like this but I still made great use of it to search for auditions and platforms to showcase my talent. I told people around me about my interest, some connected me to agencies while others updated me on information pertaining to my passion from time to time.
I gradually started modelling and appearing on billboards.
While embarking on my search, one day I got the chance to watch Big Brother Africa reality TV show and immediately I knew that was a great platform for me to showcase all I had got. I saw it as a platform to connect with like minds.
So once you decide on what you want to build your career on, start up immediately, make your self very visible so people who need your services can find you.
Thank God for social media platforms, make use of them to find the people or services you need to grow, its not just for play.
Secondly, do away with people with negative vibes. Hang around only positive people who will encourage, and push you to achieve your dreams. When I got interested in Big Brother Africa, I talked about it amongst some of my friends, but all they had to say were negative things. they could have killed my interest, but I never allowed it get to me. When I wanted to apply for the BBA season that I won, I missed the first audition, then the second came up, a close friend of mine encouraged me to apply for it, we went to the cyber café together to apply. If I had listened to the negative ones , I would not be here today.
From your experience, tell us those things people need to ignore if their ultimate goal is to succeed in what they do.
Ignore naysayers and blockades. And just because you failed the first time when you tried doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again.
Most of everything I have now I didn’t get it at my first try, like I said earlier I missed the first audition of BBA but got in with my second try. you just have to keep trying and pushing, never give up. Winners never quit. It’s not about how many times a man falls but how many times he gets up. You can’t decide to give up after few trials, what if your next try is the one that will click? If you talk to the real successful people today, no one can tell you they got it right the first time though some tried fewer times than others and succeeded.
I tell you failure is a part of everyone’s success story, It helps you build strength , resilience , knowledge and wisdom. The best way to figure out how to do most things right is to fail at them, then you will know how not to do it the next time.
It is a norm that every individual face challenges when working towards achieving set goals, can you enlighten us on the top 3 challenges you faced while rising to fame? How did you overcome them?
My first challenge was having a lot of negative people around, but I always ignored them, I never allowed what they said get to me. I always felt special from my teen years. It’s just something that I feel within, and I truly believe and I declare everytime.
It could be because my parents brought me up like that or because my siblings treated me like that, as the last born in the family, which made me confident about it.
When the naysayers come with their talks I always reassure myself that I am a special person and that there’s something about me God wants to use.
The second challenge was accepting defeat, and challenges. I used to feel really bad whenever I got rejected for something or didn’t get what I wanted.
As much as I was very positive, when things didn’t work out as planned I just crashed.
luckily I had the opportunity of older people mentoring me when I was younger so I easily got my morale back through their counselling. One of my mentor once said, ‘ if two trees exist, one with lots of fruits and the other with few, which do you think will receive more stones?’ its definitely the one with lots of fruits because people have a lot to take from it. So you have to understand devil doesn’t attack empty vessels but children of destiny’.
But one thing the devil doesn’t know is that for every time God allows him to throw challenges at you, God is just using it as a tool to make you stronger and build your faith. That no matter how far I fall , at the end of the day there’s no how I wont succeed.
Because if you keep going , when you look back, your life then becomes your inspiration. You then see LIFE with a new philosophy: if I can pass through all those bad experiences and still be here today then I can get to greater places. And that’s how your faith becomes stronger.
These are the two major challenges i experienced.
You’re into quite a few number of professions; TV Presenting, Modelling, Event Hosting, and Acting. It’s amazing that you’re doing great in all, does this mean it’s possible for an individual to be best at several niches?
Yes! I am always surprised when people ask me ‘why are you trying to do everything?’ or say things like ‘Jack of all trade, master of none.’
Let me refer you to the parable of the talents in the Bible, can you remember the master was very angry with the one that was given one talent and he buried it. It shows that it’s a total abomination to God when he puts talents in you and you don’t develop it. Most people that criticise you for trying to do a lot of things are just jealous. They probably didn’t deem it fit to discover their talents or rather have buried it. So they get angry when they see you multiplying yours.
If you know you’re good at many things chase them all. But start with one that seems most accessible and later you can leverage on it, to nurture others. As for me I started with modelling, from that I went into acting, then presenting.
So it is absolute futile to bury any talent of yours. The more talent you have, the more blessings you receive.
Share a brief explanation on how you discovered you had talent in each of your present professions.
I discovered my talent in acting from mimicking . Back in secondary school, when I tried to re-enact someone’s attitude or actions , I did it perfectly , and I saw people come alive and happy after my performances. Some also told me I would make a great actor. Back then, I was more interested in music.
From engaging in the school choir and extracurricular activities I figured I could sing quite well.
As a social prefect in secondary school, I was in charge of organising and handling social events and also making public announcements in school. Through that I found out I could engage people and grab their attention. That’s how I developed my presenting talent. I just knew I could. It’s was natural.
In addition to the above, my presenting was groomed from watching a lot of TV , my first presenting mentor was Richard Quest. Then one day I watched Frank Edoho anchor ‘ Who wants to be a millionaire’ . while watching him I said to myself : “Now I can do this in Nigeria !”
Before I started acting I used to laugh at Nigerian acting a lot but when I started watching movies of Chidi Mokeme, Rita Dominic, and especially the way Ramsey Noah acted in Dangerous Twins I knew I had been bitten by the acting bug.
How do you manage all effectively? What are the strategies that made you stand out in all?
Laughs. Honestly there are no strategies. I only commit everything about me to GOD, and I make myself visible a lot . I do not start my day without putting it in God’s hands. In as much as I say I manage my career myself, I always tell God it all in HIS hands. He is my manager. I tell God that He should bring anything HE wants for me and, anything He doesn’t want, He should drive it faraway and it has been working for me.
So we can say going 100% spiritual about my activities is my strategy. As much I am a an outgoing and ‘yuppie’ guy but I don’t joke with my spiritual life.
Another thing I do is a lot of networking. You should never take it for granted. When you go to events, drop your ego and connect with people, then follow up for possible business partnerships or opportunities. I network everywhere I go.
Was there any time you thought of giving up on any of your present professions?
No!have never for once, given up on any of my profession but I have for other personal things.
I have always being a day dreamer, so I believe i have so much to achieve. Though I have reduced the Movies I do in Nigeria. Not because I have given up on acting but because its too little money for so much time and energy. But i never gave up on any, I have always approached live positively.
Let’s flash you back a bit, to when you emerged the winner in Big Brother Africa 5, tell us one strategy you learnt from partaking in the reality show which you have since put to practice?
I learnt human management, how to deal with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I learnt how people can react based on different situations. Someone you see as your friend today can betray you tomorrow if a tough situation arises.
I also understand that an individual is accountable for all he or she does especially when you’re a known personality. I got to know that there are people watching to see one succeed and to see one fail.
Then also I learnt everyone can’t be my friend. You cant please all. But it is also not right to have issues with anyone. Just like the Bible says strive to maintain peace with all men. So I learnt how to stay peaceful with everyone.
What are those 3 things that can stand individuals out in whatever they do?
●Be yourself 100 %
●Have positive people around you, as your cheer leaders. You need them to drive you.
●Also have God, if you don’t have God you’re joking! If you have something else working for you fine, but for me God has worked for me big time. So you need Jesus’s support 100% to succeed.
What’s your take on having quiet time for self review? Tell us two things an individual shouldn’t do once they become successful?
If you’re a positive thinker it’s a great thing to do, if you are a negative thinking person, I discourage it, allow only your positive minded friends to evaluate you. Am saying this because due to some people’s past experiences, they think only about the negative aspect of things, if you’re one of those and you do a self evaluation, you will only end up discouraging yourself.
It isn’t hard for you to know when your thoughts start going thenegative route. I knew when mine was, back in my depressed time in my early 20s. so I learned to distract myself with activities. When I heard of the Biblical saying ‘as a man thinketh so he is’. That day I realized that I was the one holding myself back. So I decided to stop thinking negatively. So,I started declaring positive things about myselfvand things started changing and working my way.
You need positivity to move forward.
Enlighten us on things people should never do when they become successful.
Never allow pride creep into you.Pride is a No!If you see traces of such, kill it immediately, kill it from your mind, body and soul. Because its a great destroyer .
Another thing you should drop is stubbornness and anger
What keeps you going?
The idea that there so much to explore out there. So many places to visit, people to meet,and many lives to touch positively, all these keep me going.
Also seeing the things on my achievement list get accomplished and the belief that I haven’t gotten to where God wants to take me, makes me happy and driven to move forward.
When I was in my teens,I wrote a list of my dreams , presently I have accomplished all except one which am positive will come true soon. Now all these keep me going.
When you choose to be positive always and have positive expectations then it keeps you going . Somehow those great expectations manifest.
I strongly believe that the power of positivity is presently being underrated. I really want people to be told about this always. Pastors of churches should talk about it at the end of every sermon, parents and more people should talk about it.
Positivelity is a force I will focus on for my kids when I have them by God’s grace. I want them to see the positive side of everything even when I discipline them.
Who are your role models in the industry?
I will mention few ones I know are my people for life . First on the list is Rita Dominic, she is my number one role model and mentor, she is a huge part of who I am today. When I came out of Big Brother, she connected me with lots of people who helped develop my career, even though she wasn’t obliged to do that.
I met so many people through Rita I met Desmond Eliot who is now my mentor in Nollywood , Ramsey Noah and a few others. She opened me up to Nollywood . So she is my all time Nigerian mentor and role model and I will be forever grateful to her.
Gratitude isn’t just about thanking God but also the people he used to lift you up because God won’t come down to help. God can place people in positions to help you and they can choose not to! which might cause great delay for your success. So the fact that someone hearkened to God’s voice and gave so much support without expecting anything in return, so much gratitude should be shown to them.
Are you available for mentorship? How should prospective mentees reach you?
I am selectively available for face to face mentorship because of my busy schedule. But I mentor people through the messages I share on my social media platforms and so far I have gotten great feedback.
So for people who really want to be mentored by me I will say look out for my interviews and social media posts. Hopefully, I will start doing motivational tours, going to places to mentor young people very soon.
Inspire youths in one sentence…
Dreaming is free, but it becomes a crime when you don’t act on it. No matter the challenges life throws at you or what anyone says to you don’t ever give up on your dreams because you’re born to SUCCEED!
Thanks For Sharing With Us Mr Uti Nwachukwu.
You can connect with Mr Uti Nwachukwu via ;
Instagram : @siruti
Watch Uti Nwachukwu Speak Pidgin In His Interwiew Below:
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Watch Uti Nwachukwu (@siruti) inspire youths in PIDGIN. (Part 1) Video Shot By : Mykel Bankz (@mykelbankz) #utinwachukwu #presenter #keepgoing #success #nevergiveup #dream #viral #entertainment #keepmoving #successfulpeople #videos #nollywood #staymotivated #inspiration #motivation #student #celebrity #entrepreneur #ceo #naija #boss #bosslady #Nigerianblogger #instagram #kenya #ghana #lagosnigeria #nigeria #africa #temmybalogunblog