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    Saturday, July 6, 2024

    Corporate World to Nollywood: Remarkable Journey of Ogochukwu Ekezie

    With over 20 years of experience as a brand, marketing, and public relations expert, Ogochukwu Ekezie is embarking on a new endeavor to enhance her storytelling capabilities.

    Transitioning from the corporate world to the realm of filmmaking, Ogochukwu Ekezie demonstrates a remarkable aptitude for the entertainment industry. Her expertise rivals that of seasoned industry veterans, showcasing her exceptional talent and potential for success in this new endeavor.

    Indeed, since the premiere of her debut short film, “Were,” at the New York African Film Festival, the dynamic female film producer and former corporate executive has consistently demonstrated exceptional expertise in the realm of storytelling.

    Ogochukwu possesses exceptional storytelling and creative abilities. Before entering the Nollywood industry and establishing Red Sand Studios, she had a successful career as a business executive and CMO. During this time, she excelled in crafting award-winning advertising campaigns that effectively communicated brand narratives and achieved desired outcomes.

    Ogochukwu relocated to Nigeria from the United States over two decades ago. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Journalism and the other in Criminology. She began her professional career in Nigeria as a brand manager at ARM Investment Managers before transitioning to other reputable organizations.

    During a recent interview with a reporter, Ogochukwu shared her remarkable journey: “I moved to Citi Bank as a Public Affairs Officer for Nigeria and Ghana. Thereafter, I moved to Union Bank as the Chief marketing officer.”

    Despite her accomplishments in the corporate sector, Ogochukwu lacked a sense of fulfillment. She reminisced about her long-standing aspiration to pursue a career in the film industry, even prior to her repatriation.

    “I had told my parents I wanted to come to Nigeria and open up movie theatres. And as true Nigerian parents would react, they had said nobody goes to the cinemas in Nigeria. Six months after I moved back to Nigeria, Silverbird Cinemas opened. I am a great lover of films. When I was much younger, I would go to the movie theatres alone and watch movies.”

    After more than two decades, Ogocukwu expressed her desire to finally pursue her aspiration in the art of storytelling.

    “Nollywood has made a giant stride in the last two decades. I feel this is the right time for me to execute this dream and vision that I have had. I would describe my journey from the Boardroom to Nollywood as an amazing one.”

    Ogochukwu is resolute in her pursuit of establishing a distinguished presence within the Nigerian film industry, notwithstanding the challenges she may encounter.

    She stated that her professional objective within the industry is to enhance the representation of African narratives through the creation of cinematic works that not only provide entertainment value but also serve as catalysts for introspection and social awareness.

    The film, titled "Were," written and directed by Dolapo Marinho and starring Belinda Yanga, delves into the mental health challenges prevalent in Lagos and sheds light on the experiences of the most vulnerable individuals living on the fringes of society.

    “The film “Were” draws inspiration from a compelling narrative known as “Under the Bridge.” We adapted the central character from this story and transformed it into a concise cinematic piece. The plot revolves around a woman afflicted with mental illness who resides atop the Ojota Bridge. Her sustenance depends on the benevolence of a stranger who visits her daily to provide nourishment. However, when this individual mysteriously vanishes, she emerges from her secluded dwelling and interacts with the world beyond. During the subsequent three days of her independent existence, she encounters a series of significant events. Notably, the film features the talented Belinda Yanga in the lead role,” Ogochukwu elaborated.

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