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Who Is Ugonna Nwachukwu? | Biography | Profile| History Of Nollywood Actress & Movie Producer/Director Ugonna Nwachukwu

Dutch-born, England based Entrepreneur, Ugonna Nwachukwu just started her production company months after graduating with 2:1 from Loughborough University.

At the age of just 24, she has already written, directed and filmed her first movie, as well as a number of advertising campaigns and stage productions.

Her company, Ninety-One Productions is a creative agency located in the heart of London that specialises in the development of content for television.

In 2015 Ugonna Nwachukwu discusses with some of the challenges she experienced along the way in starting out her business and becoming a young entrepreneur.

  1.      What inspired you start your production company?

Growing up I always loved to tell stories. I would write short stories about a character and tell them to all my friends. As I got older I realised that if I really wanted people to get the right feel and effect form the stories I told, it was better to create something that they could see, something visual. From writing and telling stories, I started writing scripts, staying dramas and then finally creating productions. I’ve always wanted to tell my stories to the world and I guess this desire is what really inspired me to do what I am doing now.

  1. You were on BEN TV the other day during an interview where you mentioned not being taken seriously cos of your age. Could you give us an instance of that happening?

This issue is really something that I’ve experienced mainly with the older African community. I’ve never really experienced it with any other group of people. Once a Nigerian man in his fifties called me ‘a little girl’ and told me that I should stop trying to aspire to things bigger than me, he told me I should try doing something simpler and that I needed people like him to help run my business for me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

It’s ridiculous that people think they know what is best for your own projects when they have no experience in that field and they don’t know how hard you have worked for it or haven’t any made any effort to help you.

I may not be an expert in what I do and I may not know everything but believe me I am working hard to do my best and make my company all that I have dreamed it to be and sometimes you just need people to believe in you and encourage you, not to look down on you and belittle you.

I appreciate my mother for this because she has always believed in me and encouraged me to be the best that I can be in what I do.

  1. In PUNCH newspaper last month, you accused some Nigerian producers of lacking originality, could you please elaborate on that?

Re: “We need to work more on our stories. A lot of the films imitate Bollywood and Nollywood. It is not good when one is, for example, watching such films outside the country and some people are asking: ‘Why are they imitating this and that?’ Besides, issue of plagiarism may arise.”

I wouldn’t say I accused them, I just stated the obvious. I respect Nollywood and Nigerian producers for what they do. What I meant was that it appears that we imitate a lot of Hollywood films. I just believe that we have the potential to tell our own stories. There are so many issues going on in our country. Why don’t we produce things about those issues to highlight them at home and abroad so that we can find ways to deal with them?

Film is a very powerful tool and there is so much that we can do with it. We told have to keep telling other people’s stories when we have ours that we haven’t even exhausted.

We are not Hollywood, we are Nigerians, we are Nollywood, if I wanted to watch a western film I know where to go to watch one. Don’t try and create one for me to watch. Be yourself

I just finished season one of Jenifa’s diaries, it is amazing, hilarious. That’s the sort of stuff out of Nollywood that I am proud of.

  1. You’ve received quite a number of entrepreneurial awards.

Uhm, I received two business awards from my university to help me start up my business.

  1. Could you please tell us a bit more about your production company and what you do?

Ninety one productions is a creative agency which specializes in the development of content for television such as drama series, talk shows and documentaries.

  1. What would you consider as your biggest challenges so far being a young entrepreneur?

I think the challenges I’ve faced are challenges faced by all entrepreneurs whether young or old. I think when you’re trying to start up something on your own there’s always that feeling of being alone and thinking ‘maybe I’m not strong enough’, ‘maybe I’m not smart enough’ and the usual ‘I wish I had someone in this with me to give me some support, I need someone else in this to be able to do this’. I occasionally have those thoughts and it can be painful to get through but that’s why I now have a huge sheet of coloured paper over my bed which reads ‘God is my strength’.

I believe that when you dedicate a thing to God which He has approved of, and you work hard enough, He will definitely establish it. God is enough and God is all I need to do what I am trying to do successfully.

I might not be the most experienced but with the Alpha and Omega and the God of creativity on my team (laughs) I needn’t say more.

  1. What should we look forward to seeing from 91 for the coming?

Why don’t we leave that as a surprise?


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