In Conversations: Onyeka Nwelue speaks with Peter Bunor Jnr.


One of the brightest politicians and art connoisseurs we have in this country, Jide Attah had invited me and some young people for a drink or two (although many took more than that) and food (serious pepper soup-ing happened) at a park in Abuja and I sat close to this fair-skinned young man who had come to show me up to Jide’s office earlier on. I had no idea he was the one I used to watch on TV; for so many reasons it didn’t occur to me.

Peter Bunor Jnr has grown. He is all grown now and it was a big problem for me to recognize him easily. Yet, it was when we started talking and talking that I realized this was Peter Bunor’s son; that veteran Nollywood actor that was almost in every Nollywood film. 

We’ve become close friends, we have cracked jokes, made fun of ourselves, threatened to kill ourselves, but sometimes, we take things like talking about his career very seriously. Just like this one.

Where have you been? No one has seen you on screen? What happened?
I like to say to myself I went to Mars, explored the universe and all. But in reality I went on a hiatus, went to school, went to live a very different form of life.

Let us go back to the past. How did you start as a child actor?
My father was starring in a film, and they needed a kid about my age then; he said he had this son who acted regularly in school. I went there the next day tried for the role and got it.

For you as a child actor, what were the most exciting moments in your career?
Every time I stood in front of a camera.

There is the emergence of New Nollywood. I am amazed that you are not part of it. Why?
I am amazed too. I hope to at some point, but I haven’t found something I would really really, really like to do.

Most of the child actors had to leave acting to pursue their education. So, tell me, do you feel the need for that education or you just wanted to fulfill all obligations?
I feel there is a great need for formal education; it’s a very strongly held personal opinion.

If you are to return to acting, what actors would you like to work with?
Joke Silva, Sam Dede, Ramsey Noah.

There are so many directors making their mark on the centre stage at the moment. Who are the directors you really want to work with?
There’s quite a couple, Obi Emelonye, Tade Ogidan, Tunde Kelani, Kunle Afolayan etc.

During the years when you started, did you ever feel that you will take a break from acting? Or was this just the way your parents wanted it to happen?
I didn’t really think about or leaving or quitting, I was just enjoying the ride.

Are you in a relationship? Does it distract?
No I am not, when I am, I would answer that.

Do you have plans of coming back to the film industry?
Hopefully, when the right thing pops up.

If there is anything you want to change about Nigeria, what is it?
Intolerance

Do you have hope in the political system of Nigeria?
I am an unrepentant optimist, so yes I do.

What are your dreams and aspirations?
There are quite a lot of them, but I’d summarize by saying I hope to be the best I can be in every aspect of my life.

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