Member’s Corner takes a closer look at D.I.S.S Alumni’s 200 members. This week features Okechukwu Nwankwo from Class of 2001.
How would you describe yourself?
Okechukwu Nwankwo is a hardworking and creative person. A wonder to myself most times.
What are your academic qualifications?
I have a BSc in Applied Geophysics and Physical Oceanography from the University of Calabar.
What are your job experiences and where do you work presently?
I worked for Ebonylife TV as a set dresser and assistant art director from 2012 to 2016. Right now, I’m a freelance art director. My media firm is Frosted Media.
What keeps you busy outside the office?
I started a women empowerment organization. I give seminars and encourage young women, especially those between twelve and twenty-five years, to be the best they can be in life. They shouldn’t be discouraged by what society thinks about them, they should be bold and show that they have the same potential for greatness as men.
Which projects have you handled?
I have worked on films like Wedding Party 1 and 2, Royal Hibiscus Hotel, King of Boys, New Money, The Setup, Bling Lagosians, Ojo’s in the House, Up North and the drama series, Dere. I have also worked on TV commercials for Maggi, Glo, Star, Gulder and Onga.
Which project challenged you the most?
I have had a few challenging projects but The Setup was the most challenging. The script was deep creative wise and I had to imagine a lot of the art direction and develop a concept. The script was so challenging that the entire production team had several meetings about it. We had to change locations to fit the script and the film’s characters and bring in coloured walls because we couldn’t paint the walls of the houses we rented to shoot the film. It was awesome at the end. Truly amazing.
What motivates you?
The fact that I love beautiful things helps to motivate me when I work. A lot of Nollywood films lack set translations and depictions. Standing apart from the crowd motivates me to do awesome stuff.
What do you remember most about your time as a student at Dority International Secondary School?
I remember a lot of happy times as a D.I.S.S student but the goals I scored during inter-house sports and break periods are what I remember most. I hardly played soccer again and it hurts me till today. My classmates took football seriously.
Have you been to Dority since you graduated?
I went to D.I.S.S a few years ago and I barely recognized any of the students but they did remember me. They clapped and shouted and called out my name as I passed the windows. It was surreal.
Where do you think you will be in the next 5 years?
In the next five years, I’ll be one of the biggest filmmakers in Nigeria. I’ll be all around the world making my own films and bringing joy to homes. Maybe I’ll consider politics too.
Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
I am proud of even the smallest jobs I have done. Because nobody gave me a chance. I didn’t study film making but God led me through the right path to what makes me happy.
Which issues or topics are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about jobs and about women and the way women have been relegated to nothing in this county and all over the world. Ten years ago, I started a campaign against child molestation and rape. I am a different person when these topics are broached or I’m working on a case concerning this. I am also passionate about the service of God.
If you had the chance to mentor a D.I.S.S student today, what advice would you give him/her?
Look at yourself and see what makes you happy, what you will wake up every day and be happy to do. Whatever that is, follow it because life is too short to struggle at a job.
Where do you see D.I.S.S Alumni in the next 5 years?
The alumni association’s growth is quite fast. My own class of 2001 started something too and it’s the best group I’ve joined in years. I see D.I.S.S Alumni making great strides in the next five years.