– Uche Odoputa speaks on experiences during his time in prison
– The Nollywood actor was arrested in 2007 for drug trafficking, the incident serving as a critical point in his career
– In a new interview, he revealed that it was a tough time even though a few of his colleagues showed him some support
Nollywood actor Uche Odoputa has spoken on his travails in prison following his conviction for drug trafficking in 2007.
Prior to the prison sentence, Odoputa was close to becoming a household name in the Nigerian entertainment industry, with a growing fan base and more, but he lost all of that afterwards.
He was said to have encountered hard times, hence his unfortunate journey into peddling narcotics.
The sad incident which occurred in 2007 and led to Odoputa’s arrest, for which he did time in prison for two years and three weeks, impacted negatively on him as well as the industry as it cast a major blot on Nigerian entertainers.
According to Punch, the Imo indigene revealed he was faced with financial issues which led him into the illegal trade.
He said: “I regret my actions. I was a growing brand and a lot of people were angered by my action. I was disappointed in myself. I thank God I came out of prison a changed person.”
The Nollywood actor went on to say the incident impeded the process for his already-growing career at the time, leading to a massive decline in his fan base and goodwill among other things.
He said: “It took away my career and the little fame I had at that time, gaining recognition in Nollywood and even among my colleagues has been a struggle since then.”
However, he explained that he was lucky to have some of his colleagues around him during those trying times.
He credited the likes of the late Amaka Igwe and John Okafor for their immense contributions.
He said: “The late Amaka Igwe paid part of my legal fees, she was always in contact with me and never abandoned me. She took me under her tutelage after I was freed from prison and taught me directing.
“While others paid to learn directing , she taught me for free. I was to direct the job she was working on before she died. Up till now, I can’t bring myself to delete her telephone number. I still hear her voice sometimes. She was a good woman.”
On John ‘Mr. Ibu’ Okafor’s controbutions, he said: “He used to send me recharge cards which I sold. That enabled me to take care of myself when I was imprisoned.”
The actor currently resides in Port Harcourt, saying he left Lagos to settle in a cooler environment where he could get the needed time to relax and reflect more on his life and career.
He said: “I need some sanity and time to decongest my brain. Things were moving too fast in Lagos, so I relocated to Port Harcourt.”
The 47-year-old actor and director since returning to the industry has appeared in movies such as The Eyes Of The Eagle, Brothers War, Eviction Day and The Captor.