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High Anticipation As Nkechi First Warms Up For New Blockbuster “Unfriendly”

Gone are those days when men dominate the movie industry. Now, things have changed as women are giving the male folds a good run for their money. We now have women who are not just doing exceptionally well but are also breaking bounds and changing narratives. This is also the story of a fast-rising filmmaker, Nkechi First Ikpendu Kanu.

 

With over 5 movies (international and local), Filmmaker Nkechi First Ikpendu Kanu continues to prove herself as one of the contemporary cinema’s most empathetic and skilled chronicles of Nigerian youth.

Beyond filmmaking, Nkechi is also a broadcaster, actor, and entrepreneur. She is originally from Ovim, Abia state but was born in Nsukka in Enugu state. She came from a large family of 10.

Her late father, Isaac Ndukwe Kanu of blessed memories worked as security staff at the State University, while her mother, Deaconess Dioma Kanu was a petty trader.

Nkechi grew up in Nsukka, went to Onuiyi Primary School, and Community Secondary School Obukpa, though it was called Obukpa girls at that time. She proceeded to study linguistics at the University of Nigeria, graduated in the year 2000 and went for the compulsory national youth service in Abuja.

She served with DAAR Communications, as a news reporter for Africa Independent Television, AIT, and as a presenter on Ray Power FM. 

She got married in 2005 and eventually moved to the United Kingdom. She went on to study International Marketing (PGD) at the University of the West of Scotland, an HND diploma in Sound Production at Glasgow Kelvin College and she is currently studying for a degree in Broadcast Journalism TV/Radio at the University of the West of Scotland. She currently lives in Scotland with her 2 children, Princess Star and Priceless. 

 

Nkechi recently visited Nigeria to shoot a new movie titled Unfriendly, where she played a lead role.

The movie is expected to premiere sometime in May and will be available on Youtube.

In a bid to remain on top of her game, Nkechi is currently taking some courses on directing and has taken some directing roles in some of her university projects and assessments.

She recently spoke to CityPeople on the challenges bedeviling shooting a movie in Nigeria.

In her words;

“There are a lot of challenges, to be honest, but I must give a lot of credit to the filmmakers in Nigeria. Something I think that needs to be encouraged in the Nollywood industry is for professionalism and industry ethics to be taken more seriously. Apart from that, you will find out that most often health and safety are not considered, REECE is not done on locations, release forms are not used, contracts are not signed neither with cast nor crew and all these cause a lot of chaos in the industry.

“I noticed there's a lack of proper pre-production process and usually a lot of rush during production even while filming. However, I give a lot of credit to our filmmakers in Nigeria, because they are making the best out of a hard situation considering the economic situation in Nigeria. Maybe the biggest challenge is distribution, most filmmakers will end up putting the movie only on YouTube as other channels of distribution are either so difficult to get through to or are not interested in looking your way.”, she said.

 

She began her career in broadcasting after her youth service in Abuja. The experience she got from working with DAAR Communications, helped her with becoming an independent producer. her programme ‘The Dangerous Road’ was very popular in Abuja between 2001 and 2004. It was aired on NTA Abuja.

 

Working as an independent producer made her very versatile, during that time, she began to learn how to use the cameras, and how to edit. Nkechi was the first woman editor in Abuja. She had a small production studio then.

She started producing a movie in 2004 but didn’t finish the project because she had to leave Abuja for the United Kingdom in 2005 after the birth of her son.

 

She launched back into the industry in 2020 when she produced the movie What is Mine. She wrote the screenplay, and it features Chinenye Nnebe, Sonia Uche, and Chibuikem Darlington. In 2021, she produced Twist of Life, which features Chinenye Uyanna, Maicon Emeka, and Bamidele Udemmadu.

Her other movie in 2021 is Aunty Adanne. It is written and produced by Nkechi. Chinyere Wilfred played the lead role. Aunty Adanne features other actors like Phildaniels Aniedo, Ijeoma Nnanna, and Johnson Ogbu. After Aunty Adanne came to Ifeoma the Dirty Girl also in 2021 with actors like Chizoba Nwokoyo, Precious Paul, and Ogeh Collins. The movie Unfriendly is her fifth movie, and she played the lead role and acted alongside Chizoba Nwokoye, Frank Tana, Mary Patrick and many others.

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