By Femi Oyewale and Gloria Okezie-Okafor
He is stylish, versatile, and homely. Give him credit for his accomplishments, this model and entertainment personae has done remarkably well for himself. In a short while after joining the movie industry, Christian boasts of over a hundred and fifty movies to his profile. But the journey didn’t just start there. Christian has had two titles to his music album –Cloud of Glory 1994, and Let There Be Light 2002.
Exuding confidence with that broad smile that hardly leaves his face, this Anambra indigene who had his upbringing in Northern Nigeria, is quick to tell you that the grace of God upon his life is the reason behind his success haven only joined the movie industry in 2012. Christian joggle as a minister of God –to which he says is the main call upon his life –a nollywood actor, musical artist, model and business man.
It was during a courtesy visit to the office of the Publisher of Sahara Weekly that this light skin father of four took his listeners through an interesting ride into his career sojourn beginning from the humble days in his encounter with Christ.
Christian Paul as he now prefers to be called, hails from Ukpo in Dunukofia in Anambra State, from a family of strong traditional belief. In fact he tells you ”my family was feared in our community”. His encounter with Christ was chanced, almost an accident; and since then the story has changed. For Christian, veering into the movie industry was completely unplanned, but since then the journey continued to gain momentum.
Recounting that unique day after a jog where his friends, most of whom are Nollywood actors, would always suggests that he joins the industry. Christian says he had no intention as his usual impression of those in the entertainment world was that of profanity. He was more at home with being a minister than having anything to do with the secular world.
It turned out then that his friends Rykardor Agbor, Fred Amata, and Chidi Nwokeabia, would always talk him into joining the world of make beliefs, teasing him that he has the looks. Until one day, Rykardor without prior notice, drove him down to the office of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, leaving him to register with the body. The date was 20 March 2012. This left Christian with no choice, but after a month of registering with the professional body, and with no jobs coming, he decided to find out why and was told he had to source out movie auditioning himself.
His first auditioning came with a movie by Saheed Apanpa, ”that was in Ketu Lagos,” he remembers. And ever since there had been several auditioning, including modeling jobs, and guest appearances at some top musical videos. Christian even landed an advert job with MTN for MTN Season of Surprise which –he admits– shot him into international limelight. Today, Christian Paul boasts of an array of nearly two hundred movies or more, in English, Igbo, and Hausa language.
With lead roles in top notch movies and soaps like The Governor, Tales of Eve, So Right So Wrong, Tinsel, The Paternity Deal, The Antique, The Thing Called Marriage, Business Trip, Husband From Hell, Taxi, among many, Paul says his most fulfilling was The Governor because of the role he played, and the popularity it gained.
This Nollywood veteran admits to having no regrets into his sojourn into the movie world, saying being an actor is an expressive part of his creative prowess; and being a minister is the call of God upon his life. Both assignments he says is not conflicting ”once you know what you are doing”. Christian was awarded the Matured Male Model of the year 2015 by Nigerian Model Achievers Awards, and Hope Legacy Awards.
Given his streamlined and often enchanting personality, Mr. Paul’s roles roves around been a father, uncle, brother, middle aged man, and in one instance, an old man. He teasingly tells you, ”they hardly give me poor man’s role. Maybe because of my looks and carriage. There was a time I was cast to act as a poor man, but the director had to recast that role because he says my skin could not fit in”