From boardroom to Nollywood: My amazing journey — Ogochukwu Ekezie


Walking out of the boardroom and venturing into the world of film making, Ogochukwu Ekezie does not look like an amateur in the entertainment industry. For anything, she’s as good as the legends of the industry.


In fact, since the premiere of her debut short movie, “Were” at the New York African Film Festival., the effervescent female movie producer and former Corporate executive has been brandishing uncommon knowledge in the area of storytelling.


Ogochukwu is a gifted storyteller and creative. Prior to venturing into Nollywood and founding Red Sand Studios, she spent part of flourishing career as a business executive and CMO telling brand stories through award winning ad campaigns that delivered results.


Upon relocating to Nigeria from the US more than 20 years ago, Ogochukwu, with two bachelors degree in Journalism and Criminology in her kits, started her journey in the corporate world in Nigeria as a brand manager at ARM Investment Managers before moving to other brands.


Sharing her amazing journey in a recent chat with our reporter, Ogochukwu said : “I moved to Citi Bank as a Public Affairs Officer for Nigeria and Ghana. Thereafter, I moved to Union Bank as the Chief marketing officer.”


Despite her success story in the corporate world, Ogochukwu didn’t feel fulfilled. She would recall that even before she moved back to the country, her dream was to join the movie industry from the start.


“I had told my parents I wanted to come to Nigeria and open up movie theatres. And as true Nigerian parents would react, they had said nobody goes to the cinemas in Nigeria. Six months after I moved back to Nigeria, Silverbird Cinemas opened. I am a great lover of films. When I was much younger, I would go to the movie theatres alone and watch movies.”


More than 20 years later, Ogocukwu said it was time she pursued her dream in storytelling craft.


“Nollywood has made a giant stride in the last two decades. I feel this is the right time for me to execute this dream and vision that I have had. I would describe my journey from the Boardroom to Nollywood as an amazing one.”


Ogochukwu is determined to carve a niche for herself in Nollywood despite the odds.


She said that her mission in the industry is to elevate African storytelling through movies that not only entertain but also stir the conscience.


Her movie, “Were, written and directed by Dolapo Marinho and starring Belinda Yanga, focuses on the mental health issues in Lagos and the experiences of the most marginalized people living on the edge of our society.


“’Were’ is an interesting movie. It is culled from a story – Under the Bridge- and we took the central character and turned it into a short film. The story is about a mentally ill woman who lives at the top of Ojota Bridge and relies on the generosity of a stranger who comes to feed her every day. When the stranger disappears, she comes out of her shack and mingles with the world. The three days she comes out to fend for herself, a series of things happen to her. The movie features Belinda Yanga as the lead actor,” Ogochukwu added.



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