Joseph Daniels: Moments with the Nollywood Superstar with over 200 movies under his belt
Joseph Emojurhobo Okoro popularly known as Joseph Daniels has become a big name in Nollywood.
This graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Benin, with an award for being the best all-round Mechanical Engineering student in 1988 also obtained a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the same university with a distinction in 1998.
He further obtained a PHD degree in Business Administration from Atlantic International University, USA with a distinction in 2019.
He started his career as a Safety Engineer, later as a Lecturer. He then joined First Aluminium PLC and left as a Circle Production Manager before joining The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and recently voluntarily retired as an Operations Readiness and Assurance Manager.
He is a corporate member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and chartered with Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in 2002. He is happily married with children.
His wealth of experience spanning over 30 years in business, work and people’s management has helped him in excelling in various endeavours.
In recognition of his beneficial contributions to his hometown, he was given a chieftaincy title, the Ataneru (i.e. talk-na-do) of Agbarho Kingdom. He is a member of the council of Chiefs in Agbarho Kingdom.
He has demonstrated outstanding reliability, as evident in the sponsorship of various peace initiatives, one being the Niger Delta Peace Initiative, which was aired on DRTV & African Magic.
He used his position as the National Patron of Actors Guild of Nigeria to promote peace, law and order in Delta State in particular and Nigeria in general.
He also features regularly on a DRTV program called ‘Focus’ and contributes meaningfully to the development of Delta State.
He is an actor, script writer, producer, executive producer, director, editor and national marketer. He has produced over 50 movies and acted in over 200, among which are Cotonou Visa, Deceptive Hearts, Foolish Lovers, Flames of Love, The Vengeance of Bullet, Okpetu Landlord, Owena, Eya Egagan, Enaiso, Oma, Troublesome Tenant, Wealth from Coven, First to Get Her, Ighoregben, Okpetu Tenant, Onokevwo, to mention a few. In 2011, his movie ‘The Vengeance of Bullet’ won five awards in Lagos International Film Festival where he won the ‘Best Actor of the year’.
His movie, Enaiso won ‘best film’ in 2014. He has bagged several other awards among which are ‘Best Urhobo Actor of the year 2013’ and Niger Delta Ambassador of Arts and Culture. Some of his latest trending movies are My foolish Wife, Beautiful Palace Love, Royal Siblings and Bullion Van. He is a successful Businessman.
Vanguard had a chat with this great thespian. See excerpt below:
Kindly share with us some interesting stories of your formative years. Stories you remember now and laugh. In those days you were still trying to break into Nollywood.
I remember the first time I came to Asaba and I was given a role of a Palace guard. I felt bad and I was thoroughly messed up by the director, asking who gave me the role. I was later made to play it as a Chief Palace guard after the director has given me a mini audition. Today, that movie still shows on DSTV EPIC. The title is King’s Word. The director turned out to be a good friend. There’s barely a month that passes that I don’t have the opportunity of telling that story.
Everyone thinks the Nollywood women dont make faithful wives. What’s your take?
We can’t generalise this. Yes, fame exposes the female folks to financial temptation from high society men. There are still a few that keep the marriage institution sacrosanct.
Acting makes you wear a lot of characters. Which particular character have you enjoyed more since you started acting?
My strong areas are wicked roles, comedy, rich proud man, Onowu and Igwe. In effect, I’m a versatile actor and so can play any role. However, wicked roles and comedy are natural.
What’s a typical week like for you and what do you think you have had to let go for acting sake?
Typically, I am very busy, as I move from set to set. Special thanks to my wife, Favour, who understands my dreams and gives me maximum support. I used to wear dreadlocks and dye my beards. I have to give up those to be able to play elder roles.
You have fans. Many want to be like you. Perhaps telling them about the process and hard works that produced you would help them be themselves. Let’s know about the making of you?
I join the industry about mid 2000 and became a National Patron of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). I started producing around 2008 until 2018 when I decided to go into full-time acting. I invested over N100million in the industry without getting my money back. I was lucky to get a contract for the use of only my contents to commission a TV station for 3 months. That gave me real encouragement before deciding to go into full-time acting. On coming to Asaba, the challenges were much but with God on my side, I have grown very fast. Today, I am a household name in Nigeria and indeed the world.
Tell us about your fashion. Your typical wears? Your typical style? And how you relax.
I used to wear mainly senator suits but today, I wear more of jeans and joggers with t-shirts because I am always on set. All I need is something to take me to location. I wear my normal clothes only on Sunday and to special occasions.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has done to get your attention?
Some curse me on social media after several un-replied posts. Some children use their mummy’s phones to call and just insult me for no reason.
What are your thoughts about the growth rate of Nollywood?
Nollywood is growing very fast and there are calls for improvement on quality of our movies. Unfortunately, some Executive Producers make it a strictly business venture and so compromise on professionalism. Things are beginning to change in recent times and we are hoping for the best, in comparison with our counterparts abroad.
Take us through your top 10 Nollywood movies of all time.
- The vengeance of Bullet.
- Flames of love
- Okpetu Landlord
- Bullion Van
- Royal Siblings
- Beautiful Palace love
- My foolish wife
- Trouble Nurse
- Royal Sin
- The village teacher