Popular Nollywood actor Bigval Jokotoye has spread his business tentacles in the United States.
The actor who left the shores of Nigeria in 2013 to raise a family in the US is now a proud owner of an African store named “Origin African Store ” in Fresno California.
See excerpts of his recent chat with Gbolahan Adetayo.
You left Nigeria for US about 2years ago after your wedding. Why the sudden decision?
I wanted a change of environment and greener pastures.
Are you saying that Nigeria was not conducive enough for you to make a living?
It wasn’t! I don’t know if things have changed now but the peanut actors were paid then were very annoying. Well, I guess piracy was the major problem then.
But did you consider the fact that some young guys may take over the industry from you before you return?
The sky is spacious enough for every bird to fly. The industry is not for only me. So far I am doing fine in my own little way, I am okay.
How do you now cope as a producer in USA because the major players of the industry are in Nigeria?
We have some of my colleagues here. I have Yomi Gold, Bayo Alawiye, Biodun Okeowo, Mistura Asunramu, Tayo in my new movie. And, I have been featured in two Hollywood productions. Lagos to Cali by Clearance Watson (Crw Film Group), Qiu Ligali (Hillstands Productions) and an HBO series by Jarman Hills.
Interesting, can you talk more about that?
Well, I had great experience shooting Lagos to Cali in Oakland, California. Everyone on set was amazing, friendly cast and crew. It’s a story that centralized on a Nigerian who came to California for a better life but found himself in another world unexpectedly. I think there were two Nigerians on that set.
Written by you?
No! I was just an actor on that set. MR ROLAND is my new movie.
Away from acting, which other job do you now do?
I worked with a pharmacy as a delivery driver for a few months. But I now have my business here.
What’s the Origin African Store all about?
We sell everything from Africa, like food and all that.
Between that job and acting, which one do you enjoy most?
Is there anything wrong if an actor has a business? I have people who handle my business. So, I’m an actor who ventured into a small business.
But there must be one you love most between the two…
Of course I love my career; I have been doing it passionately for 17 years.
Any plan to return to Nigeria soon?
Yes, my movie MR ROLAND will be in cinemas soon and a project I’m working on with Kashoky Entertainment.