“Nollywood hasn’t had the kind of exposure it needs nor the growth it requires” – Ken Smart

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When you mention the name Ken Smart, to few it sounded cheesy but not to many entrepreneurs and entertainment industry in the UK, Africa and even America. Some know him as the man with the golden commercial voice while to others; he is just an entrepreneur and business man extraordinaire. He has in the past successfully made commercials for the likes of DHL, Reebok,First direct, the highly prestigious DEFRA, Government Agencies and even Nigerian N o l l y w o o d Awards to mention but a few.

 It all started for him during his days at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile Ife, Nigeria. There, he was a member of Skala Klobb. An organization that oversees the Campus Queen Beauty Contests at both local and national levels.He held a degree in Medicine before his relocation to the UK in the early nineties to pursue his career dream like many others in the modeling industry no less. That didn’t pan out too well at which point he decided to consider his original medical practice but Ken was very passionate about Arts and performance and he decided to give another go at it professionally.

 He enrolled at London Film School in Euston and upon his graduation; the tide began to turn his way.There were shortage of actors and after a due consideration; he actually landed the lead role in their graduation film. He acquired more knowledge by enrolling in yet another school of acting and got his first major break in a stage show called Buxton Fringe Festival. He was known as Kanye and from then on, he has never looked back.

Tkbesh! International Magazine caught up with Mr Ken Smart and asked a few more questions about life and career as an entrepreneur and entertainer. A family man and a philanthropist.

“I especially like the work of Kunle Afolayan which is very inspiring for indigenous producers anddirectors”

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Tkbesh! Welcome to our world! How are you?

KS: I am good and can’t really complain Tkbesh!

Tkbesh! What has road to success been like and what type of effect has it had on you and your family life?

KS: Everything good and great in life comes with a price Tkbesh! To be successful, a lot of sacrifices have to be made. The hard work being put in from the University days to the hours put up in auditions and endless nights spent researching and reviewing roles. It hasn’t been easy at all and the bigger challenge in it all, has been finding the medium or rather I should say the ability to balance work life from that of family life. You find out you spent so much time on work and thus spending less with family and that can potentially hurt or even break a family but I thank God for an understanding family He has blessed me with. I have got a great wife and kids!

Tkbesh! You were a voice for a Nollywood awards. How do you think Nollywood is doing now and what would you change about it if you could?

KS: Yes I was the face of Nollywood Movies Award for the year 2012 and was very proud to have been part of that project. Nollywood hasn’t had the kind exposure it needs nor the growth it requires but the new waves of a s p i r i n g  a c t o r s ,producers and directors locally and from diaspora who are likely to move Nollywood in the right direction is very promising and helping. Having said that, I especially like the work of Kunle Afolayan which is very inspiring for indigenous producers and directors. There is so much more to be learned. What I would change if I have the chance is the distribution system of films and shows in Nigeria. I would love to improve the mindset of the audience to get them to appreciate cinematic culture rather than watching pirated movies on vcd and youtube. Also there is no reason why we cannot have film schools and acting schools all over the place giving the young and aspiring folks the much needed opportunities to realize their dreams. This will not only help the industry alone. I believe it can curb crimes and keep students in higher education off of cultism and other non-profitable business they would otherwise engaged in.

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Tkbesh! What do you think of Nigerian politics and Africa in general and how it affects entrepreneurship and entertainment industry as a whole?

KS: Sadly, Nigerian politics is not as transparent as it should be if it were any transparent at all and this is all scary especially with the news of people getting kidnapped and disappearing left and right all because of their support for an electorate party or their aspirations to be part of the government and these are good people with ambitions to lead Nigeria forward. It’s high time we infused the government with fresh and young people with vision. Even the holy book in the Proverbs says my people perish due to their lack of vision. I hope and pray that one day, we will see the type of accountability and transparency it takes to have a successful government leadership in Nigeria and Africa. I am praying fervently for that day where no one will be above the law and that day that every man gets his and her fair share of justice through a just government. I pray for a day where looters at no matter what level would be brought to justice, be it at the local council level, state, senate and even the presidency! When all this is in place, foreign investors would swamp the nation, businesses would thrive upon safe security and peace in the land. The movie and the entertaining industry as whole would reach a new height and just maybe the politicians would realize all the government needs to do is regulate the body and provide excellent infrastructures!

Tkbesh! Are you involved in any other personal work or charity that the world should know about?

KS: Thanks for asking this Tkbesh! I am as a matter of fact a Good Will ambassador for Miss Black Europe organized by Sola Opesan in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I support her work within my capacity. I am working already in a G.K. Heart Foundation which I will let you know the details in the nearest future.

Tkbesh! Any words of inspiration to the public?

KS: Keep pursuing your dream and live everyday as if there is no tomorrow. Do not take ‘NO’ for an answer and never settle for a mediocrity. Those are never an option. There are so many roads to greater successes. Rediscover yourself and challenge yourself everyday. Be happy and live a great life the best way you can! God bless!

Tkbesh! Thank you for joining us.

KS: My pleasure! Tkbesh! International Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

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