The Director: My name is Uchechukwu Prince Agbambu, most people know me as Director Uche or for my day one’s who won’t stop calling me Young Pizzy, a name i used to go by when i was still a fresh boy rapper, that was a while ago though.
I was born in Africa’s most popular and Populous ghetto, Ajegunle, to a workaholic Media man father from Ibusa, Delta state and enterprising mother from Surulere, Lagos state.
Growing up in Ajegunle was a gift and a little curse, a gift because I was born in the era when being talented and creative meant so much more than just a ticket out of the ghetto.
A little curse because growing up as a kid in Ajegunle should be part of a thousand ways to die.
Ajegunle at that time was a terror zone where you couldn’t even have a good night sleep with both eyes closed. Nowhere and nobody was safe. Disappointingly you would wake up in the morning to news of a jungle justice death that had happened to one boy or man who lived a few compounds away from you; or you see that pretty little 13 year old classmate of yours that your friends had been pushing you to ask out at break-time get pregnant. These were the kind of things that happened in my environs.
Jack of many trades
I would like to call myself a jack of many trades, yeah, don’t look at me like that… I’m a master of plenty as my case may be.
I am a seasoned filmmaker, Cinematographer, director, screenwriter, editor, Colorist, full house husband and the chief Errand-Boy of a boutique production company called Campfire Films.
With that being said, growing up wasn’t so difficult for me, probably because my father was a very disciplined and hardworking man that did not think one should be a street urchin because of your environment. Living with my grandma also contributed to this.
Watching my father grow from a young showbiz promoter into a media head, producing and presenting TV programmes in partnership with government agencies; inspired me into being an all round creative industry person. at a tender age,i was in daddy fresh’s debut music video, dancing on a tank with my favourite and only brown canvas, I need not tell you that it was my Christmas shoe the previous year.
The Director & Life
After film school, I decided to fully pursue my dream of being a rapper as I was influenced by American kid rapper Vicious, Notorious Big, Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton and others.
I released a few singles, some of which were radios’ favourite. I had a song with my late friend Zara, and Hakym the Dream. There were so many challenges with funds to promote the song and video.
At that time; I was working as the cameraman at Views & Tunes, a music programme on terrestrial TV, my salary was going straight into my music, while a little was going into my wellbeing as I was living with some of my best friends.
Then I moved to Video Wheelz, another TV program, I was also getting into trouble because I wasn’t giving my best at work, and my career in music was suffering, as a result of not putting enough time into music and also lack of funds.
Sometime in 2012, while working at V-channel, I was broke and I put my music career on break. This particular year was a very difficult one for me. I was almost sliding into depression. At some time I was trekking to the office, from Egbeda to Ogba. I was still fired, even with my trekking to work.
So, I decided to finally stop recording or putting out music and face my video directing career squarely.
That birthed Campfire Films, and the first gigs I got to shoot was a major TV Commercial for MTN and mini documentary for Diamond bank, back to back!
The joy i felt was inexplicable.
After a while of shooting music videos for the likes of Brymo, i decided it was time to take my career to the next level, from just a Music video director to a full fledge filmmaker, which I worked and i’m still working towards. Then i Directed the movie Omoye which has won major awards both home and abroad.
I say to younger filmmakers and the youth;
Everybody’s timing is different, everybody is racing on different tracks, don’t let peer pressure make you feel less of yourself.
You are the best of your kind, and the universe is excited to have you.But mostly, patience is very key. Forget what you were told, work is very important, but sleep is importanter!
~ The director Uche