Nkubi – “If I were of average height, I still would have been successful”
Nigeria skit maker, Nollywood actor and On Air Personality Victor Nwaogu who is popular known as Nkubi discusses his journey as a child actor, his experiences as a broadcaster, actor, skit-maker, and most importantly, his life as a loving husband in a premier interview with PREMIUM TIMES.
According to him, he graduated from the University of Ibadan with a degree in Theatre Arts and tied the knot in 2021. He works at Wazobia FM as a TV presenter, voice-over artist, and content creator.
PT: How do you handle female admirers?
Nkubi: Female admirers? I’m a married man. I see them as regular friends. Fine, they love what I do, and I appreciate them. It is not far-fetched because the lines are always drawn, and that’s just it. There is nothing attached to it.
PT: Would you have been more successful if you were not this height?
Nkubi: I sincerely don’t know. I’m not God. First thing first, I’ll be grateful for what I’ve been able to achieve, at least for now. Looking at my nature, I know a lot of average-height individuals for the spot I am in right now. I can’t sincerely say because I am not a soothsayer and can’t define the future. What would the future have held for me if I were of average height? Let me hold on to the existing reality. From what I’ve seen, I would still have been ambitious and chased my goals, irrespective of how I must have emerged. Even if I were an average-height person, I still would have been successful.
PT: How did you find the confidence to talk to your wife?
Nkubi: The thing is, I grew up in a neighbourhood where talking was a norm. When I mean talking, it’s not the regular talking where you chat with your friends. I was born and raised in Oshodi, Mafoluku, and you know how crazy that place can be. Growing up, I grew up amid friends who would throw shades and words at you, and if you couldn’t respond to them, you didn’t belong in that caucus. Growing up as well, when you see ladies, there are certain words you tell them as well. So, it was not difficult at all. In the long run, it’s a yes or no answer, and then you move on with your life.
PT: Between skitmaking and broadcasting, which are you more passionate about?
Nkubi: I’ll say both, though, because, in the long run, it has to do with reaching out to the people. Broadcasting, you get to talk to millions of people anytime you go on a broadcast. For skit-making, it still reaches out to hundreds of people as well. There’s an endpoint to everything you do. For instance, as a broadcaster, as much as I love my job, I say, ‘Thank you for giving me this privilege to broadcast on your station at the end of the month. I’ll get paid for what I do. So, social media platforms exist today because there’s an endpoint to everything you do. I understand the position of having a passion for it, but in the long run, there’s always an end goal to what you’re performing for.
PT: Considering podcasts as a growing trend, any plan to go into it, and what would you focus on if you have to?
Nkubi: I started something relating to podcasts last year. Looking at what people tend to have now, it might need to be more structured. The podcast I had then focused on my nature and the people in this character class. I invite them over, and we discuss our nature, society, and other issues. Considering the setting of podcasts as well, my background was different. Sometimes, we sit on chairs depending on the topic. Occasionally, we could all lie down and discuss the issue in a room. You’ll find a couple of them on my YouTube channel.
It is something I’ve had in mind long before it became popular. You know this famous saying that sometimes you have a dream like some excellent thoughts in your head, don’t just believe that you are the only one stuck with such an idea. There are a million and one people simultaneously thinking the same way you think. Podcasts are almost everywhere now, and then let’s watch how it goes because there’s one thing with the Nigerian system. The moment one trending thing comes up, everybody jumps at it. The moment they jump into it, it becomes over-flogged, and it wanes out, but it is something I intend to do subsequently.
PT: How has your career been?
Nkubi: It’s been fine. At least, it concerns growth, improvement, and development. All these things are things that I am embracing and witnessing. At the least, the same Nkubi that started nine years ago as a broadcaster, the TV presenter is not the same today. I have had a lineup of improvements and experiences on the job. How I handled programmes in the past obviously would be different from how I handle programmes now. Because it is a development phase so we keep improving. Even in the theatre world, you learn from every job you put out there. It is a phase, so you gradually build up yourself as the day goes by.
PT: What are some of the challenges you faced?
Nkubi: Before my career, I will say I encountered challenges. Getting jobs was difficult after my university education. In a couple of jobs I applied for, they came up with stories when I scaled through the first and second phases when they discovered that you are a little person. All these things were what I had to go through. The acting job, because I studied theatre at the university, was also something I had issues with because of the roles that were being offered at that early stage. It was a role that did not define our personality as little people. They were diminishing roles.
Roles that portray you as what society tends to see you as. For a couple of jobs that came by, the first question I usually ask is what role I’m playing, and if the person mentions functions like a spiritualist, herbalist or a Bushbaby, I opt out. They should think beyond this; you can’t keep imagining that this is how we live our lives or what we are.
Many of us come from ordinary homes where every family member is average height. Because we are little people amid multiple and millions of average-height people, it does not give you that fundamental that these people have because of the stories we’ve heard over time about what these people represent. Then you sum it up that this is what they indeed are. Our case is just a genetic case. Let’s see, and I hope gradually we’ll grow out of this. After the jobs came by, things were getting much easier because there is a face out there, and the look is a personality that represents a set of people; for that, they would consider what they offer you rather than what they used to offer
PT: Is there a personal thing you’re doing to change the wrong narrative about little people?
Nkubi: Yes, I started pushing that narrative long before my university education because I used to belong to a group of little people, and the group’s primary focus was to sensitise people about who we are rather than what they think we are.