Nollywood actor/producer, Ifeanyi Kalu’s flexibility strides across many facets, which underscores his heart and passion for fashion designing, modeling, compering, and acting, writes Ferdinand Ekechukwu
Talented Nollywood actor/producer Ifeanyi Kalu is excited about his recognition at the recent ZAFAA Awards. The Zulu African Film Academy Awards (ZAFAA), also known as Zafaa Global Awards, is an annual ceremony that rewards African films in the Diaspora. It has been held in London, United Kingdom since inception in 2006. The 31-year-old actor won in the category for Best Supporting Actor in the movie Kuvana, at the award ceremony which held in Abuja for the first time.
The movie which featured the likes of Wale Ojo, Sambasa Nzeribe, Ivie Okujaiye and others, was directed by Edward Uka. Speaking on the award, the actor said: “It means a lot, shows I am doing something right. It also encourages me to do more, to work harder. The fact that I am nominated is enough reason to be convinced I am on the right track, and then winning puts me at a place of deep satisfaction, the simple reason being that I was thought of as a winner in my field, you can’t beat that.”
Ifeanyi who has featured in over a hundred movies was nominated alongside veteran Sam Dede, Deyemi Okanlawon, Daniel Lloyd, and Nchifor Valery from Cameroon.
It has been worthwhile experience acting wise for the “Lurikos” star, since he ventured into acting and later producing. The first movie (Lurikos) he produced and featured as the lead actor got good reviews, and aired on Africa Magic Showcase. He has his artistic eyes on more productions in the near future. Further on his involvement in Nollywood, he says it’s a journey. “In a journey you learn, you make wrong turns, you redirect your path, you meet people, you learn to be better, and if you are ambitious you will do better, gun for higher strata, and push beyond your limits.”
Flash back to the beginning of his journey, starting out his career as a model Ifeanyi did TV adverts/commercials and billboards. He would later enroll at the Royal Arts Academy run by renowned filmmaker, Emem Isong. Remarkably, Kalu’s foray into acting has been a fulfilling one that created his moment. All thanks to the filmmaker whom he had described as a veteran. “I got introduced to her by my sister. This was in 2010 or there about. I had to enroll at her academy. And then this particular day there was an audition. I just did the audition and I was selected for the role after the audition and I got the role.”
With other awards recognition to his craft, Ifeanyi’s career in the industry has witnessed steady rise, bagging numerous awards and multiple recognitions. Ifeanyi, who studied Computer Science at Lagos State University, got his big break in 2012 when he featured in his first major movie, Uduak Isong Oguamanam’s “Kokomma.
”The same Royal Arts Academy whose acting program he ran at the inception of his acting career had honored Ifeanyi with an award of excellence in recognition of his notable strides and milestones achieved in the Nollywood industry.
Interestingly, his vocation in the arts cuts across fashion, modeling, compering and acting, his main stay. “So, I do fashion alongside acting and once in a while, the modeling gigs come but not like before. Also I compere events as well,” he revealed earlier during a chat.
For fashion, Ifeanyi’s heart and passion is clearly marked by having watched his mom make dresses with her sewing machine while growing up. Ifeanyi was so interested in the creative process of making wears that even as the only boy, he would readily offer fashion advice to his four sisters who as he reckons, “totally appreciated it.”
To excellently master the process of creating beautiful garments, Ifeanyi attached himself to a small road-side fashion house for a period of one year, learning all the basics of sewing. For Ifeanyi, this became the stepping stone into his fashion career, which in 2012 led him to enroll in the Zaris Fashion and Style Academy in Ikeja, Lagos where he studied Fashion Design. At the Zaris Fashion and Style Academy, Ifeanyi graduated as the “most promising student” and went on to be named in the institution’s hall of fame for “outstanding contribution and support to the academy.”
To continue his pursuit of mastering fashion, Ifeanyi further interned with Mon Ami Fashion House, taking on the role of a pattern drafter and designer. Excellent in his service, Ifeanyi’s skills earned him the right to also teach students at the fashion house. In 2019, the Imo State born creative launched his eponymous “Ifeanyi Kalu” ready-to-wear line to cater to the needs of what he underscores as “The Fashionista”, the stylish, young-at-heart woman who wants to look chic, simple and classy. Ifeanyi Kalu’s ready to wear fashion brand meets the needs of fashionistas, producing chic, classy and simple designs with apt attention to details. Away from movie sets and sketch pads, the versatile actor, producer, compere, fashion designer, and model loves playing with his dogs and singing his heart away.