From music to modelling to Nollywood and now Politics, Bobby Michaels could best be described as versatile. On stage, he is admired for his acting prowess; off-stage, his fashion sense is adored. Recently, he was appointed as a Special Adviser on Entertainment to the Imo State Governor. In this interview with Chinedu Ibeabuchi, he shares his dreams on how he would grow the entertainment industry in the state
Congrats on your appointment as Special Adviser on Entertainment to the Imo State Governor. What’s your plan for entertainment in Imo State?
First, I thank the most Distinguished Senator Hope Odidika Uzodinma for finding me worthy to pilot the affairs of the Entertainment Industry in the state. My plan is simply to revolutionise the entire entertainment industry in Imo state, hinging it on the 3R initiative of the government on shared prosperity.
Imo State used to be the pride of the East in highlife music. How’s your plan to revive this?
Of course! You can say that again. Imo is still the pride of Eastern Highlife music as we have our peculiar style of highlife music. As you know, we have our bongo music which is also peculiar to only Imo State and we are coming with a bang in the International Music Festival. I’ve put together to relaunch the state on the global map. The delay has just been this pandemic ravaging the whole world. We have laid out a plan that would get back to being the envy of the nation and Africa folk music.
What’s your assessment of the cinema business in Imo?
Cinema is growing in the state and needs to be encouraged. But the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the narrative and this is why the likes of Netflix is making so much profit. A lot of producers sell their films to their platforms these days as most people prefer to stay safe at home and watch the movies.
Is Bobby Michaels still acting or now fully into politics?
(Laughs) You know one can never leave his passion. That’s why my office would benefit so much from my passion which doubled up as my portfolio in the government.
You used to be on the other side of the game, using movies to tackle ills in govt. Now that you are in government, what should the populace expect?
My office as the SA on Entertainment in the state is on a good course to bring the desired change that I’ve always wanted to see. Besides, the plans, enabling environment and ease of doing business initiated by the governor’s leadership style, I would surpass my expectations and put Imo entertainment industry and entertainers on the global stage.
Tell us your achievements so far in office.
It’s been quite an interesting time as I have been quite excited to have been given the opportunity to serve my dear state Governor Hope Uzodinma. This is a man whose vision for the entertainment industry in the state is quite overwhelming and can’t be equaled. I’ve been able to meet with the different stakeholders of the industry who have pledged their unalloyed loyalty & support to my office to enable us work tirelessly to ensure I succeed in the big task ahead. This synergy is such that we speak the same language which is the need to change the narrative in Imo Entertainment industry to enable us to create jobs and wealth and guarantee shared prosperity in line with the 3R initiative of the government.
What will Bobby Michaels like to be remembered for?
Certainly, I want to leave an indelible mark as a humble entertainer, who got on the job, used his Passion and skills to revolutionise the Imo State entertainment industry and took it to the desired level.
How do you relax?
I relax by watching movies, especially Sanford and Son series. Those close to me would be laughing now. I also like to read biographies of great men and women who inspire me to humbly do more.
You love to look good. What drives your fashion sense?
I got my fashion sense from my dad. I think looking good is very natural for people in my family. My mum was a very fashionable woman and my dad is perhaps one of the best-dressed men I have ever known. Looking good is also very important in this business of showbiz. I take it very seriously and that’s why I am able to stand apart from a lot of my peers. People would sometimes say stuff like, if you want to look good and charming, go look up Bobby Michaels.
You were once into music also. Have you finally retired from your music career?
My first call as an entertainer was my music. Music is me and music is my world. I took a break from music to pursue my acting career not because I am done with it. I only took a break to reinforce my musical style.