The Nigerian movie industry has many stars with outstanding talents and skills that keep movie watchers coming back for more. Most of these actors tend to be more popular by the notable characters they play in movies and the names of these characters. Two of such actors who have become famous with their on-screen characters and names are Osita Iheme, popularly known as Pawpaw, and Chinedu Ikedieze, also popularly known as Aki.
This famous duo wrote their name in the sand of time in the Nigerian movie industry with their comical talents. Also, utilizing their body sizes and height, they became almost inseparable in movies because many of their fans thought that they are related outside the industry.
Aki and Pawpaw Have 12 Years Age Gap Between Them
Giving their stature, one would assume that Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme are age mates. However, the reverse is the case as Chinedu, who happens to be the older one, is 43 years old and was born in Bende, Abia State, Nigeria, on the 12th of December, 1977, to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Ikedieze Ogbonna. He graduated from the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), where he studied Mass Communication.
On the other hand, Osita Iheme is 32 years old and was born on the 20th of February, 1989, to the family of Augustine Iheme and Herbert Iheme in Abia State, Nigeria. He graduated from Enugu State University of Science and Technology, where he also studied Mass Communication.
Aki is known to have gone into the movie industry before Pawpaw. In an interview with the Punch.ng, Pawpaw revealed that he had always admired Chinedu from the screen before he met him in person. Of course, like every other actor, they rehearsed before shooting, but they also improvise. Working with Chinedu, according to Pawpaw, has been one of the best things that happened to him. Their movie roles in 2002, which gave them the names Aki and Pawpaw, opened the door for them to work more as a duo in other movies.
They are On-screen Stars Turned Real-life Brothers
Apart from co-starring in movies, they collectively established an entertainment house named Aki And Pawpaw Entertainment Nigeria (APEN), which is set to produce and sponsor different movies. They also own a children’s foundation with the name Aki N Pawpaw Child Care Foundation.
In the aforementioned interview, Osita further noted that their connection is a perfect and divine one from God. He also referred to Chinedu as his brother. Showing how close they were, they had lived together in the same place until Chinedu got married in 2011. Chinedu, in a similar interview, said that Osita is not just his friend but a brother to him. These may be the reasons people thought they were related.
There was a rumor that there was a rift between Chinedu and Osita. However, both award-winning actors debunked it in different interviews. Osita emphatically stated a journalist started the rumor. Chinedu, in like manner, commented that they had been working on different projects, which had kept them apart from each other.
Spotlighting Aki, Chinedu Ikedieze’s Acting Career
Every child always knew what they wanted to become, but most times, the ambition changes as they grow. Chinedu Ikedieze is no different. He had wished to become either a lawyer or a doctor at a very young age, but this ambition changed as he grew. Growing up, he was interested in acting, especially in his secondary school, where he had to join the drama group. However, when it was time for him to further his education, he read mass communication, but that did not stop him from pursuing his dream.
He joined the drama crew at IMT Enugu, where he partook in major productions. Knowing what he wanted, he was able to establish good contacts that got him into Nollywood. His debut screen appearance was a minor role he played in the movie titled Evil Men. Satisfied with his performance, he was given more roles in subsequent movies. Fast forward to 2002 when he co-starred and worked with Osita, they became famous and have never left the limelight since then.
Due to his thirst for more knowledge and the desire to be outstanding in his career, Chinedu enrolled in the New York Film Academy (NYFA), where he polished his acting skills. In his interview with Premium Times, he revealed that as a child, he often questioned God for creating him in this nature, but currently, he has stopped that. His fame has gone beyond Nigeria and even the shores of Africa. He has fans as far away as in Russia and beyond. He got married in 2011 to Nneoma Nwaijah, a fashion designer.
His Awards and Recognitions
Having appeared in more than 100 movies, Chinedu and Osita have been recognized and given several awards. Below is a list of awards Chinedu has.
Lifetime Achievement Award by the African Movie Academy Award in 2007.Member Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) by then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in 2007.Chinedu was nominated for the African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) as the best actor in leading role 2019. An outstanding visitor to Miami, Florida, USA, by the Office of Country Office of the Mayor and County Commissioner.
Overview of Pawpaw, Osita Iheme’s Acting Career
Osita, on the other, started acting in 2001. Like his friend, he was also featured in minor roles until 2002, when he rose to stardom co-starring with Chinedu in Aki Na Ukwa. Playing the role of a mischievous child didn’t just make him a star, but it also opened more doors for collaboration with his friend and other actors. He confessed in an interview that he had followed a friend for a movie audition that was how he found himself in the industry.
As a child, Osita had dreamt of being a footballer, but his diminutive height discouraged him. His versatility pushed him forward as he moved from a child actor to take up more serious and adult roles in different movies.
Concerning his private life, nothing is known of his marital life because he leads a private life. After his pal got married in 2011, all eyes were on him to do the same, but nothing of such has happened. However, there was a rumor in 2017 that Osita Iheme was married to a Ghanaian princess named Nana Ama McBrown. It was, however, just a rumor and nothing more.
His Awards and Recognitions
Asides from co-starring in movies, Chinedu and Osita have succeeded in bagging almost similar awards and titles.
Member Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) by then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in 2007.Awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by African Movie Award in 2007.He is the New Generation Ambassador for Rotary International District 9110.Best actor by African Magic Viewer Choice Award in 2014.
Who is the more Accomplished and Famous Actor Between Aki and Pawpaw?
Determining who is more popular or well accomplished between these screen gods is somewhat difficult as they have both contributed their quota to the development of the industry and have strived in different ways to keep the ball rolling. They also have the same net worth of about $3.5 million, going by estimates.
They are both popular in their rights and have been helping aspiring actors come to the limelight and maintaining oneness in the industry. Taking an individual look at what they have been able to do or planning to do might put you in a better perspective to judge who is more famous.
Chinedu is not just a comic actor; he is an entrepreneur and a serial investor. His interest expands beyond acting to businesses. He runs businesses in the fashion, tourism, graphics, and branding industries. With his mansion and rides, one can assert that he has accomplished a lot by living the life of his dream.
Osita, the proud owner of some mansions and exotic rides, is also not limiting himself to acting alone. He has a transport company that moves from South East to Lagos. Also, he is the owner of the popular five-star hotel, Resident Suite, located at Owerri in Imo State. The movie producer is also the founder of Inspired Movement Africa and the author of Inspired 101, a motivational book.
In one of his interviews, he made known his interest in going into politics. He confessed that his going into politics is all about making a statement. When asked why it seems as if the ambition is almost not being heard anymore, he emphatically noted that some things need to get going before getting the media involved. Hence, the silence doesn’t signify the end of the political ambition. To verify his stand about people’s thoughts on entertainers not making good political leaders, he opined that leadership is not industry-based; instead, it is individual-based.