Uzikwendu Tobechi Onunaku, popularly known by his stage name ‘Uzi’, is a fast rising Nigerian rapper, actor and a celebrity fitness coach to look out for in the entertainment industry. Born in London and raised in USA and in Nigeria, Uzi is multi talented. In addition to his other talents, he is a fierce stunt and fight choreographer. The type that can jump from one-storey building without substaining injury .Uzi featured in a song, ‘Abeg’, the sound track in the just premiered movie ‘Rattlesnake’. In this interview with IFEOMA ONONYE, Uzi speaks about his career and why he loves having multiple sources of income
Your Friday free rap is very entertaining, especially with the blend of Igbo language and the American accent… tell us how your love for rap music started.
My love for rap music started as far back as I can remember. When I was a child, I would rap and sing along to any music I heard my father play. I would memorize the lyrics and also write new lyrics that would rhyme with the song.
You were said to have been based abroad, was it for studies and what made you come back to Nigeria?
Yes, I lived in America and also attended college there. I moved back six and a half years ago to focus on my music, acting and fitness.
You have a great talent in music, though you recently dropped a single and a video, how come you are yet to drop a full album?
For me, I believe in doing it right and also at the right time. I have enough songs for two or three Albums already. Making sure it does what I want when I release it. Its up to me, so taking my time is very important.
Tell us about the role you played in the recently premiered movie, ‘Rattlesnake’.
I was featured on one of the sound tracks of ‘Rattlesnake: Ahanna Story’. The title of the song is ‘Abeg’. Its an incredible song if I may say.
Do you think you have a shot at acting too?
I have been acting for two years in Nigeria. I was on a television show called ‘Forbidden’ and recently in the movie ‘Seven’ which also won awards and I also do fight choreography and stunts, so I believe things are definitely looking up.
From your social media handle, you are like the stunt man Nigerian entertainment is yet to see. There is a video of where you jumped from one storey building, how challenging was that?
Its some of the stunts I trained myself to do, but I won’t jump from a storey building again. I am getting too old for that.
You look a lot like Nigeria’s rap singer, Ikechukwu, what is your relationship with him?
He is my brother.
What other careers or jobs are keeping you busy at the moment?
I also own a gym and a beard oil brand, called ‘Bearded Man by Uzi’. I believe in multiple sources of income and chasing what you love.
Tell us about yourself, educational background, state of origin and the fun memories while growing up?
I am Uzikwendu Tobechi Onunaku. I was born in the United Kingdom and lived in America. I attended college in New York; went to the State University of New York. Everything I did while growing up was fun for me. I was an adrenaline junkie.
You said you were like an adrenaline junkie while growing up, was it hard for your mum back then to keep up with your energy? Did it put you in trouble with her all the time?
Its was definitely hard for my mother. I broke many bones and always had injuries but at some point my parents just got used to it and enrolled me in martial arts classes. I was also a sprinter and played many sports.
Have you had any regrets relocating back to Nigeria?
No regrets at all, just lessons.
Were you a ‘ladies man’ back in your school days?
People say I was but I don’t think so. I was just friends with everyone.
You are a good looking young man, how often do you get attention from women?
Thanks a lot for the compliment. Not all attention is good attention though. So I focus on good souls and positive energy.
Why did you choose to keep the beard extra full?
I cut it off sometimes but it has a mind of its own. It always finds its way back to me. I love my beard.
Are we going to be seeing you more as an actor or hear your soundtrack often in Nigerian movies?
That is my plan, so I will keep pushing to make it happen.
What was your thought when you saw the movie ‘Rattlesnake’ knowing you are part of it.
I loved it.