Meet Nollywood’s Tallest Actor

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Raymond is a graduate of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State. He attended many film schools but the major one is Benin Film Academy of Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State. His height stands at 6.8 ft. In this article from Naijassador we delve into some of the challenges this Nigerian faced before his breakthrough in Nollywood.

He has been featured in films like Destiny, Better Tomorrow, The Hookup, Twins Apart, Unholy Siblings, Amaka, Mama G-square, Our Bond and 21 Days Night.

Starting his acting career put so much weight on him that he confessed he almost gave up if not for the motivation of his younger cousin, Gabriel Agu Odinaka, who was pretty much a form of support and a pillar to his career foundation.

” I can never forget my cousin, Gabriel Agu Odinaka as he kept pushing me. Sometimes, when I wanted to give up as a result of bullying on set, I mean all those times I would win a role and the director would start harassing me, there are times I don’t get paid

” I gave up and started doing business with my brother in Auchi to make ends meet. It was this my cousin, Gabriel that always called me and encouraged me to go back that he would support me from time to time with little money. Sometimes he would loan me money to attend auditions. The guy pushed me to become great. I give it all to him. He’s my biggest inspiration. He is my younger one but a very focused man. We grew up together and he wanted to see me succeed,” he recalled.

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Largely, Raymond considers his height a blessing, something that brings him much attention and even perks but not without some downsides.

” I get so much attention, not just from colleagues, not just females, the males and the children too. I’m a specimen, a national treasure. I’m like a slow lion, I don’t make a lot of noise, and I let my presence make the noise.

“Even when I walk around the mall a lot of people come to take pictures with me. It is a marvelous work of God. I’m super happy about the experience. The experience has been good except sometimes when I’m not in a good mood.

” Sometimes, height comes with its challenges, everybody wants to talk to you and you have to laugh and be nice regardless of your mood. A lot of people are attracted to my height. I’m a real-life giant,” he said.

Sharing the challenges, he encountered at the beginning of his acting career, he said his height was a major problem as he had a trying time commuting from one location to the other.

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” Coming up as an actor is always a very difficult thing. The biggest challenge I had to face was movement because of my height and physique. Then, I didn’t have a car and it was difficult for me to take public transport, travelling from Lagos to Asaba and Port Harcourt.

“Transportation was a major challenge since I didn’t have enough money to fly. Sometimes when I took the plane it was difficult for me unless I took the emergency exit roll or A1 at the front, if it is Air Peace. Travelling was a major problem for me,” he said.

In the face of stiff challenges and difficulties occasioned by his height and lack of finance, the actor, who hails originally from Orumba South local government area of Anambra State said giving up was no option for him.

“Traveling was a major problem for me. The next one was finance. There was no sponsor, I was doing everything on my own. The way I overcame the challenges of discomfort in travelling and financing was by not giving up.

“This is because I knew exactly what I was doing and where I was going. I knew it would be difficult and I was ready for the difficult situations even though I had no money. When I heard there was an audition, I would just look for money that would take me there, without thinking how I would come back. There was one time I went to Port Harcourt for an audition. I only had the money to go and I knew nobody in the city or where to sleep so I just went there without any plans on where to stay or what to eat.

“Thankfully, I managed to get the role, we stayed in a hotel. We stayed in the backyard for the most part and sometimes, at the reception. Sometimes they would chase us out.

“In the midst of it all, I knew I was doing the right thing. I was suffering but wasn’t sad about it. I was happy, especially when some of my movies started coming out. Like in 2019 when 21 Days Night came out, an action movie and a lot of them too. It was just progress and persistence. At the end of the day, money started coming in and I started getting recognized and I was able to get a car and things became a lot easier for me,” he narrated.

Raymond’s life journey took him around the country. He grew up in Benin City, lived with his grandmother in the village in Anambra State and did business in Akure before finally finding his feet in Lagos.

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