Popularly called Saint Obi, Obinna Nwafor is a famous Nollywood actor, producer and director. He is best known for his role in movies like Candle Light, Sakobi, Goodbye Tomorrow, More Than a Woman, Final Whistle, Heart of Gold, Festival of Fire, Executive Crime, Last Party and Take me to Mama.
Saint Obi is often called Nollywood’s Mr Quality because of his attention to details when producing or directing movie. When he produced the movie, Take me to Maama, the actor sacrificed his Mercedes Benz car in the bomb blast scene because of his desire to make the scene look real.
In this post, you’ll discover a lot of things about the life and family of this iconic Nollywood actor.
Early life and Education
Saint Obi was born on the 16th November 1965 in Port Harcourt in Rivers State. The actor hails from Okpa in Mbaitolo Local Government Area, Imo State. He is the only male child with eight other female sisters.
He grew up in Jos where he had his primary, secondary and tertiary education. Obi attended Zang Secondary Commercial School in Jos before proceeding to the University of Jos where he studied Theatre Arts.
Saint Obi joined Nollywood in 1995 when he started attending movie auditions. The actor featured in number of soap operas which aired on NTA after which he was called by Opa Williams to star in movie.
This was followed by another invitation by Zeb Ejiro to feature in another movie. The actor has been involved in over 250 movies since his acting debut in 1995.
The actor produced his first movie titled Take Me to Maama, where he starred as Jerry, alongside Ebi Sam, Rachel Oniga, Nse Abel and Enebeli Elebuwa. The movie was the first Nigerian production to receive a corporate endorsement. It was endorsed by Coca-Cola and marketed and promoted by NTA.
The actor quit acting to focus on the production and business part of the entertainment amongst other things. Obi revealed in an interview that he had to move behind the scene so that he could improve things.
Currently, the actor is involved in the independent production and sales of movie as well as the mentoring and management of younger acts in the industry.
In 1995, Saint Obi joined Nollywood when he started attending movie auditions. He has acted in more than 250 Nollywood movies, some of which include
- Blue Sea
- Candle Light
- Check Point
- Crime Planner
- Dapo Junior
- Executive Crime
- Goodbye Tomorrow,
- Heart of Gold,
- Sleeping With the Enemy,
- State of Emergency,
- Street Fame
- Take me to Maama
- The President Must Not Die
- War Front
Saint Obi is known to feature in mostly action movies.
Saint Obi married Lydia Saint Nwafor in December 2006 and their marriage is blessed with children. They got married at Lydia’s hometown in Anambra. They had their first child, a boy in 2008.
Saint Obi has received several awards in Nollywood over the last two decades. Some of these include:
- Best Actor in Nigeria at the African Movie Academy Awards
- Best Actor in Africa at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards
- Most Prominent Actor in Nigeria at the City People Entertainment Awards
- Best Actor in a leading role at the Nollywood Movie Awards
Saint Obi is currently worth an estimated $7 million. The actor is a lover of cars. In 2014, he splashed close to N50 million on a Mercedes Benz G-Wagon.
The actor revealed that Nollywood of old seems better than the current one. According to the actor, the industry produced more movies in the past and employed more.
He also revealed that the structure is not there and the industry seems to be dwindling in terms of the overall capacity of the industry.
The actor also revealed that the financiers don’t understand the business and even the government don’t seem to be helping especially in term of piracy which has been seriously affecting the industry.
Obi also recommended that more cinemas should be involved in showing Nollywood movies.
Saint Obi is a full time businessman and philanthropist. He is the CEO of Agwhyte International. The company is involved in Film, Television, Media & Consultancy Company. Agwhyte was a major media resource for Goodluck Jonathan’s Presidential Campaign.
The company also has a music unit and movie production section which recently released 5 blockbuster movies which include After the Vow, Mrs. Brown, Big Shot, Invaders and My Yesterday. Agwhyte spent over N200 million to release these movies.
According to the actor, Agwhyte International is committed to telling the Nigerian story and promoting the Nollywood brand to the rest of the world.
Some of his other companies include:
- Peak Score Limited: an Oil Services & Exploration company
- Project Image Nigeria: producer of handbills, films, TV & Radio commercials that promote Nigeria
- Agwhyte Music Inc: The label produced the song, IMAGINE… THE DREAM which was a non-profit song designed to assist UNICEF and other social causes, especially global peace n harmony.
- Entertainment Extravaganza: An annual fun night for corporate Nigeria]
- Elite Business Africa Network: Owners of Nigeria Elite Business Awards; a celebration of the best of corporate Nigeria/Africa]
There were reports that Saint Obi quit acting to focus on campaigning for the former President, Goodluck Jonathan.
Although many castigated him for his decision to support the President, the actor responded by saying he supported him because he believes he is a symbol of hope, justice and equity for the nation
Saint Obi Foundation (SOF)
The actor is the brain behind SOF. The foundation visit schools in order to teach good values and create awareness on the hazards of irresponsible behavior. The foundation has also fought against OSU Syndrome, prevalent in many parts of Igbo land and destroyed shrines to liberate the Igbo people.
Also, SOF has sunk boreholes for clean water and better health for rural dwellers as well as repaired state roads & constructed shops for rural people.