Richard Okagbere is a talented screenwriter and author who fell in love with literature at an early age. He has been involved in writing many scripts and now looks to push them out to the public.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A purebred child of circumstance (only child of my mother for my father) born at Eku in Ethiope East LGA to Darius Panama Okagbare of Ovwor in Olomu Kingdom (Ughelli South LGA) and Naomi Onogboduta Aruno of Oleh Kingdom (Isoko South LGA) – all of Delta State.
I had my Primary School education from 1968 – 1973 (5 years) at St Peter’s Primary School Oteri, Ughelli South LGA then after I had my Secondary school education at African Church Grammar School Ekakpamre (Ughelli South LGA) and Oghareki Grammar School Oghareki (Ethiope West LGA).
I went to College of Education Agbor majoring in English and History, the University of Ibadan for combined honors in Adult Education and English, and Delta State University Abraka for a Master’s degree in Banking and Finance.
When did you start writing and why is writing your interest?
Writing for me started in 1977 as a Class 4 student and member of the Oghareki Grammar School Drama, Literary, and Debating Society. I graduated in 1978 from Secondary school and joined Warri Playhouse (an amateur drama group based in Warri, Delta State, where I started as an actor and eventually progressed to be a Director of Stage drama focused on Secondary school drama texts and English literature novels adapted for drama) can be described as the crowning of my teenage interest in writing.
My interest in writing is a spontaneous outcome of my love for the English Language and Literature from my primary school days. I found it easy and quite thrilling to memorize and quote passages and verses from novels, dramas, and poems written in English language back then.
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The bloom came at Ibadan where I encountered a larger body of African and English literature and was opportune to feature in stage drama works by diploma and degree students of the Department of Theatre Arts in the course of my studies for a degree in English and Adult Education.
The interest continued after Ibadan despite a lull of almost three decades that saw me engaged in service to the fatherland as a paramilitary officer for 13 years and later as a banker for 15 years. The break ended in 2017 following my membership of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (Asaba Chapter) which afforded me the opportunity to feature in several Nollywood epic movies shot in and around Asaba, Delta State.
We have read your script and I must say it is amazing, So where did the idea come from?
Thanks for the compliment. The ideas are from true narratives of human travails. My study of History as a post-secondary subject helped me to see literature as a continuation of history. The experiences we share, the stories we tell, as oral or written narratives are the embodiment of our history as a people, a community, a nation, a society. I would say without equivocation that history and literature are intertwined and inseparable. I look forward to the production of “House of Thor”.
Are these your first scripts?
No. However, they are the first to be offered for commercial screening. The *House (Spirit) of Thor* is my first attempt at Green Screen (Special Effects) writing.
Do you have a genre you prefer to write?
No, I don’t. I find the tag of a maverick suitable. When the muse seeks expression through my brain and hands, I am open to adopting any genre – plays (drama), poetry or short stories. Rendition is usually in English language – modern, biblical and archaic – with sprinklings of local languages for location effect.
You mentioned you write real-life stories, why is that?
For a couple of reasons. They are authentic sources of history. Experiences lived and shared are the best lessons and teachers about life.
Why should anyone want to be involved in the production of these scripts?
First off, these scripts in my opinion, are not “moi-moi” scripts. Bringing them to reality would require highly talented and skilled artists/production teams and high-end equipment. Their strong commercial value is embedded in the highly impacting and enduring but easy-to-relate historical lessons of life for the young and aged and a strong promise for good returns on investment.
What are your challenges as a writer in the production of these scripts?
They are basically two, Finance and Talented Artists.
What big picture do you seek to achieve?
A better world of “live and let live” where everyone is opportune to have what is due to them.
Thank you, What are your final words for us?
The contents offer opportunities to learn from history in order to avoid catastrophic repeats in human relationships, leadership, and governance as well as the management of ambitions.
It was a pleasure having you on InlandTown TV; we wish you continued success and hope to see more of your beautiful works.
InlandTown New Media – 2022.