An indigene of Abia State, Nigeria, Lonzo Nzekwe was born in the southeastern city of Enugu at a time when the Nigerian movie industry was almost non-existent. He spent most of his childhood and young adult life in Owerri, also in southeastern Nigeria. In 1996 he left Nigeria in pursuit of his dreams and shuffled between England, the United States and Nigeria before finally settling in Canada. While in the United States, he earned a Master Course diploma certificate in Recording Engineering from the Audio Institute of America along with a CompTIA A+ certification. In 1999, Nzekwe launched his career as a music producer and worked with various hip-hop and R&B music artists. In 2005, he decided to take a break from music production in order to explore his growing interest in film making. He relocated to Canada where he honed his film writing and directing skills.
Nzekwe is a self-taught filmmaker and developed his Final Cut editing skills by enrolling at WITZ Training (Canada’s first Apple Authorized Training Centre) and studying a “2 Day Film School” by DOV Simmens. Armed with his talents and lots of confidence, Nzekwe registered Alpha Galore Films under his existing company Alpha Galore Inc. and released his debut film, ‘Anchor Baby’ in 2010.
Today, ‘Anchor Baby’ is a multi-award winning film that has won Nzekwe the respect of experts in the global film industry.
Ladybrille caught up with the Lonzo Nzekwe to discuss his work, his personal life and everything in between. Enjoy!
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Describe your career. What exactly do you do?
Lonzo N.: I’m a movie director and a script writer.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How did you end up in your chosen field?
Lonzo N.: Filmmaking is something that I always thought I could do in the back of my mind. Whenever I watch an interesting movie, I always try to find out who made it and how it was done. When I rent movies from blockbuster, I would always rent the ones with “Behind The Scenes” footage. That’s how I taught myself how to make movies. Also, I read a lot of books on how to be a filmmaker.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How do you balance the demands of your career with the demands in your personal life?
Lonzo N.: It’s kind of hard sometimes trying to juggle things around but due to the passion I have for filmmaking, it makes it easy for me to find time and do my film stuff and at the same time, carve out time for my personal life.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What has been the most difficult challenge you have faced in getting to where you are?
Lonzo N.: Financing a movie is always the hardest challenge a filmmaker can go through.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How do you define success?
Lonzo N.: For me, success is when you find happiness within yourself from doing the things you love to do and being able to support yourself through that same means.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Indeed. Very well said.) What is the one thing you wish most people knew about you?
Lonzo N.: I wish people knew the amount of crazy ideas I have running through my head that I hope to convert to screenplays.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Laughs) Share with us your memory of the happiest moment in your life?
Lonzo N.: The happiest moment in my life was when my first son came into the world.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Awww, I can imagine the feeling.) So tell us, what keeps you awake at night?
Lonzo N.: Writing my scripts and watching Netflix movies.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Laughs) (That’s true, a lot of writers write through the night without realizing what time it is.) So what drives you?
Lonzo N.: The fear of failure motivates me to push harder in order to succeed.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What makes you get up everyday to do what you do all over again?
Lonzo N.: My family first. Also, the joy of creating a movie out of mere imagination and having people genuinely react emotionally to it, is what makes me love being a film director.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What are the daily principles you live by?
Lonzo N.: There’s a Latin saying “Recta Sapere”. It’s my secondary school motto and it simply means “Do The Right Thing At The Right Time”.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (I’ll add that one to my list of Latin quotes.) What inspires you?
Lonzo N.: I’m highly inspired by other people’s hard work and success.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: When all is said and done, what do you want to be remembered most for?
Lonzo N.: I want to be remembered as the guy who worked hard and put it all on the line to live out dreams without waiting for anyone’s approval. Just like that Sinatra song “I Did It My Way.”
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (A fantastic song.) What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Lonzo N.: A wise man once told me “Talk softly and carry a big stick”.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: (Deep. But, it is time to keep it light!) Now onto leisure, what do you do to relax and reward yourself for all of your hard work?
Lonzo N.: I use to party hard back in the days, but now I just like to chill and watch movies or just go catch a game of basketball every now and then.
Lonzo Nzekwe’s debut film, Anchor Baby is now available on iTunes. Watch it at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/anchor-baby/id538210007
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