BN Saturday Celebrity Interview: From TV to the Big Screen, Meet Nigeria’s New Heartthrob Joseph Benjamin

Joseph Benjamin is unarguably one of the most attractive faces in Nollywood. He has charmed his way into the hearts of many with his good looks and great acting skills making him one of the most sought after actors of his time. He is one actor who has earned good points in both TV soaps and movies. His roles in TV soap – Edge Of Paradise and recently released movie – Tango With Me amongst others, has left unquestionable marks in the minds of viewers about his exceptional acting skills. He is also a voice over artiste, model and TV presenter. As co-host of Reality TV show, MTN Project Fame West Africa for three consecutive seasons, he has reached millions of fans across the continent with his well executed presentation of the show. Joseph speaks about his journey to stardom in this exclusive interview with Adeola Adeyemo.

Joseph is easy to chat with and he delves into aspects of his career, life, and aspirations easily. With a friendly disposition and good sense of humour, it is easy to feel comfortable around him as he responds to questions in a relaxed manner.

His Entry into Nollywood

Born 35 years ago to a father from Kogi state and a mother from Anambra state, he attended schools across the country. “I grew up under my step father who was a foreigner, so as an expatriate we had to move around a lot. I grew up in Nigeria but almost everywhere in Nigeria. Most of my Primary education was in Benue state as well as Secondary. Then I came to Lagos where I completed my Secondary school and as well furthered on to Tertiary which I majored in Computers, IT. I have a Diploma from University of Nigeria, Nsukka Distant Learning Program. I was neck deep into computers and IT for a while, doing a couple of professional exams here and there but presently, I am studying Philosophy at University of Ibadan, part-time.”

He started off acting as a child, aged 12, in the popular children’s program -Tales By Moonlight on NTA. “My first acting experience was on Tales by moonlight. I was part of the people that were acting out the stories.” Then he left the acting scene for many years and later in 1991, was cast in his first movie. “I had my first movie role in 1991, a movie called Crossroads. It had the likes of Ramsey Noah, Pat Attah, Victoria Iyamah, Sandra Achums, Ejike Asiegbu and Gbenga Richards.” He also played a role in popular TV Soap, Edge of Paradise where he was a bachelor who lived next to a family whose daughter had the hots for him. “What was memorable about that role was that I had to be on dreadlocks. It was quite an amazing experience for me.”

But as charming as he is, Joseph is one of those actors you don’t get to see enough of on your TV screen. “I’ve not been a poster face, no,” he says. “I have always been there, but basically I was marking my time, going through my preparation process.” For him, he selects his movie roles carefully and wouldn’t play a role that does not meet certain criteria. “I’m discreet and very professional,” he says. “It’s not about quantity for me, its quality that matters. This is a decision that I took long before I came into the industry. I said, if I’m coming into the industry, what am I coming to do differently?  I won’t just follow suit and do every and anything. So first off, I go through the story. I relate the story to our every day environment and say what message is this script bringing, what message is this story gonna bring? When the viewers watch, what message are they gonna pull out from this? In what light do they see me, because you see, the power of the media is very very strong. People are very quick to relate to whatever character they see you as. I look out for key things that will put me in a good light and stuff that would be challenging to me as a professional. Most important, I also look at mileage. Even if you don’t get very good financial compensation from a job in a particular sense, but if the job will give you mileage then you go for it.”

While he says he has acted in some yet to be released movies, his recent movie Tango With Me, where he played a lead role starring alongside Genevieve Nnaji has gotten some interesting reviews and is still making waves in cinemas across the country. He speaks about his experience, acting as Uzo, his character. “Tango With Me was amazing,” he says. “It had a minimal cast. It was more dialogue driven; we had to emote a lot. I had to shut myself in a place so I could actually take on that character very well. Uzo was some guy who was emotionally bruised but his manly ego did not allow him to submit to that fact that he was emotionally bruised so he was actually finding and seeking solace in a lot of things and trying to validate his manhood in a sense which was questionable. I got to work with a foreign crew. It was my first time doing a film with a foreign crew. We shot it in Lagos but the entire crew was from Hollywood.”

And about playing the role alongside Genevieve, he had this to say. “It was great working with her. She is quite graceful. We were able to strike a good balance. She is professional, she is thorough. We were able to feed each other very well. She is someone I’ve always admired. I’ve always admired her talent, her level of professionalism. It was something that was worth it.”

Names like Rita Dominic, Stella Damasus, Mercy Johnson, Liz Benson, Ini Edo, Ramsey Nouah, Desmond Elliot and Pete Edochie come at the top of his list of people whose acting talent he appreciates.

Other Talents and Interests

Aside from acting, Joseph is a model(photography), voice over artiste and TV presenter. He has done several TV and radio commercials for big brands such as Stanbic IBTC bank, CocaCola, Maltina, MTN, Guiness, Samsung, Pepsi, Nokia, Airtel, Etisalat and Glo. But his role as a presenter on popular Reality TV Show, MTN Project Fame West Africa alongside Adora Oleh is what has brought him into the limelight. Having presented three seasons of the show, Joseph says it has been a “wonderful experience.”

Year after year, I get to see an amazing array of talents and it just keeps getting better with every season. Its been wonderful. I’ve had the opportunity to mingle with these raw talents, these guys gotten from their various zones and bring them together to live for ten weeks. I get to see fresh talents blossom.”

For him, his role as a TV presenter, actor, model, voice over artiste is intertwined and he finds himself excelling at them all because he enjoys what he does. “Everything is intertwined, show business is a very broad word. The showbiz industry is a very large industry so wherever you find yourself, there is always a correlation btw one and the other, so for me, I enjoy presenting, I enjoy acting as well. You just have to make time for the other. You can’t sacrifice one for the other. That is where being professional comes into play because that is where you have to work by schedules. I definitely can’t take presenting jobs if I know it will clash with a film job at hand. I’ve been able to balance both so I don’t have to get into anybody’s bad books. I’ve had my own experiences from collecting a whole lot and not being able to manage it so I basically have to be very principled.”

He speaks about the qualities one must possess to be a good TV presenter. “You just have to be grounded,” he says. “I didn’t go to any finishing school because a lot of people ask me that did you go to any finishing school because of my grammar, diction…. Everything you guys see and hear has come through personal training. A lot of platforms, foundations, schools have been set up to train people so if you can go to get trained, fine. Have a honest opinion from somebody. People who don’t want to break you won’t tell you the truth. Have a honest critic who would really criticize whatever you do to perfect you. Have confidence in yourself. Anything is achievable as long as you have God.”

Keeping His Head Up

Despite his achievements and status as a handsome celebrity, Joseph is someone who has evaded bad press for a long time. When asked if he was dating anyone presently, his simple response was, “It’s private. Professionally I will just tell people I am not available. I am not saying anything.” He says he has been able to keep his personal life away from the media by keeping a low profile. “I don’t draw any attention to myself. I usually stay below the radar, I try to live a very calm and low key life, that is why you don’t see me everywhere. It’s just my lifestyle.

The attention he gets from female fans, he adds, is something that cannot be avoided, but something he tries to manage well. “In all fairness, every good looking guy who is in entertainment always has attention from the female fans but how you manage your life is what matters. It’s something you can’t shy away from, it’s difficult. I’m just a very simple and easy going guy. I follow through my life without any air of arrogance in any sense. I relate with people very well. I don’t allow any form of achievement get to me so that way people don’t withdraw and feel that there is this arrogance and pride around this person.

But he is not without flaws. Joseph says he likes to eat and cannot engage in a decent conversation after eating dinner at home. “I love food. I like to eat, when I finish eating I pass out, I sleep off so don’t even engage me in any conversation after dinner,” he says.

Aspirations, Style and Advice

Another thing about Joseph that is still unknown to many people is his love for music and interest in singing professionally. He hasn’t recorded any single yet but according to him, “a whole lot is in the works.” He says he would be recording songs that are a mix of soul and R&B, but will be gospel oriented.

The one thing I love doing the most is music. People don’t know that because they are like, we’ve not seen or heard anything about you. I’ve been singing in Church for as long as I can remember. In my present Church, Revival Assembly, I’ve been in the choir since 1998.”

Joseph says he has no favourite designers, but wears anything “as long as it is good.”  Referring to the T-shirt he was wearing which was customized by a young designer with a small strip of aso-oke material, Joseph says he is not stuck on to any particular label. “I’m not someone who is designer crazy, I’m not really crazy about labels. I shop everywhere. Once I see what I like, I buy.”

Foremost in his hopes for the future is to be a positive role model and to leave a good impression on everyone he comes in contact with. “I want to be a source of inspiration to my generation, to be able to affect my generation positively and raise up a lot of people who can even do better than what I am doing,” he says. He also mentioned plans of starting his own TV talk show in the nearest future.

For someone who has climbed up his career ladder with well paced strides, Joseph says it wasn’t always possible to please everyone. “You can’t expect everyone to like you; neither can you expect to please everybody.” But he adds that it is not impossible to succeed if one puts in his or her very best and has a positive attitude. “Just be the best that you can be, the best at whatever you find yourself doing. Wherever you are, you can make the best out of it. Be positive, be hopeful, don’t feel disadvantaged in any way. Always be positive once you have God with you and remember you might never get a second chance to make a first impression so always be prepared.”

76 Comments on BN Saturday Celebrity Interview: From TV to the Big Screen, Meet Nigeria’s New Heartthrob Joseph Benjamin
  • damilola January 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    i so like this guy… his so cool n so fresh… hmmmmm

  • Funto January 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Na…not good-looking enough to be a screen actor. Lacks wow factor

    • partyrider January 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      are u freaking kidding me? i seriously beg to differ

    • whoa February 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      wow i’d like to see ur definition of good-looking enough, must say ur standards must be FREAKING high. This is coming from someone has standards people can’t get with

  • doppleganger January 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    one word HOTTIE!!! Super*wink*

  • Chi January 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    see my husband to be.

    • kai January 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      He”s married with 2 kids!!! someone has already scooped him up dear

      • ……..just saying January 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

        Why don’t these men wear their wedding bands sef/ and or speak about their families? I only just recently found at Mai was also taken. O ga o!

  • Myne Whitman January 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Great interview, all the best to him.

    • Sola January 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      You read the interview? I can’t seem to cos I keep going back to look at his pictures! Why do I find him so attractive?? I’ve always liked him before he became sooooo ‘big’ <<>>

  • Strawberry January 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Nicee :)

  • ucylo January 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    He ıs more handsome wıthout takıng hıs lıps to one sıde….love hım btw

  • @chocgirl_vivi January 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    ‘ssup sexy ;)

  • raly January 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    like is an understatement…… black is beautiful

  • posh 953 January 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    joseph is a multi-talented guy…..love him

  • jessy January 21, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    dats my handsome guy..u Rule!!lov dat movie ‘tango wit me’..u n genny r perfect match..lukn forward 2 c U n my Mj-O in a movie..winks*

  • NNENNE January 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Another Igbo gene… You can always identify them from a distance!

    • juci January 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      His dad is from Gogi Benue State and mum from igbo, so he has got Gogi gene in him!!!!!

      • Ufedo January 23, 2012 at 9:21 am

        what or where is Gogi? pls its Kogi. Kogi and Benue are two different states. Get your geography right.

      • Ginika January 23, 2012 at 11:44 am

        His mother is from Igbo?! Hehn?!

  • nollywood January 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    He is ohh so fine

  • barakat January 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    nice

  • ify January 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    so cool n calm ope e s a nice caracter

  • Obi January 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Fresh air !! I believe there’s a purpose for every establishment. Speaking of finishing schools, I wonder what Grammer Schools were established for … ? No jest, pun, or negativity intended, I’ve always wondered. Are they/ were they in any way remotely related to the purpose of finishing schools?

  • Obi January 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Ugh, this is what happens when you type as you think: “I believe there’s a purpose for every establishment”. That was not intended as part of the above lines.

  • LT January 21, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    He is hawt… Ladies stay off.. this one is mine.. *wink*

  • dyn January 22, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I take it that he is single cos his relationship status was not discussed….Plsss have me already. ‎​ℓ☺ℓ

  • MsTilii January 22, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Handsome and loves God, now what is more cuter than this. Very rare to find his kind these days. Your daily morning inspirational quotes gets one thru the day brother. Keep doing ya thang

    • Chi January 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      you can say that again… Handsome and God fearing…. I keep praying. Lord continue to bless me…I like this guy and we are from the same state…pls do it for me :-))

  • Opeyemi Okundaye January 22, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Cool guy.

  • Zara January 22, 2012 at 12:34 am

    He really is a cutie

  • TOS January 22, 2012 at 1:26 am

    am in love wit this guy,pls connect me…

  • u-jay January 22, 2012 at 2:19 am

    the guy is together…….if u know wat i mean

  • rogotigi January 22, 2012 at 2:56 am

    BN shudda put a picture of him during the interview (in his T-shirt with a strip of aso-oke)
    Joseph Benjamin is an all-rounder tho. :)

  • Egor Efiok January 22, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Yep, that’s my cool n’ dapper Joe. So proud of you. :)

  • Tobi January 22, 2012 at 5:29 am

    he is a cutie, i though he was Ghanaian at first.. i guess not.. :))

  • t January 22, 2012 at 6:21 am

    While I think this dude is kinda cute, there is something about his ‘lopsided’ mouth…he has a way of cocking his upper lips to one side when he talks or smiles….it gets on my nerves atimes and distracts me while watching him…but before I get beaten here by his fans, I think he is KINDA cute

  • tonyi January 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I see you have tidebuy on your website for getting wedding gowns. Do you know anyone who has ordered and gotten very good quality dresses from them? thanks

  • kend®a zuhair January 22, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I have a major major crush on this dude. I don’t mind staring at the screen 24/7 cos of him. Unfortunately,I don’t watch enough nigerian movies nor a lot of tinsel to catch him.but he’s really cooooool.

  • Shut up coolcat January 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    “Joseph Benjamin is unarguably one of the most attractive faces in Nollywood. He has charmed his way into the hearts of many with his good looks and great acting skills making him one of the most sought after actors of his time”
    IS THIS INTERVIEWER DRUNK? Why can’t we tell the truth about these actors sometimes? He is not the most sought after actor, that is just hype. Do you even know what it means to be the most sought after actor in the Nollywood sense or are you writing for some other wood? fans of Nollywood are not as stupid as you think. Truth is that joseph should have been a major star before Tango but fans just did not buy into his good looks and wooden acting. They can see through the non-commitment to acting. Appearing with Genevieve Tango has made him more popular but not still widely accepted. If he was widely accepted, you would have seen much more comments and I don’t mean comments induced by him or his people.

    • Gidi January 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      May God bless you.
      I am sure Joseph is a nice guy in real life. He comes across as that even in this interview.
      However, he is a very bad actor. Consistently stiff and bland performances. His acting is so mechanical and dry. I just don’t get the rave about him (I am a guy,so his looks mean little to me).

  • Nancy lot January 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I like him because of his role interpretation and the fact that he wants to affect peoples lives.kudos my brother

  • partyrider January 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    i liked Joseph right from edge of paradise,and now on tinsel..i havent watched any of his movies,but i know for sure he is a great actor and i love his diction..i look forward to watching tango with me,first cos of genny and i know they had screen magic..
    also looking out for Mr&Mrs with another of my favorite actress Nse..
    i wish u more success..and will truly love to listen to a song from you

    BN like i said last time,truly this interview format does not cut it..you guys probably dont want to do the usual Q&A thing,but it seems to be more enjoyable for me..oh well
    and a question: is this feature every 2weeks cos Chidinma’s was two weeks ago ??

  • Bolanle January 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Joseph i really love dis introduction dat BN gave those dat re nt aware of a HOT SUPERSTAR LIKE U anyways me i ‘rove’ u plenty.

  • Ann January 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    U r cul!

  • Miiiiiii January 22, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    @shut up cool cat,,why r u beefing the guy? Did u not read d interview,he selects d roles he features in..In a country like ours where dey dish out a lot of crap as movies,it is very important to scrutinise what u feature in..wooden acting,induced comments by him,non commitment to acting,,the way I see it,ur just beefing him plain and simple..Have u seen the kind of cast in TINSEL? It is only actors dat knw their job and have class that feature in tinsel.And the producers of tinsel saw joseph as one dat is why he is in tinsel..The two major movies he has done,Tango wit me and Kiss and tell,have bin shown in d cinemas to show u their quality..So stop being spiteful and get a life..Joseph Benjamin you are a GOOD ACTOR and GOD bless ur hustle…

  • nefe January 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    With everyhing that happened in nigeria over the weekend, this is what BN decides to post.
    smh

    • TessySays January 22, 2012 at 10:20 pm

      Go to a political blog or general interest blog if that is what you want. This is what we want to read here. Hissssssss

    • patience January 23, 2012 at 1:55 am

      I AM SO TIRED OF COMMENTS LIKE THIS! nawaa o. this is an ENTERTAINMENT website. when the iraq war happened, or hurricanes etc, did u see people.com or entertainment tonight cover it? if you want news, you go to a news website. it’s like going to a pharmacy for surgery. just doesn’t make sense. if you have nothing sensible to say about this article, there’s an X on the left corner of your browser. use it! then re-open and go to Vanguard website. mschew.

      • Inem January 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm

        OMG! ur comment got me laughing so hard…..hahahaha! I laugh so tey tears comot for my eyes.

    • Ib January 23, 2012 at 5:55 am

      Nefe,is it when they post pics of dead bodies that u would start nodding your head?Seriously??!!GOH!!

    • Tosin January 23, 2012 at 7:30 am

      we always need escape dear. BN carry go.

  • Aba January 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    This guy is hot………….

  • Suunto Core January 23, 2012 at 4:47 am

    The guy is just too handsome.

  • Tosin January 23, 2012 at 7:29 am

    He seems nice and professional. I def. want to see more high quality stuff like “Tango With Me” from Nollywood. That was a nice little film. (I miss acting)

  • lopsided lips January 23, 2012 at 9:15 am

    i think his lopsided lips are natural…he doesnt fake it. JOE is a really good actor

  • funmi January 23, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Very handsome. Even if he is married don’t mind being the second wife lol

  • Oma January 23, 2012 at 10:09 am

    He is good at what he does.
    I admire his determination.
    Kudos
    http://lifethroughomaseyes.blogspot.com

  • SA January 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I love this guy to bits,,,, he and Genny would have made a grt couple,,,,,

  • AK January 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    he is sooooooooooooo fine damn

  • Adaoha January 24, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Nice one

  • miss p January 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Joseph isn’t married o na u join him and the imaginary woman

  • IGBOFILLE January 25, 2012 at 7:37 am

    The guy is fine. I am surprised at what so many ladies are saying here. Because a guy is fine you want to marry him or be his girl. Handsome guys have their own problems. Hope you can cope with what comes from them. Marry fine guy marry fine wahala.

  • fabulous_guy January 25, 2012 at 10:26 am

    i love him> the guy is sexy on fifty different levels…….am in love! and i started hating genevieve after watching tango with me…….how dare she kiss my joseph like that?

  • Bukunmi January 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    The guy is good looking, but d truth is he is married with 2 kids, a boy and a girl. i just wonder why sum guys find it difficult to say dy r marid wt kids, beautiful kids for dt matter.

    • JOSEPH BENJAMIN January 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Bukunmi dear, not all you see or hear is what it seems my dear. love all loads thanx a lot for all the love. i to tally appreciate you guys, and for all those beefing me lollll i love you too plenty.

      • JOSEPH BENJAMIN January 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

        Bukunmi dear, not all you see or hear is what it seems my dear, love you all loads thanx a lot for all the love. I totally appreciate you g uys, and for all those beefing me lollll i love you too plenty.

  • chichi January 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    joseph u dont have to lie about ur marriage and kids, marriage is a blessin and so are ur kids ur a good actor dont be too conservative and deny ur own kids,it will make u look ugly.GOSH…

    • Joseph January 26, 2012 at 9:06 am

      Thanks a lot my dearest chichi it’s not in that context dear thanx a lot for the complement I appreciate it. Love you plenty.

  • Joseph January 26, 2012 at 9:09 am

    My dearest chichi it’s not in that context dear, thanx a lot for the complement really appreciate it.

  • Chimerie January 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Hey Joseph, I love dude you rock @ what you do keep it up oh, no go do half measures oh all those anyhow movies. Chichi cool down the guy fit no wan talk him personal matter for public. Besides e fit be say nothing dey sef ,well that is his personal matter. I hear from a close pal of his say him get pickin, but not certain if he is married. Anyway my guy just keep your head up and keep being true to yourself and keep making us proud Joseph. BN you guys are the best. Make I go before my ink go finish lol.

  • Bukunmi January 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    No probs Joseph, i wish u d very best in all ur endeavour, and God bless.

  • Yinka Adamu February 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Nosa/Joseph, na wa oh….long time, and well done to you. Your doing good with yourself. See what you are doing to the chicks in the house…no be small.

  • lola February 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    what kind of name is Joseph Benjamin? :s Is that his real name or is it just a stage name?

  • divalicious April 27, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Hi Joseph Noh mind hall these rotten belle Pipo wet say u can’t hact. U ha the bomber.

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