Celebrating Michael David Akpenyin, A Creek Boy Turned Film Maker Of International Repute

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Like many other children born in the Niger Delta creeks, his environment provided him with no opportunity. The government at both state and federal levels made no attempt to provide him access to good education. His parents, who could have, had no stable means of livelihood as their lands and sea have been polluted by the activities of the multinational oil companies operating within the region.

But with his disciplined attention, resourcefulness, resilience, and ingenuity, he was able to see both beyond the present and physical. Hence, he was able to surmount all the stumbling blocks mounted in his journey to greatness; and today, his name features among the list of who is who in the film making industry, not just in Nigeria but the world over. This is the synoptic story of Michael David Akpenyin.

The Creek Boy and other filmmakers in Israel

Born in February 1983, in the peace-loving town of Okerenkoko and Kunukunma community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state, Michael David Akpenyin against all odds did everything positive to seek western education. That resolve was blessed by God who got him admitted and saw him through the prestigious University of Port Harcourt where he studied Film/Television Production. And today, he is a world-class film Director, Editor, and Producer and this has taken him around the globe – South Africa, Isreal, Zambia, Ethiopia State of Palestine, Cameroon, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic to mention just a few. He is married and the union is blessed with a lovely baby boy.

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The creek boy with some Chinese in Palestine during a documentary project

GbaramatuVoice recently met him at his Abuja abode where he threw light on some topical and other sundry issues. Here is the detail of that conversation with our correspondent.

GBARAMATUVOICE: Who is Michael David Akpenyin?

Michael David Akpenyin is a Nigerian from the oil-rich but government abandoned Niger Delta. I was born in February 1983, in the peace-loving town of Okerenkoko/Kunukunma community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state. Michael is an easy going young man who believes that the word impossibility does not exist.

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Michael, the Creek Boy with Mr. Frank, a UK film director in Israel

GBARAMATUVOICE: Tell Us Something About Yourself.

As a boy from the creek, growing up was difficult; no good school, no water, not even a per of sandals. It wasn’t easy as a young boy. But despite all these deprivations, I was full of hope and believe that my future shall be rewarding; who believes that the future is bright and that I must make an impact in my world. That got me thinking what I should do that will enable the world to hear of me and my region.So, as a pacesetter who does not believe in doing something that everyone is doing at the same time, I choose that part that will bring hope, peace, and love to my people.

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Michael, the Creek Boy on set in the creek

What actually made me start thinking differently was when I discovered that we have a lot of untold stories that the world needs to know.  So I decide to do something different for everyone.

So when the Late Nollywood actor Justice Esiri of blessed memories saw me, he loved my drive, my push, he told me we could do things together, so that was how we started working together. One day, he decided to introduce me to one prominent leader from Gbaramatu Kingdom, sorry I will not want to mention his name. That was through a telephone conversation and the man remarked; my son I never believed we have someone who can change the pattern, I thought everyone is looking for quick money through illicit means.   He finally promised to support me

But even with this breakthrough, my quest to make an impact did not stop. So, I left the creek to the city seeking for greener pasture. After some time, God intervened and I started recording successes. I have worked with virtually all the Nollywood actors in Nigeria within this short period.

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The Creek Boy and AY on set

In summary,  from the creek, I have toured states, cities, and   nations which includes but not limited to; South Africa, Isreal, Zambia, Ethiopia, State of Palestine, Cameroon, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic. It’s all God, and we give Him the praise. The creek boy becomes the international boy.

GBARAMATUVOICE: There is the news making the round that you are about producing a new film. Please, tell us, what is it all about?

Yes, we recently concluded the project plan and its actually God who has been on our side. The name of the film is ‘THE TRIALS OF JOSHUA IGINLA’. For me, it is a major project in this year 2017 among other projects that I have handled this year.

The film is based on a true-life story. It is all about the early life of a  man of God (Bro. Joshua Iginla, Senior Pastor Champions Royal Assembly). The story chronicled his early life in the ministry; the hard times he paused through, betrayals, rejection and frustration, hunger and starvation.

So we decide to tell the story in a film and we thank God the project recorded the huge success; from the camera, works to the directing, scripting, editing everything came out excellently well. We give God the praise (smiles).

GBARAMATUVOICE: What are the challenges faced on relocating to Abuja?

Creating new contacts and friends was the first major challenge. But in the same vein, relocating to Abuja was a big breakthrough to me and my family. I would say also that God brought the man of Champions Royal Assembly, Abuja, and Bro Joshua Iginla to rescue me from the delay. In fact, let me say this, he who finds a wife found a good thing and obtain favour from the Lord. Immediately I got married to my lovely wife, doors began to open.  And my talent started paying off.

GBARAMATUVOICE: What is your advice to the youths in the creeks?

Hmmm, advising the youth… My Advice to the youth is a simple one. First, they should change their pattern; they should not depend on the politicians or get themselves involved in any form of illicit dealings with them. They should believe in themselves, be focus and work hard to achieve whatever target they set for themselves.

They should seek knowledge by going to school as education holds the key to greatness. They should stay away from crime and other vices. Long live Gbaramatu Kingdom.