Nigerian actor, Gideon Okeke, popular for his role as Phillips Ade Williams in the Nollywood telenovela “Tinsel” has shared his perspective on the issue of racism, bigotry, and tribalism in the country.
According to the thespian, the existence of the construct “state of origin” has never done anyone good as it has posed a serious problem in how Nigerians perceive themselves.
In an Instagram post which he shared earlier today, Gideon highlighted the overreaching effects of racism and how Nigeria is neck-deep in its celebration.
Gideon said; “Dear Nigeria, as a matter of federal/national character, I strongly believe we should abolish state of origin. It celebrates line. Borders. Race. Us vs Them”
Our strength is in our diversity. It’s taking so long to prove. Abolish state of origin today for national peace. One Nigeria! One Nigeria!!
He further expressed with a caption thus;
“But We’re not quite willing to let go of the coattails of TRIBALISM. Even AD commercials/Radio Jingles are culpable of passing subliminal messages that are nuanced in ways that make one wonder if there are: 3 Nigeria’s or 187 Others or Just 1 Nigeria”.
“If You still regard your neighbor with these derrogatives; Omo-Ibo, Ofemmanu, Nyammiri… You might be RACIST. Or sold to BIGOTRY”.
“There’s a thing or two to learn from a small country called RWANDA. Imagine a policeman stopping you for routine checks and he pops the question: What State are you from Oga? What purpose does that question really serve?”
Gideon Okeke is a Nigerian actor and TV Presenter, who came to the public eye in 2006 when he appeared as a contestant on the first edition of Big Brother Nigeria. In 2008, Gideon joined the cast of MNET TV series Tinsel on which he is a regular to date.
An only child, Gideon grew up in Ajegunle one of the slums of Lagos, a place he speaks so fondly of. He attended the prestigious Nnamdi Azikwe University, where he studied applied biochemistry. He later enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York, where he obtained professional training in acting.
After appearing in the first edition of Big Brother Nigeria, Gideon joined the cast of M-NET daytime series Tinsel, as Phillip Ade Williams, the arrogant son of a media mogul.
He remains one of the longest-serving actors on the show. He has also appeared on the South African TV series Jacobs cross.
In 2014, he played the role of Bernard in the Irokotv series Poisoned Bait, directed by BAFTA LA award-winning director Leila Djansi. In addition, Gideon was the host of the DSTV game show Money Drop.
Gideon landed his first lead role in the Nigerian drama film Relentless in 2010, starring Jimmy Jean-Louis and Nneka Egbuna. His second lead role was in the 2014 crime thriller A Place in the Stars.
That same year, he played the role of Tobena, the love interest of the lead character in the romantic comedy When Love Happens. Other films to his credit include the caper crime comedy Gbomo Gbomo Express and the Ghanaian romantic drama Anniversary.
In 2016 he was cast in the drama-thriller 93 Days. Starring alongside Danny Glover, Gideon received an AMVCA nomination for his portrayal of Dr. Morris Ibeawuchi, one of the surviving doctors of the Nigerian Ebola crisis.
Gideon has appeared on several stage productions including Fractures, an adaptation of Arthur Miller’s “A View From The Bridge”.
He also played Fela Kuti in Fela… Arrest The Music, a musical that celebrates the talent of the Nigerian Afrobeat legend. Gideon is also a cast member of Saro The Musical 2, currently touring London.