Nollywood and indeed the Nigerian film industry, famous today. The entire space will be filled with garlands for an illustrious member of the tribe, maverick Charles Novia who scored 50 today.
Actor, writer, producer, director, published author, activist, critic, record label and TV channel owner, the social media space is sure to be buzzing with congratulatory messages flowing freely for the iconoclastic and overabundant showbiz personality whose contributions artists have found an irreplaceable place for him in the audiovisual space.
Recognized by fans and industry professionals as a formidable personality and creative force to be reckoned with, Moviedom met the CEO of November Productions, November Records and Africa’s premier teen TV channel -Teens Africa Television (TATV) and the restless creative shared the eventful story of his career and life.
The road to 50
I AM very grateful to God for the gift of life and good health throughout my years on earth and the grace has been given to me to visualize and accomplish. I feel young and twenty years younger, really! But then, I also understand that this is a new stage in my life and with that, the harvest seasons begin for me. It has not been without challenges, but persistence and dedication to the craft brings success in the end.
It is still not over and in a climate like Nigeria the challenges to achieving creative financial satisfaction are endless, but for someone like me born with a mind set on success, I see the challenges as part of the path. towards success. In fact, where I am now and where I have been all my life, that is what I was destined to do. I have no regrets.
I achieved set goals and more
I would say I did and your question made me reflect and realize that what I have thought about over the years has been accomplished in one way or another. He can only be the guiding hand of God.
I started early, at the age of six, and was kind of a child prodigy. I wrote my first poem at the age of six and my first short novel at the age of eight. I also started as a child actor in Benin and therefore, a little glory from an early age prepared me for my stay in the world of cinema later. I graduated at the age of 22 with a BA in Dramatic Arts in 1993, a course I had always wanted to study from childhood and I was already an unpublished playwright at the University of Nigeria. (UNN) with some complete pieces performed in the department.
I worked for the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) network from 1994 to 1999 where I honed my skills in production, directing and writing. What most people might not know is that when I was at NTA I wrote some of the blockbusters in the home video industry between 1995 and 1998, but I asked not to be credited as an author by the producers. Dr Chika Onu, one of the greatest directors of the time, will testify. But in 1999, I felt restless and wanted to fully join the home video industry to showcase my skills. So I left the NTA as a contract agent.
The explosion of my career started in 2000 and 50 films after a decade as a producer / director, I decided to embark on television and media entrepreneurship, between owning a record label (November Records) and being a published author and finally found a television channel. I believe in purpose and focus and these accomplishments make me very grateful.
Above all, in all these years, becoming a husband and father at the age of 29 is one of my most enduring achievements! I am grateful and very much appreciate Happy, my wife and my daughter Nosakhare. They are pillars of support for me.
I have been recognized by fans and professionals in the industry as a great personality and my fans in particular are transgenerational. It humiliates me. There isn’t a day that I go out and someone or the other doesn’t recognize me and give me props on any of my films or writing. It’s very encouraging and it tells me that I must continue or improve the culture of excellence that I have set for myself because people are watching and have high expectations.
It has been wonderful working with the next generation of talent and incubating the processes of Generation Alpha, which comes after current Gen Z over the next half decade. I feel very fulfilled and Teen Africa, as a platform for creative and educational expression, is the best legacy we can leave for the next generation. I am grateful to those who supported this vision, especially my good friend and brother, Yibo Koko, Akin Salami and Dr Ifie Sekibo and the members of the TATV board of directors as well as the staff and talents with whom we work. .
However, there is still a lot to be done, so much. We have DSTV as the main platform for our broadcast and we are also going all the pig with our broadcast online and there are partnerships waiting to be announced with TATV soon. One of the major challenges of this project would be what I would call the halfway hesitation of some who want to be with us or are with us. It’s a drag because you keep trying and pushing to make them see that it’s something that changes lives, but requires full and total support, especially when it comes to financial contributions. .
It is not oil and gas. It is a niche medium and the first of its kind, and it takes total effort to make it work. It must be understood that the lives, dreams and aspirations of these young people are more linked to this than to anything else. Over the next decade, TATV would change the continent’s narratives and the trajectories of Africa’s youthful population. As a visionary and founder I see it and recently I have stopped trying to convince anyone to join us because we always get there whether they see it or not. We made history as the first teenage TV channel in Africa and parts of the world. It cannot be taken away from us. And we are very proud of it. In any case, from 2022, we have a lot of major announcements coming from partnerships for the next phase.
Most Memorable Film as a Writer, Director and Actor
As a writer it would be The Battle of Love, which I wrote in 1999 and which was produced by Kingsley Ogoro. It’s a love story written in the Biafra War and it was originally titled Guns of Biafra before the National Film and Video Censors Board requested a title change. As a director I have a lot of fond memories, but I will quote The Covenant Church because it was a biopic about the founder of The Redeemed Christian Church of God and Pastor Adeboye, the GO I wrote and directed this film for Dove Media in 2005 and it was a huge project, which took months.
As an actor, that would be my role as “Ena” on a sitcom I created and wrote in 36 episodes for NTA Network in 1998. It’s called One Big Family and I’ve been a regular cast for it. over 9 months on Network Television.
Next in the plate of “Charles Novia Think”
My last feature film was Alan Poza, which was shot in 2011 and won a few AMAA awards and a few other film awards. I collaborated with Africa Magic in 2015 to produce and direct a romantic drama Put a ring on it, which was primarily for the platform.
But so far I’ve produced over 50 different programs, series and documentaries for TATV and other companies, so I’ve been on the scene but as an executive producer. I will definitely have a new film produced and directed by me in 2022, among a slew of executive producers and my fans who have long been waiting for something from me can be assured that they will not be disappointed.
In the next five years, I hope to have completed my doctorate. This has been delayed due to many projects on my table over the years, but I think at this point in my life the itch of being in academia alongside my creative pursuits will take on some sort of priority.
I will be publishing more books over the next decade and about four or five are ready for publication. I will also add a radio station to this list! I want the full spectrum of impactful entertainment in the bag. So I did theater, cinema, television, music (I own two record companies) and radio will be added to it, by the grace of God. So that looks good from where I’m sitting. And I will always give thanks and praise to my Creator for these gifts.