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Hit TV show is 'a blessing from God,' says actor

POWERFUL STORIES: Nonzo Anozie as Samson in The Bible

LAST MONTH (Nov 30), Channel Five started broadcasting one of the most popular mini-series to hit US TV screens this year, The Bible.

When it was aired on America’s History channel during Easter this year the series achieved the highest ever ratings for a programme broadcast on cable TV. To date it’s estimated to have been watched by over 100 million viewers. The bosses at Channel Five are no doubt hoping that the show generates equally high ratings figures here in the UK also. So does Nonzo Anozie, one of the featured actors in the series.

Anozie, London born, and a committed Christian, plays the part of Bible strongman Samson. People loved his role, and among fans of his performance were leading black churchman Bishop TD Jakes and chat show queen Oprah Winfrey, who both tweeted compliments about the actor’s performance after watching the show.

Anozie says he has enjoyed being in one of the most talked about TV series of 2013.

He says: “It’s a blessing from God. It’s amazing to be part of this project because it’s spreading the word of God so far and wide in one single sweep that it’s unbelievable. I knew it was special when I was working on it and the way that I got the role”

SERIES

The actor attends Prevailing Power Ministry in Hendon, London. During a Sunday service last year his pastor asked him to read the story of Samson. Doing so resonated with him strongly. Five months later he got a call from The Bible series producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, stating they wanted him to play the Samson role. He didn’t even have to audition. “It was as if I was supposed to be part of this series” he says.

Anozie believes there’s much people can learn from Samson’s life.

“The lesson for me about Samson is that he was the victim of the fact that he didn’t make good decisions” he says.

“God forgave him, but eventually, like all human beings, he had to suffer the consequences of his actions. But even in that last hour he asked God one last time and said ‘I see more clearly than ever’. The story of Samson warns us to make the decision to put God first. And also no matter how bad it gets, give yourself to God and He will be there for you.”

Anozie was raised in a Nigerian Christian family, in Camden, London. He became a Christian at 16.

He recalls: “Before that I can say I was going to church as a child, you don’t really know anything. You’re going because your parents go. I kind of stopped going to church for a while but rediscovered Jesus for myself. I think that was the most important time of my life when that happened.”

Determined to become an actor, he studied drama at the Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduating in 2003 Nonzo joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and became the youngest man in history to play the character of King Lear. He also toured the world in the RSC production of Othello before getting film roles.

Among the movies he has starred in include Atonement with Kiera Knightly, Conan The Barbarian, Game of Thrones and Enders Game. He can currently be seen in Sky TV series Dracula and is currently working on Walt Disney film Cinderella.

It’s his prayer that British audiences embrace The Bible as Americans have, and that it at least gets people thinking about God.

And what about his own personal goals? “My first prayer is to have a closer walk with God, that’s the root of all things for me. After that everything will follow.”

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