By Dana C. Ayres
Who would’ve thought a straight-laced, suit and tie, grade-school math teacher would let it all hang out moonlighting as a Hollywood actor? Uchenna Echeazu, also known as “Conphidance” was leading a double life. By day, he was a strict math teacher. By night, he was honing his craft about Atlanta as a budding thespian and musician, according to Rollingout.com. His students, who are familiar with his humor, are not surprised at his transition from math teacher and scholar to famous actor.
While grading papers and building lesson plans at night, Echeazu had to find the time to pursue his dreams of music and acting. He admits that the schedule he kept was very demanding. Aside from teaching and studying for his craft, he was also a soccer coach to teenage boys. “It was extremely difficult, working on lesson plans, grading papers and catering my teaching style to various students while staying up late nights to learn more about the entertainment industry. I had six math classes with an average of 26 students. My schedule became worse when the faculty found out I could play soccer and I would make a great coach to the boys,” he says.
It seems that all through Echeazu’s life, he has been surrounded by positive motivation and a sense to strive for high achievement. A native of Nigeria, he cites his father as one of his top role models and holds God in high priority in his life. He also believes deeply in using his talents to inspire and educate others. Upon reading his story, one would be amazed at the level of energy, enthusiasm and stamina he has to maintain in order to achieve so much. Perhaps it’s his driving motivations and upbringing that steadies him. One thing that Echeazu alluded to that is entirely African in concept is his teaching style. He devotes his time to each student in every one of his classes because he understands that all children do not learn the same way. Also, the fact that he would conduct classes every day in a suit and tie is indicative of his efforts as an African and a man of color using his skills and talents to inspire his students to higher levels of achievement, never settling for mediocrity inside or outside of the classroom.
According to liberatormagazine.com, “In simple, summative terms we may say that, continent-wide, Africans regarded the education process as a transformative process, one in which a person becomes not only schooled but socialized…Basic skills were merely the lowest level of education. The development of character, humaneness and spirituality were higher levels of attainment.”
One would think it fair to say that we need more Echeazu’s in our classrooms to put things in the context of his own personal brand. “In the name “Conphidance”, “CON” stands for conscious, “PH” stands for philosophical and “I-DANCE” represents entertainer — basically I’m a conscious, philosophical entertainer. I strive to inspire people by building self-confidence one person at a time.”