Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: I Respect This Leadership Award - Aki

interview

Chinedu Ikedezie aka Aki is a renowned actor in Nigeria movie industry known as Nollywood the 2nd largest movie industry in the world behind Bollywood who have stared in various local and international movies. The award winning actor was recently bestowed as the LEADERSHIP entertainer of the year. In this exclusive interview with Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Anthony Ada Abraham and Uche Uduma, the easy going actor speaks about sundry issues. Excerpt:

You are one of the brightest actors in the Nigeria movie industry and there is no doubt you have carved a name for yourself. How has the journey been so far?

First of all, I will like to say thank you for this opportunity given to me. This is my fourteenth year in the movie industry. Actually I started acting since 1998 and this is 2012, that is to say that I am now fourteen years in the industry. No be beans. I've been through ups and downs and by the grace of God I think it is much better now than it used to be. I'm really enjoying my profession a lot.

Your coming into the industry is a great plus no doubt about that. We believe that your fans will like to know who is really the brain behind your role in the movie industry?

It is not a question of who initiated me into acting, I will rather say somebody initiated me into acting. Someone told me to have urge. It is like someone inspiring you to go into a particular profession or a field of study. But in this case, I think I had a flair for it when I was growing up . But the flair was not to be a commercial actor that will act and get paid.

It was just the joy of doing it, the love of it, and the passion. When I was growing up, it wasn't exactly what I wanted to do. Actually it is the least of the things I wanted to do as a person. Along the line, like the popular saying, 'man proposes but God disposes' that was it.

Now that you have won the LEADERSHIP entertainers of the year for Aki and Pawpaw, though he is not here now. How did you meet him and how do you feel being the LEADERSHIP entertainers of the year?

I met him in 2001 in Enugu. Meeting him was just the fate of God, like I always tell people. This is because that was the first time in my life I came close to someone that looks like me, I mean someone that looks exactly like me. The first time was in my first year. A guy we met, he's name is Bishop, he was telling me then that he wanted to go into acting. You know, he later left, he told me that he wanted to go into acting but that was by the way.

So, meeting Osita who really showed me into acting, he confessed that he saw me in quite a number of my films, he was like "I can do this too." Meeting him was a thing of joy because we quickly understood each other, we had semblance in almost everything, as if we share the same trait. So it was a good thing, and honestly it has been fruitful. Secondly, being LEADERSHIP award recipient, honestly my joy knows no bound, because I'm very happy. lf it were something I was supposed to pay money, apparently, I would not have enough to pay and get a bit of it.

But, thank God it was by merit, I believe they must have searched, they must have looked round, they must have asked questions, they must have really done their home work before they concluded we both merited it. Thus, it's high time we gave them a tap on the back, I appreciate it honestly and I thank you people. I get this kind of thing very often but I respect this particular one.

Your marriage was one of the most talked about in Nigeria and outside the country. Your fans will really like to know, how is life after marriage?

Wonderful! Can't you see I'm looking robust now? Though I'm watching my weight. I'm a happy man now. (Laugh)

Heard you and Pawpaw want to do your anniversary, what plans do you have for the anniversary?

We are inviting you people to come and felicitate with us. The thing is that we just want people to come together that day and we are going to showcase our movies and then thank our fans for helping to build the personality that we are today. It not much, we are not doing a very flamboyant get together and we need sponsors.

Recently you people went to sympathize with the flood victims in Delta State, and we saw how compassionate you were on ground. What is your take on the circumstance?

It's a circumstance that can happen at any time and we cannot stop it. We can only try to prevent the occurrence. But nobody predicted it would be so devastating. Maybe it was part of the global warming. But it happened. It's very unfortunate, because it can happen to anybody. Imagine you are from that village. In fact I was there, it was very unfortunate, I saw people that are just by the grace of God they are still alive.

They were almost looking hopeless. But I believe that the happiness on their faces was because we were on hand to empathize with them. Some of the houses were submerged in water. The water has managed to go down a bit and some that were engulfed in the flood. It was looking really bad. But I thank God that they are coming back to consciousness.

Some of them wanted to commit suicide like I heard. Honestly I will urge Nigerians to render help to the victims. They should just reach out to these people, give them hope, talk to them so that they will know it is not the end of the world. We still have hope as long as there is life. Hope is in abundance.

So what will be your message to your fans and what should they be expecting next from you?

Thank you for your support throughout this time. I want my fans to be honest in whatever they do , people should believe their dreams and expect more interesting movies from us.

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