interviewBy Benjamin Njoku
Breezy and beautiful Nonye Ike started her career on a high note, starring alongside top actors like Benjamin Joseph and Nse Etim Ikpe in the box office movie ‘Mr and Mrs’. For the budding actress, the film launched her into the mainstream acting world. In this encounter with Showtime Celebrity, the girl next door, let us into her world of struggle, triumphs, pains, brokenhearts, challenges and other things that have shaped her life in the course of living out her dream.
You starred in the movie, Mr & Mrs; was it your first movie?
Yes, it was my first movie. After Mr and Mrs, I have featured in two other movies. At the moment, I have a new script which I wouldn't want to talk about now.
How were you able to play the role of a housegirl where you had to sleep with your mistress' husband?
At first, I was very anxious about what people would say concerning the role I played in the movie. But then, it's not all about the role, it's about my job - acting is my job. It's something I am passionate about.
I didn't stumble into acting. It has always been my dream to be an actress. The movie required me to play that role as a housegirl. It doesn't mean I am a housegirl in real life. So, I had no problem playing the role in my first movie.
What was the reaction of your friends and family members when they saw the film? First and foremost, I got a negative reaction from my elder sister who is based in Ireland. She sent me a text message which told me that she was not really happy with me. But my other three sisters were proud of me.
They encouraged me, and commended my skill as an actress. My mum didn't want me to go into acting initially because she had this fear that actresses hardly get married. But when she realised that I have strong passion for the job, she had no choice than to allow me to follow my dream. My father has no problem with me. My friends are really happy for me.
While playing the housegirl role, were you tempted to give in? Not really. The guy I was paired with is a married man. He isn't even an actor. He was compelled to play the role after the person who was supposed to play the role did not show up. So, he had to play the role. He didn't plan for it, and there was nothing intimate about it. It was just a 3-minute action, and something done in the presence of the cast and crew of the film. There was no dialogue.
What was it you did that earned you the role?
It was shocking to me given the kind of movie it turned out to be. I went to a restaurant to eat, not knowing there was an audition going on there. I met a friend of mine, who thought I came for the audition. But when he realised I didn't, he encouraged me to be part of the audition. However, after the audition, I went home and forgot about it. But one day, I got a text message, instructing that I should join other actors on set. That was it.
You have not had any bad experience so far?
Not at all, I haven't had any bad experience. I have featured in three movies, and I had a cool relationship with the producers I have worked with. I have never had any negative experience since I joined the industry.
In the name of fame, most emerging actresses sleep their way to the top. Are you one of these actresses? You would want to do anything stupid when you don't know what you want as a human being. If you know what you are doing, and you have the talent, you can never be a desperado, or sacrifice yourself to get what you want. This is because I know that whatever it takes, I will surely get there. Talent doesn't hide. I know that I have the talent, and I'm not going to be a desperado or do anything stupid to hit the top.
How do you describe yourself ?
I'm an easy-going person. I'm reserved because of my background. I am a Princess, so I am not supposed to misbehave. I grew up reserved.My mother is a retired Secondary School Principal. Naturally, I am a no-nonsense person, but I respect people a lot. I am a very cheerful and serious person. I just have different personalities.
Have you ever been heartbroken?
I have been heart broken so many times. But for now, I need to put myself together.
What will it cost to break a princess' heart?
Nothing, because a princess is also a human being. I am recognised as a princess when I am in my father's kingdom. Even when I'm known as a princess, anybody who wants to break my heart will go ahead and break it.
A crowned prince broke your heart?
I don't want to go into that now because that was my past.
How was life on campus?
I was really a tough girl during my university days. I didn't have time to keep relationships. But my best friend on campus was a guy. In fact, most of my friends were men. I prefer to hangout with men than women. This is because I don't like drama and gossips. When I hangout with men, I feel secured and I'm able to be myself without anybody being jealous or being envious of me.
Are you avoiding men now because one broke your heart?
I'm not running away from men. Actually, I just walked out of a relationship not quite long ago and I'm giving myself some time. I don't want to jump into another relationship now.
What led to break -up in the relationship?
I don't think I would want to talk about it now. But things really changed. Why would you want to be in a relationship that you are not happy in? Happiness is the first thing anybody should think of in life. My happiness matters a lot to me.
My happiness is what is going to make me excel in my acting career because when I am happy, I am able to read my script, understand it and interpret my role excellently. So, I wasn't happy any more in that relationship because of some reasons I cannot mention here.
Do you fall in love because the man is handsome, rich and famous?
All these things you mentioned, I like them, but then, I am a very passionate person. I am highly emotional and when I fall in love, I fall in love 100 percent.
That's the reason I cannot jump into another relationship now. If I were in love with the man because of money, fame or his looks, at least, I would have been able to find myself another man. It's some months now since I broke up with my man.
I am on my own because I am not looking for those things, though, they are good. I want someone who is going to make me happy. I don't really want to know who you are,or what you are. I just want to love you for what you are, someone who will support my career and encourage me. I don't like men who are dramatic. I like men who are easy-going and loving.
Are you one of those actresses that like to sleep with married men? Why would you say this kind of thing to me? Of course, married men like me. They come around. On social media, they try to chat me up.
But I usually tell you, I am a very reserved person. I am from a royal home and I carry that aura around me as a princess. I don't want to defy myself.
I understand tradition very well and it's a wrong thing for a single girl to sleep with married men, even in Igbo tradition. Also, young men run after me.
Even the ones that are not my age mates. It's a normal thing for every woman, but the difference is making your own choice out of the lot. When I was in a relationship, everybody knew about it. I keep one man at a time. I am a one-man kind of girl. I don't mess around because I have respect for myself.
How are you faring without a man in your life? I have always been an independent woman even when I was in a relationship. I'm not the kind of girl that depends on her man for everything she needs.
I shop for myself. Besides acting, I have other businesses I do. I am into interior decoration and I have my own clothing line which I am going to unveil very soon. I believe in working for myself and getting my own money.
So, it's not a big thing to stay without a man. I still feel the same, but the only thing I don't feel again is someone I could call and send text to, saying 'I love you too' , and all that. Money wise, I am taking good care of myself. Even when I was in a relationship, it's still the same thing.
Do you think you can find love again in the industry?
I told you earlier that I am not after money, fame or whatever. I just want a man in my life, no matter who he is, provided he has a sense of humour and is prepared to make me happy. I like men who are intelligent and smart.
I don't like dull people. You need to communicate with me and if you are not smart, you can't communicate with me. I don't care who the man is, whether he 's an actor, a musician, or anybody, as long as you possess the qualities I want in a man. I know when I see what I love, and I'm sure I will find love again.