What are the challenges you faced starting up?
I was a very chronic stammerer; I had to hit my foot on the floor before I could complete a sentence. I worked on it so much that you can hardly tell now when I talk and I thank my father for that. It affected my confidence level and how I related with people. Back then, when I saw people around, I kept quiet because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. At the time I started presenting on TV, I had worked on myself so well that people couldn’t tell if I was a stammerer or not. However, there are still days it comes and I find it difficult to control myself. But some directors that know me well just give me a few minutes to calm down.
How much were you paid for your first movie?
I was paid N50,000 and the title of the movie is Lovelorn by Rukky Sanda. I won’t say how much I charge now but I am well paid as an actor.
What are some of the challenges you face in the movie industry?
Funding is one of the major challenges we face in the industry, coupled with the chain of distribution houses.
What are some of your aspirations?
I take each day as it comes. I have a big picture of what I want for myself and my family. I want to live a fulfilled life and build people as well. I want to create platforms where I can make more millionaires. I can’t sit back and say it is the responsibility of the government because if the government is failing, we, as individuals, should not do the same. As a producer, I want to be able to make movies that will compete with international movies and as an actor, I want to be able to work alongside people such as Denzel Washington and Brad Pitt, who are great actors and businessmen.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
It is really difficult to balance a career that is flourishing. You have to be out there because if you take a break, it will affect you. You have to keep working; yet, you have a family that needs you. Most successful people have their families suffer for their career and I must give credit to my wife because it has not been easy. Sometimes, you might be on the road all day. Right now, I am in a hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, because I got off set by 2am and I can’t drive back to my home in Victoria Island. If my wife was in town, she would be at home while I would be in a hotel. I also have to travel back to Enugu to film and after that, I will move to Paris; then, Malaysia. As a celebrity, your life is basically on the road. Sometimes you just have to say no to a N2m job so that you can give that one week to your family. It is a constant hustle but thank God for those spouses that understand.
Having married a foreigner, did your family oppose your marriage?
Nobody has a say in my life. I live my life for me and my immediate family, which consists of my wife and son. That is what matters. I respect my family but ultimately my happiness lies with me.
Is there really crisis in your marriage?
Well, I don’t want to talk about what some of these blogs are saying. If they are good journalists, they should investigate things before bringing it out to the world. They just post things because they want traffic to their blogs. If my wife and I are divorced, people will know because we won’t be single and acting married when other hot singles are out there looking for attractive spouses. I am still married to my wife and that is what matters for now. Every relationship, whether it is marriage or courtship, experiences good and bad times; so, mine is not devoid of that. I love my wife and she loves me too; so, we will definitely have our good and bad times. What is important is the love we have for each other.
How do you feel when people tongue lash her for dressing in certain ways?
I feel that nobody has the right to insult another person irrespective of how they dress. Even if it is out there in the public eyes, it doesn’t give anyone the right to talk or insult her. She dresses appropriately for every single event. If you feel comfortable wearing agbada in a pool or beach, then that is your business. Even when she is going to the club, she doesn’t dress provocatively; she dresses appropriately and I am not bothered. I love who she is and I definitely love her dress sense. Other people’s opinions don’t matter.