ACTING MAKES ME ODD IN THE FAMILY...KALU IKEAGWU
Kalu Ikeagwu is an actor with two remarkable gifts: a baritone voice and good looks. But he is very quiet most of the times unless approached for a chat. Appetiser took him up on his quiet nature.
“So you notice that I am quiet? I am a very private person. My girlfriend actually said I was a bit stand-offish. What happens is that because a lot of people see my face on screen, when they see me they greet me in a familiar manner. But because I don't know them, I return their greeting with this 'Where do I know you? manner.' I am trying to get over that.”
Kalu does not suscribe to people flaunting what they have, especially as it relates to good-looks. Hence, he is not moved by complimentary remarks about his looks.
He said, “Some people tell me I am good looking. Well, I thank God for that. I also thank my mother for that, she is a very beautiful lady. It's nice to be appreciated, I try not to allow that get into my head.
“My self-esteem or the way I see myself is not the way others see me. No matter how fine I am as people say, or no matter how celebrated I am– that is if I am even a celebrity– what makes me a man is doing what I want to do. I will not, because they say I have a fine face, begin to run after every girl around.
“If I didn't chase women before now, why should I start when I become a celebrity? Such compliments don't affect me much.
Kalu was born in England, but he had his secondary and university education in Nigeria. He took to acting while in the university. But he said it was not easy to convince his father, who was a university lecturer, that all that his first son could do was acting. His father tried very hard to make him become a doctor.
“My dad always wanted me to be a doctor, but when I went to the university and showed my intention to read English Literature, we fought a serious fight. But he had always known that I love writing. I think that was why he let me be. He never watched any of my stage performances, because I started acting on stage; but his friends who used to watch me told him. 'I saw your son, he is really good.' Even till his death, he never told me, but I knew that when he went out, he bragged that his son was one of the best actors. I just wish he is alive now,” he told Appetizer, revealing he was the only artiste in the family.
“Every other person in the family is a scientist or financial person. I have always been the odd person out. As a young chap, I loved to sing, make noise under the showers and play pranks. Then my mum would say, 'Kalu, behave yourself. Don't you know you are the first son? This is how an Igbo man is supposed to behave and all that.'”
Kalu's father was an academic who sojourned in England and in other African countries, but he remained an Igbo man to the core.
Kalu said, “The best thing my dad did for us is that he taught us to read and write Igbo. In fact, I learnt Igbo before I learnt English language. He made sure we were eating Igbo delicacies even while living in England then. You can imagine how it could be difficult to get the stuff then, unlike now that it is very easy.
“He made sure that I learnt my native dialect, and that is why today I can speak Igbo very well, including my dialect. My dad was a traditional man to the core.”
Kalu who stars in the current soap running on the screen, Domino, said he had been searching for the right person to walk down the aisle with.
Asked why it was taking him that long to find a partner, or whether he was looking for someone who could match his good looks, he said.
“Hopefully, I have met her. I was looking for someone who loves God more than she loves me. Of course, someone who loves me. Someone who is very kind and compassionate towards other people; someone who is wise and, of course, someone who is as beautiful as my mother.”