Source: nigeriafilms.com
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Mike Ezuruonye is fast becoming a brand name in Nollywood. He recently won the Best Actor in City People Magazine 2007 Awards. He speaks on the Awards, Nollywood, his love life and other issues with www.nollywoodgists.com


Let us into your background?
I am the eldest son with four siblings. My father was an industrialist who was a disciplinarian. He was a very successful man. He also had the touch of gold for whatever he touched turned to gold. For my education, Secondary school education: Federal Government College Wukari, in the former Gongola State, now Taraba State Later Archbishop Aggey Memorial Secondary School, Lagos State.

For my University education, I attended theFederal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State. Nnamdi Azikiwe University where I bagged a degree in Accounting. For movie production, from my primary school level I have been involved in television production. I was involved in television productions like 'Kiddies Junction', 'Kiddies Debate'. If my father was alive I know I would have had a long battle with him.

How did you break through?
In secondary school, Jeta Amata and I had a brief stint at Clapperboard Television because his elder brother Uge Amata worked at the television station. I did not set my eyes on Uge Amata until year 2003 when we met at a fuel station. I simply told him I had no time because at that time I was busy with computer accessories business. We eventually produced a television series which did not see the light of the day.

The same day we finished that production I met Aquilla Njamah who gave me a
script because he wanted me to be part of a movie production. I later met Dickson Iroegbu who starred me in the movie entitled 'Mayors I'. A few weeks later as it happened Emem Nsong was at a studio when she saw the role I played in a particular movie which was being edited.

She called me and I starred in 'Critical Decision' which brought me to limelight. It has continued on and on like that. I see my involvement in movie industry as fulfilling my destiny.

What is your take on Nollywood?
Nollywood is one train that doesn't know how to stop. I say this because the industry has made so much impact in less than twelve years considering the little technical know-how that we have at our disposal. A lot of people from other parts of the world keep wondering what is going in Nigeria. In my view Nollywood is the best thing that has happened to Nigeria in recent times.

What is your comment on sexual harassment in Nollywood?
Firstly, as long as a female artist is determined to sleep with whoever to get roles then such an artist should forget about stardom. Secondly, if you are a producer or director and you decide to use your position to take undue advantage of ladies in the movie industry then I think such a man has a complex. If any man likes any lady then go and talk to her rather than take undue advantage of her. I am not a woman so don't know if it is happening. It happens in all the industry it is just unfortunate that whatever happens in Nollywood is given so much publicity. Sexual harassment exists in the banking sector and other sectors.

How have you been able to cope with female admirers?
Basically, I don't see myself differently from the average guy on the street. The only difference is that I have a popular television face. I see women who admire me as those who appreciate what I do in movies. With this in my psyche, I draw the line when it is time to draw the line. Though I get numerous calls from my female admirers, I quite appreciate them for calling me.

Does that mean you don't have anyone you are dating out of those who admire you?
No. Like I said I draw the line when it is necessary.

Are you married?

Are you involved in a serious relationship?
I am anticipating better things to come in the nearest future which includes settling down. But I don't have any serious relationship with any woman. The best that has happened is that ladies love me and I reciprocate the gesture. I see marriage
as a serious institution so I am not ready to make any mistakes.

Who do you want to settle down with?
A woman I would love, adore, worship and she would reciprocate with these values.

Do you mean there is no woman with these values?
I think we should leave that.

Does it mean you are searching for the right woman?
(Laughs) I will say God's time is the best.

Who has affected you most in life?
I keep saying that my mother is my super woman. I cannot deny the fact that I was born with a silver spoon. Suddenly, after the death of my father a lot of his investment were taken away from us. My mother struggled to make us live valuable lives. My mum gave me the impression right from childhood that no one is
better than me.

You recently won the City People Magazine's Best Male artist for the year. What do you say about this?
I would say it is a plus. I see the Award as a catalyst for my artistic expressions in movies. It would propel me to do a lot more than I have been doing before in Nollywood. The Award has brought more awareness to me. I now realise a lot of people are watching me and my performances. Basically, the challenge is that I should improve upon my act, properly scrutinize movie scripts before I get involved in the production. With the City People Magazine Award, I see myself as a brand name in Nollywood.

The greatest gifts you have ever received from anyone?
I have received quite large number of gifts but I see all of them as goodwill. I have met a lot of people who are held in high esteem in the society.

Do you have any regrets being a movie artiste?
No way.

Any embarrassing moment?
There was a particular day I was driving. An elderly woman overtook my car and stopped right in my front. I almost hit her car from the rear. I came out of my car to ask her why she drove in that manner. She did not say anything and she slapped me. Before I gained consciousness she slapped me a second time. I immediately took two steps back to confirm if it was not a set-up or something. She began shouting “You are mad…. How can you treat your wife like that? I will slap you again… Who the hell do you think you are?....... and she kept shouting. I did not know what was happening until she said, “How can you treat Chioma Chukwuka like that?.. I have promised myself I would slap you whenever I see you…..” It was then I asked myself is it because of my role in a movie that I received two slaps?”
There was nothing I could do because it was not possible for me to retaliate, moreover she could be my grandmother. Eventually we made up and she insisted we settle the issue at Golden Gate Restaurant. Today she is my very good fan.

You were slapped for your role in which movie?
I was slapped for my role in 'Broken Marriage'. This has taught me a lesson that a lot of viewers need to be informed that movies are make-believe.

Have you produced any movie on your own?

Do you smoke?
No I don't.

Do you drink?
I am a social drinker but I don't drink larger beer.

Your happiest moment?
My happiest moment is yet to come. I wake everyday to be happy since I am alive.

Beside acting what else do you do?
I am in a Computer Accessories business. I endorse products for some multinationals. I am involved in stock broking.

How do get inspired?
I get inspired by looking at nature or going to the beach.

Your best meal?
My best meal is yam porridge.