A fan wanted me to sign on her bra — Mike Ezuruonye
I'm Mike Ezuruonye. I studied Accounting in the university, worked for a while in a bank before I started my acting career. I have been acting for a few years now but I consider myself a new actor for every new script that I get.
Journey into acting
I would say destiny and fate. I had been toying with the idea of becoming an actor when Ruke Amata introduced me to the job. I soon realised that it was the void in my life that God wanted me to fill.
Then, Nollywood was on cruise control, steadily rising but now it is like an unstoppable train and the stakeholders need to get better control of the train so that it can reach its destination safely. We are making progress but we need to get better at monetising the opportunities we have. Right now, many people are reaping from Nollywood without sowing the seeds.
Actors don't get rewards
The structures are not yet in place to ensure that we reap rewards for the hard work we put in. This will only happen when we have a proper distribution framework for films. Moreover, Corporate Nigeria has not extended to us a proper and deserving handshake. We are loved by the masses because we provide a valuable service to them but yet those who rule the corridors of Nigeria are yet to recognise our value.
I am happy to be part of an industry that has and continues to educate Africans and the world about our past, present and our future. Nollywood is a worthy and valuable Nigerian export. I am fulfilled in the career I have chosen. What has kept me going? Hard work, perseverance and most of all, I have great passion for acting.
I am not the characters I play in my movies. Those are the figment of the writer's imagination and it is my job as an actor to interpret them well. As for my real personality, one of my best commandments from God is, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself,' so I try to treat everyone right. I am a regular guy who happens to earn a living by appearing on many screens around the world. Stardom can be very funny, therefore, I surround myself with people who have known and still know the real Mike; that is my family. I am mostly a private person and prefer communicating to people through my art. Finally, most of all, I fear God. He guides my life.
Handling female fans
It is easy once I tell myself that they are crazy for the characters they see on the screen; not Mike, the real person. Nasty experience from a fan? Well, I was abroad and a female fan pulled her bra in a restaurant for me to sign! She shouted, 'Mike, you must sign this.' I was so embarrassed because I thought my hat and glasses disguised me enough.
I am thankful everyday that I get to do what I love as a job. There are many challenges that come with it like any other job but I deal with them.
Me and other actresses
I have a good working relationship with all my colleagues.
My worth as an actor
I am worth the blessings I receive from God and the goodwill I receive from my fans.