AKI AND PAW PAW ARE NOT KIDS
Did you dream of making a name in Nigerian movie industry five years ago?
Five years ago I thought of being a successful international movie artiste. I knew I could not achieve my dream without working hard and being determined. I was auditioned a few years back and today the rest is history.
How do we marry your roles in movies and your person in reality?
To be a good actor, some people are blessed with the talent, while some people learn to be good actors. Without being immodest, I belong to the former group. prior to when I joined the movie industry, I had no formal training as an actor.
Although, I now have a diploma certificate in movie production from the New York Film Academy. Movie production has to do with the person playing the role and the interpretation of the character. I believe it is God's gift for me. Very few movie actors draw the attention of viewers to them. I believe my best is yet to come in movie production.
Can you give an account of how Aki and Pawpaw met?
We met for the first time in year 2002. This was about three weeks before the shooting of Aki Na Ukwa and I believe it was divine. We met at Macdevous Hotels in Enugu. It is meeting point of movie artistes for auditions and other information. On the first day we set eyes on each other, it was so dramatic that every other person in the Hotel left what they came for and started looking at us. We felt the same way too and I think it was during that first meeting that a smart person thought about the concept that finally led to Aki Na Ukwa.
What do you say about your collaboration with Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki)?
In the first place our being friends is divine. It is beyond what anyone can comprehend. From the first time we shot Aki Na Ukwa which was produced by Chukwuka Emelonu (Kas-Vid Movies) a lot of people did not know someone like me exist. Though Chinedu started acting before me but when we met on a movie location in Enugu we were made to play similar roles alongside each other. Today the rest is history and we thank God.
But in reality are you not a reserved and shy person?
If you say I am reserved, I agree with you. But I disagree with your view that I am a shy person. The issue is when we are not on set people expect us to put up the same character.The analogy is that with a camera I will act but without the camera
I keep to myself.
What unifies Aki and Paw Paw?
The unifying factor is that we understand ourselves. We do practically everything together. Essentially we pray that God should keep us together. Though as human
beings there are differences and times of disagreement but with discipline, self control and the fear of God we cope well with ourselves.
How do you describe Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki)?
He is quite intelligent, humble and accommodating. He is never intimidated. He is strong willed.
Which movie has really challenged your abilities?
We have acted in several movies and many challenging movies as well. I think I can talk about 'Criminal Law' where I acted as a lawyer. I saw myself in that movie. The script inspired me a lot.This was quite different from the roles we are known to interprete.
Tell us about your fans?
Our fans cut across the society. We have the young, old men and women. Interestingly, we have fans in Aso Rock. We get calls of commendation from time to time from Nigerians at home and those in diaspora.
What do you say about kids who emulate your roles in reality?
Basically, Nigeria is not strict about movie censorship. Unlike foreign movies that have classification and are strictly adhered to. Classification of Nigeria movies are not taken seriously. Apparently, lots of Nigerians fail to realize that Aki and Paw Paw are not kids. If kids emulate our character then parents should guide and monitor movies their children watch. It is quite interesting that if I have a role to kiss, drink and smoke I can do that comfortably because I am an adult and chiefly an actor. As a professional artiste I cannot be limited to the roles I play. I can even play the role of a small girl. What will change is the character and the costumes.
Do you see your nature as a blessing to you?
I thank for every situation I find myself. I thank God for my nature. It is a blessing from God. What if I am a giant and a fool?
Are you into a serious relationship?
No. I am not into a serious relationship. Women are not my priority for now. Rather, I am looking forward to my dream of being an international actor.
Are you not going to settledown?
Marriage is not my priority for now.
How do you cope with female admirers?
I try to deal with them at arms length. I make sure I show appreciation for the love. Sometimes I return their calls. Though most times I am busy so I prefer when they send me text messages, which I reply immediately. Above all I handle them with care.
I am sure you have a girlfriend?
I think that is personal to me. (Laughs) please let us not go into that.
What are your plans to be an international movie actor?
I already attended the New York Film Academy. And there are plans to shoot movies in Hollywood.
Have you had any embarrassing moment as an artiste?
I have had several embarrassing moments. I have accepted the reactions of my fans based their excitement as regards my character in movies. Several times my fans have wanted to carry me up, take my cap off or touch me. They are trying to express their love for me.
Tell us a bit about your background?
I am from Mbiteli Local government of Imo State. I was born to the family of Albert and Augustina Iheme. I am the last born from a family of four children. I am from a strong Christian background. I was born and brought up in Aba. For my primary education I attended College primary school Aba and my secondary school education I attended National High School also in Aba. I am currently pursuing a diploma programme in Law at the University of Lagos.
Do you intend to eventually be a lawyer?
Yes. That is why I'm studying Law.
Does that mean you will dump acting for the court rooms?
Not really but I aspire to be a renown actor and producer in Nollywood
Don't you think your being a practicing lawyer might the cause the judge and other lawyers to laugh in the courtroom?
I know but I believe that will give me an advantage in court room.
Does any one in your family have your nature?
No. I am the only one with this nature and that makes me extremely different.
When did you graduate from secondary school?
I finished my secondary school in 1998. I couldn't continue my education because of financial constraint. But thank God today.
What do you say about the Nigerian movie industry?
Nigerian movie industry is a growing and thriving industry. Personally I feel the basic problem we have is lack of funds to develop the industry.
Do you have other businesses you run?
I am a designer. I design my cloths and my shoes. Apart from that I have a record label that is doing well.
What is the name of the record label?
I don't want to mention the name. a lot of my colleagues patronize the company. I don't want to blow my trumpet for now.
Do you consider yourself a millionaire?
I am comfortable. I don't know what it is to be a millionaire.
How many cars do you have?
I don't count my cars because I am also into automobile business with my family. I don't drive a specific car.
Do you drive?
Not on major roads and I am more comfortable with automatic cars.
What is your philosophy about life?
I put God first in all I do. I forget about my past and focus on what I am doing.
What is your best meal?
I love pounded yam with okro and vegetable soup.
What is your best colour?
My best colours are red, white and black.
What is your daily routine like?
It depends on what I have to do for the day. But on a normal day I wake up say my prayers and start the day.
Word for your Fans
To my fans I say a big thank you and I want to encourage them never to feel inferior in any situation they find themselves.