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SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS EVERYWHERE— TONTO DIKEH

By SAMUEL OLATUNJI

Tonto Dike took the movie industry by storm. As a contestant in the reality show, Nigerian Movie star she impressed quite a number of people with her skills. She took her chances and today she is one of the most sought after actress. She spoke with Sunday Sun on acting, sexual harrasement and Love.
Where have you been, it seems you emerge from no no where?
I can't really say where I've been but I can actually say where I am right now. That's it

How come you emerge just like that?
I think it was just the right timing. God has everybody in mind and he has a particular time he wants you to hit your sky limit. I think that's just what happens. Its Gods timing and I use Gods time wisely. I think that's what happens

Do you plan for acting or acting just happened on you?
I planned for it. I waited for it, but growing up, I had divided attention. I had to go to school to read something good, I had to come out. In my third year I realized I still have a strong passion for it even if I go to school and have a degree, do everything I still would love to be part of acting

But you are still in school?
Yes, final year, petrol chemical engineering, Port Harcourt, rivers state university of technology

Why petrol chemical engineering?
I've always love the oil sector. That's the only course I could read

Is that course not challenging for you as a woman?
No, it's not because actually in my school I'm not the only woman studying that course. We have about a hundred and fifty female doing that course per year alone

And I'm sure you have bags of carryover?
Well, yeah. I don't have carryover because I write my exams. When I have to read I read. It's just like the saying that says give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. When I know I have to read I read, when I know I have to work I work.

So you've not had a single carryover?
I've never had a carryover in school before. I've had problems of missing result but that has been sorted out. Aside that, I've never had a carryover in school before

Are you in 2:1 now or 2:2?
I can't say until my result comes out

So you've been busy acting and never had a carryover?
No. I started acting in my year three. I think I worked hard in my first year.

Will you work in oil sector?
Not work, but I think I'm going to do something in the oil sector much later in the future. Maybe contract or something but I'll love to do something in the oil sector

How do you balance the two, schooling and acting?
I can say it's God. Its difficult, most especially when I stay in Lagos and my school is in Port Harcourt, but God has always been there for me

How do you cope?
When I have something to do in Port Harcourt I take a forty five minute flight there and come back
You said you've been dreaming of acting. There are millions of young girls out there dreaming of acting.

How come your own dreams come through?
I've always said that God has a time for everybody. It's just identifying your purpose, telling God what you want and Him giving you the right timing. I am a very prayerful person. I came into the industry at a very right time. When I came into the industry was when everybody wanted to see something new on screen. I think that was the right time for me to come in. So it work with God and right timing

You started in 2006. How many have you done now?
I've done a lot. I can't even count. If I say thirty two I might be wrong, If I say forty I might be wrong.

So your bank account is swelling?
(laughs)we thank God

Who gave you the break in acting?
It was the amaco companies that gave me the break

Which would you say is your most memorable moment?
It's not out yet. It's in epic. I've done it but it's not out yet. I've done it with uche elendu, uncle peter edochie, a lot of people. It was directed by chichi

Aside that, which movie would you say gave you the break?
I can't really say because, right from my first movie which was holy cross, a lot of people noticed me. As time goes on a lot of people, a lot of movies, so I can't really say for sure which one of them gave me the break and which is my most memorable.

How was it like on the set of yankee boys?
It was very good, I had fun. Even though it was more of a boy movie, a little or nothing did the girl had to play. It was a very wonderful set.

I'm sure you acted with heavy weight like that before?
Oh yeah, I have

Which actor I've you worked with that you liked?
It will be all of them, because I'm a very simple person. I'm a very very down to earth, simple, humble and honest person. Everybody I've worked with, I've always had a click.

Why didn't your parent object your going into acting?
Of course they did. My father didn't just like the idea but he didn't talk about it like you shouldn't. My stepmother has always been there for me, telling me that if that is what I wanted to do I should go ahead. Later, my father got used to the idea

How about your mum?
My mum is late. I lost my mum when I was three years old.

Has acting been fair to you?
Yes it has. I really thank God because I have not known hardship, I've not known struggle, I've not known what it is to be on a waiting list in nollywood, you know when you've to wait for your time to come. I just came in when the time was right

How did your path and the amaco brothers cross?
In amaa awards, after the next movie star in 2005 or 2006, I can't remember. I was introduced to the amaco brothers and after some test they knew I had the potential. That was it.

Next movie award, what was your experience like. Did you ever felt disappointed that you did not emerge the winner?
I never felt disappointed because I've always had the winning spirit. Even if I don't come out the first I'm still a winner. I'm still good at what I want to do. I was not disappointed. Moreover, the person who became the overall winner was a very good person.

I heard since you started acting you came into sudden wealth?
Laugh. Wealth is not something that happened today. I'm not going to talk much on that. I come from a background where we don't lack. Making money on my own, yeah. Having my own money yeah.

Were you in Lagos before moving to Port Harcourt?
No, I've always been in Port Harcourt. My family is still in Port Harcourt.

So, when did you relocate to Lagos?
It was seven, eight months ago.

I learnt all the actors in nollywood has been harassing you sexually?
Laugh loud. That's such a big lie. Everybody wants something good, it's not bad but I don't think that is going to happen

Will you date an actor?
Dating an actor is like dating any other guy. It's just that he's in the face of the public. If I'm in love with him, why not? I can date him. I mean if I get attracted to someone and I feel I might be able to fall in love with him. I'll date him.

Who are you in love with?
Not in the industry. He's a business man. Someday you'll know something about that

Any plan for marriage?
Like I said I'm not the regular girl who's going to lie because she's taking an interview. I'm going to say it as it is. Its not my thing for now. Maybe in future, but for now I don't.

Don't you think you will be missing something if you are not married?
God has created a man and a woman for companionship, but God also created a woman fully and a man fully. God has given a woman and a man what it takes to be alone. Even if I don't get married or I get married I'll still have the satisfaction that I need. I'm not saying I'm not going to get married neither I'm I saying I'm too young to get married but for now it's not my area of concentration

You will be missing a guy in bed?
Well, what makes you think the only thing a woman think of is going to bed. I'm not saying I wont get married.

Aren't you missing some of those things already?
No I'm not because I have friends I can actually run to. I have a boyfriend I can actually run to. And cry if I want to cry.

What about going to bed?
Laughs. I'll leave that for you to answer

Sexual harassment and the industry go hand in hand, what's your opinion?
Sexual harassment and human beings go hand in hand, sexual harassment and movie industry go hand in hand, and sexual harassment and music industry go hand in hand, sexual harassment and dance industry go hand in hand, sexual harassment and government industry go hand in hand. It's everywhere my brother. It's everywhere. Let's not be quick to judge the movie industry that sex and the movie industry go hand in hand. It's everywhere, among the rich, the average, and the drivers.

Then, how have you been coping with the one they've been throwing at you?
You handle it the way you want to handle it. I've been handling it very well, though I've had little or nothing of it.

What wouldn't you do for love?
I haven't thought about it.

What are the craziest things you've done for love?
I still can't tell. I can't really put a finger. I'm not sure.

How do you see love?
Love is crazy; love is something you can't define. Love is something you can't put your finger on. Love is don't ask why you are in love. My first definition of love is to not ask why you are in love

Tell me about your family?
I have a very lovely family. I'm from rivers state, Ukoro, Port Harcourt. I grew up with my father and after a while my father got married to a very wonderful woman who has been all I want in a mother. She's been a mother, everything. I'm from a very good Christian home. We are five from my mother.

What was growing up like?
Sometimes I actually sit down and I cry. The only reason I cry is that I wish I could go back to being a child. I wish I could feel the love, the attention and the care that I got when I was young. Growing up was everything that a child will dream of. My father really tried. He's a very strong man, doing that alone for those long years. He actually got married in 1995 so you can imagine. I'm not the first born. I'm the third I have two younger ones

How old are you?
My birthday was on June 9, 1985

At 23 you live alone, how often does a guy sneak in?
How often do I even stay around? The time I stay around is probably on work or the other

How far can you go with a guy on a bed?
That is very private and I'm not going to answer that

If you are ask to describe yourself what would you say?
I will say Tomto Dike is a very wonderful girl, talented, God-fearing, beautiful woman. I'm not a very friendly person. I myself even admit. I'm a focused person. A lot of people will say bitchy but I'll say strict.

What part of your body would you consider sexy?
I love my body, I love my lips, I love my eyes, I love my style. I think I love my lips so much

Will you do breast enlargement?
No, I'm endowed with it, so why should I?