August 3rd, 2014 – Nigerian Actress Chika Ike Says She Is Stubborn & Happy About It
In a recent chat with The Entertainer, Nollywood actress-turned movie producer Chika Ike talked about her relationship, current project and other issues.
Read the interview excerpt below:
You’ve done it all and seen it all. What are the tips to being a successful actress?
Focus; you must be focussed. You must know what you want to do. Some people come to the industry and end up getting confused. You also need to be patient and careful or else, you might get discouraged. You need to be hard working and take your job seriously. I keep saying that if you want to succeed, you should have a superior being behind you which you worship because beyond us, there is only God. You also need to persevere and tolerate.
Have you ever regretted acting any role before?
I am my greatest critic. I always put my best into my works but most times when I watch them, I get very critical. Once you start feeling that you did it best, you know it all, or that you have arrived, that will be the beginning of a long and painful downfall. Always have this feeling that you should have, could have done it better.
You have done a lot of movies, which would you say is the most challenging?
I have done a lot of challenging movies. Mrs Teacher, my recent movie, is one of the most challenging because I had to hide behind a character and live someone else’s life while I was torn between production and acting; it was really my most challenging movie ever.
What inspired your drive into movie production?
Mrs. Teacher is an advocative movie. As you all know I have a foundation, the Chika Ike Foundation, which is focused on street kids. So I wanted society to see through this movie, the plight of street kids so they could witness what these kids go through on a daily basis first hand. Mrs. Teacher is an advocative movie dedicated to the African child on the street. I wanted to tell his story from his own point of view.
You seem to have a passion for kids. How come you don’t have a kid of your own?
I am still very young even though the impression people have is that I am old. My manager once told me ‘Chika, slow down; you are still a young girl’ so I am still young in some sense. Definitely, someday I will have a child of my own but in the main time I see all street kids as my kids.
What are your challenges as a producer?
I have done a lot of movies in my career but producing is not easy at all. One of the challenges I faced was funding; funding is a big challenge. We shot during the rainy season and whenever it rained, we stopped shooting. I also shot it in a ghetto community; I never knew I had so many fans until I got there.
Hmmm…You have a passion for kids, what are you doing about the BringBackOurGirls campaign?
I have done things; I have been all over social media talking about it. We have to speak out because nobody wants their child, sister, cousins, nieces or daughters to get kidnapped. It is really heart breaking to know that these kids are yet to be reunited with their families. We all feel bad about it. I feel terrible that I can’t go there to rescue them myself; it’s so scary.
What is the hardest part of being a celebrity?
Like I always say, it is your privacy. Everyone will want to be in your business and it could be challenging. It is your private life and you can’t live it fully. You have to be cautious all the time because unlike before, when you could do whatever you wanted, now you’re in the public glare. You can’t express yourself and relax because you have it at the back of your mind that you have a lot of fans looking up to you, watching your every move.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
I have been through a lot in my career but I have not had any serious or major embarrassment lately; that was in the past. But I don’t call them embarrassment though. I once had a fan who almost kissed me and many over excited fans were all over me.
Recently there was this rumour on the internet that you are bisexual and your fans lambasted the blogger who started it all. How do you handle such news?
It depends on the nature of the speculations; it is not every situation you address. Once you aspire to be a celebrity, you know that there are some things which you should address and those you just ignore.
You have since moved on after your marriage crashed, what can you say about your love life, has Chika found love again?
(Laughs) I will say that I have found love in Mrs. Teacher, my new project. It has been wonderful so far because it is something that I am passionate about. I am eager to see the outcome of the movie. I am so in love with it.
When is your movie coming out?
Sometime in September. We are currently in the editing and post-production stages. It will be ready by September.
Your new look is stunning. What inspired it?
It is my new pattern of doing things; I do not know why many Africans think adding weight means one is sick or something. I have devised this new style because health is wealth and health is very important. I even did Human Kinetics & Health Education in School ao I know what I am talking about. I have always threaded the part of staying healthy.
Many top actresses have insured their boobs or done cosmetic surgery to enhance their looks. How far could you go to remain beautiful?
I have good genes, I love the way I am. I don’t think I will consider cosmetic surgery but I am not against those wanting to look pretty through cosmetic surgery; it is a personal decision; I feel so secure in my skin.
Assuming you get a second shot at marriage, could you marry someone from the industry?
Well, different strokes for different folks. Personally, I wouldn’t want my lover to be in the same industry with me so that we can have a balanced family. I can’t even imagine marrying somebody having my type of schedule; it will be difficult to manage. And that’s the reason I admire Joke Silva and Olu Jacobs; it is amazing how they have handled it over the years.
When Mr. Right finally comes along and it turns out you’re going to be his second wife, would you play along?
No, I do not want to be anybody’s second wife. But as I said earlier, ‘it’s different strokes for different folks.’ I’d rather be the first and only wife.
You migrated from fashion to acting, and then you moved into entrepreneurship and now you’re into movie production, and all these you did seamlessly. What is your next frontier?
Maybe, I should go into Real Estate because that is where the big money is; my eyes are in that direction. Hopefully, that will be my next drive. I just love beautiful houses and I heard it has good investment opportunities.
What would you attribute your success to?
Hard work; nothing was handed to me on a platter of gold. To succeed, it is important that one have the grace of God in Him. Be hard working, patient, and persevere. You need to keep on struggling and never give up because people will hate you in whatever way.
Have you ever failed in life?
Of course, I have failed in life. The problem is not in failing, it is in getting up. We all in life have had setbacks but the ability to move on is what matters. I have had setbacks and I have failed. I have had failed relationships, businesses and opportunities. It is not just about failing but the ability to get yourself back on track and move on.
Who are the big names on your production?
We have Liz Benson, Joseph Benjamin and a dozen new cast. I had to get fresh talents; that was why I did an audition.
Asides acting, who is Chika Ike?
I will speak in the third person. She is focussed, calculative, not very patient, working on that, and she is very determined. She could be the girl next door and she could also be that neighbour you do not ever want to offend.
If I am to write about Chika Ike, what aspect of you would you want me to erase?
No part because I think every part makes me. Like me being stubborn, happy and just being me. I am quite stubborn but that is what makes me.
Very blunt lady!