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Monday, February 3, 2014

INTERVIEW: The Man I Need - Chika Ike

THE MAN I NEED in my next marriage – Chika Ike
Which actress has worked hard amidst distractions and other challenges and still found time to unwind? Certainly there are many of them and Chika Ike is among them. During the New Year she charged the atmosphere in the entertainment industry when she travelled to Abu Dhabi for her break
and kept many tongues wagging. Chika is like the proverbial cat with nine lives as she’s grappling with a failed mar- riage which has not prevented her from exploring her talents. She started as a model, then ventured into business with her outfit called Fancy Nancy. Today she is the most sought-after actress in Nol- lywood. The Anambra-born actress who has put her failed marriage behind her and moved on with her life is unrelent- ing in her career and she was recently vested with the title of Akwa Ugo 1 of Amuri Kingdom in recognition of her industriousness and philanthropy. In this interview with Christian Agadibe, Ms
Ike talks about lessons she learnt from her first marriage and other
issues. Excerpts:
You actually charged the entertainment industry with
your recent trip to Abu Dhabi . What motivated it? 
Usually, every year, I take a vacation, because I feel haven
worked so hard all through , I deserve a break. As they say all work and not play makes “Chika a dull girl”. I just had to take a time out and whenever I do, I make sure I rest very well. I don’t know why it has been all over the whole nation, but I had fun.
Don’t you think it’s extravagant? 
Whose money? Is it not the money I worked hard for? Did anybody give me? I have worked hard and I deserved every bit of the luxury I enjoyed over there and I can proudly say that. I will do it over and over again because I deserve it.
You have become the most sought-after actress right now in Nollywood. What’s the secret?
Honestly, it has to do with a lot of things, but most importantly God and hard work which is very important. God has been on my side, because beyond hard work, I have to give glory to God who keeps me alive and strengthens me. In addition, my fans have been wonder- ful. You can buy anything, but you can`t buy acceptance. My fans are interested in me and they want to see more of me, they want to watch me in movies and that`s how I get more jobs too.
Why were you honoured re- cently with a title?
I was given the title of Akwa Ugo 1
of Amuri Kingdom It was basically in recognition of my contribution to the advancement of Igboland and culture and my philanthropy.
What does it mean to you ?
It means I should just keep working hard. It means people appreciate and recognise my hard work. I am making my people and my country proud and I’m very glad about that. It shows that I’ve started giving back to the society.
So, what would you say is your greatest achievement so far?
I have a lot of achievements which
I am thankful for , but the greatest my career has brought me is being able to touch lives with my platform. I think I have been able to give a voice to the voiceless. I have been able to give back in my little way to the society.
How did your childhood prepare you for stardom?
I come from a closely-knit family. I was given everything I wanted in terms of education, food, clothing and all. I won`t say I come from supper-privileged background, but we were comfortable. My mother is my role model because she is very charitable. My mother taught me that life is not all about taking from people. You have to also give to people and touch lives. The greatest thing you have to do in life is to give back, so that people can remember you.
How have you given back to society?
I have done a couple of things with my foundation, Chika Ike Foundation , whose focus is children on the streets . We’ve supported them in Lagos, Enugu and Asaba for instance.
What is the worst scenario that ever brought you close to tears?
I once met a girl while I was filming in a remote village. Unlike other kids
who said aunty take a picture with me, aunty buy me this or that, the girl walked directly to me and asked me “Aunty, I want to go back to school.” I asked if she was in school and she was like I am living with my uncle and my parents are dead and I have been staying at home for several months. She was just crying. I was like every child will ask you for sweet, biscuits etc, but this girl at 8 years old was in need of education. I was almost shed- ding tears , but I gave her scholarship to university level.
Did you have to support your family during your child- hood?
I didn’t come from a wealthy family, but we are comfortable. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Anything I have today basically was through hard work and grace of God. It was tough, because we were initially comfortable , but things were difficult at some point and dad couldn’t pay my school fees.
I had to support my family by selling shoes and bags. Most people don’t know the story behind Fancy Nancy my business, they don’t even understand the background. I assisted my aunty who has a boutique and sold some shoes for her and I made a little profit to pay my school fees. At some point too , I started modelling to support my family and siblings.
Initially what was your ambition?
I did many things that were en- tertainment inclined. I was a dancer and model too. When I entered secondary school, my friends and parents told me that they wanted more from me. Although I was a science student and I passed my exams in flying colours, I realised that I still had that passion for en- tertainment. During my days in the university, I started going for acting auditions. I even registered for modelling just for me to fulfil my passion and to assist my family.
If somebody is to write your biography now, what part of it would you like to erase?
I have been through a lot of things, good and bad, and they have made me who I am today. It’s been my stepping stone and made me the woman I am today. I cannot erase that. I don’t regret anything.
At what point did you take a decision that changed your life?
I have taken many decisions in my life; career-wise, marriage-wise and generally as a human being. I take many decisions daily.
What has life taught you?
I have come to realise that several things whether good or bad, that I en- counter in life, were designed to make me sit-up . Nobody is perfect; there is nobody who doesn’t have a rough background.
Aside being an actress, who is Chika Ike?
I’m a very good person and I am out- spoken about what I stand for. I’m focus and determined. Whatever I set my mind on doing, I achieve it no matter what anybody thinks.
What are your challenges as a celebrity?
There are lots of challenges I face as a celebrity. Sometimes, I feel like staying at home and doing nothing. I’m always challenged about my goals and I achieve them.
Has Chika found love again?
That is private. I don’t like too much publicity. When it is about to happen then my fans will know.
What lessons did you learn from your previous marriage?
I have learnt to be patient and that there’s a limit to everything. I have also learnt that I deserve the best and no one should make me feel better than who I am. I’ve also learnt to forgive and let go.
If you had an opportunity to recon- cile with your ex-husband would you ?
No, I won’t. He’s in the past and I don’t want to go back to him. I have forgiven him and let go. I don’t want to talk about my past.
How do you handle your male fans?
Everybody wants to date me, marry  me, be my best friend, etc but I just have to draw a line and respect myself. What kind of man would you like to settle down with? The key is happiness. I don’t want
to say a God fearing, kind, lovely, tall man etc. Those are clich├ęs. I just need someone who will understand me and make me happy.
What is your best colour?
None, I just like bright colours, rich colours e.g, gold, black, red.
Why do you like such col- ours?
They’re bold and attractive to me.
How much does it cost you to dress well?
I can’t really say what it costs me to dress daily. I just like good clothes. Quality handbags, good shoes, and acces- sories. I like looking good generally. I like everything, jewellery and handbags.
Which part of your body do you like most if you are to flaunt it?
Every part of my body is nice and attractive .
I thank God for creating me very attractive . I have no bad part. I am just okay and generally sexy.
Source: The Sun