Chinedu Ikedieze (MFR), popularly known as Aki, is a household name in Nollywood and even beyond. The petite actor has featured in over 100 movies and is still counting. In this chat with YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine, the Mass Communication graduate of IMT, Enugu talked about his marriage, business and plans for 2014…
What are your plans for 2014?
I’m planning great for myself. I’m planning to as usual do a couple of things for myself or rather my movie production company and so many other things.
Are you planning to open a new movie production company or working on an existing one?
I have a movie production company already and I have a plan of releasing movies from the stable of my production company.
What were some of those notable achievements you had last year?
I’m alive, hale and hearty. I think that is the biggest blessing as far as I’m concerned.
What does it take to be a good actor?
It takes a lot. First of all, you have to be yourself and you must possess the talent. It is very important. You must have the love and flair because if you don’t love acting, you will find it very difficult to succeed as an actor. You need to know what acting is all about by creating love for it from the bottom of your heart and secondly, it is a must that you must be versatile. If you are not versatile, that means you can’t go far. You must be able to think of doing things that people would love and appreciate dearly.
Why do you think that most actors that started with you are nowhere to be found today?
I don’t know. Maybe my still standing is just by the grace of God. Honestly, I don’t know why because I don’t think I’m better than them. So, I think it is just the grace of God.
How has married life been?
It has been very good.
Of all the things God has done for you, which one do you treasure most?
Being alive and healthy and the wisdom He gave me.
Have you ever thought about why you were created in this form by God?
Am I the one that created myself? Why would I ask myself such a question? You can only ask such a question when you are frustrated about life or if you are tired of life. But in my own case, I am not. When you wake up in the morning and you are okay and happy and you have something to eat, you have people to smile at you and you smile back, then what else do you need? Then, you go to your bed, you sleep and you seldom visit the hospital, so which other gift is more perfect than that? As far as I’m concerned, that is the greatest gift. There are some people who have all the money, cars, houses and all the things they want, but they are sick; they don’t enjoy the money. So, the perfect gift for me is good health.
You have a radiating spirit, how have you been able to build on it for so long?
I don’t know. People say it though. So, if you like me, you can say what you like about me because I’m just me and I cant change anything about myself no matter how hard I try. I’m still me.
What is your success secret?
Putting God first and being me. My downfall will be when I try to be you. Because I can never be you.
Have you ever been embarrassed before?
Ha! Why not? And even if I have not, am I more than Jesus Christ? He passed through worse embarrassment. He was beaten and battered. So, who am I?
What are some of the movies you are working on currently?
So many good ones. You know most times, I don’t like letting the cat out of the bag. I like to do my things as they come because as you know, man proposes, but God disposes. So, if I wake up, anything I have in mind to do, I plan and write them down and that’s how I do my things.
There is this tale of breakup between you and Pawpaw. What is the truth about it?
We are not Siamese twins. We are men. So, I have my programmes and he has his own and that has made us not to be Siamese twins. He can only call me to ask if I would be at an event and I too can call him to ask and the answer would be yes or no. He is supposed to be here now, but he might be busy doing some other things, so people should try and understand that fact.
What is that thing about you that most people don’t know?
I don’t know.
You are a Member of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR), what is the joy in it?
The only joy in it is the recognition. When I’m travelling and I get to the airport, I get special preference and recognition. Apart from that, I don’t get any other thing. I don’t get paid, I don’t get any special benefit as an MFR. As an MFR, I hold the same position with some of those who are Members of the British Empire (MBE) and they have some special benefits in the international community and honourary recognitions. But those things are not here.
NB: First published March 2014