Before stardom, what was life like?
Well, before stardom, life was fun because I grew up in a neighbourhood where everything was quite interesting. I grew up where people rode bicycles on the streets. I was living with my parents when I was young. I grew up in Port-Harcourt and had all my education there. I got famous in Nigeria and maybe some part abroad. It wasn’t all that difficult because I had my parents with me. I didn’t know what money was. I didn’t even know what fame was. For me, the excitement was winning and being among the best. I started as a dancer. When I became famous, I was with my parents. At sixteen, I was still in secondary school and that was when the fame started. I believe that is what entertainment and talent is all about because there are youngsters who are in secondary and primary school that have become famous in the country. I guess I was also lucky because I was natural.
On your way to stardom, can you recall any awkward or embarrassing moment?
Life is always embarrassing but you take it and walk away. I cannot specifically recall any such moment but I know that I have had cases where incidents that I never committed had been reported and it went viral. I’ve also had a moment when I went late for an occasion where I was supposed to be the MC and I was asked to kneel down but they were my friends. An elderly brother had already kicked off the event and when I came in and was introduced, the old ladies made me kneel down to apologise. I didn’t really see it as embarrassing because we were all a family. It was awkward because by the time the wedding reception had started, I was just in the shower and I couldn’t believe that they left church so early.
Since you had almost everything at 16, how does that make you feel now?
Well, it helped a lot because it healed me. I’ve never seen this business as a business of fame. I’ve treated it as a job and that’s why I am calm about everything. I don’t get depressed and sad. Over the years, different experiences had taught me to always focus on the job. And of course, I feel happy I started my career at a young age.
Any form of challenges you came across?
Like I said, life is challenging and I can’t say that my road to stardom was a smooth and easy one. I’ve also interpreted my roles and earned my money. The job is tough, I cried, I get broke but I pick myself up and never bothered about gossips. A lot of people don’t like me because I am straight forward. I’ve been in the entertainment industry for 35 years and I have learnt a lot. I have learnt to overcome every form of challenge because they’d go away from time to time.