Despite being a handsome and stylish guy, Tinsel star, Kalu Ikeagwu is still single. And guess what, he is not in a hurry to tie the knot! In this chat with CHRISTIAN AGADIBE, he opens up on his child hood, acting and how he defied his dad to pursue his lifelong dream, and of course, why he is still single at his age. Excerpts:
What are you currently working on?
I just finished lecturing youths at the Centre for Media Development and obviously I am on Tinsel. I have a movie I am also working on but I can’t disclose much at the moment; I’ll be working in Benue State. I am doing some research on the project right now.
Aside being an actor, who is Kalu Ikeagwu?
I am a man who’s very passionate about what he does. I am an educator and I write as well. By nature I am an introvert. I like to think a lot and seek to know what life is all about. I like to travel a lot as well. The reason being that I see travelling as another way of educating myself; I love experiencing the diverse cultures of the world.
What was your growing up like?
Growing up was very interesting. It’s the result of what I am today. I spent my childhood in England. My dad insisted on my learning an indigenous language, which is Igbo. I lived in Zambia, Cameroon and England before I came back home so I got to experience diverse cultures. Back home, I was thrown into boarding school which was very traumatic for me because I wasn’t used to it, so I ran away from school.
You ran away from school?
Yes, I went to six different schools here in Nigeria. I ran away because it was very stressful. All of a sudden I began to fetch water and go to the stream alongside all sorts of punishment. It was traumatic! I was pretty young and I missed my family especially my mum. I did all I could to get back to them and refused to go to school in protest. Incidentally, most of the time I spent outside the classroom I spent in the library. The library was my hideout where I read all the things I know today. Those years were very formative. I knew how painful it was to do something you didn’t want to. Instead of being the medical doctor my dad wanted me to be, I got into acting because I knew that I could only excel when I did things I had a passion for.
Were your parents in support of your acting career?
My dad never stopped me from acting but he wanted me to be a doctor. My father forced me to do science subjects which I didn’t really like so I ran away from school for four years. I didn’t go to school and policemen were looking for me. Incidentally, for every day I spent outside the classroom, I spent in the library reading stuff I loved. I told my dad I wanted to study English Literature and we had a huge fight over that but at some point he relented and asked me to go for law instead but I said ‘no, it’s English Literature or nothing!’. And he never questioned it after that.
How did he feel when you became a successful actor?
My dad is late. He died before he saw my works. I think he knew that I was definitely going to make it probably from the way I worked. I didn’t think he had any doubts. The rest of my family has been very supportive.
Are you still single?
Yes I am.
Are you in a relationship right now?
I will not answer that right now.
Most of your fans would like to know why you are still single…?
Do I want to get married? Yes. But that would be when I find the right person; I mean that person I love so much and want to spend the rest of my life with; that’s when I’ll settle down.
What challenges are you facing finding Miss Right?
The reason why I am not married now is that marriage is very important to me. I have come to terms with the fact that marriage is the most important institution from God. And I take that very seriously. Ultimately I would like my relationship with my wife to be like that between God and the church; that’s why it is important to me. I wouldn’t say it’s been challenging though. I have gone through a lot of experiences that made me wise. When I get married, my experiences would make me a wise, good and a loving father.
What are those qualities you look out for in a woman?
I like a woman with a great sense of humor; that’s very important to me. And of course, she has to be very attractive and intelligent. Above everything else she should have a close relationship with God because that’s very important to me as well. That’s exactly why I am yet to get married. I want to be successful in my marriage just as I am in my career.
There are lots of pretty girls in the industry. Would you like to marry an actress?
If she is the kind of person I need, why not?
How would you assess Nollywood today?
Nollywood today is doing very well. We have come a long way. We are going through changes though we have made our mark. We have done it with our own money without government support. We have been able to do it because it’s something we believed in. I see a great future for Africa.
What’s been your happiest moment as an actor?
I think one of the happiest moments I’ve had so far was the day I went shopping and a lady walked up to me and thanked me profusely for showing men how to be caring and loving, due to the characters I portray; that was really touching for me.
How do you handle females pressuring you for a date?
It feels great to be adored by women but at the same time one has to be careful. They make me feel I am important to them and that makes them important to me. I accommodate and respect them as much as possible but on a cordial level, I can only love one woman.
Can you act nùde?
I have no problems going nude as long as it is required in a script. What matters to me is the message I am passing. If the message to be passed is important then I will go nude; I have no problem with that.
What is your advice for up-and-coming actors?
For up-and-coming actors, my advice is, don’t do it for the money or fame. Do it because you love what you are doing; do it because you have passion for it.