Anambra State born actress, Chika Ike Ebireri, popularly known as Chika Ike, is, no doubt, one of Nigeria’s hottest acts. The elegant and chocolate complexioned actress speaks with OKONKWO MIRIAM CHIDINMA… on her acting career and education. Excerpts:
What motivated your going into acting and what has sustained you in the profession?
I think basically it is beyond having a pretty face in the industry to be able to sustain you. You must have the interest or you must know your job and interpret you roles well. You must know acts, you must know the ethics of the job. And most importantly, you must know God because God is the one that sustains everybody’s career, sustains life. So, I give all the glory to God Almighty. And also to the fact that I am able to know my onions in the industry.
When you were pursuing stardom, what was your experience then?
The thing here is a gradual thing and you have to be patient. You have to work hard and you have to believe in God and believe in yourself for to get there.
What gives you inspiration then?
People around me, events that happen, movies I watch and situation in life, present and past, give me inspiration.
Is acting all you do?
Well, I am an entrepreneur, an actress, a student, yes, and I’m also a wife.
Is it true that you have a restaurant and a bar?
Yes, I have a restaurant and a bar.
How do you marry your career as an actress with the domestic roles of a wife, being a student and an enterprenuer?
Well, it is not easy but it is by the grace of God. Because he is the one that actually makes things happen and gives us the zeal to work hard. I just think you just have to try hard to make sure you keep your marriage. And also everything depends on God because it is God that keeps marriages. And you have to be prayerful over it because we are human beings. So, basically, I think it is not my effort, it is not my doing, it is God’s doing.
How would you assess education in Nigeria?
Education in Nigeria is good. We are doing very well. But I think much more need be done.
In what aspect?
Really, during my teaching practice, you know public school then, I saw a lot of things not in place. I think government should look into the public schools and try to put some things in place. The classroom is so poor. Students are sitting on the floor to have lectures. Government should look into that and build standard public schools.
What’s your discipline, your level and the year of your graduation?
By the grace of God, I’m hopeful that in two months time I will be writing my final exams. I’m in my final year. I’m studying Human Kindnesses and Health Education. Very soon I will be out from UNILAG by the grace of God.
How did you come up with the idea of your new website and how much did it cost you?
I actually did the skeletal part of the website because everything on that website I conceived the idea and gave it to the web designer. It was what I really wanted and I put my idea into the reality. So I think I did so much on the website. Then, in terms of cost, I don’t want to talk about the fee. It is personal.
Your happiest moment in life?
I have so many happy moments. I mean I am a very happy person. I have learnt something in life: you don’t cry over and over. You have no regret, you don’t feel bad, you just stay happy. It is very important to stay happy so people around you will be happy. I think the day I gave my life to Christ and the day I got married are exceptional to me.
How did you meet your husband?
I met him at a different event and in a different place and we bonded and details happened and now I have married to him.
What about the kids?
Right now, I’m in school. I think I will take my time until after school then I will start having my kids.
What are the qualities you saw in your husband?
My husband? He is a nice person. He has a nice heart.
Is he a public person?
No, he is not and I wouldn’t want to make him a public person. He should just remain reserved. I am a public person but I wouldn’t make him a public person.
Where do you cool off?
I love traveling a lot. I love to stay comfortably in my home, read books, watch movies and hang out with friends.
You do watch you own movies?
Yes, of course. I do watch my movies to learn from my mistakes and correct them because nobody is perfect.
Who are your best friends in the industry?
All my colleagues are my friends because you have to learn to work together on a job. But Queen Nwokoye is my very close friend.
Can you describe yourself?
I’m a girl next door. I’m a very blunt human being. I like things done in a certain way. I am very down to earth. I am a girl you can talk to and have good company in. I’m sure I can be confident because I can tell the truth as it is.
What would you like to take off in you?
You know what, whenever I get ask that question I always say that I don’t think I can change anything about myself because even if I want to change anything about myself it can’t be done. God that created me has a reason for creating me like this. I think I am wonderfully and perfectly made.
What’s the secret of your beautiful look?
I have no secret really. I just eat normally, exercise once in a while. I am very lazy when it comes to exercise. I take a lot of water, I pray to God. It’s just my normal routine and nothing extra.
What was the craziest thing you have done so far?
(Laughs) I have done some crazy things in my life but I can’t really remember. I can’t really think of one right now in this my condition: driving and talking.
Where were you born and what kind of upbringing did you have?
I was born on November 8 on a Friday at 4.45a.m. I come from a very strict home. My father is a disciplinarian. So also is my mum. They are grounded in Christ. We are a Christian family.
What about your Christian life?
Of course, I have to maintain my Christian life. I am also grounded in Christ. It is very important. You must have a spiritual life as a human being so you will be a balanced person.
What’s your dress sense?
Well, I love dressing very simply, classic and elegant. I mean I am very comfortable in my own skin. I am very comfortable being a very covering woman. Even if I have to dress sexy, I will but I love dressing simple, classic and elegant. Even if it is sexy, it has to be classic and not trashy.
One of the Ghanaian actresses said that Nigerian artists are nice but they are not too friendly. Is it true?
I believe that Nigerian actors and actresses are the most friendly people I have ever met. They are very nice people to work with. I don’t know why the person should judge us like that. I think it is a personal thing. From my own point of view, I think we are very nice people to talk to and work with. We don’t have issues. At least I can speak for myself.
Some upcoming artists are complaining that after auditioning they would not get the job but are instead asked to pay to be featured. Is it true?
I don’t really know about that. But being in the industry requires a lot of patience. It takes very good patience. My very first job I got I actually waited for four good months before the producer called me for the job. So, you have to be patient. It doesn’t come on a platter of gold . You have to be patient, work hard and keep trying.
What’s your most favourite role?
All my roles are good to me. I love all my roles because I learn from each role and make it different from others. They are all challenging and they are my favourite.