Getting Jim Iyke Esumogba for an interview has been a long chase. In between movie sets abroad and running his foundation,the actor has been busy. The University of Jos graduate , opened up on things close to his heart.Few know he was born in Gabon Libreville but not a few have dubbed him Nollywood ‘bad boy’ however love or hate him; Iyke continues to enjoy a rising profile amidst several controversies.
As the only African on the set of ‘Between Kings and Queens’ what was the experience like for you?
I saw it as a cultural exchange of some sorts. I was basically the only African in the movie but you know the way thespians are , inregardless of the colour .We think alike, we are one minded people ,we are uniformed in our approach to things so in no time it was easy for me to blend in and work together to make things happen. The truth is that the key ingredients when shooting a movie is the talent and relentless effort of the director. It was easy to work and hang around with some really cool people.
You seem to be involved in a lot of international movies lately, any reasons for this?
Yeah ,I’ve not been featuring lately in the homemade movies and it’s a sort of PR gimmick but it’s all about doing quality works. Although Nollywood has not enjoyed the full support of its people and the government as it should, Nollywood still has a lot to catch up with , It’s always humbling when I go outside the country and see lots of cool things , it gladdens my heart.I’ve been away for close to 3 months and trust me there is no comparison at all. ‘Between Kings and Queens’ is my third movie shot abroad .
Have you tried your hands on movie making?
I own a production company called Untamed Productions, which is the film arm of the Untamed Franchise. We have made two movies this year ‘Two Dollars’ and ‘Shades of White’. We decided to do premiere tours in the United States and so far we have done 8 cities. We just finished our Greenwich, London premiere as well and it was highly successful. The turnout in each of the cities has been amazing and beyond my imagination. We will be starting the premiere tour of ‘Shades of White’ soon after which I will rest for two weeks and rest.
You seem to be at the centre of controversies lately, why do you think this is so?
Things are happening very fast .It also happens that I like to operate under the radar of the media right now. The last few months has not been funny for me .I think there has been a calculated attempt by certain people to mar my person so I’ve grown rather apprehensive especially with the media. It also unfortunate, that some people judge me by my movie roles.
What has been happening to your foundation?
It’s doing great. If you have been following our activities we just had an 8000 children’s march in Abuja. Between work and pro bono it’s a long stretch. I deal with the work first, after which the foundation comes. I have a reality show called Jewel for Jim and it’s picking up momentum. We intend to start soon as soon as we put pen on paper with the networks involved. I intend to donate part of the proceedings to charity and my foundation. A lot has been happening like I said and I don’t just like to sit down and talk about it with the media it’s that simple.
Why are you perceived as aggressive by some people?
I think it’s outrageous when people judge you according to what you act. It’s only in a country like ours that things like this happen. You can’t seek redress in court because the junk journalists know the inefficiency of the Justice system .In a country , where objective journalism is missing , anything goes .
Any updates on your music career?
I just wanted to play and have a little bit of fun and create a company/record label and I suceeded . I like to do things that are fun and release once in a while and music is one of them .I plan to sign up more artistes but my plate is full right now. I have so much work to do but as soon as things lessen on my plate , that will be the first thing I will do.