Many have described her as The Queen of Soaps because of her role in the popular soap opera, Family Circle. To many, she is just an actress, but Ronnie Dikko is many things rolled into one. She is a serious businesswoman doing little acting by the side. The beautiful and very much single actress hosted SAMUEL OLATUNJI and they had this conversation.
You were so warm and humble when I spoke with you on phone. Is that you or another acting side of you?
That is me. I don’t have any airs around me. I don’t need to behave to please you. Form any impression you want to; I just want to be me. That is me. I don’t see any reason why I have to be arrogant or proud. It is even against the scripture, though I’m not a fanatic. I hate it when people don’t allow me to be me.
You travelled to France and the UK and you just came back from America. What were you looking for?
It is what everybody is looking for; I am looking for what to eat. I am trying to open a boutique, so I need to go get some goods for the. As you know, I’m into so many things. I act, I romance politics and I do business, I chase contracts. If I have opportunity to do bakery, I’ll even do it.
Maybe that accounts for your absence on the scene?
For a long time, I’ve been behind the scene. After Family Circle, I went behind the screen to start producing. When you are producing, you don’t have to be in front of the camera. I took part in another soap opera, Spider. The soap is on AIT. I’ve been doing a lot of documentaries for lots of people.
People predicted that you would explode on the home video scene after Family Circle. What slowed down your growth home-video wise?
I said when I left Family Circle, I went behind the scene. The thing about people is that when they don’t see you on the scene again, they think you are not progressing. But that is not true. The way I was then is not the way I am now. There are core professional actresses; they can’t do any other thing. So, you find them in almost every production because there is nothing else for them to do. I don’t fall into that class. You can’t say I retrogress after Family Circle.
Before the soap, I wasn’t living in this house (at Lekki); I wasn’t driving the type of car I’m driving now. I didn’t even have my office. After the soap, I did Time out with Ronnie, and other three programmes. I’m not a core actress, and I’m not a home video person. Though I took part in ‘When the sun set’ which was one of the earliest movies in Nollywood. Mind you, I was a MD of a company when I took part in Family Circle. I’ve worked in a consultancy firm. I didn’t study Dramatic Arts. Acting is not my specialization, though I really loved acting. In those days though, it was not organized, the pay was peanuts. It wasn’t fulfilling for me. Core professionals waited and they are okay but the likes of me had to leave.
What were those works you produced when you, left Family Circle?
Soaked Scarlet, Caretaker, Comedy Tonight and Time Out with Ronnie took me everywhere.
What has acting done for you?
It has given me exposure even outside Nigeria. And there are some places where I would have knocked and knocked, but with acting, the door opened on its own.
How does it feel when people wrote that you dated some bigwigs?
That is their problem. One would get nowhere if you listen to all these things. Is it not unfair that people alleged I’m dating all these people because I’m not married?
So you did not date Orji Kalu?
Do I even know him? People wrote that he bought me a Prado Jeep. I’m yet to see a Nigerian man that is that generous. That is how some people scatter all these big people’s home. The man’s wife might be fighting with him, whereas he did not even know me. We only went to do one festival in Abia State then and I happened to be part of the committee. The closest I got to him was when he shook my hand. So, how did I know Orji Kalu? I used to believe everything I read on the pages of newspapers until I read those things about myself.
What of IBB, Adisa and Abacha?
I went to interview a minister when his daughter was getting married and IBB was there and I interview him too.
The reason people say all these things is because I featured all these people on ‘Time Out with Ronnie’ which was running on AIT then. They even said I was dating Raymond Dokpesi who is my cousin. Will you say all the people Charly Boy too interviewed slept with him? Is it because I’m a woman? It is not true that there is no smoke without fire.
Despite the fact that you played the role of a family person in Family Circle, why is it that you are not yet married?
It’s not my making that I’m still single. Certain things are not people’s making. If I have my way, I would have been married a long time ago. That is not to say I’ve not been offered marriage. In fact, I’ve gone close to it, but I backed out. I just don’t want to do things because people are doing them. I have friends that are married but not happy. I have people who married just about anyone that came across them because of society pressure. I would have done that but I knew the implications. Marriage is a lifetime thing. It should make me happy. I won’t tell you that I enjoy being single. I don’t. And I’m not into these women liberation thing. I believe that it is not good for a man to be alone. I want to go out and have somebody to discuss the day with when I get home. I don’t enjoy it and I pray that I don’t remain like this till I die. I don’t want to be alone.
It is generally believed that rich women can now buy themselves husbands. Why don’t you buy yourself one?
I’m a typical African woman; I cannot spend my money on a man. I grew up where men give women money. I am not ashamed to say my brother Raymond Dokpesi still gives me money. He is my senior cousin. I’ve never gone out with a man that cannot take care of me in the true sense of the word. I’m a typical African woman. It is not that I cannot assist my man when we are married but my man must be able to take care of me.
Are you in a relationship now?
Oh yes. Or do you have a boyfriend you want to give me?
Will it lead to the altar?
Leave that one. God will bring my own husband for me.
Can you date a man without the promise of marriage?
Yes, it is in those days that I’ll say I cannot. I can’t be doing that at this age.
But you are a Christian.
I told you I’m not fanatical. My church would frown against it and give many biblical references. The church would say you should just stay and not have a boyfriend, but I don’t believe in that. I’ve done it before, I cannot do it again. I was very much into church sometimes before. I went two years without a boyfriend, I refused every entreaties. I said no until God gives me my husband, maybe I didn’t try it well, but now, I cannot do it again. With this age I cannot do it again.
Can you be a second wife?
No, I cannot. I don’t like polygamy.
When you are tempted in the manner of women, what do you do?
You mean biologically?
But I’ve just told you that at this age, I cannot say I won’t have a boyfriend. At the age at which I am now, one would need to satisfy some biological needs, I cannot stay just like that.
People alleged that you dated Nobert Young due to your role in Family Cycle?
That is good. It means we played our role well. Nothing happened between us. Acting is make-believe. So, if people alleged that we were dating, it means we did it well.
Tell me about your master’s programme.
I’ve finished my Masters Degree at the University pf Lagos and I obtained my first degree from the University of Ilorin.