Nollywood starboy, Collins Ejike is one actor that always warms the hearts of his fans with fantastic character interpretation in all of his movies, this is judging by the way his fanbase has increased tremendously over time. He has earned the respect of fans and colleagues alike, due to his reserved personality and his ability to remain scandal free in the industry all these years.
News Echo crew got a chance to have a chit chat with him as he warms up to celebrate yet another birthday, and he had so many inspiring things to say. Below are excerpts of the interview for your reading pleasure.
First and foremost, your birthday is in a few days (Dec. 13th). What and what are you most grateful for? And how are you celebrating?
Well, to start with, the date is wrong. My birthday is on the 12th of December, I don’t know why people make that mistake. I don’t know who updated that, but that is not my date. I am first of all grateful for life, and to God for bringing me this far and keeping me in good health to celebrate another birthday. I am really grateful.
You have become very popular in nollywood, and considering the number of movies you have featured in, may we know how the journey has been?
Well, the journey has been interesting, and as we all know that nothing good comes easy. And in a journey of achieving greatness in your career or bringing your destiny to reality, there should be ups and downs, and making yourself available and being able to withstand whatever the challenges may be is what makes you strong. But I think what you should do first of all, is to have the passion, which is the drive. Not even having the popularity in mind because that is the secondary part of it. The primary part should be the impact you are willing to make in society, among your fans and the people who will follow in your footsteps.
Can you tell us about the most challenging aspect of your career and how you always deal with the challenges?
The most challenging part of my career has been starting. Starting is always the most difficult part of every journey, as we all know that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Starting is the most difficult part of it, knowing where to start from, knowing who to tag along with, or places to go, being at the right place at the right time for the right movies, these are the most important challenges you will have from the beginning, and then you have to endure for the light to shine upon you because it’s a journey you can’t even tell when it will come to light.
It is not a business that you can know how much to invest to get the return you desire. You require patience, manpower, and you have to be very very prayerful because prayer is the key to anything anyone would want in life. So, I think starting was the challenging part, then working hard towards the goal is the next thing, which is not an easy road to thread.
A lot of people look up to you as a role model, does this knowledge often affect some of the things you do? Please share
No, No. It doesn’t. Rather it helps you to continue to do the right thing and also know that you are not for crime. Anybody who is in the eyes of the public is not for crime. I will advise that anyone who is aspiring to become a public person or a celebrity in the world should know that he/she must tread the right path. Keep your seat clean. So, it doesn’t affect me, instead it helps me to pay more attention to the things I may find not worthy enough to give my attention to, especially because I know I’m a role model to thousands of people out there, I should be able to live by example, so it doesn’t affect me.
You will agree with me that Nigerians are passing through a lot in terms of our present economic situation and it is becoming increasingly difficult not to cross moral lines. What do you think of survival instincts and how far can one go to survive?
You see, this issue is not peculiar to Nigeria. There is alot going on all over the world. It brings me to what the bible says about training up children in the way they should go, so that when they get old, they will not depart from it. Let me approach it from this angle, over the years while growing up as an adult, I have had to deal with a lot of things by myself without parents or guardians.
It taught me one thing, that apart from home training given by your parents, personal training is also very important. Why am I saying this, I can boldly say that since I started looking out for myself, I have never been involved in any clandestine situation that will require my parents running down to where I am, be it police case or any trouble at all, my personal upbringing has helped me to achieve that.
And I always have in mind in this life that nobody owes you anything, so whatever comes from anybody is an addition to whatever you can give to yourself. So, with that mentality I have, it helps me to scale through the situation that the entire world and Nigeria is today. When you don’t have parental upbringing and personal upbringing, you tend to do anything to survive. But I want to use this opportunity to tell anyone who believes they can only survive through crime that it is not correct, if you work hard and believe and remain focused, you will make it and be happy for the rest of your life.
Tell us about your other interests apart from acting?
Well, I have always known that apart from acting, I am still going to end up as a director, aside from other businesses I must have established for myself to help me beef up my financial stability. I think in the future I will become a director. That should be my retirement position, as we all know that in the industry we have no pension or gratuity, one should therefore plan for retirement. For me, becoming a director should come later in life and it should be for my retirement.
What do you really look forward to achieving in a few years from now?
I look forward to achieving more greatness, becoming an icon and a household name in the industry, positively, if I may add. And also, teaching, influencing and preaching to my fans all over the world through my craft.
Tell us about a very low point in your life, and how you managed to pull through.?
There have been many low points in my life, but it has always been God, and staying true to myself, telling myself the truth when necessary and not trying to shy away from reality. So, I’m open, and I wouldn’t say that a very low point in life will not come because life is full of ups and downs, but when it does come, God will always give me the wisdom to scale through that moment and overcome it.
How is life as a family man? Does your job often affect your relationship with your family? Tell us what works most for you
No, my job does not affect my life as a family man or my relationship, and right now, I would not want to speak about matters relating to marriage or my personal life please. Thank you.
Once again, Happy Birthday, and one last question. If you were to make a birthday wish, what would it be?
Thank you very much. You see, this particular day every year is always a day of mixed feelings for me. I feel happiness and sadness on that day, but I still have to deal with both of them together. I still remain happy because I am alive today. So if I should make a wish, I should pray that God brings back my mother because this was exactly the same day my mother left this wicked world. That has always been my birthday wish, but I know that is not possible, so I remember my mother on this day, and I also thank God for my life, and I move on.