By Rita Chioma
Former Mr. Nigeria, Emmanuel Ikubese is living his dreams. He has been climbing the ladder of success daily with his acting prowess. He was one of the lead actors in FIFTY, the top grossing movie in Nigeria today.
In this interview with Allure Vanguard, the Delta State born actor cum model talks about his role in the movie, FIFTY, love life, pet projects and lots more.
How has this year been for you?
I have been very busy, working and doing a lot of productions. It has been really great so far. I have also taken out time to do some of my personal projects involving my foundation. We have gone to several schools, taking out the messages against domestic violence and abuse. Some company endorsed me this year, so I’d be going to a lot of schools to do some stuffs for them. In all, 2016, has been so awesome.
You always preach against domestic violence and abuse, do you have any personal experience?
Well, I have not had any personal experience but I have some university days based experiences.
I have lots of friends, who were killed during domestic violence. The more I get involved in spreading the message against such, the more I get more personal with it.
I have met a lot of victims. When I see them in such a pitiable state, it gets to me so much that I just want to do more.
So far, have you been getting responses?
Yes, I have. But there’s still a lot of stigmatization that victims of domestic violence go through. Our campaign is trying to put an end to people keeping quiet. We are encouraging them to speak out against all forms violence, be it rape, abuse, etc. We want them to come out and tell their stories.
Once they open up and tell their stories, what does your organization do next?
I partner with a lot of agencies that help. I create awareness and the agencies follow up on the victims who speak out. Because right now, I don’t have those funding to take responsibilities for victims. So, the agencies do the needful to the victims that need help.
Running such time consuming campaign and at same time shooting lots of movies on different locations, how do you cope?
I hasn’t been easy, I must tell you. But once there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s something that I am very passionate about, both my career and my pet project.
Talking about passion and career, how come you played such raunchy role in the movie, Fifty?
(Laughs). What about it? Well, that’s one thing about me. I always try to bring in depth in every character I play.
But lots of negative comments trailed your character in that movie, how did you deal with it?
Well, I know that based on our society, they would not receive it with smiling faces and that got me worried. But funnily enough, I didn’t really get the kind of backlash as I had expected. So people understood what we were trying to display. People didn’t criticize me as much as I had expected.
Don’t you think it has put a question mark on your reputable image?
No never! That’s not Emmanuel but a character in a movie, so it can’t dent my image. Anybody who knows Emmanuel knows that I am so far away from that character I played in Fifty.
Did your parents frown at it at all?
My parents understood that it was me playing a character and they were okay with it. I look up to a lot Hollywood actors and one major thing I took from them is depth. The fact that my role in that movie got controversial, then I did it quite well. That’s my own judgment.
But can you ever date or marry an older woman?
No I can’t! It can’t even happen. I can’t do that.
Why, after all, they say age is just a number…?
Well, personally, I don’t think love is about age, as long as two people understand themselves, love themselves and willing to be together, age shouldn’t be an obstacle. Once there’s love, respect and communication, then they are good to go. But personally, I don’t think I can do it. Maybe someone that I am older than with 2-3 years, that’s the much I can do. I’m not against those that marry younger lover that’s women or men that date older women; it’s all about choice after all.
After you showed off the sexy side of you on the roles you play, women running after you would increase in numbers, how do you deal with them?
I have always had admirers, even before the movie Fifty. I have always had my way of dealing with them. It doesn’t change anything.
What’s the worst thing a female fan has done to you?
I have lots of female fans, jump up to me and give me a kiss right in the public. And I was like…’Ok…Ok’. But I just can’t embarrass them because they simply love me for what I do.
Do they also slide into your Direct Messages on social media to admire and probably send nude you pictures?
Of course, I do get that a lot. But not nude pictures though. I don’t think any female fan in her right senses would want to send me a nude picture. I know they do send though, but not to people like me. My image is not that corrupt for someone to try such.
But you often post bare-chest photos on social media, maybe, that would work as a signal to them. Don’t you think so?
Yes, I do, but I don’t do it for anybody in particular. It’s all about me. Ladies slide to my DMs to tell me how much they love me, how they desire to kiss me and make love to me, but not sending nude pictures.
How about guys? Do they also slide into your Direct messages to profess their love?
Yes they do! But I don’t encourage them to pass their boundaries.
Are you in a relationship right now?
Yes, I’m. In a very happy one.
So what’s your idea of love?
Love is that thing that you feel towards someone that makes him or her become family.