Interviews | 11 November 2006 08:04 CET

Jim Iyke, Nollywood’s sex symbol

By

Apart from being one of the sexiest actors in Nollywood, Jim Iyke is one of the most talented male actors in Nigeria. His bad boy roles and the way he plays them seem to have made him the toast of a lot of ladies. The 28 years old actor who currently went into philanthropy said he had to leave his banking job in order to pursue a career in acting. At the beginning, his decision did not go down well with his strict parents who ended up sending him packing. The actor does not regret his decision as acting has definitely paid off for him. Today, he is one of highest paid actors in the country

Could you introduce yourself please

My name is Jim Iyke; I am an actor, a producer, a business man and recently a philanthropist.

You said you recently went into philanthropy can you give us a brief insight into it

It's called the Jim Iyke foundation for disabled children, visually disability as well as others, basically all we do is to get celebrities from all over the world together and raise money through parties' galas, symposiums getting them involved for the kids. We would also organize auction, putting up a celebrity for sale and the money we will get from the auction would be used to fund the foundation. This is how the auction is going to work, that we will bring in a well known international star into the country and put him or her up for sale and the highest bidder gets to spend time with the star. We will use the money from all the activities to perform corrective surgery for the kids. I will be working with a team of young surgeons in New York who will be performing the needed operations basically for free. I have been running around making arrangements for the take off.

Do you think Nigerians would be interested in such a thing.

You would be surprised; Nigerians like to have fun and they like to give to a worthy course.

Can you give us a brief summary of your background.

I am the only boy in a family of six girls, nothing really extraordinary about my background. I came from a very regular Nigerian family and I was brought up with strict discipline. My mum was and is still a strict disciplinarian and made sure we were all on the right path. I left my banking job to pursue a career in acting. Before I became an actor I used to work in Union bank but after a while I got bored with it and resigned my appointment.

You are just 28

What do you mean by just 28. In my 28 years on earth I have being able to achieve a lot and to me, age is not just and besides its just a number.

For someone who loves his privacy, how have you been able to cope with losing it.

For one as capricious as me, I do not see it as been palatable. Let me give an instance, recently I went to Portugal and expected to enjoy a degree of anonymity, have some fun and get away with very naughty things that a young man does when far from home, and come home quietly. It wasn't to be. I got to this nightclub and you know what, people recognized me almost immediately and started screaming. The D.J was pronouncing my name wrongly and I didn't hear half of what they were saying. I virtually ran back into my friend's car. As soon as we were away he said dude, you are the wrong guy to hang out with and that was that. Let me give you another instance, about three years ago, before things got worse, I had to drive my mum to buy some things in the market. It turned into a parade with people trying to touch me and surrounding me. Before I knew it I had thrown some of the stuff we had came to buy away so I could make an escape, ran into the car and sped off home. I had to send someone else to go and pick her back home. By the time she got home instead of being mad at me, she was sorry for me and she asked how I cope with my new found fame. So you see, it has not been much fun.

Other sites The Nigerian Voice