Written by Adie Vanessa Offiong
Ikechukwu Mitchel Ogbonna, popularly called Ik Ogbonna, was raised in Jos where he had all his formal education. The six-footer, who is also a model and an entrepreneur, is famous for his role in the TV series, ‘A Wish.’ He speaks about his entry into the entertainment world, his upcoming role as a father and husband amongst other issues.
Weekend Magazine: How did you start acting and modeling?
Ikechukwu Mitchel Ogbonna: I started modeling first because acting seemed to be a hard stone to crack. Acting for me kicked off in the later months of 2013 and ever since then God’s grace has been more than sufficient. I remember Rukky Sanda calling me to a movie set which I turned down. But later after her persistence, I starred in her movie. Ever since then, there has been no looking back for me.
WM: How have you managed your successes in both fields?
Ogbonna: They are relative so it’s rather not that hard a deal to manage. I am also a businessman; so as often as necessary, I find time to plan myself to handle both my business and my career as an actor and model.
WM: Are there situations when one has suffered for the other?
Ogbonna: So many situations! I mean you can’t eat your cake and have it. But I try hard to make sure there is a balance.
WM: Which gives you the most pleasure?
Ogbonna: Acting! And this is because I am very passionate about it.
WM: What’s the most difficult part of being a celebrity?
Ogbonna: Being judged and misunderstood. But at the same time these are also my strength because I am motivated to be nothing less than the best.
WM: What’s the most absurd or weirdest request a fan has made of you?
Ogbonna: If I would be honest, both girls and guys come outright to me on my private social media space asking for sex. I shake my head when I see these. I don’t judge anyone but seriously it cracks me up most of the time.
WM: You seem to have a thing for South American ladies; any particular attraction?
Ogbonna: They are human beings just like my African sisters and I might have had experiences with different girls – Africans, Americans, Latinos, others. That was me just growing up. But I only have a thing for one person and that’s my fiancé, Sonia Morales.
WM: You proposed to Sonia Morales. Congratulations. What are three things you love the most about her?
Ogbonna: Three things? That’s too small. Come on, you should ask for a million (laughter).
Sonia is not just my fiancée, she’s my best friend and I can talk to her about anything and everything without fear of fight or insecurity. She is the most intelligent girl I have ever come across in my existence. She is loyal to a fault and she is quick to remind me of reasons why I should always stay positive. I remember her first word to me during a serious conversation. She said ‘look at me very well, do I look like a girl who would want to marry a poor man? Ik you are a billionaire, a very powerful man and I am proud to be in your life because together we would achieve more than your brain can let you imagine.’ Those were power and words that paralysed me.
WM: Sonia and you recently got engaged. For how long were you planning the surprise proposal to Sonia?
Ogbonna: From the day I met her I knew she was the one. My heart just told me ‘Ik that’s your wife’ and I told a friend, Oma Iyasare, that I was going to marry that girl. I never really planned it. I just wanted it and I knew I didn’t want it dramatic. I wanted it to be just the two of us when I did it.
WM: You are also looking to be a father very soon. What do you anticipate your first reaction would be like when your child is born?
Ogbonna: I can’t say, I mean it’s definitely going to be spontaneous (laughter).
WM: What kind of a father do you imagine you would be?
Ogbonna: I would be a friend to my kids and at the same time I would keep them close to God.
WM: Away from the screen and modeling, who is Ik Ogbonna?
Ogbonna: Ik Ogbonna is a book you have to read, you can’t know me unless you are close to me or in my life somehow. But I can tell you for free, I am far from whom people think I am.
WM: Your recent message encouraging people not to sell their bodies was very welcome by many. What prompted it?
Ogbonna: That was me talking to everyone who cared to read. I believe the social media is a tool that can be used to create a lot of consciousness unconsciously and the human mind feeds off what we see and hear. Back in the days, celebrities used their art to preach and motivate people. But these days celebrities unconsciously promote violence, sex, drugs, hate, ‘make it or die at’ it mindset. Looking at our society today we are only heading for doom. Why do politicians count on celebrities when they want to get into office, why do brands use celebrities to campaign? The answer is simple and that is because they believe in the influence of the celebrated. We are humans and we sometimes get lost in the luxury of living. I am a victim but once in a while we should also draw our own ears and caution our excesses. A word can heal, a word can destroy, our president made a phone call to congratulate Gen Buhari. As little as that act seems it saved so many lives and property and it played a vital role to creating peace today. There are so many issues that we as celebrated figures should tackle. While we are busy showing off our vain side, we can also tag a message that would touch a life. In the past if you felt depressed there were songs and movies to watch and listen to and your spirit would be uplifted. Personally, I can only but do the little I can. My voice might be little and criticised but it’s a voice in a forest and somehow it gets to a soul or two. I understand that people have to survive and that it’s a hard and cold world out there. It seems almost impossible to survive in Nigeria because the rich are busy getting richer and forgetting that to whom much is given much is expected. God gives you so that you can stand as His representative on earth to bless others. But I can only advice in the clouds of lost hopes that people should not resort to selling their bodies but using all they have to become overcomers. Okay I have spoken too much.
WM: Another is how very often there are posts of scantily clad women on various public domains. What’s your take on this?
Ogbonna: Well, as long as the women are not naked I am okay with it. If you are at the beach or swimming pool and you dress appropriately for the situation then you are not to be judged or would it be okay for a guy to take a picture at the beach with a suit or agbada? Too much of everything is bad but when it’s done at the right time and at the right place, I have no issues with it.
WM: When you look back at the various experiences and encounters you have had, are there any you wish didn’t happen and you would want to change?
Ogbonna: As a matter of fact, I am a man without regrets. Every experience, good or bad, has played a vital role in moulding me to whom I am today. And I consider every single one of them very a gratifying experience or encounter.
WM: If you were not an actor or a model, what would you be doing?
Ogbonna: I sell houses, lands and property. So, I probably would have paid more attention to these. But then again, I always pray to God to direct me and I am grateful to Him for always directing me to positions where He wants me at every point in time.
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