Fast rising actor and hunk, IK Ogbonna is hot! The AMVCA nominee who recently tied the knot with his Columbian lover, Sonia Ogbonna, won AIFF award for Best Male Actor at this year’s edition which was held in Abuja. In this chat with Entertainer, IK opens up on how he met his wife and how fatherhood has transformed him among other issues.
You won the award for Best Male Actor at the just concluded AIFF 2015. How do you feel?
I am very happy I won. I sent a congratulatory message to Hilda Dokubo for winning in the female category. My friends and I shared a drink; everybody around me was happy.
Have you always known you would be an actor?
I am a very dramatic person. Before I started acting, people like Ini Edo, Rukky Sanda and Elvis Chuks pushed me to act but I started acting and I realised my acting was terrible. When I watched my movies I cringed because I was lacking confidence. But recently I had people like Lancelot Imasuen and Elvis Chuks give me advice on how to take my career to the next level. I was overwhelmed when I was nominated for the AMCVAs in the Best Actor category and here I am today with my AIFF award for Best Male Actor; it is just getting better.
How did you meet your Columbian wife despite having so many women around you?
I may have the bad boy look but I am a strong believer in my faith as a Christian. When God directed me towards my wife I knew she was the one instantly and I thank God that he brought her my way; I couldn’t have asked for anything better. She is the best friend I have ever had in my life. She is like a mother, a sister and sometimes, she is a daughter. It is funny how we met because we met on line and started chatting and there was this instant attraction. But it became tough when it came to that point when I chose to leave bachelorhood. Dumping bachelorhood is one big choice you have to make as a man. However, even though I had my fears I knew I wanted to marry her and I had to take that bold step and it is something I know I would never regret. Marrying my wife was my best decision ever.
How did you pop the question?
There was this day I was about going on set and she was in my hotel room in Abuja and I was still battling with myself on how to go about the proposal. And then it dawned on me, I was like ‘for crying out loud, this should be a-me-and-her-moment and not a me-her-and-the-world-moment. So I just went on my knees and proposed to her and she burst into tears and started crying.
You guys met online, what was that thing that attracted you to her?
First of all it was beauty. As a man you are first attracted by what you see and my wife is such a beautiful woman.
Recently you and your wife welcomed your first son together, what does it feel like being a dad?
I have a three year old daughter so the experience is not new. However, what is new is having a child in a proper relationship, in a marriage. It gives you a strong sense of responsibility because you know that there is someone who is watching and learning from you so a lot of things change about your life.
So, what has changed about your life?
I have stopped hanging out every other day.
Those days I could go to work, make money and spend it just tripping and hanging out with friends but now I am thinking of saving money for my son’s future.
Now I know I am responsible for someone who is looking up to me so my thinking is different and I want to give my son the best. I am very concerned about the impression I make on him and I am very happy that all this is happening to me at this point in my career.
How did you come into Nollywood?
In 2005 I was on AMBO (Amstel Malta Box Office) but I did not win and it became very difficult breaking into the industry so I took a break because it seemed like every producer was waiting for me to come and beg. It was a heart breaking experience for me. I stayed away from the industry and stuck to modelling and modelling embraced me. I had a successful modelling career. I modelled for some of the biggest brands in the country.
What is the secret to your success?
Practice, hard work, dedication and above, all God. I knew I could not afford to study at schools like New York Film Academy and I wasn’t going to let that hamper my dreams so I went on YouTube and watched videos on how to be a good actor. Whenever I had free internet I went on YouTube and learned; I did not want to be just another fine boy actor. When I came back to Nigeria I did a movie with Elvis Chuks which got me an AMVCA nomination. That showed me the effort was paying off. I am very happy that these things are happening to me now. There are so many great actors out there so getting nominated means a lot to me. It shows my work is growing and winning is an entirely different experience. Now I want to work harder, win more awards including the Oscars. That is my dream.