ONE of the most eligible bachelors in Nollywood, Kalu Ikeagwu, has found love. Today in Enugu State, he’ll be getting married to his heartthrob, Ijeoma, a single mother. However, the handsome actor has settled for a low-key wedding unlike some other celebrities. In an interview with RITA OKOYE, the excited groom shares his love story, opening up on why he didn’t end up with an actress.
You are having a low-key wedding on Saturday, are you scared of anyone?
I’m a very private person and I don’t want a lot of crowd. It’s not a secret, some blogs have written about it. I don’t like noise, and for me, the most important thing is the marriage itself. The wedding is just to say to everybody that, before God and man, I am married to this person. The main thing is the marriage and it matters a lot where I come from.
Are you excited?
Definitely, I am excited about my marriage, but nothing much about my wedding.
Are you saying this because celebrity marriages keep breaking up these days?
Whether celebrity marriages keep breaking up is none of my business. The truth is that, celebrities represent the micro part of the larger society. And in the larger society, divorce rate is on the increase. I can attest to this because some of my friends are in that situation as well. But that is not my business; my business is my own marriage. People have asked me many times why I wasn’t married; the reason is that, if I wanted a fantastic wedding that everyone would attend, I would have done that years ago. But because marriage is very important to me, I was taking my time. I would have loved that my wife and I go off to somewhere private, but because it’s very important for the family to get to know one another, and also for people to know my woman.
Do you see yourself growing very old with her?
Growing old, yes, but I don’t think I want to see myself going about with a walking stick. I told God I want to maintain my vigour; what I mean by vigour is being able to satisfy my wife even at 90. I don’t want to be frail kind of old.
Some of your fans thought you would end up with an actress, what do you think of this?
Someone asked me that question before. He asked who would I marry? Would I marry an actress? And I said, if that’s the person for me I would marry an actress. The person I am marrying is from the entertainment industry as well. She is a make-up artiste amongst other things that she does. I got to a point in my life where I was trying to get the perfect person. I found out that maybe I was the problem and not the women, because all the women I dated before were very wonderful. They had good character. I got to a point where I told God to make a choice for me because I recognised that I am flawed as a human being. I had two conditions that I couldn’t compromise. First, the person must love God more than I do, and second, I wanted a companion whether she’s beautiful or ugly, local or sophisticated, thin or fat. All I wanted was a companion that I will be happy with, and God answered my prayers.
Are you that religious?
Religious, you could call it. I have known God from a young age until recently when I had lots of frustrations from doing what I wanted to do. Doing what I felt was best for me in my life. I went through a terrible experience that made me understand that there is a consequence to every path you take, and if there is a major consequence to every path you take here on earth, what about the place we are going after here. So, in exclusion of every pastor, I had to go and look for God myself and I found him. Since then, I understand that there is nothing that exists here on earth that is not orchestrated from up there. Hence, my ‘religiousness’
Are you romantic?
I wouldn’t call it being romantic. I call it what the other person would like. I don’t see myself as a romantic person.
Others will call it being romantic…
When you say romantic, I get scared. Like, oh my God, I have to get down on my knees, buy flowers everyday and all that. It’s scary; I am not that kind of person.
So, how did you propose?
I told you I am not a romantic person. I proposed indirectly and under pressure.
Can you tell us how?
I proposed indirectly like I said earlier. I put her on the spot immediately it occurred to me that she’s someone I couldn’t afford to lose. At my uncle’s funeral, she came to collect my car key and I held her by the waist and told my uncle that she’s the one I want to marry. He looked at me and said ‘are you sure?’ I said I was very sure. Then he turned and asked her if I was her choice, and she shyly said ‘yes’.
What are you wearing on the wedding day, a tuxedo or just normal suit?
I am wearing a three-piece suit and I have been exercising like mad for it to fit.
You are rarely seen wearing suits; you do so only in movies, so why now?
I detest suits. I don’t like suits at all because it reminds me of school uniforms which I also hate. This was the reason I didn’t join the army or the air force. Their uniform and regulations stopped me from joining, though I love their activities, like shooting and combat.
Since you are getting married, are there roles you would refuse acting?
I have a stepdaughter and I keep asking my wife-to-be which of my movies she has seen. If it’s the ones in which I act a bad guy or the ones I act a good guy. I thought about this question you just asked and I realised that I am like a role model to my family. My family would inform the roles I play from now on. I might not be going naked in any movie anytime soon. But I don’t think I will give up being a bad guy in movies as far as they teach some lessons. Also, I will not act vulgar roles.
You have a stepdaughter, what about her?
Yes, my fiancée, Ijeoma, has a daughter so I do have a stepdaughter.
How many children do you want? Would you like to have a full house?
What? A full house? I want to change pampers only once or twice. I love my quietness but I can manage with two (children). Two children are enough.
Another fear I have about having children is that they might take on my personality.
What is wrong with your personality?
Oh, you wouldn’t like my growing up. I defaced every wall in our house with chalk. I poured water inside the television set. I took a look at the television set and shouted ‘oh, that’s fire inside, let’s put the fire out’ and I poured water on it. I did things that I am afraid of seeing my own children do.