Former Mr. Nigeria, Emmanuel Ikubuese, is living his dreams no doubt. As one of the lead actors in Nollywood’s top grossing movie, FIFTY, Ikubuese has transformed into one of the industry’s hottest sex symbols. In a chat with RITA OKOYE, the Delta State-born actor cum model talks about his love life and pet projects among others.
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 with our message against domestic violence and abuse. Some companies endorsed me this year, so I would be visiting many schools to do stuffs. 2016 has been so awesome.
You always preach against domestic violence and abuse, do you have any personal experience?
I have not had any personal experience but I came close in my university days courtesy of friends who were killed during domestic violence. The more I get involved in spreading the message, the more I get personal with it. I have met a lot of victims and I just want to do more.
Talking about passion and career, how did you pull off your raunchy role in the movie, Fifty?
(Laughter) What about it? Well, that is one thing about me. I always try to bring depth to every character I play.
But negative comments trailed your character. How did you deal with it?
I know that based on expectations in our society, it would not be received with smiles, and that got me worried. But funny enough, I didn’t really get the kind of backlash I had expected. So, people understood what we were trying to display and could connect with the message.
Don’t you think it has put a question mark on your reputation?
No, never! That is not Emmanuel Ikubuese 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.
How did your parents react?
My parents understood that it was me playing a character and they were okay with it. I look up to a lot of Hollywood actors and one major thing I took from them is depth.
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, age is just a number…?
Personally, I don’t think love is all about age. As long as two people understand each other, love each other and are willing to be together, age shouldn’t be an obstacle. Once there is love, respect and communication, then they are good to go. But personally, I don’t think I can do it. However, I am not against men that marry older lovers.
Following your raunchy role on screen, how are the female fans reacting?
I have always had admirers, even before Fifty, so 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 many female fans who jump on me and kiss me right in public. But I just can’t embarrass them because they simply love me for what I do.
Do they send you nude pictures and admire you on your DM (Direct Messages)
Of course, I do get, but not nude pictures. I don’t think any female fan in her right senses would send me a nude picture. I know they do send but not to people like me. My image is not that corrupt for someone to try such.
But you often post bare-chested photos on social media. Don’t you think that could encourage them?
Yes, I do but I don’t do it for anybody in particular. It is all about me. Yes, ladies hit on me online and tell me how much they love me and desire to kiss me and make love to me, but none has sent me nude pictures.
How about guys? Do they also profess their love?
Yes, they do, but I don’t encourage them to go beyond their bounds.
Are you in a relationship right now?
Yes, I am in a very happy one.
So, what’s your idea of love?
Love is that thing you feel towards someone which transforms him or her to become a family.