Pretty Mike is more than the controversial entertainer he is known to be. The youth ambassador and philanthropist takes us down memory lane on how he began entertainment from childhood.
Aside being an entertainer, he is also a human rights activist and entrepreneur who is concerned about the development of Nigerian youths, which is why he is actively engaging them with empowerment activities.
In this interview, the US-born Pretty Mike speaks on his preference to always appear uniquely different, which many of his fans perceive as awkward, and are left in wonder. He also shares some useful relationship tips and qualities of a good wife. Enjoy it.
Your name, Pretty Mike has carved a peculiar identity for you. Why did you choose to be called Pretty Mike?
I didn’t give myself that name. It has nothing to do with my facial expression. People think because I look beautiful, therefore, I chose to be called Pretty Mike. I grew up with the name. I had girls around me while growing up, so my sisters gave me the name and it grew with me. I have been known as Pretty Mike from high school, and when I got into the entertainment industry in Nigeria, I decided to carry on with the name.
Why do you prefer to step out in a controversial manner? Does it have to do with your style or is it just adventure?
I have been asked that question countless times and I will always say the same thing. What is your definition of abnormal? Something that might seem abnormal to me might seem normal to another; it all depends on our individual preferences. For me as an entertainer, I love to look unique and outstanding. I feel it’s awkward and boring when people look alike with their appearance. There should be something to turn people’s heads in awe or admiration. By my way of appearance, I entertain my fans too. People always want you to look the same way they look, but that’s boring to say the least. Why will I want to look the same way like every other person? I feel the way I appear at events is normal. Tell me what the definition of normal is, and I’ll tell you that is not the way life should be. Nigerians are so uptight and I feel it’s time we loosen up and start exploring life’s adventures.
What are the most important legacies you would like to be remembered for?
I am known as an existing person. There’s always no dull moment with me. My fans are always looking out for something mind-blowing from me, and when they don’t get it, they feel disappointed. That is to say they are used to my adventurous lifestyle. That, for me, is the number one thing I will be remembered for. Secondly, I am an active philanthropist. I am fully involved in charity; I see it as a way to give back to the society. Without my fans, there won’t be entertainment. So, it’s an obligation for me to be concerned about the wellbeing of my fans and the youths generally. It gives me an inner joy seeing people around me smile. As a matter of fact, my empowerment programme just kicked off. And thus it will go a long way to alleviate many youths from poverty and unemployment.
Most ladies see you as charming and ambitious; tell us how you handle advances from the opposite sex?
I don’t consider myself to be charming as they see me, but when advances come, especially from the opposite sex, even though men also get advances from their fellow men. With a smile, I politely tell them I am in a committed relationship, in some cases we end up becoming friends, and it ends there. I don’t make them feel bad. I understand it comes with the business, so I have always known how to handle them when they come. Besides, I love my female fans too.
What is the weirdest experience you have had from a fan?
I get a lot of nude pictures and videos from female fans. Some have promised to spoil me with exotic gifts, some have promised me a trip to any country of my choice, only if I will date them. I find it crazy, but I turn them down in a friendly manner.
It’s obvious how much you love adventure, though not every woman likes it. Share with us some qualities of your ideal woman.
Good attitude is the key. It cannot be bought like every other thing. In fact, it is priceless. Someone asked me the same question, and he expected me to say my ideal woman must be attractive with seductive endowment. But that’s not what I look out for in my ideal woman. Look, I have seen them all, both the fake and real ones, but those do not thrill me. Those physical features can now be bought today but a good character, a good attitude, a good heart is priceless; and these are what I desire from my ideal woman.
If you were married, what would be your words of advice to intending couples?
They must possess the fruits of the Holy Spirit, including love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, and self-control. With all these qualities, the rate of divorce in our society will be minimized.
What would be your encouraging words to the youths, especially those who aspire to be successful entertainers like you?
I have observed that there is so much hate in the hearts of the youths due to the harsh economic condition and level of unemployment in the country. They are so bitter that they don’t hesitate to vent their anger on the rich. Some use the social media platforms to express how they feel. I understand the reason. But I want to advise them against such, rather than express hate and bitterness, they should give room for love. You never know who is watching your actions and taking note, no one knows who their helper is or where it would come from. People have been empowered and enriched through the social media. More importantly, hard work, persistence, and consistency pay. Learn a skill, start from somewhere and keep hope alive. One day, it will pay off.