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Nollywood star: I am not dirty

EXPLAINERS
By | March 4th 2011

George Orido

The bad boy of Nollywood, Jim Iyke, has refuted claims he is reckless and said the roles he plays in films give a false perception.

Iyke’s popularity in Kenya was manifest during the Africa Motion Academy and Awards (AMAA) in Nairobi last week when adoring female fans demanded his attention. It was the first time for him to attend an AMAA.

Iyke says he has been a victim of bad press.

"I am a methodical actor, I don’t’ do half measures. I don’t do it with the interpretation of the director or by the script. I do it because I am full of conviction on the character," explains Iyke blaming sections of the media for creating bad perceptions to make money.

Iyke says he has never got an opportunity to give the public his private life and they have nothing but the films to judge.

The only boy in a family of seven, Iyke is one of the richest Nollywood stars and has had a relatively colourful career marked with tumultuous love life.

In November 2009, it is alleged he had an affair with the wife of a pastor in Lagos whose late husband was regarded as the father of Pentecostalism in Nigeria.

Only last year, Nigerian and Ghanaian media was awash with the news that his Sierra Leonean girlfriend had contracted HIV. He told The Standard in Nairobi after the AMAA nominations at Ole Sereni Hotel that the story was cooked.

Jim Iyke greets fans during Africa Motion Academy and Awards (AMAA) in Nairobi last week.

"Recently, a gentleman posted on the Internet that I had a child with a married woman in Germany and the woman was HIV positive," he said. Reckoning that rumour and gossip is common in the industry, he termed the story outrageous.

"I asked him whether he thought about the legal implications because my mother and my family were tormented," he recalls.

Great Career

Iyke says he sought legal redress because this was not just about killing his career but destroying a life. The young actor who doubles as producer says many people never believed in him including his parents.

"They have never approved of what I do," remarks Iyke who describes his father as a thinker. He sees his mother as a risk taker but says he is a hybrid of both.

Iyke says the secret of his success in the competitive Nollywood is being original. So is he that mean-looking, hanky-panky, lover boy he plays in the movies? He says that to some extent, there is the real him but most of it is just the script.

The man described by Nigerian media as the sexiest male in Nollywood has just launched his debut album titled Who Am I.

The album is produced by Puffy T & Spoons while 2Face, Yinka Davies and Sound Sultan make an appearance. Tracks from the album include Iyke Iyke Mania, Bad Boys Don’t Kiss and Tell, When you point one finger at me four are pointed at you.

A video featuring 2face has been shot in New York, US and would be released soon.

Iyke has been acting for the last five years in over 100 movies. He has appeared in movies including Unforgettable, Rescue, Lost Passion, The Intruder, Jealous Lovers, Break Up, A Night to Remember, Shattered Illusion, Silent for Life, Virgins Night Out, Millionaire’s Daughter, Royal FAMILY, Love & Pride, Love from Above and Love temple.

A philosophy graduate, Iyke currently runs the Iyke Iyke Foundation that is engaged protection of rights and welfare of children with deformities.

One of the board members is president and founder of the AMAA Peace Anylam – Fiberesima and Hajia Sa’adatu Ladi Abubakar, the wife of the Nigerian Vice President.

Regarded Nollywood’s sex symbol, Iyke has married a Jamaican model Phil Katurah whom he met while filming in the US.

"Yes, it is true. I have found the woman of my dreams and we are in love in totality. She is the embodiment of all that I have been looking for a tall, pretty, exotic and supremely intelligent woman," he said.

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