Emmanuel Ikubese is undoubtedly one of the charming sex-appeal dudes in Nollywood. He became popular when he won the Mr. Nigeria contest few years ago and he has been climbing the ladder of success daily with his acting prowess. Recently, he spoke with a group of select journalists where he gives account of his RAW project and his role in Mo’Abudu’s ‘Fifty’. ADEBOLA BOLATITO was there. Excerpts……
What is your NGO all about?
Emmanuel Ikubese Foundation is an NGO project aimed at training youths on how to avoid domestic violence in our society. We have gone to different states and schools, we recently went to Unilag to educate our undergraduates on how to avoid domestic violence. We are also working on a couple of programs on how to eradicate the issue of domestic violence in our society.
What really inspired you into this initiative?
I realize during my days in the university that there are a lot s of domestic violence against the women in our society and I felt that this should be addressed especially from the men angle. I believe and I know that it is mostly the women who are victims.
I know very well that if we the men stand up against it, people will start to realize that it should be stopped. We started from teaching our boys to respect the girls. We started from the high school, and we are now extending it to the university. I believe with the message we are passing out, we will achieve a lots in making a positive impact on the people in our society.
Do you think you can achieve the desire result in the war against domestic violence especially with the recent call for gender equality?
I know that domestic violence has really increased in our society, but we are educating our people that it is the duty of men to protect the women and not to maltreat them. Though there are some women who beat men but it is not as much as the men who beat women. I believe we will one day achieve our aim of stopping the issue of domestic violence in our society especially with the recent clamour for gender equality.
What plans do you have in achieving your aim?
For now, the major problem is the financial constraint because this is an NGO and it is really difficult convincing people to support us. This is the reason why some of our programs are a little bit slow. We are in partnership with some NGO to push our message across to the society at large and we are planning before the end of this year we will start the second edition of the charity to raise more money for the program. We are planning a movie that will enlighten the people, and we are looking at the aspect of setting up women who have been victims of domestic violence because most causes of this domestic violence is women not being able to stand on their own.
Are you planning any tour on this issue?
It is really difficult moving from one place to the other but we are planning to organize seminars in different states with the support of their state government. We will be going with councilors whom people will be able to confide in to give professional advice.
Tell us about your role in the movie ‘fifty’?
Fifty is an amazing project. I see acting as an art and you need to prove yourself. The film does not have anything to do with our cultural values. Fifty has a vision and the vision is not only to sell in Nigeria but an international vision to show the world.
We shoot a proper movie in a very proper way. It is not about my own character but everybody in that movie. We have young people who got an award for a movie in which he was flogged as a slave in the movie. It was because he really showed the world that he can translate the message of what is happening in our society then during the time of slavery. I have been getting lots of positive feedbacks from people since after the film fifty.
Look at the role I played as being sexy. I believe movie is about bringing life into an act. I believe that is what acting is all about.
What was the reaction of the sensors board?
It wasn’t necessary and we need to start mastering our craft to meet international standard. We need people to put money in our production and take us seriously. Fifty is one of the few movies that have been showing in the cinemas from December till now.
Compared to other movies you have acted in, what do you think about fifty?
I learnt they invested well. I was involved in ‘Sugar’ which was done properly and which is a world-class project. But what I love about fifty is that Mo Abudu wanted to prove to the world that we can do a world-class movie that is made in Nigeria.
You also did a movie with Juliat Ibrahim?
It was a short film called 'Black-Out’ which is about domestic violence against women. It is going to be a film to be shown to people to discourage people from domestic violence. We did it to show visuals to people.
Which other movies are you in?
We have done several other movies that I cannot remember the names now. I have done one with Uche Jombo, with Akeem Kasim, etc,. I started as a model, and later I went into acting before I came to Nigeria.
There seems to be much recognition for you in Nigeria at the moment
It is because I love what I am doing right now which is acting. Acting and music has always been a passion for me.
Who are you really outside the set?
I am just a God-fearing person that is passionate about what I am doing, about my country and the society at large. I am also passionate about making a positive impact in people’s life. I am passionate about being an inspiration to the younger generation. That is when I represented it wasn’t about Emmanuel but about impacting something positive into the mind of the young Nigerians. They will be able to say, if I can be second in the MR. WORLD competition anybody can be first from Nigeria. Though, I am a very private and family-oriented person. I love my family a lot.
Can you tell us about your childhood?
I was a stubborn person as a kid but I have changed as an adult.
What position are you in the family?
I am the first child of the three. I have a younger brother and a kid sister. My parent flogged me a lot when I was a kid because I was stubborn but that made me a better person as an adult. They groomed me to be a man of value. I was born in Lagos and I was born in Ajegunle.
Where in Ajegunle?
No.1 Adekoya Street, Ajegunle. I spent like 12 to 13 years there before we moved to Satelite Town where my family stays till now. But I stay in the Island.
So, your fans should know you are just playing a role?
Yes, Emmanuel is different from the role I play.