Chika Ike: I’m Still Work in Progress

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Chika Ike is an actress with exceptional and outstanding display of roles and characters. She has featured in several movies and grown to be a household name. With huge social media traffic, large fan base across Africa and lots more. In this interview with Tosin Clegg, she talks about her reality TV show, career at large, future projects and more 

Starting my reality TV show

Being an actress gave me a platform, as I was already a known face and a brand. So, it was easy for people to trust me easily because they felt I have an identity. It was a bit difficult but this was another platform and adventure. It was quite challenging and it seemed I was chasing my tail at some point but you know as everything you start new and hope that it turns well that’s how it was for me. And being an actress gave me a lot; I had doubts as well as encouragements.  As an actress you have a clue on how to present. This is because you have a lot of roles and put yourself in characters. Aside from doing that, Tyra Banks also helped me a lot with her America’s Next Top Model and all her shows, which encourages me and, I learn from her a lot. Being an actress helped, as well as doing research work and watching other shows helped me also. The Season one was over the top and my costumes were elaborate. Modela helped me with the costumes which were very African and it gave me prestige.

  

I knew I was sowing a seed…

I knew I was sowing a seed. One that would germinate and become a very big tree at that, but I also doubted myself at some point, not sure if I was going to do it, but seeing it as a big deal today, just gives me a pat on the back that well done for even trying and thinking about it. Thank you for not giving up and if you had, you would have given up on so many opportunities and other girls; I’m also surprised. 

 

Season One was basically for Nigeria

It was as a result of the Ebola crisis. It was shot that period and people were scared of coming to Nigeria. When I met with the African countries they were prepared to let their girls in at the time, but when we did Season Two, thank God, Ebola was out of Nigeria so it was easy to talk to them. It was a bit challenging, as it demanded a lot of trust; so I had to win their trust somehow. 

  

Originality stands my show out

That’s because I’m a very genuine about it; my track record as an artiste, as I have been in the industry for a long time; my drive also and, you can see I’m serious about it. One could say that Season One came up and I was fully sponsored by friends and family but for the second season sponsors came around. If I didn’t have the drive or I wasn’t visionary, it would have killed the vibe. It was different from other shows and will last more than two seasons.

 

I haven’t gotten to the peak of my career 

I’m still a work in progress, bound to do bigger and better things. Have I done well for myself? Well, in my own little way, but I still aspire to get to my zenith and I am still on my way there.

  

Tyra Banks is my role model

This is largely because of what I do right now. She is my major role model as regards this show because I like the way she has helped a lot of young girls in America discover themselves and their modeling career. I also want to help girls in Africa do same.

  

An African Woman is strong

She is intellectually smart, visionary, she is driven, she can multi-task, she can make things happen in her office, home and people around her. She is caring and compassionate. She is the woman of any man’s dream. 

  

This Season, we have a cash price of $10,000

And that’s from my sponsor. We have a brand new car, a collection for a year and a movie contract for the girl for a year. 

  

Last year I released a movie 

It was called Miss Teacher and was in the cinemas. Next year, I’m bringing out another one. The character I played in Miss Teacher was of a compassionate, loving and caring woman. Giving back and selfless, as she is the woman I want to become or I’m looking forward to be. 

 

Juggling all I’m doing is quite hectic

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and wonder how I can do this and how is it possible. But when you have a dream and vision, just pray to God about it. Honestly, nothing is impossible; you just have to push for it and draw a priority list. At the end of the day you just need to find your way around it. Aside me, it’s the grace of God.

  

I love being simple…

I love bright colours and also embrace my feminity, as a woman. It’s what inspires what I wear.

 

 I get a lot of complements from my fans 

Such as, “Chika you are very real” and, it’s like I’m not watching a movie, as I can see myself in that role. When an actress is able to break that boundary of acting and reality then I think you are a good actress. 

I feel that I have been able to draw my audience by being warm and by making the make-believe believable. It’s what has set me apart. 

 

I count all my blessings everyday

I think that, honestly, for being alive is a great achievement and also achieving your set goals. I have this board where I plan my achievements for the next five years and seeing them come to life is a great achievement. 

 

 For acting, I would say be original…

Originality is the best thing you can ever do. Don’t try to be someone else or be another actress. Try to be you and interpret the role the best way you can. Be original. 

Chika Ike is reserved… 

My job exposes me a lot, but when I’m in my house I’m quite laid back. I like the comfort of the people that love me and are around me. I’m calm and spontaneous when it comes to decision making and I’m your next door neighbour. 

 I work out three times a week…

I watch my diet, take a lot of vegetables and drink a lot of water. There is no way you do all these and not stay in shape. 

  

I listen to music and travel a lot…

 If I’m not working, I’m travelling.  

There are two soups I like…

Efo riro and ofen sala. I love Efo riro because I can actually make it; and I grew up in Lagos. I have started eating amala too.