Theresa Ifeoma Ugorji and Ikenna Nnama, better known jointly as Iykeresa, were first runnersup in the first season of Ultimate Love. Since then, they have kept up appearances and interacted with fans on various platforms, as well as keeping the love, which was found during the show, alive. The love birds talk to Tosin Clegg about life after the Ultimate Love show, growing in love, building their brands, handling fans and a lot more
Theresa: I grew up in a small family of five
I’m the first child with two siblings. We were raised with the knowledge that as a family, we have an unbreakable bond and we come first before anyone else. In my family, we strongly believe in education. My mother is a teacher and my father, a public servant. My parents trained us to always be the best in whatever we do and they instilled morals in us. I remember how my mother would emphasise to us to always strive to be the best.
Iyke: I come from a family of seven
I’m the first son out of five children, so I have my fair share of responsibilities. For me, charity begins at home. Most of what I know about handling situations, I learnt from home. At some point, my mother quit her job just to raise us better, after she found out that we were neglected by our caretakers. She still says that was one of the best decisions she ever made because she raised us the best way she knew how to. She is a devout Catholic and a pillar in the church. So, we had a lot of moral upbringing in my family. My father is a business man. I remember he always bought us stuff whenever he came back from work everyday. In fact, we always looked forward to that.
Love is a skill and it needs to be learnt
We would describe our Aunty in that house as a counselor and one who helped us to find and place our focus on the path of love, without necessarily choosing for us. A lot of us know the concept of love but are not taught how to love. Love is a skill and it needs to be learnt. There are different love languages and for you to be able to love better, you must have learnt the different love languages and how it applies to your partner. Making a conscious effort to be a loving partner, learning good habits and unlearning bad habits are all parts of the process.
What’s next for Iykeresa?
Together as Iykeresa, we plan on solidifying our brand, making the most out of it, running our businesses, pursuing our individual careers and philosophies. About the news that we are N5 million richer, it’s actually a gift from the priceless GENG which is the name of our fan base. They are represented by diamonds because they are priceless. And, of course, there will be wedding bells soon. We will announce here when it is time.
How the COVID-19 pandemic affected us
Just like everyone else, it has slowed down a lot of things for us. We have had to be attentive to our health and that of our loved ones but we haven’t allowed it to entirely affect our brand or our journey because we are still working really hard. It could have been different if there was no pandemic but regardless, we are thankful that the brand is still growing.
People we look up to for guidance
Yes, we have people who have passed through the same journey that we look up to. We have mentors, godfathers, godmothers and so on that keep us in check and always check up on us regularly. Also, we have a team that ensures the smooth running of our affairs.
You always seem joined at the hip. Are you ever apart?
Theresa: Iyke loves holding my waist most times. Sometimes, we are not together, especially when we are working separately.
Iyke: Honestly, at this point we don’t know what it will feel like being apart and we’ve gotten used to being in the same space. We don’t even want to know what it will feel like being apart.
Our YouTube channel
Our YouTube channel which is KetchingUpWithIykeresa is a platform we built to keep the fans up to date with us, as well as keep them entertained. We have always wanted a space where we can teach about relationships, love and marriage and we decided to start a podcast. It currently has many viewers, and they all learn a lot from what we teach.
We don’t talk to a lot of people about personal stuff and we try not to divulge any personal things to anyone except our parents. So, no one actually has the opportunity to tell us how to act in our relationship.
Dealing with fans and their requests
We try not to give people the leverage to put us under any form of pressure. We are still very grateful to everyone that continually supports us or that have invested in us one way or another. However, we are very grateful for every bit of love we get. God bless the family we have. We are priceless and diamonds are priceless. The fans picked the diamond logo even before we came out of the house and we loved it. The logo announces our presence and that’s what we are going to keep working with. There have always been fan wars even before us but we try as much as possible to make people understand that we preach love only and whatever animosity they have, we try to stay out of it. We only appreciate fans that always come to our defense.