NDLEA yet to contact me —Tonto Dikeh
Nollywood actress, Tonto Dike who has been dogged by controversy in recent times over marijuana pictures allegedly posted on Instagram by her, speaks with AHMED BOULOR
AS much as you have not denied posting the Marijuana pictures on Instagram most people seem not to believe the story; did you deny posting those pictures on Instagram because of the arrest threat by NDLEA?
No! I didn’t deny posting those pictures on Instagram because of the supposed threat of arrest by the NDLEA. I still have my Twitter and Instagram accounts and I will not delete or hide anything from anybody because I have nothing to hide. Anybody that wants to make any findings can access my accounts and view what they want to.
Were you shaken by the arrest threat by NDLEA?
I was never shaken by the threat from the NDLEA because I don’t think I committed any crime. I posted the picture with a different caption but an impostor with a different account used the same picture with another caption. That person has an account with my name and if you go through facebook or even Twitter you’ll discover that most celebrities have more than one account. I was not shaken or threatened in anyway because I know I didn’t do anything wrong.
Have you been contacted thus far by officials of NDLEA?
I haven’t been contacted by anyone from the NDLEA and it would be a shame if they contacted me.
Was your Instagram account compromised?
My Instagram account was not compromised; I have an account on Instagram, when you are not verified because you have other accounts set up with your name by other people, then unsuspecting people may not know which account is the real one. When that picture was posted, it started trending because people who posted it did not care to verify whether the account was originally mine. Thereafter, I received a lot of backlash from the press; and everyone believed the story hook-line-and- sinker simply because it is Tonto Dikeh.
Do you consider yourself a good role model?
I am a role model to those who see me as one; I am sure Nigerians out there see and read all these things and they laugh. I am sure there are people out there who appreciate what I do as an actress and hope to someday achieve what I have achieved as a thespian.
For how long will your career continue to thrive on controversy?
My career thrives on everything; my career thrives on all the ups and downs that I have been faced with. But most especially, the controversies have made me stronger and wiser.
What’s your take on the fact that most people believe that you are weird and wild?
I don’t care about them because they don’t care about me; everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. I live my life the way I want to. People should also remember that I am human and no one is perfect.
Have you always thought of acting or circumstance brought you into it?
I never thought of becoming an actress from the onset; I always wanted to be an engineer. I wanted to make a name for myself as an engineer but acting just took over. I never considered acting while growing up but acting is paying my bills now.
Are you too strong to fall in love?
I am not too strong to fall in love; I am human and I have feelings too. I don’t think there is any woman on earth that has not experienced love in one form or the other.
Is it possible for you to marry an actor?
That’s not possible; I can never be caught doing that. I can’t marry an actor.
What was it like celebrating your last birthday in London?
It was fun and it turned out to be one of the most eventful days of my life. Although, I wished I spent it here in Nigeria so more people who know me could have had the opportunity to celebrate with me. I only celebrated with a few friends in London but it was okay by me because the love I received was pure and I got a whole lot of gifts.
What really happened at Iyanya Concert in London when you fell on stage; were you intoxicated or you simply missed your steps?
I wore a very long gown and my dress got caught up in the high heel shoes that I was wearing. The thing was that, I wasn’t dressed to perform at the time I mounted the stage but when I got on the stage to introduce myself to the fans, my latest single was being played and I just decided to give the yearning fans a bit of me when the incident occurred. I wasn’t intoxicated, I just missed my steps.
Do you think you are making any meaningful headway in your music career considering the amount of criticism you’ve been faced with over the strength and quality of your songs?
Yes, I think I am getting somewhere; I have been working on new songs and I have also been performing too. I have committed myself on three grounds now as an actress, an artiste and as one giving hope to motherless babies and more. It has been so stressful and right now I am concentrating my efforts at my project which is the ‘Say No To Domestic Violence’ campaign. I am trying to lend my voice to those who do not have a voice to speak.
Did you particularly go through any experience that made you embark on the ‘Say No To Domestic Violence’ campaign?
Yes I did, not physically but emotionally. The idea was mooted by my management team as a way of giving back to society. Most people go through domestic violence but they do not know what it is and I know most people in this country go through domestic violence one way or the other.
Are you thinking of releasing an album very soon?
How soon, I cannot tell for now but I think something will materialise before the second quarter of next year. It is still in the works but like I said earlier, my musical career is getting somewhere.
What was going through your mind when had that snake-like tattoo with a bleeding heart inscribed on your back?
I decided to have that tattoo because I wanted to have it. Nothing really was going through my mind when I decided to have it.
Is it true that your mum is half-Canadian?
My mum is not half Canadian; she has traces of Ghanaian blood in her too. She is not half- Canadian; she is a quarter-Canadian.
You have been around for a while and you have made so much impact, is there anybody that you wish to co-star with in Hollywood and in Nollywood?
For Nollywood, I think I have featured with everybody that is relevant on the scene. I have featured with the best of the best. Nobody thrills me except Joke Silva; I have never worked with her before and I would love to do that pretty soon. For Hollywood, I would say there are a whole lot of them.
What informed your decision to give scholarships and gifts to hundreds of children some months back?
I always do that every now and then but that was the first time it became public. I have people I feed and clothe and I am not saying this to impress anybody. Giving is a special thing to me and I give as God blesses me.
What’s your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is remaining the same person I was yesterday; I should experience growth every day. I am also scared of failure…
Would you at sometime in your career venture into movie production like your other colleagues?
That is something I wouldn’t like to venture into; I like the fact that my other colleagues are going into it but it is not my calling. But I have invested my money in a whole lot of movie production without my name being mentioned.
What has been your highpoints thus far as an actress?
Being able to give back to society; to the less privilege and those in need because I get money through their support and the movies they buy. I am only happy to give back for the love and support they have shown over the years.
Have you been offered your most challenging movie role yet?
I am yet to be handed my most challenging movie role; it is so disappointing to admit that fact anyway.
What kind of movie production inspires your?
It is not about the production; it is about the script. The script has to move me before production seconds it. I would reject roles that I have played before or roles that I deem insignificant. A bad script turns me off…
What do you do at times to improve your skill as an actress?
I watch a whole lot of movies when I have the time; I consider Indian actors to be one of the best around because they express themselves better. I also watch a lot of my movies so I can correct my mistakes. I try to school myself with the various materials that I have. I also read about acting and mostly watch actors do their thing in order to learn from them.
Do you consider yourself a misunderstood actress?
Yes I do; I think I am one of the most misunderstood actresses around. But like I said earlier, I don’t care what people think about me.
Are you working towards being a finished product as an artiste?
Yes I am seriously working on that; I don’t think I am a finished product yet. I am learning more things to improve myself. Criticism is for you to get better; it is not for you to get ashamed or feel bad. Criticism is meant for you to improve, that’s what most people do not understand. It is meant to make you stronger and build you up into a better person in the long run.