What is the state of your marriage right now?
This is my final marriage. If this one falls apart, I won’t marry again. This is my fifth and the worst marriage, because my wife adopted what is not obtainable. This feels like punishment; not marriage. I doubt if I am still in the marriage, because it seems she has already prepared her mind to leave, and I’m not going to stop her. I support her leaving. Each time I see her, I begin to breathe erratically, and it is not good for me, because I am not ready to die. There are opportunities God exposed me to that are of interest to me.
Were you married when you adopted your daughter, Jasmine
After my fourth marriage, I adopted Jasmine. She was still a girl of about 12/13 years old when i adopted her.
Why did you adopt her?
It was because nobody cared for her. She was abandoned. I usually go to places and listen to people. She came to me and told me she was interested in acting. She does not know who her biological father was, and her mother didn’t use to discuss anything about him with her. She told me she used to watch my movies, and she loved me so much and would like to be in my care. I asked her what level of education she had, and she told me to help her complete her education; which I did. She bears my name, but it wasn’t until later that the adoption was legalised. Her mother consented to me adopting her.
It was said that it was after you recovered from the poison attack that you started having issues with your wife. Is that true?
Right from time, she had never allowed me to rest. When I was hospitalised and she came to the hospital, it was like war. She kept complaining that I did not care for her and the children. I made arrangements to give her some money, but she said it was not enough; that I should add something to it. I did, and after she left, she did not come to see me again throughout my stay in the hospital.
When you were to marry your wife, you said you introduced her to Jasmine. What was her initial reaction seeing your adopted daughter amidst your other children at that time?
Everything about me and Jasmine was known to everyone; and my wife kept on asking when she would meet her. I introduced her to Jasmine, and they became very good friends. Jasmine started sponsoring the family, buying foodstuff, and giving my wife money. Sometimes, my wife would leave the house to go and stay with Jasmine. Everything was going fine.
What then made her change and cause her to question your relationship with Jasmine?
There was one lady from my town that was close to the family. This lady wanted more than what God had given her; and when she was not getting it, she started causing trouble in my home by poisoning my wife’s mind.
When we were at the police station recently, the Divisional Police Officer asked her if I was guilty of all she said I did? She said ‘no’; that I should know that nobody would like to put a case in the public domain and lose. She said that she was only trying to win the case. So, my wife’s younger brother, her friends, and the lady from my town knelt down and were begging me in the presence of the DPO. Before then, my wife’s younger brother was ready to fight me in my own house. This was the same boy that said he wanted to play football outside Nigeria, and I singlehandedly took him to different clubs, where he was tried but was not selected in any of the trials. I actually lost money in that process.
But it was after the incident with the police that your wife went on social media to post all those negative remarks about you and Jasmine?
It was that same lady from my town that did all that. We called her and she apologised. When she had an issue with her business, I took her out of Abuja to Enugu; and gave her a house and money. I told her that whatever business she was interested in, she should let me know, and I would support her. But, after 11 months in Enugu, she said she wanted to return to Abuja. All she has been doing is to create chaos here and there.
Did you warn your wife about her when you saw that they were getting close?
I just told her to be careful, because I could not stop both of them from going out. But, my wife said nothing would happen; but, we can now see the outcome.
Some people are of the opinion that your wife is acting up because you don’t treat her as a wife, while you gave those privileges to Jasmine. What’s your reaction to that?
That is not true. When I married her, she did not have a car; and her family could not buy her a car. I bought her three cars at once. I told her to use one for church, one for domestic errands; and the third one going out with her friends. However, the day I gave her those cars was when my problem started. I allowed her to do her things her own way. But, she started moving with different women; and sometimes, I hear them ask her why she is still in the marriage.
You have been poisoned on different occasions. How have those incidents affected your relationship with people?
I was poisoned but I don’t know where it came from. I survived the first attempt; then, the second one came. I investigated the second attempt, and discovered that someone from my town was actually contracted to poison me. I suspected my wife, and I confronted her, but she denied it. I followed up until I got the man that brought the poison to the compound, and gave it to somebody to use it on me. I went to the man and told him that I got his message. I asked him if I had done anything bad to him. But, he acted oblivious of the incident. I went through hell because of that poison. I could not breathe well, and I cried every day. I later vomited things and went to the hospital where I was given a supplement that restored me back.
I went back to living my life; but I was poisoned again. My cousin came out to say that I was showing him that I was rich. He went ahead to threaten me. I had to go and hire a gun, with the intention of going to the village to kill him. But, when I got home, he was not there. I sat in my car because I did not want it to look like someone directed me. I was waiting for him, when my late father appeared to me, and told me that if I did what I intended to do, my world would be in shambles and I would regret it. I then drove off. While on my way, I saw my cousin, and he was calling out to me to stop, but I did not. If not that my late father appeared to warn me, I would have killed him.
How is the relationship between you and your wife now?
Since the recent incident, she has been so loving. But, I know it is all a pretence just to get my attention. I still show her love, providing money for domestic needs and making sure the family is fine. But, I am very skeptical. I cannot eat her food anymore. For now, I only eat from Jasmine’s kitchen. She cooks a lot, and I like eating.
You seem to be closer to Jasmine than your other children. Why is that so?
That is because Jasmine is so mature. She is also in the media. I have 12 sons, and four daughters. My first son is married with four children; some of my children are graduates, while some are still in school.
When did you realise you had dementia, and how did it affect you and your family?
Sometimes, my mind would just trip off. I could be sitting, and just forget that I was holding something. I could even be counting money, and throw it in the dustbin. It is after I must have thrown it away that I would remember it was money. I would then have to retrieve it from the trash. Sense is very costly. Once I remember anything about my wife, my mood would change instantly.
Since your recovery from the poison incident, you hinted that you would be returning to set. What are your plans in that regard?
Most of the scripts (I was getting) before now were not worth it, so while I stayed back due to my illness, I took time to go through some of the new scripts they sent to me, I realised that some of the writers were not reasoning well. I then consulted some professional writers to advise some of their members on the issue of debating a particular topic before going ahead to write about it. They listened to my advice and some of them are now re-writing their already written scripts. I will soon be back on the screen.
Why did you leave the Peoples Democratic Party for the Labour Party?
No matter the manipulations from the other political parties, Peter Obi (presidential candidate of LP) is coming. We know that the first result might favour another person, but we will not give up.
As an actor known for only comical roles, have you ever wanted to act different characters?
I am ready for any role but the marketers demand my services specifically for comic roles. The movie I am presently working on has to do with guns, and I told them (filmmakers) that it does not make sense. If I carry a gun, I could kill my boss and say it was a mistake (laughs). But, they said I must do it. I have started rehearsing it, and it is going well.
Aside from acting, what other areas do you have interest in?
Acting exposes me to the world, and I travel a lot. When coming back to Nigeria, I buy things that I can sell here. By the time I sell those things, I would then make profit. I buy everything my wife wears from outside Nigeria. She is usually excited whenever I come back from such trips, because she knows that I won’t disappoint.
Your last born looks so much like you. Have you seen any sign that any of your children will follow in your footsteps, career-wise?
I don’t know what that boy saw. He did not see any other person to resemble but me. However, he should leave my footsteps, and follow another person’s own. If he wants to act, he can go ahead; but not for him to follow in my steps. He is a fine boy.
How do you unwind?
If I am not working, I would be at home. I neither drink nor smoke. I don’t go out often too. I am usually in my house, playing with my wife and children.