Mistakes have made me a better person —Jim Iyke

A popular actor and businessman with a personal thirst for the arts, Jim Iyke is blessed with a persona that is packed with a lot of drama. He describes his new TV series Jim Iyke Unscripted as a confluence of his life. In this interview with Entertainment Editor, VICTOR AKANDE, the artiste enlightens the public on the reasons behind the creation of Jim Iyke Unscripted, his short temper and a number of issues.

HOW much of you are we going to see in this reality show?

I don’t want to circumvent circles; we’ve travelled already but for the first time in my life I get to share the real me with the world. A man lives three lives; the public, the private and the secret and this is the confluence of every part of my life.

You’ll see the ambiguous part that has been filled in by a lot of people, their insinuations and views of me, you’ll see the part that I have not been generous enough to show people and of course the part I would rather keep to myself and allow people draw conclusions. So in its entirety, it’s the best view of my life that anyone can get

In doing this, have you consciously tried to differentiate between reality and drama?

Absolutely! The one thing you can’t do is to fool Nigerians. They are opinionated people with hardcore beliefs and not very liberal with their views in certain respects. They are not fools and can pretty much see through any act. It’s true people in my line of work are given to theatrics but that much is the being by which we exist and at some point you begin to find it hard to draw the line between reality and fantasy.

But I have been able to uphold both dimensions easily. It’s easy to be idealistic and realistic and here we marry them both. It is the best part of me that I have ever been comfortable enough to give. Being that I’m unscripted is the best gift I have given so far in my career.

People have overtime noticed your temper; everyone has it, but to what degree is yours?

I’m passionate. Sometimes people say that men like me like to substitute words but when you say a man is temperamental he might be. Given the space I grew up in, that I operate, built my trade and my lifelong interests, you’re given to so much pressure sometimes and you break under it if you don’t know how to handle it. From the onset, we got into it based on faith, with no idea of what to expect.

There was nothing like celebrity management from people that knew better and the limelight that shone on us suddenly was something we did not know how to handle. The scrutiny breaks you, and you act contrary to your initial values, elements and offspring of pressure, which is relative and comes from different spheres. We were kids who just started out with a little money, few travels, meeting people at the helm of affairs and it dawns on you at some point that it’s a gift which should not be misused. It was given to better the quality of people’s lives around you, leave a legacy by touching lives and improving yourself.

The question has always been if I have made a conscious effort to show my true self and the reply has always been in the negative. I’m proud of my mistakes; I don’t shy away from them. Embarking on this seemed so stressful at the beginning, with so much on the table but making mistakes have made me a better person. Getting to a point and looking back without any sign of mistake is like you saying you’re not human

Are you being diplomatic by calling them mistakes?

They were not all mistakes, some were acts performed due to not knowing any better; acts of ignorance. Given what I know now and have imbibed, there are certain things I will do now that you know are not mistakes: the acts of a man that knows better but chooses the wrong route. It’s a lot different now, I don’t blame myself for the things I did but for the man they made me be.

Are we going to see the romantic side of Jim Iyke?

It’s in its entirety. I didn’t pull punches anywhere, I take viewers to my family so they understand the type of man I am. I take them to the basics that are important to the Nigerian mindset; they see the businessman, because I want them to see how hard I work. I take them through entertainment to see the type of pressure people in my kind of work face. I’m not saying they should let go of their prior impression but to be more objective and conventional in their judgment.

I make them see my unique relationship with my mum and sisters, with my employers and employees. I want them to see the impact of Nollywood, so I take them to countries where people didn’t believe we will get major recognition and things happened, showing them my ideas and philosophies. I want people to be open minded, void of pressure and bias. And that’s what the show is; a complete chronicle of my everyday life.

When you got the proposal to do this, did you hesitate or jump at it?

I said no for a long time and that’s why the programme delayed in coming. I didn’t believe in reality TV and there is still a part of me that refuses. As a true actor, everything in you rebels against causes like this, but when I signed onto a management called Greylogies, Mr. Chris grey, a Jamaican-American, sat me down and made me understand that this is the next step, reality TV is new. It’s like refusing to do social media, no matter how good or potent you are, embracing it is necessary. He went further to say that, from the inception, my career has been headlined by people who didn’t have direct contact with me, so this serves as a medium to tell my own story un-orchestrated, un-doctored, unscripted. Let people who want to judge do that from this angle.

Comments