Born Michael Godson
Ifeanyichukwu but popularly known as Mike Godson, this talented, young and handsome actor is one of the hottest acts rocking the movie scene. He made his debut into the make believe world 3 years ago and has skilfully set his table among the celebrated thespians, with his steady rise to stardom having worked with the likes of Emem Isong,Elvis Chuks and several others. Although not an unfamiliar face, his fame took a swirl few weeks back when his alleged romance with star actress Ini Edo hit the social media, coupled with intimate pictures of the duo. City people VIVIAN ONUORAH met with the wave making actor in CApeTown,South Africa ,where he finally opened up for the first time on his relationship with Ini Edo and life as a young actor. Excerpts.
What are you doing here in South Africa?
I actually came to film and then relax.
Is this your first time here?
Yes, it’s actually my first time and the experience is beautiful I enjoyed myself. I actually stayed for one week and it’s been amazing.
What movie production did you partake in here?
It’s actually a Diamond Groove production owned by Elvis Chuks, the movie is titled For The Wrong Reasons, we shot part of it in Nigeria and we came to complete it here in South Africa.
How has your acting experience been so far?
It’s been amazing; to think that I have always wanted to be an actor, though it hasn’t been easy. I started from the bottom and now am here. I started professionally 3 years ago but I studied Theatre and Communication Arts at the University of Jos,am a Stage actor and a Thespian but I wanted to take it to another level, so I went as far as going to The National Film Institute to study Film Production as well.
How exactly did you get into Nollywoood?
I used to have a brother, who worked as a producer, but he is in America right now, his name is Kingsely Ukaegbu.When I was in school, I was always shuttling Jos and Lagos, coming for auditions but unfortunately for me, he stopped producing and travelled to America to do other things. Then I later met with Ernest Obi and he started teaching me how to become a better actor and I later met another guy who is a director of photography in Nollywood, and he encouraged me to follow him to Enugu so he could introduce me to some producers and that was it. I got my very first movie where I played a sub lead to Van Vicker.It was a good experience.
Don’t you think your looks got you that role, since you share some physical similarities with him?
(laughs) No I don’t think so, a lot of people say that but for me I believe in talent and the grace of God. This is because when I came in there were a lot of other people who even looked better so I strongly believe am where I am today because of my talent and the grace of God.
You look very much like Star actor Mike Ezuruonye and you both also bear same name,Mike,have you had experiences where people especially fans think you are Mike?
Yes a lot, there was a particular time I was coming back from America and I met a lady who came to me very excited thinking I was Mike but I told her I wasn’t that Mike is my big brother and my boss. I actually like him a lot and have so much respect for him so to me it’s a compliment when people say I look like him.
What’s your relationship with him, are you both close?
Yes, I see him like my big brother, I learn a lot from him and we have been in a few movies together, he is actually a very nice guy.
What are the gains of acting, in your perspective?
Being famous is like a passport to a lot of opportunities, though it has its bad sides because you no longer have your freedom, anywhere you go people want to get into your business but so far, it’s been good and I get a lot of favours.
What about international breakthroughs?
Well that counts too, like I was in America couple of months back and I didn’t believe the reception I got. Sometimes we stay back home and we don’t know people love us abroad. I was so surprised that even older people came around to take pictures and all that, am really happy about it.
And financially, how has it been?
Well my bank account always has traffic (laughs)
What has been the major challenges so far?
A whole lot of it, it’s not easy ,people just see us on TV and they don’t know what we go through. Being here is actually a challenege.I didn’t just start out making money or living the good life immediately, I actually started from the scratch and those periods of my life was not easy, I went through a whole lot.I started on my own and went through hell in the hands of producers but my talent finally paved way.
When I started, I had just finished school and the money wasn’t the problem because I had established siblings who were helping out then and I wasn’t making money. But to be a successful actor ,you have to forgo a lot of things like the way producers will treat you and all that so you have to be boxed up in order not to feel the challenges that come with that stage.
What was growing up like and a peep into your formative years?
My name is Michael Godson Ifeanyichukwu,am from Imo State.I grew up in Kano State.I was also born and bred there. I speak Hausa, I schooled there and I had my primary and secondary education in Kano state before I moved to University of Jos for my tertiary education. It wasn’t easy growing up. Some people see me as someone who is very proud but am not. I grew up among Northerners, and basically not having friends so when I left Kano state and came to Lagos, I started seeing life differently. Even when I see people smoking am always baffled because where I grew up. SO growing up wasn’t really fun because of my environment and also my kind of parents.
Family of how many?
7,4 boys 3 girls .
I have a whole lot of female admirers and I try to be nice to them but I know when to draw the line.
I presume you have a girl in your life, how does she cope with your star status?
Presently I don’t have a girl in my life.
There is this rumour in town that you and Ini Edo are lovers, with your intimate pictures all over the media,?
Yea actually I heard about the rumour as well.
I have actually seen you two together in several places like the AMVCA party,GIAMA in US, and several other places, so what’s your relationship with her?
Yes ,we are very good friends, I respect her a lot because she has done so well for herself and I am not going to deny being her friend because she is having a bad press or something. She is someone I respect so much and I admire her intelligence. I love very intelligent women and I also love to associate myself with people who are successful because in one or two ways they will show you that way of being successful.Ini and I are very good friends, actually we are close, very close.
So how do you explain the intimate pictures of you both that sufficed all over the social media?
Those are truly movie pictures and am not going to say anything concerning the movie until it’s finally out.
Who are your colleagues you are close?
Ik Ogbonna,Alex Ekubo,Ini Edo and a lot of others.
Apart from Ini, are which other actress?
It’s just Ini Edo am close to, she is someone am very free with, someone I can share my problems with and tell things about me. She is the only actress I have a very close relationship with. I have a lot of actresses as friends as well but the only one am close to is Ini.
Where are you based currently?
What are some top producers or movies you have done?
I have worked with the likes of Emem Isong,Desmond Elliot,Elvis Chuks and those movies are yet to be out but I have done quite a lot of movies since my debut
You are currently one of the few well paid fast rising acts, at what point did your acting fee take a leap and with what movie?
I did one movie 3 years ago that actually changed a lot of things about me.The movie titled 7 books of moses was produced by Rich Rock productions, after I did that movie a lot of things changed about me.