STAR actor, singer, voice over artiste and former President of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Segun Arinze clocked 49 days back. And hosted by associates and the entire showbiz industry, Segun Arinze, who became a father again on August 25, 2014, has not stopped celebrating his birthday.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with the popular entertainer, who x-rayed his exciting life as he grows older.
Black Arrow and star of over 100 flicks including Women in Love, Anini, Darkest Night, Extra Time, Fragile Pain, Across the Niger, Church Business, To Love a Thief, Silent Night, 30 Days, A Place in Stars…, equally took a critical look at Nollywood, admitting there are surmountable challenges bedeviling the industry.
On what stardom means to him, Arinze confessed it’s a mixed grill of pains and gains. Decorated as an Icon of the Entertainment Industry at the monthly edition of the show powered by the T-Lounge at the prestigious De-Santos Hotel, Egbeda, Lagos, Segun Arinze also educated us on what it takes to be a professional actor and the secret of his success.
Born in Onitsha, Anambra State to a Yoruba father and Igbo mother, Segun Aina Arinze hails from Badagry, Lagos State. He attended Victory College of Commerce in Ilorin, Kwara State, from there, he proceeded to Taba Commercial College in Kaduna State to complete his secondary education. A graduate of Dramatic Arts of the Obafemi Awolowo University, he kicked off his acting career in Kwara State, many years ago.
Segun Arinze has endorsed many brands, including Omo, Viju Milk, Chivita, among others. He is to married Juliet, a native of Oguta, Imo State. She works with a multi-national oil company, which they got married in 2008.
You recently added a year, how does it feel to be alive these interesting times?
I feel good. I feel great. I thank my fans across the globe, Nigerians, especially the media, for their support, encouragement over the years. The truth is I’m a product and creation of the media. And I don’t take the love and support I get from my fans and other people for granted. I thank you all.
Other than the media and your fans you eulogized, what else has brought you this far?
God. No one else but Him. He has been the motivation, He has been the inspiration.
What lesson has life taught you?
Always thank God for your life. No matter what happens, give God all the glory. Thank God for each day of your life.
What about targets you set for yourself?
I’m achieving them as I go along.
Any regret so far?
Challenges come, but I don’t like to regret. You learn from your mistakes and simply move on.
What are you most grateful to God at this stage of your life?
My life and my family and everything else.
Where are you headed, sir?
Where we are doing this show (laughs and steps out).
You and your wife, Juliet recently welcomed a baby girl. Congratulations.
So, how are they doing?
Mother and child are doing well.
How is married and family life?
Great. It is so sweet.
Are you done with making babies?
You can continue from where I stopped (laughs).
What’s the sweetest thing about being a movie star?
Quite a lot. But it comes with a prize. In fact, stardom is a burden, a huge burden on your shoulder. If you don’t know how to manage yourself, you will fall by the way side because pride goes before a fall. If you don’t know how to manage stardom, it can intoxicate you. It’s like power, you get carried away. It’s such a powerful force. So, you need to control it, you need to subdue it, otherwise it would get into your head and subdue you. You got to know where you are coming from. Watch over the ladder that helped you climb to the top or else somebody would remove it and you would crash.
You would definitely step on toes as you walk along, but recognize your mistake, go back and apologise. Carry people along. Be humble, above other things.
Stardom has certainly opened doors for you?
Yes, of course. Doors have been opened. You get a lot of encouragement and support. There are also some doors it opens and you walk yourself into trouble and sometime you walk in and begin to blame yourself. I advise one should look before you leap.
What makes a good actor?
Discipline, focus, talent, being able to research and fit into character. You need to be hard working, determined and passionate about acting.
You sing and act, where does your love lie?
I love both equally. They are my God-given talents. I’m not done with music, you will soon hear from me.
Some of your colleagues are now in politics. Are you joining them soon?
No, no, no, but they all have my support. They have the right to contest, so far as they know their mission. Deliver on your promise. Whatever you promise the people, don’t fail to deliver it. Make sure you deliver on your promise to the electorate.
Charly Boy said artistes in politics are less ambitious. Is that your view too?
He’s entitled to his opinion. That’s not my view. Every entertainer or even ordinary Nigerians have the right to aspire to any political position. Just do it if you can. But when you get there do well.
There seems to be constant rancor in the industry. What is really responsible for this unending fight and bitterness?
That’s to me a reflection of the Nigerian society. We disagree to agree. Like they say in politics, there’s no permanent friend, no permanent enemy, only interest is permanent. Having said that, it gives us so much worry that we are not united. This has to be done for us to move the industry forward. We would get there. When Ejike Asiegbu was President of Actors Guild of Nigeria, he had his own issues to contend with. I also encountered challenges when I was in office. I think the current President, Ibinabo Fiberesima is doing very well. She has brought peace, unity and progress to our guild and even beyond. She has our support. We would continue to strive to get things right. There are bound to be differences but how it is resolved is what matters most. There would be dissenting and discerning voices. It is good to have all of them under one canopy. So, it’s not a strange thing happening, we would surely get there.
What is your take on the campaign for artistes to embrace insurance policies?
That’s good. We started the project. Thank God Ibinabo is encouraging actors to get one, too.
Our lifestyles are also worrisome. You need to put a check on how you live. My brother, once you are over 40, you are treading on a dangerous rope. So, you need to be very, very careful because anything can happen at any minute.
What’s new for Segun Arinze?
Trust me, I’m coming back on air with my TV show on AIT. We should be back before the end of October. I’m working on so many other things. Next year, I have a milestone to celebrate.
– UCHE OLEHI