Emmanuel Ikubese is Mr. Nigeria and Mr. World Africa. The chocolate skinned and tall dude is a graduate of International Relations from the United States University, Nairobi (Kenya). He came to limelight when he played the role of Femi in the popular MTV Base drama series, Shuga.
On Sunday, November 29, 2015, he launched his domestic violence foundation tagged, Project Raw. He said it was conceived to amplify the power of domestic violence and sexual assault movement using a unifying symbol to drive awareness and break down barriers of stigma, silence and shame that keep people away from talking.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with him and he spoke about his passion for abused women. He also talked about his short movie, Black Out, shot for the abused women…
Can you tell us what Emmanuel Ikubese’s Foundation entails?
I have this passion for creating awareness against domestic violence. It all started when I was in university. My female friends whenever they have problems with their boyfriends I always see their pains, they always come to me. Sometimes I will visit them on their sick bed while some of them have become suicide targets on this issue. Sometimes I even moved into some issues to salvage the situation.
But the irony is that, this girls keep going back to the same guy that abused them and I said to myself if there is any issue I want to handle, tackle or create an awareness on it is going to be on domestic violence. The passion started when I featured in the show with MTV Base, Shuga that creates awareness on HIV and AIDS. I saw how the awareness gave people free mind, people started talking freely on HIV AIDS. I thought to myself being Mr. Nigeria what do I want to do? Before I became Mr. Nigeria, I had this idea to shoot a short movie on domestic violence and I felt with Mr. Nigeria, it is going to be a big platform. The issue of domestic violence needs to be pronounced everywhere. What we are doing with project Raw is to create a value and respect for women. Our women go through a lot of pains already. You talk of labour pain, fibroid, to cancer etc. The men that are supposed to support these women are the one hurting them and that must stop. Respect needs to be traced back to our roots and it should start from our primary and secondary schools. If a boy is seen shouting or hurting a girl he should be severely punished. Victims are suffering every day because they don’t know where to run to. Some are even scared that if they come out something terrible might happen to them.
But some men are crying out that they are being abused?
I do not take that away, its gender based violence. But I always say this, how many times have you seen a woman beat a man to death? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen but the percentage is very infinitesimal
Tell us about the Black Out movie?
Black Out is a movie on domestic violence. It’s a short movie so, we could not really tackle the whole issues. But we tackle the violence part that if you don’t stop, it will consume you and it can take the life of someone you love.
Most of these domestic violence foundations are based on the Island, how is your own foundation going to help the abused women on the Mainland, a place like Agege. And what difference are you bringing?
Creating awareness involves a huge budget but we would make things happen. Our awareness will touch those places. A lot of times people change based on what they hear or see and that is what we are trying to do. We would create that awareness and every corner people turn to, they will see the need to change. We want to make the women to speak out and the men to come out.
- AJOKE ONITOLO