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Kalu Ikeagwu: I am not romantic

By Benjamin Njoku

Nollywood actor, Kalu Ikeagwu, who took the film industry by storm after starring in Emem Isong’s movie, ‘For Real’, in 2004, got married to the love of his life, Ijeoma, in 2016. And their union has been blessed with two kids. The handsome actor recalls, in this encounter, how fate brought him and his wife together while they were on a movie set. He also narrates how he has been able to overcome temptations from female admirers.

My wife’s fears

I met my wife in the movie industry. That was the first time she came on a movie set in Port-Harcourt. She was a make-up artist. She had finished a make-up course in India and had been engaged in business. I just encouraged her to come on set to see if make-up on a movie set was a thing for her or not. It was my actions on that set that got her attracted to me. I was the one who was running after her on that set. From the way I behaved on that set, that’s how she knew the kind of person I am. Sometimes, I am playful and, sometimes, I am serious when on set. However, I didn’t start anything with her until after we completed the shooting.

Love at sight

It wasn’t love at sight. I don’t know how to explain it. But immediately I set my eyes on her, I recognized her. She has the most beautiful eyes. I was just seeing traits of what I like in a woman. While on set, she used to pick us from the hotel to movie location. I tried to imagine the distance she used to cover, and I was like, “aren’t you scared!” She replied, saying “I had to do it”. I said to myself “I like a woman with this kind of courageous heart”. As time went on, I saw her other qualities and I knew she’s the woman that is meant for me.

Popping the question

Not in the most conventional ways. I’m not the most romantic person when it comes to going after things I want. Once I see what I want, I just go for it and then the romance can come later. I was at my uncle’s funeral where I introduced her to one of my other uncles that “this is the woman I want to marry”. And that was three months after we met. It was on the spot because my people had been troubling me to get married.

Our marriage was spiritual

I prayed to God for my wife. And when I saw her, I recognized her. It was a spiritual thing. There was no direction per se, but when I saw her, I immediately recognized her as my wife. There was no need for me to waste time any more.

Courtship

Of course, there was courtship. I met her in 2015 and we got married the following year. What is courtship? It’s when you people agree to date and get engaged. It can last two weeks, a year or eternity.

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Parents’ reaction

There was no negative reaction. Everything worked in harmony. There was no need for us to make inquiries. That was why I said it was the right time.

Driving force

God. The person who brought us together would keep us together. God has been the central point of my marriage. Of course, there have been so many challenges: Eternal and internal. But we have stayed together. He’s the driving force in my marriage and it has been wonderful.

Before I met her

Of course, I was into other relationships before I met her. But when I was ready to settle down or, perhaps, when I came to know God, I knew that marriage is a very important institution. So, it was something I never treated with levity. But I always knew that whoever I got married to,would be the woman God has destined for me. I was never really bothered about whom I was going to marry. By the time I was ready to get married, I had learnt the most important aspects of marriage and I had chosen a partner. And that was making God the central part of it.

Born again Christian

I gave my life to Christ when I was nine years old. Before I was nine, I was an atheist. I grew up not believing in God and when I came to know him, it was a completely new world for me.

Has she changed from the woman I married?

Not at all! She still has exactly the same things I saw before I met her. My brother had told me before I met my wife that “whatever you see before marriage, you multiple it by at least by 10, that’s what you see inside marriage. If it is bad qualities, make sure you can live with them, and if it is the good ones, make sure there are things you cannot live without”. And that’s what you see in marriage.

Overcoming temptations from female admirers

It has not been easy but God has been my strength. I recall one time I travelled to Poland when I was much younger. Before then, they (Polish) had not seen a black person in their country and all the women were running after me. But the voice in me said, “chasing after women is like chasing after the wind. You would end up with nothing.” I never forgot that inner thought. So, no matter how many beautiful women that come after me, I see the situation as what it is. Chasing after them is like chasing after the wind. That was what has kept me away from female admirers.

Birth of baby boy

I was happy when my wife gave me a baby boy. It was a good feeling. But having said that, as much I love him and my daughter, what is more important to me is recognising that they are, first and foremost, God’s children. I am only a caretaker, mine is just to try and be as responsible as possible to them.

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