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Ernest Asuzu: My problem was spiritual and people’s misconception
FOR a long time, Ernest Asuzu was a recurring decimal on television until his health went down the hill. For eight years, he battled depression and stroke and at some point, was rumoured dead. He says he’s steadily recovering from the health issues.
To show he’s ready to return to the scene, he recently launched a 7-track album titled, The Truth.
In this chat with SAM ANOKAM, Asuzu for the first time in many years, spoke about his career, health among other issues.
IT is eight years since you left regular acting due to your health challenges, are you back now?
Yes, I am back, better and stronger.
Did you become born again when you had your crisis or before?
I have always known God. I am not just knowing God today. Most people do not understand this aspect of me. They see me as what I portray on screen. That is make-believe. I have always aligned myself with God.
In all the eight years, what is that thing you heard or read that really hurt you?
That I was dead, that I was mad, that I was no – good. It hurts badly. I don’t know what they want to achieve by wishing me ill.
Do you think your problem is spiritual?
Yes. It is. I know a lot of what happened to me through my experiences in this journey.
Why is it that what happened to you is somehow attributed to your former lover?
I honestly do not know and I have not asked her.
Did you actually break her heart?
When we were dating, I introduced her to God. I think she was too heady, she doesn’t like God. It didn’t work out in the long run because I cannot do without God.
Could you tell us the true story behind the video where you removed your shirt and asked for help sometimes ago which prompted some to insinuate that you have gone mad?
Let me tell you what happened. Towards the end of last year when I was very ill without any job, some of my friends came in from Germany and didn’t like the state I was in. We went to Justrite supermarket on a Sunday morning. Along the line, they were asking what the guild I belong to has done for me and all that. I told them about Prophet Jeremiah Omoto Fufenyin of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministry Warri who accommodated me and took care of me for over a year. However, my friends decided to shoot a short video clip to let the world know that I am still going through a lot. That was when I removed my shirt and cried out.
So, how did the Anambra State First Lady come in?
That video clip went viral. Mrs. Obiano who was in the U.S. at that time saw it and through one of her aides, Uju contacted my coursemate, Digidi Dunhill, for my contact and that was how I was taken to Amaco hospital, Awka on the instructions of her Excellency.
After two weeks, she returned and visited me. Very kind woman. I was in the hospital for one month and two weeks after which I was discharged. Her Excellency then took me to the Governor’s lodge where I stayed again for another three weeks.
You went to Abuja after returning from Awka, what necessitated this move?
I was invited by Doctor Robert Uzu. He owns Ruzu herbal products. He sent for me. I received treatment using effective herbs in his clinic which is like a normal clinic with a laboratory for another three months. All expenses were paid by the doctor. God bless him.
How did you cope during the coronavirus lockdown?
It was during the lockdown that I travelled. I got a pass from the NDDC and Commissioner of Police.
These whole times you were dealing with your health issues, what do you miss most in Nollywood?
I miss location, my colleagues and the financial benefits of my job.
If you were not an actor what would you have been?
A pastor. I have plans to set up a church in the nearest future.
Who else assisted you?
My pastor, Godwin Ibeji, who is popularly known as Ikpo. He is the general overseer of End Time Soul Harvesters Ministry, Oke-Afa. He has been so helpful spiritually and financially. He has been coming to the house to pray for me regularly. He has been there for us. He is closer to us here in Lagos. He has been doing anything it takes for me to get well and thank God I am seeing results.
Are you still in contact with Prophet Jeremiah?
Yes, he is our daddy. You know he is based in Warri. He took good care of me for a year and three months, bought me a car and gave me money.
What do you tell others who may be going through similar challenges?
Let God be your number one. Jesus Christ in the bible says, ‘Come unto me all ye that are weary and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’
You recently released a music album, what informed that?
I did it in appreciation of what God has done for me. I wanted to tell the world that the God I serve is very good and that is why I called it, The Truth. People thought I was dead but I am alive.
I don’t know why some people hate me so much for nothing? I decided to unveil my music side to my fans. Many do not know I sing too. Music happens to be my first love before acting. I have been singing all my life. I do hip-hop/gospel.
I thank God it was a success and I had lots of support at the launch. I thank everyone that came especially Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo, Ekwe Stereoman, Erenty, Marvellous Benji, Honourable Desmond Elliot who though couldn’t make it sent me money among many others.
How do you combine music and acting?
I will look into my schedule and make sure both don’t clash so when it is time to go on set, I will go on set and when it is time to climb the stage, I will do so.
Are you currently working on a project?
Yes, I am working on ‘The Story of Ernest Asuzu.’ Many have a misconception about my person, the real me. It has to do a whole lot of what they do not know about me. I am also working on another of my own movie; ’60 Million Dollars Girls.’
What do you think of Nollywood now?
During my days, the social media wasn’t there compared to this time. I think the internet has been helpful. It has really projected us compared to when we had to work our ass out to be recognised. Nollywood has gone digital. People can upload their skits, movies and make money. Not so in our own time. The world has recognised Nollywood with that and that is why foreign producers are using some of our thespians now.
Is your son going into Nollywood too?
He is already into music though he is also a business person who is into bitcoins. He is working from the back end of the music business. He can rap and sing but he is focusing on the business side of music. He is working with an up and coming artist, Mr. Peak.
Despite your travails, your wife is still standing by you. Does it surprise you?
It is just God. Before I got married, I asked God to give me my wife and He did. I love her so much and someday, I will buy her a diamond ring! And I advise every man who is ready to marry to ask God to give you your missing ribs because that is the only way that person could stay with you through thick and thin.
Do you have anything to say to your fans?
I love them so much. Some have been extremely wonderful, sending me money and all that. It was actually a huge fan, who is based abroad that asked Dr. Robert Uzu to look for me and take care of me. When Dr. Ruzu came to Lagos from abroad, he went to Igando to see a friend and somehow providence took me to Igando and we met at the same place. He even made me an ambassador of Ruzu herbal products. May God bless them all for me.
Ernest Asuzu: My problem was spiritual and people’s misconception