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By Emeka Anokwuru
Popular actor, Ernest Asuzu, who suffered stroke a few years ago, is back on the block. However, he has now found a new role. It’s to change people’s perception about Nollywood by bringing God back to the industry.
In an interview with TS Weekend, Asuzu, a born-again Christian, reveals why he feels that Nollywood is evil. He also talks about other issues.
Many people want to know what you’ve been doing since you recovered from your health challenge?
I have returned to Nollywood, my first love. But I want God to help me re-establish myself as a good Christian in Nollywood. After the first outing, which I considered a success by worldly standard, I went down with stroke. Before I took ill, I was living large, outgoing and flamboyant; but now I have returned to God and I want to change people’s thinking about actors in Nollywood, because a lot of actors are dying without knowing God. I want to introduce God to Nollywood so that they will know that there’s nothing they can do without God. Look at me now I have a Jeep. If anybody had told me when I was down with stroke that I’d ride a Jeep, I would not believe. But a man of God in Warri, Delta State blessed me with the car, that’s the car I brought to church today. Isn’t that marvelous? God saw my pain and faith in Him and intervened. The thing that happened to me wasn’t my making; a man got jealous of my rising profile and inflicted me with stroke. I don’t want to emphasise on that. Let God judge the man. I’m glad because I’m not dead yet, when you are dead, that’s when you are gone. Now that I’m alive and back on my feet, it’s the Lord’s doing. I am alive by the intervention of God so I want everyone to know that I’ve given my life to God and my movie life is running and thriving.
Now that you’re back to Nollywood, what impact do you really want to make?
What I’m bringing back to Nollywood is concrete change. This is not a political slogan. What I want is for everyone in Nollywood to be God-fearing. I want the industry to know God because I’m a testimony. A lot of practitioners believe in charms, juju and evil, but when you know God, you will know it all and will not have room for doubt and unbelief. I want to bring God back to Nollywood, that’s what I want to accomplish this year.
How do you want to achieve this since you aren’t a pastor?
I am not a pastor, but I intend to be a pastor, to preach the gospel. I know it is not easy to be a pastor but I tell you if God calls me, I will answer. I will either be a pastor or prophet. But I am begging them to leave evil alone. Evil does not pay anybody. They inflicted me with stroke but I did not feel I had stroke for one day. So, if God chooses me as his vessel, I will say ‘Here am I, send me’. I want Nollywood to get closer to God because the time we are now is evil.
If God calls you what message will you preach?
Love. I will tell people that God is love and that love conquers all. I will harp on love, agape love; that is unconditional love. God created this world out of love and out of love he gave His son. For God so loved the world that he created everything therein, so I will preach the message of love.
You are sounding as if you are angry with the Nollywood family?
I’m not angry but I don’t like the way they treat human beings. What I don’t like about the practitioners is their heavy dependence and trust in charms. They should leave charms alone and turn to God, the ultimate for solution to all their challenges.
You think if they embrace God things will be well?
As you are into music, are you also preaching the gospel through music?
What I’m doing is to use music as a channel to communicate my new found passion, which when all has been said, prepares you for a better life here and beyond. Salvation is not negotiable, and for me, it is a gift that Christians in Nollywood must accept as a plank to eternal life.
Is this your new belief also based on your recent robbery experience?
When I keep talking about the mercies of God, you may not understand. The robbery attack occurred around the premises of a transport company in Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos when I went there for a meeting. As I waited for my friend, in my car, two young men drove up to me on a motorbike and stopped by the car. One of them walked casually towards me and brought out a gun. He asked for money and my handset. Before I knew what was happening, he had collected every valuable thing from me. He looked at me and recognised me, he then asked: ‘Are you not a Nollywood actor?’ I answered ‘yes, I am’. He turned, jumped onto the bike and zoomed off.