Posted by Stanley Okoronkwo on
Desmond Elliot is one of the top talented actors in the fledging Nigerian Movie Industry popularly called NollyWood. Quite unassuming and God fearing young man, Desmond like any other actor started with a walk on, (waka pass) but with diligence, hardwork and perseverance, he toiled his way to the top.
Desmond Elliot is one of the top talented actors in the fledging Nigerian Movie Industry popularly called NollyWood. Quite unassuming and God fearing young man, Desmond like any other actor started with a walk on, (waka pass) but with diligence, hardwork and perseverance, he toiled his way to the top. In this exclusive chat Desmond Elliot takes us into his very private world.
A lot of people see you on screen not knowing who you are, who is the real Desmond Elliot?
Desmond is the little normal,humble (laughs,) Christian boy, who loves life, I love being happy and having a nice time.
What's your idea of a nice time?
Staying at home with my family, watching movies, you know generally grooving as my friends will say.
What makes you happy?
When people around me are happy, when people are in need and I am able to help in some form or the other, I am happy. When I go to church am happy.
Where is Desmond Elliot from?
Well, I normally don't tell people, but my father is a Yoruba man from Lagos State, while my mother is an Ibo woman from Anambra State. Well, you see, you have to take where your father comes from, also my mother has roots in Delta State, now I grew up in the north, so who am I? A Nigerian I believe (laughs)
So what was growing up like?
I grew up in Jos, it was nice at a time, then my mother was running about three restaurants, my father was a Civil Engineer, until depression came into Nigeria and things started going tough. It was nice and tough at a very tender age I became a Christian which went a long way in controlling myself and all that
Was there a particular incidence that made you become a Christian?
Not really, it was when some Christians came to preach to me. Since then I have been in this faith.
Have you been able to retain your faith as a star?
Eh yes, because the just shall live by faith
What about academics?
I am a graduate of Economics, Lagos State University (LASU)
How did your romance with the movie industry start?
Am I having an affair? (laughs) well I have said this several times, but in a nutshell, it all started when I was denied visa to travel abroad, when I came back to Lagos and wasn't really doing anything. A friend of mine talked me into it and I decided to give it a trial. You know it all started like a hobby those days in Campus fellowship but here I am now, it has turned out a career
You are handsome, good mannered and have something in your pocket, how come you are still single?
(Surprised) I'm very, very married
(Cuts in) to who?
A woman of course abi na man I wan marry? That's by the way, her name is Victoria Imabong, and somebody is on the way, big big bouncing baby.
How come some people still see you as a bachelor?
Well maybe because of the way I look, I play a lot and all that, seriously, we have been married for close to three years now.
Can you recollect how you met?
Oh yes! It was in Jos, in fellowship, we were in the acting group together, she speaks English very well and I act. Truthfully my wife and I never really liked each other, I thought she was too conservative for my liking and she thought I was too carefree, I talk a lot and I was too forward. But a year later we started knowing ourselves the more, one thing lead to the other and here we are.
So when you told her you wanted to marry her, what was her reactions?
She just looks at me and I could tell from the look that she didn't take me serious. But when she knew I wasn't acting, that I really cared for her, she agreed.
How does she cope with your acting especially love scenes?
Well, that's one thing that endeared her to me, you know in this profession, you meet people everyday, male and females alike, you know you don't shun people, you have to be friendly.
But there are things I do she does not like even on screen and she tells me. In all, we always try to arrive at a compromise. That is what life is all about.
And on the love scene?
How will you feel when somebody else kisses your wife (general laughter) well it makes her uncomfortable, but she now knows the tricks behind it and it is not much of a problem now.
How does she feel when you have to move from one location to another?
Ah! She comes with me.
[(cuts in) even when the bouncing baby will come?
Sure why not I feel happier having her around me, especially when am in town.
Sometime ago, some of your colleagues were 'banned'
How were you able to escape the hammer?
I don't know, but I know God is always with me in every step I take. You see anything that happens to anybody I just know that it could be attributed to time and chance. I try to give thanks to God, no matter what happens. That's the way I think I can answer that question.
Did the ban affect you negatively or positively?
I don't know, but let me just say am moving along with God's plans for my life. It is not my prayers to be happy over someone's inability to make a living.
Some of the problems that led to some people being sidelined, would you say that they have been curbed, or do they still persist?
What were the things because nothing was made official
The issue of charging high fees, coming to location late, indiscipline etc. Don't you think they are enough to 'ban' them?
My brother you know what, these are political issues; I hardly want to comment on them. However, if you are being maltreated you have a right to voice it, dialogue and it goes on both ways. All I can say is we thank God that there is an industry like this and that we are surviving and the aim of the actors is not to kill the industry and vice-versa because they both work hand in hand, so the best thing is for them to always arrive at a compromise.
How do you spend your weekends, especially when you are not working?
Am at home with my family watching television.
Don't you gym?
Yeah! I gym but not much, I keep fit by eating right .
What's your favourite food and drinks?
Plantain with egg and soft drink will do
Any embarrassing moment from your female fans
So many, please don't even go there, so far God has been delivering me and I still pray for his continuous deliverance.
Could you give us an instance?
Hope it will not be the headline, some ladies call to have a date with you, some even go as far as offering you money just so you can sleep with them, they make passes at you, I mean acts like that are embarrassing to me. The point is this, how many fine girls are you going to date? You just stick to the one you love and life would be easier and more enjoyable.
What was your mother's reaction when you told her that you were getting married, did she object that another woman was coming to take over her little boy?
Her first reaction was how can I get married and get a house at the same time? I told her not to worry that God will do it for me. Well, this is something I have always wanted to do right from when I was eighteen, I told myself I was going to get married at twenty, but it never did happen until about nine years later or there about
How old are you now?
Am in my thirties
What was your mother's reaction, the first time she met your wife?
The first thing I did was to invite her to our house, they talked, and she liked her. When she left, my mum asked me where she is from I told her. My mum is not too particular about Calabar girls, but when she wanted to protest, I said sorry you said you like her.
Assuming you are not an actor what else would you be into?
In the banking sector of course no doubt.
How comfortable are you?
I eat everyday, I drink water, I pay my bills, also I support people whenever I can. I thank God for that.
*Update* Desmond and the wife just had twins (boys) on March 29th 2007.
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