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INTERVIEW: My problem was spiritual

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INTERVIEW: My problem was spiritual

Ernest Asuzu began his acting career in the ’90s and rose to prominence after he starred in the 1997 Nollywood classic, ‘Rituals’

He was the toast of Nollywood until his career nosedived after he came down with a stroke in 2015 and it affected his speech. He was also bedridden for three years.

In 2015, he announced that Jeremiah Funfeyin of Mercyland Deliverance Ministry healed him of stroke.

The cleric reportedly gave him a new SUV valued at about N3.5m and N1.5m as startup capital to help revive his career. For eight years, he battled depression and was rumoured dead at some point.

In this interview with PREMIUM TIMES, he said he is bouncing back and ready to return to doing what he knows how to do best.

PT: Your fans were left in shock in January when a video of you begging at a popular Lagos supermarket surfaced online. Can you tell us what really happened?

Ernest: Let me tell you what happened. Towards the end of 2019 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.

PT: We hear that the Anambra state First Lady intervened. Is this true?

Ernest: 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. My pastor, Godwin Ibeji, who is popularly known as Ikpo, 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. I was also invited to Abuja by Doctor Robert Uzu of Ruzu herbal products. 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.

PT: It’s been eight years since you left Nollywood. Do you think you’re fit and ready enough to return to acting?

Ernest: Yes, I am and that’s why I recently launched a 7-track album titled, The Truth. Yes, I am back, better, and stronger. I miss going to movie locations, my colleagues, and the financial benefits of my job. I know that all that happened to me is spiritual. I know a lot of what happened to me through my experiences in this journey is spiritual.

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.

If I wasn’t an actor, I would have been a pastor. I have plans to set up a church in the nearest future.

PT: Would you like to debunk any painful rumours you heard about yourself?

Ernest: I was rumoured dead, some people said I was mad; that I was a never-do-well. It hurts badly. I don’t know what they want to achieve by wishing me ill. Some said my ex was behind my problems but I honestly do not know and I have not asked her.,

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.

PT: Are you still in touch with Prophet Jeremiah?

Ernest: 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.

PT: Why did you release a music album and isn’t acting your first love?

Ernest: Not many know that music is my first love before acting. I have been singing all my life. I do hip-hop/gospel. This is why I decided to unveil my music side to my fans. Many do not know I sing too.

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. 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.

I thank God it was a success and I had a lot 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.

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