Iâ€™m not GAY – Nollywood Actor Benson Okonkwo Speaks Out
There is this rumor that you are gay. What do you have to say about that?
Iâ€™m not a gayâ€¦hell no! I love women. We have girls all over Nigeria looking for guys to date. In fact, we have more population of girls in Nigeria than guys, so why should I be sleeping with men? Jeeeeezâ€¦this is absurd. When youâ€™re not forming a hard man or drinking a lot, smoking, or womanizing with those my male colleagues, the next thing they say is that youâ€™re gay. Well I came from a Christian background. Our country forbids the act. So why should I be practicing such act. Thereâ€™s this saying that if you fine too much them go say you turn gay.
What do you think started this rumor?
What I know and Iâ€™m sure that started the rumor is envy. Because I have good looks and they know that. Itâ€™s a good thing for a male actor to look good. And secondly, I donâ€™t womanize with them or smoke weed or drink like they do. Because Iâ€™m an actor doesnâ€™t mean that I must take my female fans for a fool. I mean sleeping around when Iâ€™m supposed to be a mirror for all, not an instrument for the devil.
I did a movie in 2010 withÂ Jim Iyke. In that movie, I played a gay man. The name of the movie isÂ Two dollar. In the movie, I disguised myself andÂ JimÂ saw me in the club and thought I was a woman. He then took me home and I left with his money. It was just a movie. And because I played my role so well my colleagues started saying nonsense.
Some artists have played witches, mad people, rapists, ritualists, etc., in the movies, why are they not being labeled those things? Itâ€™s all jealousy from my male colleagues, thatâ€™s all I know. Many of them have spent so many years without making any impact in the industry, now they see me rising very fast and they want to spoil my name. Itâ€™s not my fault that Iâ€™m talented. I didnâ€™t create myself. God gave me the talents.
Some of your colleague said that youâ€™ve never introduced any girl to them as your girlfriend. Any comment on that?
WOWâ€¦they must be kidding me! Who doesnâ€™t know my girlfriendEmeldaÂ in the industry? Well, you seeâ€¦they like it when you are a womanizer. For me Iâ€™m from a Christian home. And I believe in one relationship at a time. Iâ€™m not trying to say Iâ€™m a saint, but you donâ€™t expect me to be going around Nollywood with my girlfriend who is a student. When she has free time in school or is on break and Iâ€™m on set, she visits me on location.
Well the last time she came to location to visit me, she was even complaining of my friend, a male colleague, asking her out and that she wasnâ€™t comfortable with the whole thing, knowing too well that Iâ€™m a decent dude. I have dated her for close to 7 years now. And she knows my principle, I donâ€™t double date.
Oh I remember again, I also did a movie withÂ Tonto Dikeh, Halima AbubakarÂ andÂ Oge OkoyeÂ in Lagos. I played the role of a gay man. In the movie,Â TontoÂ broke my heart and got married to the star. The movie will come out next month. After the movie,Â TontoÂ told me that I did well and that Iâ€™ll go far in the industry. I donâ€™t care about what people say, Iâ€™ll play roles given to me because Iâ€™m a versatile actor.
We are going to ask you this straight up. Benson, are you gay?
God forbid! I am not gay and will never be! Itâ€™s absurd. Itâ€™s not okay in our culture and like I said before I come from a Christian home which forbids it.
Tell us about your girlfriend.
How do people expect a young handsome man like me to be singleâ€¦hell no! Her name isÂ EmeldaÂ and we have been dating for close to 7 years now. We love each other very much.
When will you introduce Emelda to the world?
I will introduce her to the world if God says itâ€™s time ooo. Maybe when we are ready to settle down and start having children. For now we pray for that time to come soon when I must have been fully establishedâ€¦lol.
By Sandra Oyeudo