Rykardo Agbor’s substantial contributions to Nollywood across a span of 17 years, notably in both Yoruba and English sectors, are truly remarkable. His experiences and perspectives likely offer a distinctive viewpoint on the industry’s evolution and growth.
Some people are of the opinion that before you got married, you were really into women, is that true?
Oh, that is wrong. I think you will be the first person to say that. If they say I was always seen around women, they should be able to say which one it is.
Are you saying you are not into women?
Before I got married, I was not ‘that into women’. I was always seen among guys. Since I met my woman, she has been the only woman in my life till date. I am not trying to boast, but I have never had a scandal since I got into the movie industry. Nobody will ever tell you that about me. I can tell you unequivocally that I am scandal-free.
So, what you are saying is that women were not in your agenda then?
When I was still in school, I had a lot of time for that, but when I left school, I did not see it as a way of relaxation. I had many girlfriends when I was in school, but when I started acting, I was never into women because I met my wife then.
Is it that you lost the magic wand that worked wonders on women?
I did not. I met a girl that I eventually married and did not have time to start chasing other women because she is all I needed in a woman.
So, you are a very principled man, very true to your words?
I try to as much as I can to be very principled.
Tell us the secret to your scandal-free status.
I have the fear of God and like the bible says, it’s the beginning of wisdom. I try to be good. Everybody gets moved or tempted. I am not saying that I don’t get advances from women, but it is the fear of God that gives me the restraint. If I was a bad person, as a journalist, you would have heard from one of your colleagues, come on, we all know how fast bad news spread.
So, when women make advances, what do you say?
‘I am married’, it’s as simple as that.
What if they persist?
Are they going to rape me? It’s not possible. I know women can rape men if their drink gets laced and I am not someone that drinks, so it can never work with me.
Interesting, you don’t drink, you don’t womanise, what else do you avoid?
I don’t smoke and I know the next question will be if I am a born-again Christian. The answer to that is that I believe in God and I am not a saint. I am God-fearing.
You pierced your ear lobes, but no tattoo on your body?
Yes, I pierced my ear and I have a tiny earring on it, I love it. I don’t have tattoo because I might be asked to act a role like that of a saint, so, the tattoo will give me away, that’s why I don’t have it.
Do you wear your earring to the church?
Sure, why not? I’m a devoted Catholic and I go to church to worship my God and not man. So, why live a hypocritical life?
If you are asked a question like when you first had sex, would you answer it?
Of course, I will answer it. I was very tender when I first had sex. I was in primary school. I was about leaving primary school. I had a lot of girls that were interested and most of them were much older than I was. They were in secondary schools then. I think I did it first in primary five and it was with an older friend.
Is that not molestation?
No it was different, or should I say, I didn’t think it was at that time.
Did you know what you were doing?
I will say it was exciting, not that I knew completely what it was. You see, anything that is illicit is usually sweet for people to do. At that age, you feel like a hero when you do what people say is bad.
Then in primary school, I was playing football. I was very popular with football then and I was paid N10 per match. I shared money with my friends. Give them like one kobo each. I had a lot of cash to play with and I had elderly friends that wanted me in their company.
I was playing for my community then. I had a nickname then; ‘King Perierra’. They named me after a Brazilian footballer then. So, I always had people who wanted to be with me, particularly girls. They just loved me then probably because I was popular and a bit loaded.
So, your stardom did not start from acting?
You can say that.
How come you act mostly in Yoruba films than Igbo movies?
Right now, the industry is going through some kind of rebirth. They are trying to sort the marketing thing, so most movies are shot in Asaba and if it is not a script I like, for example, acting nude in the name of trying to shoot, I would not do it.
Most of the Yoruba movies that I have done recently; they have message content, so I am very particular about content. Aside the fact that I speak Yoruba language fluently, I enjoy making good movies, either in English or Yoruba languages.
What was your growing up like?
I had a very humble background. My family is a very interesting one. I am a very simple person and very down to earth. I was born in Lagos in a family of four. I have three sisters. I am the only son and I am the only one in my family that is into the arts.
Are you proud of your fame?
I don’t think wealth or fame should make one pompous or not to respect God, afterall every good thing comes from God. So, it’s not one’s making, so why would I look down on people?
How do you see the fame so far? Would you say stardom has changed your personality?
It has not changed my person in anyway because there is nothing you can get on your own. It is not by my power and we have not got anywhere. I have not started being celebrated in India, China and America. If I am known, it is just within some spheres.
I am still working to attain that kind of height. If international stars that are known all over the world like Denzel Washington, Angelina Joli do not kill themselves because of the level of stardom that they have attained, then who am I to brag? I think it is borne out of complex for anyone to feel too much of himself.
As the only son in your family, did it sound weird to your parents when you told them you wanted to be an actor?
There was a lot of truth in that. It’s just now that acting got that lucrative. Prior to this time, people saw artistes as charlatans, people that were not that focused, not until now. In this world of ours, if money is not coming in, they think you are a failure. People do not think about how to make that thing better so that people will profit from it.