“What happened?!” is the question a hearer would ask when the speaker says “I studied anatomy in school but I’m now an actor, I love martial arts and I create beautiful pieces with leather.”
Well, that’s life. It takes you places that you never planned to go sometimes.
This is the story of our creator for the month, Igoni Archibong, a native of Opobo in Rivers State (South-South Nigeria), half Efik from Cross River State (South-South Nigeria).
IBIENE catches up with him as he attempts to take us through his interesting journey of life so far. Keep scrolling to know more;
IBIENE: What is your perspective of life?
Igoni: Life is simple or complex, depending on your mentality and perspective.
IBIENE: What was growing up like compared to what you have today?
Igoni : Growing up was fun and innocent; loads of bonding and loyalty. We all had values; character was put first, over material or any other stuff.
IBIENE: Pictures on your socials show you having a good time with your kids. Tell us what fatherhood means to you?
Igoni : Fatherhood for me today, is based on the same traditional standards that I grew up with. It means providing for, protecting, and mentoring my entire household, to become the best they can be, lead good lives and leave positive marks on the world and all they, come in contact with.
IBIENE: You acted in the movie “Turning Point” what was the experience like and what lessons can be learned from the movie?
Igoni: It was very challenging but exciting, playing the lead role, in TURNING POINT, considering that I’d never acted on screen before, and had to do so along with much more experienced and popular, national and international Thespians, on the set.
Most people naturally expected me to mess up lines and all, but I was determined not to let this happen. And so worked extra hard, to ensure that no scene had to be repeated; at least, not because of me … the multinational Camera crew soon took notice, and nicknamed me “One take!” As I always nailed my scenes, on the first shot, every time.
The movie emphasizes the need to marry someone you really know, and for love, rather than due to pressure from Family.
It also shows the need to stay humble irrespective of Success.
IBIENE: What unusual things have you done to ensure you play your movie character well?
Igoni: Though we were in the same hotel throughout the shoot, I stayed away from Jackie Appiah, who I’d never met in real life (she played my estranged wife, Grace) so she was still a total stranger to me, as we shot the first of our scenes together; I believe this brought out more of the cold and dramatic effects in those scenes.
When I wasn’t shooting a scene, I would be in my room, studying for the next. I didn’t visit anyone, have any visitors, go out (except for walks), go shopping or even to the club; for all the weeks the movie was shot, and yet I was in America, the land of temptation and distractions … I kept my focus.
I smoked a Cigar in one scene and a Cigarette in other scenes, even though I had quit smoking at the time. I believed it would enhance my Character, and I think it did so, very well.
IBIENE: When did your love for martial arts begin and what life principles can be grabbed from it?
Igoni: I had always loved Martial Arts from childhood, and wasn’t sure, which to learn first. I hold a black belt in Taekwondo and have an interest in Jujitsu, kickboxing and Krav Maga.
The Martial arts has taught me to be even more humble, tough, persevering, calm, patient and less physical, than I naturally am.
IBIENE: You are a graduate of Human Anatomy. Have you ever practised? If not why?
Igoni: No. I have never practised; my degree in Human Anatomy has mostly only served to satisfy my curiosity about the human body and its intricate design and inner workings.
Also, I may have been distracted by more interesting enterprises, LMAO: like Working in the Oilfields, Acting and going back to running my own businesses.
IBIENE: If you were to leave two lessons with the world, what would they be?
Igoni: Never quit when doing a good thing.
Age is just a number, you can learn and achieve anything, irrespective of your age at the time.
IBIENE: We also notice you have a way with leather. Tell us about this journey and why you hold it so dear.
Igoni: I love the look, feel and smell of good leather items; this and the need to immortalise my late brother Charles, led me to establish OOMPHYCHARLIE in 2017. It has since grown into an international brand, worn in many countries around the world. We sell unique and premium quality real leather goods, like Footwear, belts and other accessories.
Do you have questions or comments for Igoni Archibong? Do share in the comment section.