Jim Iyke: Something adventurous from Nollywood prince charming
There is always no stopping popular Nollywood actor, philanthropist, entrepreneur and executive producer, Jim Iyke. The moment you are wondering why he has suddenly gone off the acting radar, he re-appears and drops something big. The actor of many credits has something big in the offing. He is set to storm television screens across the continent with a new reality show, called The Adventurer.
Jim described the show as a fresh and new perspective to television and it is about human endurance of different kind, which takes its contestants on a journey for rejuvenation of perspectives.
With Jim as anchor, the show is promoted as one that would force a conversation along all the lines of division currently existing amongst Nigerians and expose their thought patterns, ideologies and mindsets.
In the words of the actor, who made his reality television debut in 2013 with Jim Iyke Unscripted, which shown across the continent on Mnet: “The main idea is to bring people from diverse backgrounds to leave their familiar terrain or comfort zones and challenge them by pushing them to experience and learn from the excellence of world-famous destinations, such as Cape Town, Dubai, Marrakech, Sydney and Los Angeles, amongst many others.”
He hopes that by the end of The Adventurer, the competitors would emerge as better persons, a narrative he hopes would stretch to their immediate family, the immediate space and consequently, the nation as a whole. He added: “I hate to describe the show as a reality show. For me, it is a lifestyle and life coach journey. We teach you how to fish and not just give you fish.
We revamp your lifestyle and psychic by asking you who you are, as an adventurer, from the beginning, and at the end, after you have been through our mentorship, we ask you again who you are as an adventurer.”On what is in it for competitors of the show that would be aired twice weekly on popular television stations, including TVC Entertainment, Silverbird and AIT, Jim said: “Well, unlike other reality shows that dwell on the ‘winner takes all,’ the winner of The Adventurer goes home with a cash prize of $10,000, while every other participant is guaranteed N300, 000 each for getting to the final stage of the show.”
Jim’s rise to fame was phenomenal. Not many new entrants get to the top rung as swiftly as he did. In fact, when he first stepped up, not many people gave him the chance to pull through. They likened his first movie run as just one flash in the pan and so side comments were that he would soon be weeded out as other new entrants.
But Jim Iyke Esomugha or Jim Iyke stayed on, trudged on and surpassed all expectations. In no time, he rose to become a dazzling success and one outstanding personality who have garnered enviable wealth of experience on the turf. Born In Gabon and raised from a humble background between Gabon and Nigeria, Jim, the only son among seven sisters born to Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Esomugha, studied Philosophy at the University of Jos.
On graduation and after the completion of the compulsory service, Jim moved to Lagos in search of greener pastures. In Lagos, Jim said he encountered frustration and setbacks, which though he considered as “life challenges.”
The sun, however, shone on him when he encountered a Lagos-based lawyer, Victor Opurum, who he said encouraged him not to give up the pursuit of his dreams, one of which was to excel as a showbiz personality and also convinced him to believe and demonstrate his conviction at any given opportunity. He held on to those tenets, which has proved helpful. At the last count, Jim has grossed over 200 movies, in terms of appearances.
He has similarly funded the production of two big budgets flicks- Ebony and Good Evening.An actor with a considerable passion for real estate, Jim, who is a martial arts specialist and as a matter of fact a black belter, broke out as an actor about a decade and half ago. Teco Benson, one of Nollywood’s resourceful directors, provided the break when he offered the Enugu- Agidi, Anambra State-born actor a minor role in one of his early flicks, Cursed from Beyond.
He recalled that he was paid just N5, 000 for that effort, which reviews said was enthralling, for a first timer. Impressed with his debut offering, the more Teco and his colleagues had roles, the more they engaged Jim. Indeed, those early screen roles undoubtedly boosted his interest and influenced his choice of a career and also got his artistic bent bubbling inside of him.
Jim has continued to soar high and is modest enough to know that he would need to continuously gird his loin if only to remain in contention.Cast mainly as a lover boy, which has conferred on him the unofficial title of the ‘movie lover boy,’ those familiar with the actor of vast home video credits say he is a blend of both the introvert and extrovert. They also described him as a fellow who is a fun to be with and who would prefer to spend his off acting period with his pets at home.
Star of some of the industry’s commercially successful movies, such as Arrested by Love, Blind Love, Break Up, One Dollar, A life to Remember, Life Partner, My Sweet Heart and Tentacles, Jim is Founder of Jim Iyke Foundation for facially deformed children. The Foundation was established in 2005 to engage in the advancement of the protection of the rights and welfare of children with deformities.
Surprisingly humble and unassuming, Jim, whose inspirational models are his parents and who has come under close scrutiny, especially from entertainment reporters, affirmed that his future in Nollywood is bright, promising to continue to work at ensuring that characters come easily to him.
He also stressed that his vision and greatest wish is to raise the game to a level that would earn him a place in the international circuit.
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