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How T B JOSHUA RESCUED ME FROM SMOKING – Tonto Dike

 

 

 

 

 

Tonto Dikeh, popularly known as Tonto Dike is one of the most popular names in the Nigerian entertainment industry today. She is an actress from the Ikwerre tribe of Rivers State. She is from a family of seven. Seven years ago, she competed against other contestants on a reality TV show tagged The Next Movie Star organized by Digital Interactive Media {DIM}; she was the first runner up. Her appearance on the show was as a means of getting closer to her dream as she started featuring in movies home and abroad shortly after. Today, Tonto has lost count of the number of movies she has featured in.

Recently, she played host to News of the People crew comprising of the publisher, Loye Amzat and Dotun Olanibi and opened up for the first time on why she quit smoking, how she started acting, her NGO, career, the man in her life and many more.

A lot of people say you started acting after featuring on the television reality show The Next Movie Star. How true is that?

Well, they can actually say that. In a way they are correct because it was the highlight and the highpoint of what I actually wanted to do. The Next Movie Star really helped me to achieve what I wanted to do.

For the records, before then, what were you doing?

Nothing actually. It was after that I started acting. I was at University of Science and Technology Port Harcourt studying engineering and I was actually in my third year when I went for that show.

Whatever Tonto does, good or bad, becomes celebrated. How do you feel about this?

I am glad. I feel very blessed because I grew up with a whole lot of people and I don’t see anyone of them better than I am or more successful than I am, so I just feel so awesomely blessed.

When people read about Tonto, they want to read negativity, they want to read controversy. Can you describe yourself as a controversial person?

I am just Tonto. I am very controversial. Why, I don’t know but one thing I know is that I am a good artiste and maybe that is why I have been so controversial. I am just Tonto.

People believe you are weird and they are scared of you, most especially because of the many tattoos all over you; are you really weird?

Well, I don’t know about weird. I think you are weird for not wearing a tattoo. It’s the other way round. We look at ourselves the same way and differently too.

You recently quit smoking, is there any reason for that?

Yes I just did. I was watching Pastor TB Joshua’s programme one day and a man who wanted to quit smoking came out and the man of God prayed for him. After that, the stick of cigarette that was in my mouth was the last. After that, I never had the urge to smoke and never did.

Will you say that you are a better person now that you no longer smoke?

Not smoking doesn’t make you a better person but it has saved me some money, and it has also helped my health.

How many tattoos do you have altogether now with the new ones you just had?

I am tired of counting that but yes, the biggest one has 578 lines and originally I had 51 of the tattoos.

What is your attraction to tattoos?

It’s the joy and the beauty of it.

Do any of the tattoos represent something?

All of them represent something.

Like what?

They are very personal.

Behind the crazy Tonto people know is a beautiful lady; will you want to share your beauty routine?

Nothing. I am a very careless woman. I don’t do all the beauty routine in the world but I just know I have a very beautiful skin and that has really helped me a lot.

Do you have any regrets in life?

No, I don’t. Naturally, I should have regretted the fact that my mother is not alive to see what I have become. Now I don’t regret all that because I think everything happens for a reason.

You happen to be one of the most sought-after actresses in the country today; have you ever envisaged that you will get to this point in your career?

Not through acting. But I have always known that anything that I want to do, I will succeed but not through acting. But just like I have said, I have been awesomely blessed having achieved so much through acting.

Having seen your movies, you play emotional roles perfectly, are you truly an emotional person?

I have my emotional moments but I am not emotional. I am very strong.

How strong are you?

I don’t know how strong I am but I am very strong.

At a point in life, you will want to take your career to the next level, what level should we be expecting to see you in your career?

Definitely, Nollywood is everybody’s dream and highpoint. That is what my highpoint is too but I just want to do as much as I can do right now. I know everybody will want to go into production and directing and all that but I don’t have the patience to chase around for money, trying to recover my money back, I don’t have the patience to chase around artistes because I know sometimes I can be very irritating on set so I cannot stand another irritating person.

The next thing I have the love for is cinematography. That is being behind the camera, handling the camera, being the director of pictures, DOP that is what they call them.

Can you tell us more about your newly registered foundation?

It is an NGO called Tonto Dike Foundation. It deals with two sections of humanitarians. One is the pregnant women; that is the abandoned pregnant women, and the motherless children who have been abandoned in one way or the other.

For the pregnant women section, I got into it through a Liberian foundation which cares for pregnant women. During the war there were lots of rapes so there are so many cases of unwanted pregnancies. That foundation takes care of that and I partner with the foundation in Liberia and I am bringing it back home to Nigeria.

For the motherless children section, it’s something that always interests me because I grew up without a mother and even if I have all the privileges that all the children that have parents have, like all the best toys, best schools and best travels, I still feel very sad so I can relate with them for them to be able to have exactly what I have today. That is where the vision came from and that is what my foundation is all about.

Your friends call you Poko, you want to tell us the meaning of the name?

That is a very personal name. It’s actually my nickname. Anybody can call me Poko but not anybody can know the meaning.

What kind of man will sweep Poko off her feet?

I love a God-fearing man, I love a man who is honest because there is nothing like an honest man. I love a man who understands me very well.

Imagine this scenario, now that you drive a Range Rover Sports, do you think a man that doesn’t have a car can come to you to woo you?

I am a very simple person. These are materialistic things that mean nothing to me. I could lose them tomorrow and I could still have my life. So I don’t classify the kind of people I want to meet or I want to mix with.

People will like to know, does Tonto have a man in her life right now?

Yes I have someone in my life.

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