Popular Nollywood actor, Chinedu Ikedieze, aka, Aki, has described the challenges of having a stunted growth.
Speaking with media personality, Chude Jideonwo on his show With Chude, the actor who came into the limelight playing the role of Aki in the classic Aki and Pawpaw series, spoke about some aspects of his life that he has never shared anywhere else.
In his interview, he touched on the first time he found out that he had a growth challenge, how it impacted his social life growing up, meeting his partner-in-crime, Osita Iheme, popularly known as Pawpaw, and the thrills of living a fulfilled life against the odds.
Speaking on how it all started, the actor said he overheard the doctor tell his mum he had stunted growth when he was only nine years and six months old.
“Something happened when I was like nine years, six months. I remember the man saying, ‘Madam, what he has is stunted growth.’
I saw another word – growth retardation. I was looking for, first of all, how to pronounce the word ‘retardation.’
He claimed that was the first time he and his mum ever heard that word and he had to go search it out in a dictionary to know what it meant.
“My mummy no go school nah. What am I trying to say? That was when I started hearing these two words ‘stunted’ and ‘retarded’ growth”.
Speaking on how it affected his social life as a young kid, Aki said it was never easy coping with a diminutive stature as he was constantly bullied by friends, schoolmates, and even by family members, which always made him sorrowful.
”While they were throwing all those tantrums, I cried, I cried several times. I cried”, he said. It got to a point that he contemplated taking his own life when he felt he couldn’t take it anymore.
“Chude, it got bad. There were times I thought of ending it all”.
He said he had his mother to thank for helping him make it through the hardest part of living with his challenge, adding that this makes him fond of her and moves him to always want to hear from her.
“So, when I remember how much input my mom, you know, how much she did to see us through… You know, that would draw empathy. I become emotional. I want to call her. I want to know how she is doing”.
The actor also talked about the remake of the Aki and Pawpaw classic and why it took so long to get it done, as they had to go through the painstaking process of getting everyone in the original version to be involved in the remake.
Asked how he felt about the reception, so far. He replied, “Wow! Massive!”