Nollywood star, Mike Ezuruonye acknowledged recently when he was a guest of another superstar and captain of the nation’s senior men’s basketball team, Olumide Oyedeji at the Lagos State Sports Council Indoor Hall at Rowe Park in
It was Oyedeji’s annual basketball camp for young school children where they are taught the rudiments of the game of basketball.
Ezuruonye’s involvement was Oyedeji’s way of motivating the children through talks from some role models because “It is not all about basketball. Not all of them will end up playing basketball hence we also talk to them about education and its importance”.
Both Ezuruonye and Oyedeji have been childhood friends and the Nollywood actor confessed that Olumide was one of those he looked up to in life considering the way he rose from nothingness to the star he is today.
He arrived Rowe Park in his black Range Rover Sport with a Rivers State registration number AJ 01 KHE. The moment he was ushered into the hall, the children and some of their instructors who were seeing the actor at a very close range for the first went into wild jubilation, shouting and clapping at the same time.
Ezuruonye was humbled by it all and just smiled and bowed intermittently in appreciation of their gesture. He started his motivational speech by telling the children that they should aim to be greater than Olumide but that it must come with discipline, determination and hard work. He then digressed by telling a story on how his humility made him a land owner in Abuja.
According to him, most Nigerian stars including Nollywood stars have been accused of being snubs.
“There was this day I was travelling to Abuja to shoot a movie and I got into the aircraft and met this woman, she was older than my mother. As I made to put my bag in the overhead compartment, I greeted her but she didn’t answer me. I just ignored her and sat down.
On arrival in Abuja, the woman was struggling to get her luggage from the compartment and I just stretched my hand and helped her to get it. She asked for it without a thank you but I refused to give it to her, offering to help her take it down. On getting out of the aircraft, she again requested for her luggage but I said, madam I’ll take it to the arrival hall for you and she looked at me with bewilderment.”
“When we got to the arrival hall I turned to the woman and handed her luggage to her and as I made to leave, she called me by my name. I was surprised and retorted, so madam you even know my name. But why did you not answer me when I greeted you on board the aircraft.
She then said, “Mike, I’ve come across a lot of your Nollywood mates and they seem to be pigheaded so that is why I always want to distant myself from them.” I just smiled and told her I’m not like that.”
She asked where I was going and I felt she wanted me to ride with her into town. I told her I was in Abuja to shoot a movie. I then turned to leave but some four or five policemen who must have come to pick her told me to wait. I said what’s my own, I’ve helped her to this place and I want to go. They however insisted that I should wait. I didn’t really know who the woman was but the long and short of it all was that she ended up giving me three plots of land in Abuja.” This story elicited a loud applause from everyone who listened to him including Oyedeji.