Tonto Dikeh opens up on forgiving ex-husband, Dubai fight, Nollywood stereotype

Actress Tonto Dikeh had an interview with veteran journalist, Dele Momodu on Sunday July 26th and revealed that she has forgiven her ex-husband, Olakunle Churchill, for the sake of their child, King Andre. 

Tonto while speaking on the importance of forgiveness, said she has come to realize that forgiveness is not about the next person but about one’s self. She said she has gotten to read the part of the bible where God said he wouldn’t forgive us if we do not forgive others. She added that she forgives easily now but doesn’t like being provoked by the things a person does after she has forgiven him or her.

When asked about her attitude to forgiveness and vindictiveness, she said,

“A man I love and respect always, talked to me about forgiveness and I have come to realize that forgiveness is not about the next person.

“I know that forgivessness is not about the next person but the explanation I got recently really wowed me. It says I have forgiven you not because you have to be forgiven, I have forgiven you because I do not want to put myself in a place of stagnation when it comes to growth, I do not want to put myself in a place of stagnation when it comes to love, i do not want to put myself in a place of warship, progressing, my career.

“Forgiveness is a whole lot and I only just realized that the bible says that if we do not forgive, God cannot forgive us. All these things are in the bible but it never really made an impact to me until someone really explained it. 

“So today I would tell you that for me it comes really easy. I forgive a lot but I just don’t like to get provoked by the things that you do after it. I think forgiveness is an essential for ones growth”

When she was asked if there is anyone she would never forgive in her life, she said,

”As at this moment, there is nobody I have not forgiven as of today 26 July 2020.

“As of today, there is nobody I hold a grudge on but there are people who I have forgiven but I would never have a relationship with again” she said.

Asked if she has forgiven her son’s father, she responded, “Oh yes, especially him. I forgive him and wish him the best, for my son’s sake. I do. Why not?”

She also spoke about her career as an actress where she said she has rejected some roles so she doesn’t get stereotyped. Citing Pete Edochie as an example of an actor who has been stereotyped over the years, Tonto said she has often rejected the attempt by the movie industry to get her to always feature as a particular character. She wondered why Pete Edochie still accepts just the same role where the only thing that changes is his name in the movies. 

When asked if she has rejected roles in a movie, she responded,

”Yes I did. I was one artiste who didn’t like to be stereotyped and Nollywood has this habit. If you watch most of Uncle Pete Edochie’s film, it never changes. Only his name changes. His words never changes, his character never changes, nothing changes. Sometimes his clothes even changes but his name is the only constant thing that changes. They always give him the same role all the time and I wonder why he takes it but then again he is a veteran so I am never going to question that. 

“I said that to say this. Sometimes when you are good at a role, Nollywood would want to impose that role on you. They would want to give it to you until the whole world gets tired of your talent because you are playing just one particular role”

She also spoke about the incident in Dubai where she reportedly had a faceoff with the authorities. Tonto said it was never about them finding drugs on her but that she had a faceoff with one of the security guards at an event she attended. She said the guard at the event called her a prostitute in the Arabic language and she got offended by it.

”Far from it. It was not drugs because if it was, definitely I would be in jail. It had nothing to do with drugs or alcohol even. I really don’t want to go into so much about Dubai because it is a place where I have a home now and I want to be able to enter Dubai freely after all of this and that is why I never really talk about it.

“I was insulted by one of the guards. He said something very derogatory to me. He said it in Arabic, I think Lebanon. It’s called Sharamuta, its called prostitute, it means a call girl and I was not so dressed…I mean it was a show so I had like a very amazing bra inside and this blazers on top. To them, it is Haram when you are not dressed properly. So that is where all of the altercation started. That was the only problem. Anything asides that is just all wrong information. And also trying to film the situation. They said that was wrong” she said.

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