Tonto Dikeh speaks on acting, child care and other issues

Multiple-award winning screen goddess cum singer and songwriter, Tonto Dikeh-Churchill needs no introduction. Blessed with beautiful skin and great talent, her hard work and dedication has fetched her international endorsements and accolades.  In this exclusive interview with Entertainer, the mother of one disclosed why she hasn’t starred in any movie since her marriage. She also opens up on her plans and why she is sticking to exclusive breastfeeding.

You are one of the most celebrated stars coming out of Nollywood. What do you cherish most as a career woman?
Acting is a profession that gives me joy and I am so passionate about my career. Of course, I am delighted that my hard work and dedication gave birth to the brand, Tonto Dikeh Entertainment Foundation. However, the aspect of my job that gives me fulfilment is the immense support from my fans. I am grateful to everyone for believing in me. Indeed, you are the reason I push harder and want to be a better person. God bless you all.

You have not featured in any movie since you got married. Why?
I have not worked in any production after marriage because I have been busy in my primary duties as a wife and mother. I need adequate time to build a solid foundation for my family and for a sustainable home. And I hope to be back in no distant time.

As a married woman, would you accept any role that comes your way now?
As a married woman a lot of things change in your life. Of course, you must have some sense of responsibility in decision making, because it is not just about your life anymore, you have a family to take care of. So, for the respect I have for my head, who is my husband and my neck, who is my son, I can’t play certain roles anymore. And I don’t have any regrets because my family comes first in all I do.

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How are you enjoying motherhood?
Surprisingly, I have embraced the role of motherhood with ease, grace and love. Motherhood is a learning process which I am developing each day. By the special grace of God, I must say I am a fantastic mother to my son.

What do you enjoy most being a mother and wife?
(Smiles) I am enjoying every bit of the experience. It has been a wonderful journey. To the glory of God I am thankful for the love I receive and also give. It is priceless. In fact, I am in love with my husband and son.

Could you share your labour room experience with us?
Oh! My labour room experience was beautiful. It was a wonderful experience and may God be praised for all His mercies and love.

You have a glowing skin, do you visit the spa?
Thank you dear. Yes. Regardless of my busy schedule, I do spend time pampering myself. I call it my ‘me time’ where it is all about pampering my skin.

Some of your fans say you have gained weight due to childbirth, are you considering losing it because of the kind of roles you play?
Definitely, it is expected that I add a few pounds because I just gave birth. So, it is imperative to work on losing some weight for myself and the big screen.

Some young mothers don’t like breastfeeding their babies exclusively because of the fear of losing that girlish look, what method would you prefer?
I strongly stand for breastfeeding. I always tell people I would love to breastfeed for a year because I know the benefits of breastfeeding. So, why should I deny my children their right? Although, some of our mothers may love to breastfeed their babies exclusively, due to health challenges, they find it difficult. However, all mothers are great!

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What would be your advice to young mothers on breastfeeding?
Mothers and intending mothers should find time to read articles on breastfeeding. It is important to educate ourselves on care for our children so that they can live healthy lives.

What attracted you to your husband?
If you know my husband, it would be hard to pick out what you like most about him because he is such a sweetheart. But I appreciate his efforts in making me a better woman. He has given me so much security as a husband. Honestly, I haven’t had anyone stand by me or want to protect me the way he does. I must appreciate him for all his love. I love him dearly. That’s why I call him my ‘King Kong’.

There is a belief that marriage is a prison. How would you describe yours?
Marriage is a blessing! It’s a new phase and level in life. Marriage from my point of view is awesome if you marry the right person. It is hell if you marry the wrong person. You will hear different stories from different folks. For me, I am waxing stronger and happier in marriage.

Let me take you down memory lane. You lost your mum as a child, did you miss her presence during your marital rites and after the delivery of your baby?
Honestly, I miss my mum till date. It hasn’t been easy living without her, especially as life evolves; with marriage, kids and career. I miss her.

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What is your advice to young ones in the industry?
They should stay smart, save and invest. It is easier and faster to spend money than making it. So, strive never to be a ‘has-been’ or ‘I get am before’ individual. It is advisable not to lose focus in search of fame. So, you must love your fans to succeed in your career because they can make or destroy you.

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