Renowned Nollywood actor Chinedu Ikedieze, popularly known as Aki, has opened up about the challenges he faced during his formative years due to being diagnosed with stunted growth. The 45-year-old actor shared these intimate details in a recent interview with media personality Chude Jideonwo.
In a candid conversation, Ikedieze recounted how he was profoundly affected when a doctor revealed his condition to his mother when he was just nine and a half years old. He vividly recalled the doctor’s words, “Madam, what he has is stunted growth.” The diagnosis introduced him to terms like “stunted” and “retarded growth,” which had a lasting impact on his emotional well-being.
Battling bullying both in school and at home due to his physical stature, Ikedieze admitted that he often found himself in tears. The actor’s struggles escalated to the point where he contemplated suicide, driven by the weight of his growth condition. With a touch of humor, he expressed gratitude for not growing up in Lagos due to the proximity of the Third Mainland Bridge, as he chuckled, “Thank God I no grow for Lagos because Third Mainland Bridge no far o [laughs].”
In his emotional interview, Ikedieze also acknowledged the unwavering support of his mother throughout his challenging moments. Her presence provided him with the strength to endure the difficulties and to ultimately overcome his darkest thoughts.
Additionally, Ikedieze spoke about the profound connection he shares with his long-time friend and fellow actor, Osita Iheme, known as Pawpaw. He described their chemistry as something special from the moment they met. The two actors, now aged 45 and 41 respectively, are celebrated in the Nigerian entertainment industry for their iconic roles as ‘Aki and Pawpaw.’ Their collaboration has spanned over two decades, leaving an indelible mark on Nollywood with their memorable performances in numerous movies.
Chinedu Ikedieze’s candid revelations shed light on the deeply personal struggles he faced during his youth, while also emphasizing the importance of resilience and the support of loved ones in overcoming adversity.