Meeting with Karen Igho at Radisson Blu Hotel was quite fun and interesting. Dressed in a black dress, charming, cheerful and friendly, the sexy actress, OAP and model was quite outspoken about many issues. In the course of our chat, the former BBA winner opened up about career, finding the right man someday and most interestingly, her twitter feud with actress Yvonne Nelson.
Karen what have you been up to lately?
I just got back from Calabar and I would be going back there soon for the carnival. I would be there for a week along with some of the past BBA contestants. I’m still going through my movie script which would start shooting on December 5. You know I got an appearance on Tinsel. I’m still doing radio and modeling too. I’m an ambassador for GoTV, I’ve been doing interviews, shoots; basically I have been up and down.
You seem like a very busy person with TV, radio, modeling. How do you handle all of that?
When you are young, that is when you go hard so that later in life, you can sit back and enjoy all you have worked for. I like to think of myself as being multitalented. I am also into music. I have a song with my brother who is with a record label called MMM, owned by Mikel Obi. I have a cousin, Igho who is a video director and rapper. I also have singing twin cousins, Aaron and Sharon known as Addiction. It’s such a big family and it’s just fun you know. One minute I’m an actress, the next I’m a musician. I believe I can do all things if only I’m taught, because I’m a fast learner.
How is acting working out for you?
I was born to be an actress. To be honest when you are an actress, you don’t plan it, it just comes naturally. I used to act dramas with my cousins and I studied a bit of Theatre Arts, so, that’s basically it.
After BBA, what have you done with your prize money?
My money, I kept it oh. I saved it and I’m still saving and taking care of my family, friends and my grandma. That’s why am still in the industry so that I can make more money.
What’s the major lesson you learnt in the Big Brother house?
For me, it was a wonderful experience but I must say the main lesson was that when it comes to money and friendship you have to be very careful because you never know who really likes you for who you are. People can do all sorts of things for fame and money but it still wouldn’t stop me from being who I am. But what I now understand is that BBA was a game and in as much as it was a game, people got hurt but it’s about time you let it go. I mean this is 2013 and all that was in the past.
Have there been such experiences in your life where you have been betrayed by a friend?
Yes, there have been lots of times like that. I’m that kind of person that doesn’t beg for friendship. It is when you have lots of friends that your gist gets everywhere. You don’t really hear a lot about Karen. I don’t really give people the chance to say things about me because I have been hurt before and so, I just study people before I let them in. I only let you know what I want you to know.
Do you ever get bothered about stories published about you?
People have to understand that I am only human. Most of the stories you read about me are lies and when it’s the truth you would know because when lies are said or printed about me I just call my manager and we take them to court. It’s not like before where you can publish lies and get away with it. Now, journalists need to be careful about what they are saying and how they are saying it. I am that kind of person that if things are true I would admit it and if they are not, I would tell you so, because there’s no harm in being honest.
Have you ever felt depressed and wanted to quit the spotlight because of what was written about you?
The press has been good so far because they know the consequence of their actions so I have to applaud them for that. But you see on twitter, some people just bully others. When I just come on, they just go ‘hey, Karen don gbagaun o’. Hello, I am human and I’m not perfect, even Jesus Christ wasn’t perfect. They just feel that when you’re a celebrity you don’t have to make mistakes, but I’m young and I’m still going to make lots of mistakes and so you better deal with it. I like the fact that I have never claimed to be holier than thou or looked down on other people.
There was a tweet supposedly from Yvonne Nelson’s account taking shots at you, how do you respond to that?
Let me break it down first and foremost, I don’t know Yvonne Nelson and I have never met her. I heard she is a Ghanaian actress. I don’t hate on anyone who is trying to make a living but you just can’t come out of the blue and insult me. Everybody knows I’m not troublesome. If you look for my trouble I would give you double. Why would you just insult Nigerian celebs and myself, ‘wetin I do you na?’It’s not like we’ve met before. Attention seekers should go and look for the attention elsewhere.
She did say her account was hacked?
If your account was hacked with a verified account they won’t tweet personal messages at celebs. They would try and send viruses and spam and keep on hacking. You don’t say Karen has been quiet and try to take shots at her. Right now, I don’t even care anymore because they are attention seekers who when they can’t get attention from men, they try to get it from women. The best thing is to ignore them. If indeed your account was hacked, you would look for my contact and call me and apologize or apologize to Nigerians or mention at me on twitter and apologize personally. I hope the girl has learnt her lesson that if you want to be famous you do it the right way. God has blessed you and put you where you are so work on how to succeed and not look for ways to belittle other people.
Were you disturbed that the tweets mentioned your boobs and you not having a boyfriend?
As a celebrity you should know that there’s something called lumps and that cancer is real. If as a celebrity I’m doing something to create awareness for cancer, what is she doing? I have said it before and I am saying it again out loud, if today they say Karen we found lumps and we need to take actions I would do what I will to save my life and not bother about someone bullying me. I would do what’s best for me. I love who I see in the mirror and you can’t say otherwise. She says I don’t have a boyfriend, I mean how cheeky is that. It’s your choice not to sleep around. I get men asking me out everyday. I don’t want to sleep with a hundred men before I settle with the right one.
How do you cope with the several advances from men?
You know I can go on twitter and say I’m lonely, or pick up my phone and make calls and men will arrive, but I don’t want that. I want a connection. I want to be in love, I don’t want to fall for someone because he is a star or because of what he has. I want to fall in love with you because of who you are. Some men come and try to entice me with materials things. You don’t have to be rich to win my world. I would wait for the right man even if it takes a hundred years, after all they say God’s time is the best.
A month ago you were robbed, what was the experience like?
It was in Elegushi. We were robbed of a lot of things the car get security so we thank God say dem no thief am. It was a Range Rover but no be my car. It’s not about what they stole but about you being okay and not wanting to experience that scenario again.
Lately you’ve been very upfront about charitable causes especially breast cancer. What’s the story?
Yeah, breast cancer, orphanage homes, youth empowerment and HIV. You see, the thing about Nigerians is that they don’t understand when you tell them a thing because you’re trying to create awareness. Telling people about my lumps was to create awareness but at the end of the day, I had it thrown at my face. At the end of the day, I really don’t care because I have been able to do what I wanted to do, which is to create awareness and pass the message across-early detection is key. If you don’t know what to do, we will tell you. Every year there’s this thing we organize with Exquisite. We walk just to create awareness and we have a lot of celebrities coming in not because we don’t have any other thing to do at the time, but because that’s another way of giving back to the society. It’s not always what the society can do for you but what can you do for the society? And in my own little way I give back and I don’t have to wait till am 50 to do so.
What new projects are you working on?
I have my own company now and I am doing a lot. I just rebuilt my website www.karenigho.com. We are doing a lot to empower the youths. This December would be very busy for me. I’m going to Benin on the 7th, Calabar on the 23rd am just going up and down and of course I have several engagements with Naija FM which I’m a part of.