Ibrahim Yekini, better known as Itele d Icon, discusses his days as a boxer, how he battled to build a name for himself in the film industry, and other topics.

I met a man named Folorunsho Adejobi in 1997 and told him I wanted to join his acting academy. I worked with him for three years until graduating in the year 2000. In 2004, I went on to produce my first film. Acting has proven to be a blessing in my life. I learned that acting was my calling, and I am quite enthusiastic about it.
Yes, before getting into the movie business, I was a professional boxer. I began boxing against someone who resembled an older brother to me. He was quite fond of me, and I used to accompany him to the gym on a regular basis. All I wanted to be at the time was a professional boxer. I used to fight in Rowe Park on Lagos Island, which was a hotbed for fighters back then. I competed in many tournaments in order to get popularity. But I wasn’t a street fighter; I was a ring fighter. Unfortunately, I realized that certain people were involved in internal politics, which prompted me to pursue acting. I was still fighting when I started my acting career, but I stopped after a particularly embarrassing incident with a fans. My godfather recommended me to take a break and focus on acting. During my boxing career, I had never lost a fight. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I didn’t earn enough money, I would have been a professional boxer.

Being a decent filmmaker has nothing to do with one’s level of education. The purpose of movies is to reflect life. Someone who did not attend a tertiary institution but is well-versed in life might make an excellent movie producer and director. I’ve graduated from life’s school, therefore I know what I’m doing. Second, I’m surrounded by smart people, which has helped me hone my skills. Don Richard taught me and he is really skilled at what he does. I also educate myself by taking online classes. I’m also naturally gifted, and I have no trouble guiding.

My first film was a commercial success, but it came at a cost. A very expensive piece of equipment was damaged during the shoot, and I couldn’t afford to replace it. On the night of the incident, I called out to God for help and asked Him if I would be successful in the film industry. To replace the equipment, I had to work as a bricklayer for three months. Because it was my first project, it was quite difficult for me. It was unquestionably a difficult task for me.

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