‘No matter how dark the night is, it will surely break into day.’
This saying aptly captured the true-life story of comic actor Charles Inojie.
The actor to date still wears his days of struggle as a badge of honour, having believed that the tough phase not only taught him a great deal about life but also made him a better professional.
In a recent live chat with Vanguard on Instagram, Inojie went down memory lane, recalling how he struggled to overcome the trials and tribulations of life to get to where he is today.
According to him, while he was in the university he lived in poverty as a roommate.
The actor also recalls the values his grandmother imbibed him that helped to shape his future.
Describing his university days as a nightmare, Inojie who studied Theatre Arts at the University of Port-Harcourt, recalled how he was unable to pay his tuition fees at a time because of financial constraints.
“When I gained admission at UNIPORT, my first-semester school fee was N720.00 and I managed to pay the fees. Later, the school fee was increased to N1,200. I also struggled to pay the new fee. But when it was further increased to N2000 per session, I couldn’t afford to pay it. I was owing my school fees until I graduated from the university. It was after my graduation that I went back to clear my school fees,” the actor narrated.
The actor, who also grew up under the tutelage of his grandmother, recalls the values the old woman inculcated in him.
“There were many things my grandmother told me while I was growing up. It was my grandmother who told me that I would never be a failure in life if I didn’t deviate from the path she had cut for me.
“Wherever I go today, her words of wisdom always ring in my ears. My grandmother would always tell me that anywhere I found myself, I should remember the son of who I am.
“She would say, ‘No matter what everybody else is doing around you if you jump the bandwagon and the consequence of that action would negate your Christian upbringing, negate the moral that I have taught you if saw that it is something that I, your grandmother would not be proud of if you see that it’s something that would ultimately bring shame to this home, no matter the enticement, don’t do it.’
“And that has kept me going. You can’t entice me with anything. I defeated poverty from the outset. By defeating poverty, there is no kind of carrot that you are going to dangle before me that will make me do things against my conscience.
“I have lived with poverty as a roommate at university. When you wake up in the morning, the first person you will greet is Mr Poverty. So, poverty is somebody I have known very well. I had survived those days of wallowing in abject poverty, nothing can move me now. Those are the things that money cannot buy that my grandmother imbibed in me.
“It saddens me that she didn’t live long enough to reap the rewards of the seeds she planted many years ago,” Inojie said.
In comic roles in movies, the Edo State-born actor believes he has given comedy a good face in the country, adding that if he has not been good at what he’s doing, perhaps, he wouldn’t have been where he is today.