Ailing actor, producer and presenter, Prince Ifeanyi Dike,Â Â spoke aboutÂ his life as a kidney patientÂ and other issues
We sympathise with you on your health condition.
Yes, I want to thank you for your concern. Very soon, I will be leaving the country for India for theÂ kidney transplant. In fact, one of our Indian friends, Mr. Parnis, is with my passport and we areÂ trying to get the visa. He is the publisher of Indian Global Magazine. There are several hospitals inÂ India that can handle the surgery and right now, we are in touch with the hospital authorities, butÂ the truth is that it is not something you can just rush at because you must make sure that you andÂ your donor have the same tissues and blood group and would not fail any test. We have been conductingÂ tests and hope that the result will be fine. It is after this that the person will travel with me andÂ my wife to India. We pray that when we get there, everything will be successfully. I also believe thatÂ God can just decide to give me a new kidney because nothing is impossible for Him to do. I want toÂ thank everybody that has been so supportive. My old friends, some of who I have not even seen forÂ years, sent in money. I want to thank people like Senator Ikechukwu Obiorah, Sir Paul Okafor, ElbeÂ Pharma, Pharmatek, Dan Uchendu, Mrs. Chukwudi Amah and to crown it all, Governor Babatunde RajiÂ Fashola, he did something substantial. I want to thank him because he did not consider the fact thatÂ Iam not from Lagos State or a Yoruba man. The governor of my own state, Ohakim, has not responded.Â Maybe the letters we sent to him are hanging, I donâ€™t know, but there is no problem. I also want toÂ thank Segun Arinze, the National President of the Actorsâ€™ Guild of Nigeria. The young man has provedÂ that he is capable. He has even affiliated the Actorsâ€™ Guild with the FIA, something that we could notÂ achieve during our tenure. Nollywood is now a worldwide thing and very soon, we are going to hostÂ international actors here in Nigeria. Iâ€™m happy that Segun has started with me and I hope he willÂ extend the same spirit to others. He is doing something with one insurance company now and I hope itÂ will be a huge success. God is the giver of position. You can look at me and say that how come thisÂ young man is the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Actorsâ€™ Guild? But the truth of the matter is thatÂ nobody was there when I was forming the guild. I funded it right from the scratch till it became big.Â When I was setting up the guild, I can tell you that no actor was driving a car. I was the only oneÂ driving a car then. But you donâ€™t have to look back on that because Iâ€™m happy that everybody isÂ progressing. I will only advise them to remember their guild because it is very important. Even ifÂ they want to work outside Nigeria, they will ask for recommendations. Acting is a seasonal thing, soÂ any time you are up there, try to leave a legacy. Some actors reigned yesterday and they are no longerÂ reigning today. And it will still be the same for those reigning now. So, it is better you use yourÂ position to benefit mankind. Iâ€™m waiting for the time when most of our super stars will do somethingÂ for the less privileged. Like what Julius Agwu is doing, it is a wonderful initiative; he visits theÂ less privileged homes during his birthday. But some of them (actors) that are richer than Julius donâ€™tÂ even want to be associated with poor kids. We only see our super stars during awards when they willÂ dress like Jezebel and expect people to accord them respect. I donâ€™t want to sound rude or something,Â but Iâ€™m telling you how I feel. People should understand that whatever position God has given is toÂ help mankind.
Approximately, how much do you need for the transplant?
I need N7 million for the transplant and N3 million for the post surgery. I have raised close to N5Â million already, but it is not enough. The money is being transferred to the hospital where theÂ surgery will be done.
When was the ailment diagnosed?
You see, you canâ€™t really say this was when it started. The only thing I can remember was when I didÂ my first dialysis that was February last year. I woke up that morning and started vomiting. But beforeÂ then, I noticed that my legs were swollen, you can see that they are still swollen. I actually thoughtÂ the legs were swollen because I had sat down in one place for hours, so I didnâ€™t take it serious. OneÂ day, I went to Mecure, a diagnosis centre. I had actually gone there so that they can partner me inÂ one of my TV programmes. While I was there, I decided to do a check up and it was discovered that myÂ urine was filled with acidic substance, so I was advised to go for proper check up and I went to aÂ place where my body was scanned. I collected the result and took it to my doctor. It was then that heÂ said I have to be placed on dialysis because my kidney is having some problems. Then, dialysis soundedÂ like one foreign language to me and I was like saying â€œthese doctors will always say something.â€ ButÂ two days later, I couldnâ€™t move and felt as if I was dying. In fact, I couldnâ€™t breathe properly andÂ so I was rushed to the hospital where I was placed on a dialysis machine. I thought after the firstÂ dialysis things would be in order, but they didnâ€™t. Later, the doctor said I have to go for aÂ transplant, which I thought would not cost more than N100,000 or N1 million at most. But when I heardÂ the price, I was dazed. Since then, I have been going for dialysis, hoping that one day it will beÂ over.Â I was praying silently hoping that God will heal me. It wasnâ€™t easy for me to make it publicÂ initially, in fact, it was my wife that started it by calling my friends because her business wasÂ crippled. This is a sickness that is not a respecter of anybody. It can deal with you and reshape you.Â But I thank God that Iâ€™m still alive.
You have mentioned a couple of people that assisted you so far but the only entertainer you mentionedÂ was Segun Arinze?
The Anyaigbo Filmmakers Association, of which I am the Ezeanyaigbo are also doing something. They haveÂ gone round to seek assistance from some of our sponsors. The point is that I donâ€™t blame anybody. TheÂ entertainment industry is in crisis now and people are not making enough money. But with God on myÂ side, I will scale through.
What lesson have you learnt about life?
I have learnt that life is vanity. Do you know that the easiest thing to do is to worship God? But theÂ devil presents it as a difficult thing so that you wonâ€™t do it. The only thing God demands from us isÂ obedience.Â I have learnt how to obey Godâ€™s callings. I have learnt a lot of things and that there isÂ nothing in life. I have seen every side of life. You know that the life of an entertainer is all aboutÂ clubbing, dancing and going to parties, but I have seen that there is nothing there. In fact, I haveÂ given my life to Christ. The things I used to do, I do them no more.
What do you think was the cause of your ailment?
There are so many things that can cause this kind of ailment. If your blood pressure is high and youÂ donâ€™t check it, it will crash your kidney. If you take fake medical products, it can also crash yourÂ kidney. It is also dangerous to take too much of salt. And if your urine foams, that means you areÂ discharging protein and it is not good, so you need to go and check yourself. I live a regimented lifeÂ for now.