Ailing actor, producer and presenter, Prince Ifeanyi Dike,   spoke about  his life as a kidney patient  and other issues

Ifeanyi Dike

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 the  kidney transplant. In fact, one of our Indian friends, Mr. Parnis, is with my passport and we are  trying to get the visa. He is the publisher of Indian Global Magazine. There are several hospitals in  India that can handle the surgery and right now, we are in touch with the hospital authorities, but  the truth is that it is not something you can just rush at because you must make sure that you and  your donor have the same tissues and blood group and would not fail any test. We have been conducting  tests and hope that the result will be fine. It is after this that the person will travel with me and  my wife to India. We pray that when we get there, everything will be successfully. I also believe that  God can just decide to give me a new kidney because nothing is impossible for Him to do. I want to  thank everybody that has been so supportive. My old friends, some of who I have not even seen for  years, sent in money. I want to thank people like Senator Ikechukwu Obiorah, Sir Paul Okafor, Elbe  Pharma, Pharmatek, Dan Uchendu, Mrs. Chukwudi Amah and to crown it all, Governor Babatunde Raji  Fashola, he did something substantial. I want to thank him because he did not consider the fact that  Iam not from Lagos State or a Yoruba man. The governor of my own state, Ohakim, has not responded.  Maybe the letters we sent to him are hanging, I don’t know, but there is no problem. I also want to  thank Segun Arinze, the National President of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria. The young man has proved  that he is capable. He has even affiliated the Actors’ Guild with the FIA, something that we could not  achieve during our tenure. Nollywood is now a worldwide thing and very soon, we are going to host  international actors here in Nigeria. I’m happy that Segun has started with me and I hope he will  extend the same spirit to others. He is doing something with one insurance company now and I hope it  will be a huge success. God is the giver of position. You can look at me and say that how come this  young man is the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Actors’ Guild? But the truth of the matter is that  nobody was there when I was forming the guild. I funded it right from the scratch till it became big.  When I was setting up the guild, I can tell you that no actor was driving a car. I was the only one  driving a car then. But you don’t have to look back on that because I’m happy that everybody is  progressing. I will only advise them to remember their guild because it is very important. Even if  they want to work outside Nigeria, they will ask for recommendations. Acting is a seasonal thing, so  any time you are up there, try to leave a legacy. Some actors reigned yesterday and they are no longer  reigning today. And it will still be the same for those reigning now. So, it is better you use your  position to benefit mankind. I’m waiting for the time when most of our super stars will do something  for the less privileged. Like what Julius Agwu is doing, it is a wonderful initiative; he visits the  less privileged homes during his birthday. But some of them (actors) that are richer than Julius don’t  even want to be associated with poor kids. We only see our super stars during awards when they will  dress like Jezebel and expect people to accord them respect. I don’t want to sound rude or something,  but I’m telling you how I feel. People should understand that whatever position God has given is to  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 N5  million already, but it is not enough. The money is being transferred to the hospital where the  surgery will be done.

When was the ailment diagnosed?
You see, you can’t really say this was when it started. The only thing I can remember was when I did  my first dialysis that was February last year. I woke up that morning and started vomiting. But before  then, I noticed that my legs were swollen, you can see that they are still swollen. I actually thought  the legs were swollen because I had sat down in one place for hours, so I didn’t take it serious. One  day, I went to Mecure, a diagnosis centre. I had actually gone there so that they can partner me in  one of my TV programmes. While I was there, I decided to do a check up and it was discovered that my  urine was filled with acidic substance, so I was advised to go for proper check up and I went to a  place where my body was scanned. I collected the result and took it to my doctor. It was then that he  said I have to be placed on dialysis because my kidney is having some problems. Then, dialysis sounded  like one foreign language to me and I was like saying “these doctors will always say something.” But  two days later, I couldn’t move and felt as if I was dying. In fact, I couldn’t breathe properly and  so I was rushed to the hospital where I was placed on a dialysis machine. I thought after the first  dialysis things would be in order, but they didn’t. Later, the doctor said I have to go for a  transplant, which I thought would not cost more than N100,000 or N1 million at most. But when I heard  the price, I was dazed. Since then, I have been going for dialysis, hoping that one day it will be  over.  I was praying silently hoping that God will heal me. It wasn’t easy for me to make it public  initially, in fact, it was my wife that started it by calling my friends because her business was  crippled. This is a sickness that is not a respecter of anybody. It can deal with you and reshape you.  But I thank God that I’m still alive.

You have mentioned a couple of people that assisted you so far but the only entertainer you mentioned  was Segun Arinze?
The Anyaigbo Filmmakers Association, of which I am the Ezeanyaigbo are also doing something. They have  gone round to seek assistance from some of our sponsors. The point is that I don’t blame anybody. The  entertainment industry is in crisis now and people are not making enough money. But with God on my  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 the  devil presents it as a difficult thing so that you won’t do it. The only thing God demands from us is  obedience.  I have learnt how to obey God’s callings. I have learnt a lot of things and that there is  nothing in life. I have seen every side of life. You know that the life of an entertainer is all about  clubbing, dancing and going to parties, but I have seen that there is nothing there. In fact, I have  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 you  don’t check it, it will crash your kidney. If you take fake medical products, it can also crash your  kidney. It is also dangerous to take too much of salt. And if your urine foams, that means you are  discharging protein and it is not good, so you need to go and check yourself. I live a regimented life  for now.

—Bayo Adetu

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