The latter days of a man…
Controversy is quite a funny customer. Forever a mainstay in our entertainment circles, it goes around, from artist to artist, without bias, dealing its scandalous wares. Some people it sees as favourites, and others it shows a reluctance to deal with. The favourites get the best of Controversy, they’re riddled with scandals, a lot of them. Some of the favourites over time develop a thick skin to deal with the media attention, while the not so strong ones bend, and if the media wave gets too heavy, break into pieces. Many never return to the spotlight, they go down hard, and forever have to scrub a living away from the hustle of showbiz…
But not Ernest Asuzu (Remember him?). The Imo State-born took an extended (if not permanent) withdrawal from the movie scene after being entrapped in a vicious cycle of scandals, controversy, more scandals, and the attendant media attention. Rumours even have it that he ended up insane, fighting for his very right to live, and losing also on that front. His was a sudden disappearance from the movie screens, barely noticed by a significant crowd of home-video adherents. Even I lost the memory of his face. But we can’t all be blamed, because for every talent lost, a thousand offshoots spring up to fill the void. That’s the world we find our lives in, and I believe it never will the subject of regressing change.
In an interview given to the media recently, the veteran actor, now a rapper, gives us an insight into his life away from our screens.
‘When it was clear that the world had rejected me, I had to go back to Christ. Whatever has happened to me all through these years, happened for a reason. If these things had not happened, I would not have discovered how much Christ loves me and how much I should have held onto him’.
Yes he found Christ, and with that discovery, he underwent a period of rebranding and soul-searching, coming out strong as a gospel artiste. El Cream, his new musical identity, has released a music video for his single Go Under.
‘The new single is coming off my forthcoming album, ‘Return of the Don’ that will be dropping anytime soon’, he tells us, with a noticeable optimistic air.
As one of the stalwarts of the fledgling Nollywood of the 90’s, Ernest made his screen debut, with a role in Another Campus Queen. He later achieved considerable success, hitting roles after roles, and signing lucrative appearance deals running into millions. With the benefit hindsight affords us, we can say he peaked during his feature in Rituals, a Kenneth Nnebue movie. But his talent was overshadowed by heady exuberance, and eventually stalled by his penchant to live-out the classic bad-boy character in real life.
Now he’s reappeared, with an eye for the gospel, and a tongue for the rap circles. Hoping to reclaim lost status, and not to ignore the need for survival, he comes to us. Mistakes they say make a man wiser, and as clichés go, this is one we hope is true. We love you Ernest. Nigeria awaits you at the top.