‘If I put my family in public, it will affect them’, Aki shares on #WithChude.

Chinedu ‘Aki’ Ikedieze sits with Chude Jideonwo, host of #WithChude to discuss having stunted growth, suicidal thoughts, why he hides his family, his legacy as an actor, and working with Osita Iheme. 

“The first time I saw myself with people from different parts of the world celebrating me, I would not lie, I cried. I was like, ‘God, so this is me?’. It is wonderful. It simply means that all those times we were running up and down inside the sun and playing, we were really making a difference in a lot of people’s lives. I couldn’t even believe that someone who doesn’t understand my language, even the pidgin, such a person could be a huge fan. It just means that while we weren’t shooting in different languages aside from English, art is global, it is a function of the body language, and you are able to deploy the story and pass the message.”  

Speaking about the onscreen chemistry between him Osita Iheme, “From the set of Aki na Ukwa, everyone was just laughing. I think that was the first time we had something like that in Nollywood. From when we were rehearsing, people were like, ‘Have you seen these two guys’. So, before we finished, the expectations were high. From the first day I met Osita, there was this chemistry. It was just there. If you see Osita from afar, you will think he is shy, but when you come close to him, he is not. He is more or less an introvert. He likes to be on his own. I remember trying to devour him when we met because I was an undergraduate back then. Even the way people were looking at us while we were discussing. I think people were surprised because it was like I was brought from Neptune and Osita was brought from Jupiter, and it was like two stars collide”   

He spoke about growing up in a country that doesn’t understand difference, “It was tough, people taunted me in different ways. At age six, when I noticed that my younger brother had grown a little bit taller than me, I knew subconsciously that something was wrong with me. When I was 9 years, and six months old, I was taken to the hospital. I was sick, I remember the doctor telling my mum to stop worrying about it. I remember the man saying, ‘Madam what he has is stunted growth, and he wrote growth retardation in the paper he gave to us’. I was trying to find the meaning of the word let alone pronounce it myself. That was when I started hearing the two words ‘stunted’ and ‘retardation’.  He spoke about how he knew he couldn’t do labour-intensive jobs, and his only way to conquer the world was through studying well in school. “So, while they were throwing all those tantrums, I cried. There was a time when I thought of ending it all. It was as if society wasn’t fair to me. Kids taunt me with reckless abandon. Sometimes when I have misunderstandings with my siblings, they use the same names the other kids they fight off use, to call me. It was hard on me, but they never knew. But, whenever negative thoughts come, I will remind myself of what my mum had said. That was what comforted me.”   

Chinedu also shared his relationship with the late Ada Ameh and grieving her passing. “It was very hard. Ada was like a mother. She took that character off the screen. As in, even outside production. I have met her severally outside, and people will say ‘See your pikin’. You know that kind of thing. So, it was like losing a part of me. In fact, that was the least story, information or news I had ever wanted to hear. That’s the biggest shock of our lives. It broke all of us on ‘the Johnsons’ forever. We considered suspending the production, but I thank God that at the end of the day,  we were able to calm ourselves down, and then we thought about the way forward. Losing Ada on ‘The Johnsons’, we didn’t even believe that the show would still go on. Because if you mention The Johnsons, you must mention ‘Emuakpor.’ It’s difficult to take away Ada, that is the character ‘Emu’ from The Johnsons.   

On hiding his family from the public, he said, “I am the celebrity, not them. So, I put them aside. I want them to be free. If I put them out there, it will affect them and I don’t want that. My wife can go to the market without much ado.” 

Watch the excerpt here

Chude Jideonwo’s ‘Awaiting Trial’ screens in UNILAG

On Thursday, 16th February 2023, Chude Jideonwo’s debut film, Awaiting Trial, was screened at the Biodun Shobanjo Multi-media Complex, University of Lagos. The movie screening was held in partnership with the Department of Mass Communication, UNILAG and attended by students who were all enthusiastic about the film.

In October 2022, Chude Jideonwo Presents : The Factual Film Studio released  ‘Awaiting Trial’ documentary that explores both the #EndSARS protests and the ‘deeper illness’ they point to – the phenomenon in Nigeria’s communal justice system called ‘awaiting trial’ where people are arrested and detained indefinitely without charge.

The film follows the lives of 3 families – Iloanya, Onyemelue, and Yellowe caught by the injustice of the Nigerian Police and down held by its criminal justice system and features actors Falz, Mr Macaroni; activist Rinu Oduala; and Olumide Akpata, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association.

After its 5-day digital screening on YouTube, the documentary has been at the centre of popular discourse, screening at the 2022 African International Film Festival, the effective altruism event in Abuja, the University of Ibadan, and recently at the department of Communication in the University of Lagos.

Speaking about the documentary, a student shared, ‘The movie captured the emotions of the victim’s family members, I think it opened a lot of people’s eyes to a lot of things. People would have heard a lot about this matter (#EndSARS), but their eyes are just getting open to the reality of this situation that we are in. I also love the way the documentary captures the unending evil circle in the system”.

Transforming Spiritual Health in Africa- Joy Inc

Spiritual health in Africa, for a long time, has been perceived as being nourished solely by a supreme being. The African community has failed to recognise that each individual has a part to play in nourishing their own spiritual health. Furthermore, the community has failed to recognise spiritual health as the key component towards attaining a sense of peace, wellbeing, purpose, and hope, which can be achieved on their own. Hence, it has become necessary for organisations like Joy Inc to rehabilitate the space of spiritual health in Africa.

Spiritual Health in Africa

Joy Inc is a storytelling company that uses research to help people live fuller, centred, integrated lives by giving them non-mediated tools that help them navigate the world. The organisation’s core goal of first identifying and paying attention to the human spirit and helping to nourish it. By nourishing it, they help individuals model lives that can inspire others to seek the same path.

This leading company has accomplished this in many countries across Africa through different mediums. It co-hosted “Education as Regenerative Space”, a high-level conversation on mental health and emotional wellbeing, created the Joy Hub, hosted two editions of Re-Treat, a weekend in joy and also created the mad against depression and anxiety network.

The company also offers several products it uses in helping Africans achieve stable spiritual health in africa. One of these is the Joy Life Class, an 8-hour career and planning class that helps professionals build a career path and future they will love. They also have Re.Treat: A weekend in Joy, a series of practical exercises that helps people clear the clutter and confusion in their lives and achieve peace and clarity. The Daily Vulnerable is yet another product in the form of daily newsletters that help readers embrace the fullness of their humanity.

As a revolutionary organisation, the company seeks to completely reform emotional, spiritual, and mental health in Africa with the ultimate aim of eventually transforming Africa as a whole. By harnessing the power of emotions, it seeks to equip youth with the requisite tools that will help them overcome the obstacles that have been preventing them from achieving full potential and transforming their nations.

Joy Inc is an organisation devoted to every individual and their spiritual, mental and emotional wellbeing. If you’re looking to discover a sense of purpose for yourself and ultimately attain a life well lived, let Joy Inc be your guide.

How Joy, Inc. Is Revolutionising Africa’s Mental Health Space

Joy, Inc., one of Africa’s leading organisations dedicated to building happier and flourishing Africans, has radically changed the mental health space in Africa over the past few years.

Since its inception Joy, Inc., through its various initiatives, has played a crucial role in changing Africa’s mental health narrative.

In 2018 alone, the organisation organised 4 masterclasses targeted at helping organisations build joyful, healthy and productive workspaces for staff members. These masterclasses, which promote stress-free workplaces and better work-life balances, are pivotal in revolutionising workplace experiences in Africa.

Taking its effort in re-educating people on mental health further, in 2018, Joy, Inc. hosted 18 editions of its Joy masterclasses in 6 cities across 4 continents. Through these masterclasses, Joy, Inc. has equipped many people with positive emotions and with the skills they need to stay productive, resilient, joyful and positive in today’s current harsh emotional climate.

Additionally, the organisation has published over 500 editions of its The Daily Vulnerable and over 300 editions of its #WithChude’s newsletters. Through these publications, Joy, Inc. is correcting these misconceptions and misinformation, gradually making Africa’s mental health space safe.

The leading organisation launched The Joy Hub– a place where young people dealing with depression, trauma, anxiety and suicidal thoughts can access emotional and mental help. This hub will play a vital role in crashing Africa’s caseload of depression and suicide frequency.

Drawing from a body of research from experts on positive psychology and education, Joy, Inc. continues to transform Africa’s mental health space, one individual, one organisation and one community at a time.

Finding Your Way to Joy with Joy, Inc.

What does joy mean to you?

In simple terms, it can mean happiness that is deep-rooted. Happiness that is inspired not by external circumstances but a force from within.

But what do you do when the internal force that is needed to power your joy is missing? Where do you turn to when you need to be inspired for joy?

Or better still, what if you found a company whose objective is to help you navigate the complexities of life such that you can make space for joy?

A company that tells evidence-based stories that tend to the core elements – mind, heart, spirit – that make up your being.

Joy, Inc. is that company.

The professionals here recognise that to change Africa’s story and produce happier Nigerians and Africans; one must attempt to change the mindset and behaviours that its citizens have mastered for as long as they have lived.

The prosperity of Nigeria is only as good as the prosperity of Nigerians. One of the ways to achieve higher levels of prosperity is to change people from inside out. A joyful people make for a joyful and prosperous nation.

As a company, we are equipping people and communities with the tools, skills, and behaviours to build resilience, transcend adversity, solve problems and find joy.

It also owns The Joy Hub, a walk-in space for people who are dealing with depression and anxiety or who just need a safe space to pour out their hearts. This is in addition to The Joy Retreat where its founder, Chude Jideonwo, spends time helping attendees navigate their path to healing.

Joy, Inc. does not promise to hand out joy to individuals who desire it but with its leading, you can be empowered to search within and reawaken that internal force you need to power up your joy.


Have you ever looked at an elderly person prancing across the street, without a care in the world, and thought, “I want to be like that when I become elderly”? Do you desire to live a worry-free life, but the feeling of shouldering the burdens of the over 7 billion people in the universe makes that dream seem unattainable? If this sounds like you, you are not alone.

The plights and burdens that people face regularly have made joy and well-being in Nigeria a matter of utmost importance. These plights, which would be laughable if they were not so pathetic, have decreased the zest for life that many people have. In fact, it is not uncommon to meet someone with a ‘what-good-is-life’ outlook these days. Perhaps, if these conditions were not so persistent and prevalent, joy and well-being in Nigeria will not be such a concern. But with Nigeria having the highest suicide rate in Africa, the average Nigerian’s joy and well-being cannot be overlooked. For this reason, organisations like Joy Inc, whose mission is to enable people and organisations to flourish and stay centred, are needed.

It’s commonly said that “Nigerians are happy people.” The prevalence of comedy skits, comedy shows and the increased popularities of comedians is proof. In addition to this, Nigeria was given an impressive 77 points in a 53-Country Gallup Poll on optimism. However, how much can an optimistic nation take if joy and well-being in Nigeria don’t take a front seat in the hall of priorities?

It will be comforting to see more Nigerians give more thought to joy and well-being in the not so distant future. After all, being joyful has been shown to boost the immune system, reduce pain, combat stress, protect the heart and increase life expectancy. Meaning, years from now, you can be that elderly person, staying forever young, prancing across the street without a care in the world.

3 TV Shows on mental health that are leading the conversation

In the past, the subject of mental health and how it impacts millions of people worldwide was nearly never spoken of, especially not in the media. Unlike physical ailments, which can be explained, understood and sympathised over, the stigma around anxiety and depression made it more difficult for people to open up.

With the media creating awareness through TV shows that focus on telling fictional and true stories of real people, many are finally understanding the importance of mental health. Here are 3 mental health TV shows leading the conversation.

  1. You are the worst

‘You are the Worst’ documents Gretchen and Jimmy’s often chaotic relationship – from the moment they meet till their wedding day. In Season 2, the show introduced its audience to Gretchen’s struggles with depression. She succumbed to a depressive episode, leaving Jimmy clueless about how to bring her out of it – a tale many living with those who struggle with their mental health know all too well. We see Gretchen largely unenthusiastic, laying around the house and staring aimlessly into nothing. Gretchen’s story hit home for many people across the globe as many people have at one time in their lives gone through it without speaking about it.

2. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The show tells the story of a woman in love who moves across the country to West Covina, California, to win over her childhood crush, Josh. However, in the course of the series, Rebecca is diagnosed with bipolar disorder – a symptom of mental illness that is rarely addressed by the media. What is more refreshing to see is Rebecca’s next line of action – regularly attending therapy – after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Through this show, many suffering from one variety of mental illnesses or another will be more comfortable doing what is best for them by seeking professional help.

3. #WithChude

#WithChude is a mental health TV show that leverages the voice, networks and passions of its host, Chude Jideonwo to underline social issues, raise awareness about matters that affect our mental health and spark social movements. Focused on narratives that enable and strengthen the mind, heart and spirit, it has been at the frontline of movements around sexual abuse, depression, mental health, HIV/AIDs, inclusivity and diversity.

While some of these stories portrayed through movies and documentary-series are fictional, they are a reflection of what real people go through every day – silently or openly.

As the world slowly opens up more conversations on mental health challenges, the media – just as it did with minimising the stigma around AIDS – can continue to push the discussion by creating even more mental health TV shows that explore the importance of mental health and the signs of its disorders.

How mental health Podcasts are aiding mental health awareness

Mental health disorders are one of the most common yet less spoken of health crises plaguing millions of people worldwide. With people becoming increasingly disconnected from one another, struggling with identity crises, and unable to handle adverse situations in a seemingly fast-paced world, mental health has become one of the world’s most popular topics.

Several individuals who have been through a mental health crisis have been creating awareness and opening up recently to the public about their struggles in the hopes that others will be encouraged to seek help. They have achieved this by openly documenting their struggles with the use of social media and other new-age platforms like podcasts, TV shows, documentary series etc., with celebrities and high-status individuals leading the conversation.

Due to the demand for more detailed and precise information on the struggles, symptoms, and treatments of diverse mental health issues, there is an increasing need for data-backed information on what it entails to live with mental illness. The media has been a useful tool for this purpose.

The media is known to exert one of the most powerful influences on individuals as most people draw their definitions about life from what they watch and read consistently. Statistics show that many people spend at least 8 hours on television and social media every day.

Among other media platforms, mental health podcasts and TV shows are two popular media sources used to create awareness about mental health. From depression to addiction, anxiety, and trauma, people have come out to share their experiences and connect deeply with others who are going through the same. What makes this so effective is the sharing of both factual information and real-life experiences. Generally, it is known that people listen more when they sense a person truly understand what they are going through. Individuals have created mental health podcasts to suit audio listeners, taking a peaceful, serene tone and approach synonymous with a traditional therapy session.

One factor that makes podcasts an attractive platform is that it creates an intimate feeling for most people. People have reported feeling like the hosts are talking to them done, and that special feeling has a profound effect on how they respond to whatever situation is being addressed. Mental health podcasts help most individuals feel like they are not alone, and they give them the strength to push through, through open and honest conversations.

Therefore, it is certain that while these podcasts cannot necessarily solve mental health issues, as medical cure is still needed – therapy, meditation, and medication – they will start meaningful conversations with people, which is a step in the right direction.

Exploring Happiness Research in Nigeria

In our world today, it is not unusual to hear of depression and its effects. Statistics have shown that millions of people worldwide experience depression daily due to various circumstances in their lives. In Nigeria alone, the WHO states that over 7 million individuals are depressed.

In a bid to curb depression and help individuals experience a more positive outlook, researchers from diverse fields are constantly carrying out studies to understand what makes individuals happy and how happiness influences the world around them. This interest has given rise to the field of happiness research.

Happiness research is a field of study focused on the well-being of individuals and societies and the consistency of positive emotions they experience, and the degree to which they are satisfied in life. It also explores how individuals view adverse circumstances with a positive lens and recover quickly from them. In a world where depression cases rise daily, happiness research has been a welcome development to help individuals experience increasing states of happiness.

Happiness research has been shown to influence physical health, emotions and mental health positively. Happiness studies are undertaken to understand what factors are responsible for the consistent happiness people experience. So far, many fields such as psychology, sociology, and philosophy have drawn from the study’s evolving results to aid the lifestyle of more individuals.

In Nigeria, research has shown that individuals express a high state of happiness despite the socio-economic challenges they face. Although these results are encouraging, more work is still being carried out to further increase the level of happiness individuals and societies experience.

Organisations such as Joy Inc. have devoted themselves to ensuring that more individuals, schools, organisations and the nation at large experience greater levels of happiness. They are constantly involved in exploring happiness research in Nigeria as well as Africa at large. With increasing interest in happiness studies in Nigeria, the nation has a higher chance of social and economic transformation as happy people translate to happy organisations and, ultimately, a happy nation.

From results so far, happiness research in Nigeria has the potential to help individuals live cheerfully, create joyful atmospheres in schools and workplaces and promote a serene, compassionate atmosphere within the entire nation.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google