Today we’d like to introduce you to Ezekiel Ajeigbe.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started back when I was around the age of 7 or 8. I was watching Keenan Thompson on the TV screen and was quite curious as to how a young black kid was able to be on television. In that very moment, I was inspired and thought to myself, “If he can do it, then so can I!”
I was born and raised in the DFW area to two loving Nigerian parents. Growing up as a child of immigrants who came to America for a better life, my career options were limited, so any career in entertainment was out of the question. Like most children of immigrants, the only career options I had were to become a doctor, an engineer, or a lawyer. However, my passion lay elsewhere.
I’ve always known what I wanted to do in my life, and acting was one of them. My journey didn’t officially begin till summer of 2014 when I first attended college at the University of North Texas. There I found myself doing my parents bidding; studying biology in order to get into the school’s pharmacy program. Being that I longed for the arts, I also pursued acting outside of my day to day studies. A couple of years go by and I was still actively pursuing acting. I had an agent at the time and had a couple commercials running in the Dallas region. I switched my major to Electrical Engineering and Technology because after sleeping in every single class during my first semester of biology, I realized it definitely wasn’t for me. I wanted to switch to something acting related, but being that my Nigerian parents were strict about education, in their eyes anything artistic was a “waste of time.”
It wasn’t until my third year of school that the artist in me was beckoning to be released from the confines of self limitation I found myself in, while studying electrical engineering and technology. It was eating away at me internally and I became miserable at school and hated my major. Eventually, I riled up the courage to tell my parents the truth of what I really wanted to do with my life, in hopes they’d be supportive. Boy was I wrong! A simple conversation escalated into an argument, which then led to them saying, “what makes you think you can make it when there are millions trying to do the same thing!? We won’t support you in this unless you finish school first! Do you want to disgrace us!?” Along with many other things. It hurt in the moment to hear those things, but it also sparked a flame within me to show them that there are other ways to become successful other than simply becoming a doctor, lawyer, or an engineer.
Eventually, I got an opportunity to do a movie in Atlanta, dropped all my classes, packed up my car and left to follow my dreams. It was one of the most liberating things I’ve done till this day! I lived in Atlanta for about 1.5 years, signed with J Pervis Talent Agency and did various projects including Dynasty on Netflix where I play “young Jeff Colby.” From there, I decided to move to Los Angeles and grow in the industry. While out there, I was able to make appearances on a number of projects such as CBS’s Seal Team, Bigger on BET Plus, and All American on Netflix. I also did some campaigns with companies like JUST Water and Hu Chocolate to name a few. It was a long journey indeed, but I never regretted the day I decided to take a leap of faith in following my dreams.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not at all. For one, I will never forget what being truly hungry feels like. When I moved to Atlanta, I only had maybe $600 to my name and still had to pay my last month’s rent back in Texas. So by the time I got there, I was broke. I stayed on couches and air mattresses a majority of the time. When I finally had enough money to get my own spot, all I could afford was a place in the hood. It was winter of 2017 and the job I had at that time wasn’t paying me enough to really sustain myself comfortably, so couldn’t afford to turn on the heater and I slept in a bunch of jackets. Eventually, my girl at the time who I was in a long-distance relationship with found out and helped me pay for a lot of the things I lacked. I hated living in that area. There were gunshots literally every night. My entire time there, people from back home or in the Nigerian community were still telling me things that didn’t serve me like, “you’re wasting your life!” “Go back to school so you can get a real job.” So on and so forth.
Before moving to LA, I remember my agent told me, “don’t go Ezekiel. LA will eat you alive.” Anyone that knows me knows that if you tell me I can’t do something or challenge my abilities, I will take it upon myself to show them they’re wrong. So I took it as another person trying to tell me what I can or can’t do, and moved to LA anyways. When I finally got there, I had maybe $400 to my name. Took my car to the shop to fix it up so I can drive for Uber or Lyft, only to find out the mechanic sold my car. So my whole time there, I took the bus everywhere. I found myself doing audience work, and swallowed my pride and also did background work as well to sustain myself.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am an actor, model, content creator, and producer. I’m most proud of my decision to follow my passion despite the opposition I faced along the way. It was a long journey, but the things I’ve experienced along the way made me into the man I am today.
I’ve done ads for Gatorade, JUST Water, Hu Chocolate, and all of Dallas’s sports teams. In my acting works, I’m known for my credits in Dynasty on Netflix, Seal Team on CBS, The House Invictus on Amazon Prime, and Dread on Crypt TV. There are a handful of other projects I’ve done as well.
As far as what sets me apart from others, I tend to be the guy that goes against the norm. Some would say I have a unique way of doing things while still getting the job done. Overall, I know who I am and know my worth.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I would say that being myself and adding value to whatever project I would be apart of plays a big part. That, along with just being a genuine human being, has played a major role in getting me to where I am today.
- Website: EzekielAjeigbe.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iam_ezekiel_ajeigbe/
The Industry Playground, On The Glow Up Media, JUST Water, Neither, Gitau, Christopher Wallace, Moyo