Nigerian-born British actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor has revealed that losing a parent in childhood leaves one with fear and neuroses.
In a chat with GQ Magazine, the British actor spoke about his childhood and how his father’s death affected his personality.
Ejiofor grew up in south London. His mother and father, who had moved to the UK in the 1960s to flee the Biafran war in Nigeria, sent him to the private Dulwich College, which is where he came across acting.
When Ejiofor was 11, he and his family went to Nigeria for a family wedding.
Ejiofor and his father, Arinze, were driving along the motorway when their car collided with a truck.
Left with fractures and in a coma, Ejiofor was the only survivor and bears a scar from the crash on his forehead.
Speaking on the experience, Ejiofor said losing a parent while young affects the way one views life.
“When you lose a parent young, it has a profound effect on the way you view life,” the actor was quoted as saying.
“At an early age, you realise the value of some things and the preciousness of life itself, which is something most people acquire later on.
“Certain fears or neuroses you definitely carry. Some are justified but you do lose a lot of ideas about knowledge.
“I don’t know if it was due to my father passing away, but I have gaps in my knowledge that I have to acquire for myself as I go through the journey of life.
“I think neurosis is a more creative space [than confidence] but it can be paralysing. Those little fears you pick up along the way grow into such major branches of your personality, and they define the ways you approach things.
“But such fears are just an illusion you’re creating. I have been lucky enough to break some of the fears I had – and when you do, you recognise your genuine path and personality in a richer, deeper way.”