In an interview with Saturday Beats, the actor disclosed what his parents did to prevent him from joining the Nigerian Army. He said, “In retrospect now, I do not think I had was any chance of joining the army because I come from a very conservative family that would want you to have a chosen profession and career and chase it to its peak. Also, you have to get married and have children, and then retire and live in peace. That was the kind of family in which I was raised.
“So being a soldier would have been an aberration in the entire set-up, so my parents locked me in the house when I was meant to report at the military school in Zaria. The rumour at the time was that they were drafting young men into the military school in Zaria as a ploy to get more young men into the army, give them the basic training and send them to the war zone. That rumour was really pervasive; at the time, not many people wanted to join the army. Sadly, joining the military at that time was seen as something for dropouts, mostly because it succeeded in mopping a few people off the streets.”
Manuel said he was very disappointed at his parents for their action at the time but there was little or nothing he could do about it. “I was extremely disappointed when my parents locked me in the house, preventing me from going to the military school. I just wanted to move ahead in life. However, thinking about it now with the benefit of hindsight, I really was not serving myself any purpose if I had joined the military. I probably would have been one of those extremely rebellious guys in the army and I could have been shot,” he said.