Apollo Nida: What They Don’t Know… Part 1
Last week, we spoke with Apollo Nida, husband of Real Housewives of Atlanta cast member Phaedra Parks. Apollo, the father of two is often a subject of scrutiny and slander on and off-screen. Apollo took a moment to reflect on the highs and lows of being in the center of public opinion. As of recent, Apollo’s name has been heavily tossed in the press for potentially facing jail time again and rumors of a possible separation from his wife. Audiences who follow the reality series have been tuned into to catch little glimpses on whether any moments on the show peg some truth to all the talk. As Apollo waits for what his future holds, he speaks very candidly on being a foster kid, what he knows now that he didn’t know growing up, where his relationship with Phaedra stands and the story behind Nida Fitness. Usually very tight lipped about accusations, Apollo also speaks on preparing for the unexpected and what he could really care less about. In an exclusive two-part interview with BLEU, Apollo gives us his honest point of view…
P: So what’s been going on with you lately?!
Apollo: Well, yesterday we shot a new pilot for Bravo with the guys. So, I was actually on set from like 8 in the morning to like 9 and then I went out and entertained some friends so I’m kind of cooling today.
P: Can you talk about the pilot in detail?
Apollo: Uhm, not right now actually. But it’s kind of like a tell-all situation, kind of the guy’s perspective. The insides of you know, their lives with their wives, spouse or you know whatever. That’s kind of in a nutshell of what it’s about, some really juicy, uhm (laughs) information. It’s going to be based on things that you normally wouldn’t know or hear about. So you know it’s kind of like a no hold bars situation. It was fun though!
P: Is there an interesting story behind you being named Apollo?
Apollo: As you may know it’s a name from Greek mythology. I’m mulatto, I’m mixed German and African American but my mom was into Greek mythology. Uhm I would definitely not name my child Apollo, it’s a hefty name. It comes with a lot, it seems like (laughs). So you know you definitely have expectations you have to fulfill, it seems that way. But yeah that’s kind of where it came from, developed from.
P: So tell me about your parents? What did they do? What was your relationship like with them growing up?
Apollo: I didn’t have any parents actually. I grew up without a mother and father. My mom OD’d on heroine in front of me when I was probably like seven or eight. So I was a foster kid from house to house, living with people that I didn’t know. Then my great aunt took me in probably when I was like ten. So from then I started school and lived in more of a structured environment. That was like in Dunwoody, Georgia which is like ten minutes from Downtown Atlanta. So it’s not like super outskirts, then soon after I enrolled in sports and it was kind of like a more structured environment. You know it was definitely needed and she raised me and it kind of went from there.
P: Was there ever a time where you wanted to pursue sports professionally?
Apollo: I think looking back at it, I came in first in the state at (sounds like wrestling) and free style swimming. I ran cross country, I played basketball, football. I was very athletic and I didn’t know I possessed those talents but I guess it’s because I started young and you know my skills developed. I started playing what is called Georgia Youth Association Football and then they had basketball and then I kind of just got going from there. The Commissioner of Doraville, I used his address to enlist in Dunwoody High School and I got caught up in this MTM program (Minority to Majority) and at that time I got caught up in that program and I wasn’t supposed to be going to that school. That was an opportunity to integrate those schools then, so they would have individuals from like Lawrenceville, Decatur, Stone Mountain, places like that to come into the inner-city school system. So they would use that as a kind of outlet to recruit players and stuff like that to stack the team. I thought I was good enough, it’s just that I guess I was semi-peer pressured and I started spiraling out of control. I always made good grades, A’s and B’s, and sometimes C’s. If I applied myself I was definitely an A student. I thought I had an opportunity to go Pro but I lacked the insight. You know what I want to instill in my sons is that it’s bigger than Pop Warner. There is an end result to everything, I think I didn’t have that structure in my life and I think looking back at it I didn’t see the NFL, the NBA, I didn’t see that far. All I saw was right here, what’s in front of me. Looking back on it, knowing now what I didn’t know then, I would have actually applied myself and said you know what there a goal to set. If I’m going to stay in this realm, then I need to go ahead and push myself. Just to be better and shoot for that goal, but I never did, I never did. You know it’s always like a fantasy or a dream. You may think it but you don’t see it. It was really about applying myself and I didn’t do it.
P:Did your sports background motivate you to start Nida Fitness and tell me more about that the company?
Apollo: Nida Fitness, as you know, I write and produce fitness videos. We have the top seller, we beat out Julian Michaels, we we’re in the Top 3. We’re about to launch a prenatal fitness video, it’s called “Fine Baby,” that’s going to go under the brand and I’m in production now. Another DVD is the AB blaster, Volume 1, volume 2. How that got started, it’s not because I had a fitness background. It was more so developing a brand and a product. I just feel like you know when I was incarcerated one of my goals was I didn’t really know what was going to happen, uhm you know coming out of jail. So, I had a couple goals, one was to get certified as a personal trainer and nutrition specialist. The second was to go under physical therapy to get my license. Then third was to be a massage therapist. So then I figured with those three right there, I could land myself into sports medicine or at some type of camp in the league where it be whether I’m a trainer, I can help with rehab. You know physical therapy is all about rehabilitation. All that didn’t really happen like that so when I came home, one of my goals was let me get certified because if I’m going to put this product out here I just don’t want to be just a celebrity face behind a product. I wanted to have the insight, the credentials. If I subscribed do this or do that I didn’t want anyone to say “well he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about” then I would have to have certification. So that kind of goes a long way and that’s one reason why I did get certified was to better brand what we have. Then I was telling Phaedra I was like we need a product, not something stationed. So think if you open a boutique, unless you have boutiques all across the nation, you’re not going to really… you know really make money, it’s hard. But, if you can reach millions and millions of people through a disk where they can centralize on a product that would be better. So you know we started talking and she said something on one of the shows(“donkey booty”), two, three years ago and it kind of just went viral and then I was like “Hey, let’s do it?!” and that’s kind of how Nida fitness came about.
P: I want talk about the time you we’re incarcerated. How difficult was that experience and how did you view life after being released from jail? What was your new perspective; tell us your thought process on moving forward after that?
Apollo: Uhm it was definitely dramatic, I didn’t really see it coming. You know you always have to lie in the bed that you make but it was kind of like all a blur. I knew that I was doing something illegal but I didn’t really see prison. People had testified against me and I wasn’t like out there in plain sight doing what the allegations were and when the judge said we’re sentencing you in prison. For me it was like okay whatever like really? That was like my whole thought on it and then there I went. I went into like four, five camps and it really humbled me and it gave more of an understanding about spirituality and religion. You have to really dig deep because you know you could become a product of your environment in there and I think a lot of times you become kind of I would call it uhm, psychological trickery. You feel a certain way but it’s not really, it’s not real. The environment it’s what’s causing you to be emotional and making you do things you normally wouldn’t do. I studied Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. I just really got a better sense of understanding who I am as a person and what I want out of life. But it was kind of different from me versus the other guys in there because I had an experienced life. I had money prior to going in there, I had a life before going in there. You know manicures, pedicures, filet mignon, traveling, posturepedic, even though I was young. Those we’re the things I longed for and I missed, women too. I really had a sense of life, so going in there when that sense of life is taken from you, you’re like oh my God versus someone else who haven’t experienced anything, what are they missing? Coming home, like I was telling someone that it’s not the entry of prison that’s rough, it’s exiting. Trying to cope with society, you have a lot of people who you thought we’re on your side and weren’t. They fell off and it’s just so much to deal with. It becomes mental anguish, but for me fortunately I am smart. First day that I was out my brother was looking at me like I was crazy because the first thing I had him do was take me to this Real Estate office and close a deal. The first or second day that I had came home I hit the ground like running super-duper fast. It was kind of like everyone was like damn you really didn’t miss a beat. As far as socialism I was up on everything. I knew exactly what was going on and you know it kind of went from there….
P:I feel like you are always under scrutiny and of course people don’t get a chance to really know the real cool side of Apollo. Like the stories about when Apollo and Phaedra first met? And also, tell us how has that relationship impacted your life?
Apollo: Well you know, how can I say? The first couple episodes, maybe the first two seasons, I was really laidback. I really didn’t say much but that’s a problem and that becomes a problem in my relationship so like I lost sense of direction of who I am because I was caught up in this world of keeping your mouth shut. Like don’t do this, don’t do that and that’s not really who I am as a person. So when me and Phaedra first met, we rocked hard. You know we partied, we went to different venues, we traveled. It was like we we’re cool and it’s like once this show happened and people started feeling like they we’re bigger than life, and of course there’s public opinion. In a normal setting public opinion doesn’t matter and when you’re in that light it does matter and people have a tendency to gravitate to public opinion and that’s what steers our relationship and that’s some BS, it’s some bullshit! So you know that’s what I’m dealing with! So you know I’ve taken a stand and say hey you know what I’m going to speak up and speak my mind. You know I should have been doing it ever since day one because it’s almost like reprimanding a child who you never reprimanded before. All of a sudden the child is 12 years old, you think they’re really going to listen to you. They could care less what they’re saying and that’s kind of the jist of what’s going on with my relationship in its totality. You know things have definitely changed in a major way… (Laughs).
Too be continued in Part 2:
Apollo goes in on the highs and lows of marriage, the status of Apollo and Phaedra’s marriage, his flaws, what grinds his gears and ultimately how he’s preparing for what’s next…
Interview by: Patrice A. Floy