8th November, 2013
Fast rising Yoruba movie actress and producer, Biodun Okeowo tells FUNSHO AROGUNDADE about her upcoming film, Ore (Friends), controversies around her person and why she failed to marry the father of her two kids
Q What is new about you now?
I have been busy lately working on my new movie titled Ore. It will be release soon.
Tell us more about the new movie?
The new work is going to be a great film. It has trust as its theme. The film teaches us not to be too trusting, especially with friends. The message is that one should always keep one’s secret to oneself and God since no secret is safe with human beings. The film has as its cast the likes of Kunle Adegbite, Iyabo Ojo, Sikiratu Sindodo, Aisha Abimbola and Yinka Quadri among others.
Your role in the movie, Folashade, has won you a lot of accolades.
Well I thank God. I have not really seen the movie since its release but I have received a lot of commendations. I think I have to go and see the movie, considering the accolades. But the truth is when I got the script, I was happy because I loved the role that I was asked to play and I really enjoyed every bit of it.
Your last movie Omo Butty was a relative success. Did you anticipate the result while still at the production stage?
The truth is nobody can predict the future. But when one does something good, you should always expect a positive outcome.
We learnt you arrested the marketer of that film for holding on to your money?
I do not want to talk about that, I am so sorry. We are supposed to make more friends than enemies so I do not want to talk about that issue.
When did you actually think of taking acting as a career?
Since my childhood, I knew that I was going to become popular but that did not materialise until 2006 when I joined the movie industry. Now, I am happy to be living my dream. I studied Communication Arts at the Lagos State University, after which I had my internship at LTV 8. I learnt a lot while in that television station; in fact, I would have become a newscaster. After that, I joined Ray Eyiwumi Organisation as an apprentice and after some years, I graduated and started acting. I did not stay for too long before I started producing my own movies.
What was your first production?
The first movie that I produced was Tolani Oshirin.
How easy was it for you when you decided to start as a producer?
Of course, it was not easy at the beginning. When I wanted to produce my first movie, I had to get funds from Alhaji Olanrewaju Abdulakeem. After that I personally sourced for funds to get the next production done. I am a commercial actress and you do not expect me to lavish everything I make from the movies that I have featured in. I saved more to meet my needs.
Apart from acting, what else do you do?
I am also into business. I opened a shop last year where I sell wine.
There is this belief that only few of you actors, especially in the Yoruba genre, make money from acting.
I do not totally agree with that assumption. Maybe in the past, but presently things have changed from what it used to be. For example, the movie Folashade cost millions of naira to produce, and do you think we that acted in it would have been paid peanuts? My movie, Omo Butty cost me a lot in the million range to produce. Things have changed in the Yoruba movie sector.
If you were not acting, which other profession would you have ventured into?
Broadcasting would have been the other profession for me because I studied Mass Communication. I would have become a journalist because I had learnt how to be strong hearted from school and also while working at LTV 8. I learnt a lot on how to live with scandals.
Talking about scandals, I read a piece where you were dubbed the ‘Queen of Scandal’ in the Yoruba movie genre.
You don’t mean it? Me? Queen of Scandal?
It is quite funny how people push so many things your way. If I had been called the Queen of Scandals, there should be scandalous reports about me every week.
But you have been linked to some controversial issues lately.
Can you mention some scandals or controversies around my person that you can point to?
It is for you to admit or deny the title.
No, you mentioned it and you should be able to tell me of those scandals, at least four.
Ok, how do you react to the report of your romance with Kunle Adegbite?
Well, I have also heard about that too that I was having an affair Kunle Adegbite, but the truth is that he is just a friend and a brother. I will not deny the fact that we are quite close but nothing too special and whatever anybody says or does will not stop me from being his close friend. That is one.
What about you and Wasiu Alabi Pasuma?
Wow! That Pasuma saga was a tale of some people’s imagination and I don’t feel anyhow about it. For God’s sake, so the fact that a musician featured in my movie and performed during the premiere translates to something intimate between us? Or are they trying to tell me that everybody who calls Pasuma to play for her must also sleep with him?
You are also said to be violent and temperamental?
Well, if that is what people have said, I do not see it as being scandalous in anyway. It may be one of my lapses which every individual has. But all these are not enough to tag me ‘Queen of Scandal’.
But even at that, how do you handle those negative things being said about you?
I have been coping very well and enjoying myself. I am a house that the Lord built and nobody can destroy no matter how hard they try. Tomorrow I can drop my costume and quit acting for journalism, life goes on. But the fact is that when I was coming into this acting profession, I had fully prepared for all sorts of things that will be thrown at me.
You are a single mother?
How many kids do you have?
I have two kids.
Learnt they are for same man?
Why didn’t you marry him?
Is it compulsory for me to get married to him? Why? It is only in Nigeria that I see that ladies have to mandatorily stay in the house of the man they had children for. You shouldn’t be with a man you are not compatible with or someone you do not love, all because of marriage.
Was that your reason?
Are you saying if a man tells a woman he’s no longer interested, she should force him? I have to move on with my life because my happiness is paramount to me.
So, how is your love life presently?
It is very okay, like every other sane and normal woman.
Are you thinking of getting married soon?
Definitely, I will get married once I meet my kind of man who should be polite, humble and not one who goes around hurting people.