Acting With Big Names In The Industry, No Big Deal – Shola Asadeko
She was virtually unknown before she came to limelight in Tunde Kelani’s film, Abeni. But it is worthy of note that this Epe, Lagos-born actress has been in the industry for a while now having acted in many movies before she was given a lead role. For this well travelled actress, there is nothing new to prove as far as her talent in acting is concerned. She spoke about her journey into the industry, her love life and on the film industry in an exclusive interview with AJIBADE ALABI. What else do we need to know about Shola Asadeko? I am from the family of Rev and Mrs Asadeko. I also work in a media house, where we produce magazines for Lagos State Government. I’m a graduate of Creative Arts from University of Lagos. How did you venture into the world of acting? Like I stated earlier, I studied Creative Arts from University of Lagos and I majored in theatre arts. I have acted in so many movies but the movie that really brought me to limelight was “Abeni”, and that is how people started calling me Abeni. After Abeni I became fully involved in Yoruba movies, I have acted in Pajawiri, okun ife, Jenifa and so many movies, but all along I was still doing English films. I cannot remember the number of films I have done in both Yoruba and English, but I am more comfortable with Yoruba movies, since I am a Yoruba girl. It is not easy for me to jump into English movies like that, I have to know somebody there before I can be fully integrated into their fold. Was “Abeni” your first movie? “Abeni” was not my first movie. I have acted in some films before I starred in Abeni, but the only thing was that “Abeni” brought me fame. While growing up did you ever think of becoming an actress? And if yes what was your parent’s response? Actually, my father wanted me to read law, but I opted to read creative arts. He understood and was happy with me. In fact he comes to watch me on stage during my performance, even my mother and my siblings are all supportive. When you appeared in Abeni did you feel you have finally made it? When I appeared in Abeni I never believed I had made it. In fact, I tell my friends that I have not made it yet and I have to work harder. How did Tunde Kelani discover you, bearing in mind that you had not really played a lead role before? The fact that Tunde Kelani chose me shows I have talent. He is also a man that can make great things out of little things, but the fact that he chose me shows that he saw something in me and that it was my time and I am very grateful for that. And this thing we are talking about is all about talent; if you are not talented no matter who brought you up, you will not live up to expectation. So I thank God that Tunde Kelani brought me up from nowhere and made me something, but like I said earlier on, it also still depends on your talent. Did you ever go for auditions? No, I did not go for auditions. It was my performance in a movie called the Narrow Path that he used in giving me a role in Abeni. There were about two or three days of auditions but I was chosen basically on my performance in Narrow Path. And still talking about the film Abeni, how did you feel acting along side star actress, Bukky Wright? Well, it felt good, but at the same time I did not see it as a big deal, though it was good acting along side people you have been watching on screen. If I had not merited the role I would have felt more inferior, but again you have to put in mind that, that was not my first time of acting with a well established actress. When you joined the industry, how did the big girls you met in the industry welcome you? Well, they welcomed me very well. Every one of them were warm to me. I really appreciate that. Now delving into your private life. I was expecting to see an engagement ring. Hasn’t he proposed? I am not ready for marriage now, and because you did not see any ring does not mean I am not into a relationship. But If I am ready for marriage, you will definitely hear about it. Can you tell us who the man is? Don t worry about him. I believe you know the man, because you are one of those few journalists who carried the news when I gave birth last month. So I am not going to tell you who he is. Okay, tell us what quality you admire most in a man? My man must be God- fearing and focused; There must be physical attraction before any other thing. I like men who are good looking, and caring. It does not matter if he is short or tall. I am very sure you must have encountered sexual harassment in the industry? No, I have not been sexually harassed Is it due to the fact that you started with Tunde Kelani? No, it is not due to the fact that I started with Tunde Kelani. Being sexually harassed is a matter of choice. The industry is such a big place where you can do any thing you like, so the ball is in your court. If you want to be harassed you will be harassed. There could be sexual harassment in the industry but personally I have never been harassed by anybody. Our industry is big so it depends on how you carry yourself. But do you agree there is sexual harassment in the industry? Sexual harassment happens in every profession. You cannot tell me it does not happen in your own profession too. So it is every where. I can’t say there is no sexual harassment or there is sexual harassment it all depends on how one carries oneself. What about lesbianism? I have never heard of that in the industry. I have never been approached for such a thing. What makes you stand out among your peers? I have a unique figure. My physique is uncommon in the industry; It’s very sexy and appealing. My face is also unique. Are you a fashion freak? Not at all. I only wear what makes me comfortable and looks good on me. Which colour are you most attracted to? I find black attractive. If you were not acting what would you have been doing? I would have been working with the State government. How do you relax? I am an indoor person, I don’t go out much, so when I do not have anything to do outside, I stay at home to watch movies. Tell us the beautiful cities you have visited. I have been to United Kingdom (U.K), Canada, US, Cameroon, and Ghana.