Tuesday, 11 June 2013

"MEN ARE AFRAID TO TOAST ME BECAUSE OF MY....."Veteran Actress, Toyin Adegbola

Toyin Adegbola is one out of thousands most respected and popular actresses in the Yoruba movie genre of Nollywood whom several movie makers and directors dare not toy with due to her acting prowess. The Offa, Kwara State Nigeria-born actress is also part of the actors dominating movie scene in Ibadan capital of Oyo State. Education for her started from Methodist Primary School in Offa where her set happened to be the last in Kwara State. Then, she later moved to Osogbo and she continue her education from Saint Augustine in Ilesa very close to Ikirun in Osun State. Her dream was to become a famous nurse but she's today a prominent actor. She proceeded to the Technical College in Osogbo, where she studied Electronics after she was denied admission to study her first choice course. She left for London in 1979 for more training on Electrical Electronics and she graduated in 1982.
Though, all along, she has been acting with a school drama group, between 1978 and 1979. In an interview with GBOLAHAN ADETAYO, the ever ravishing Toyin took us through how acting begun for her among other sundry issues you can't afford to miss about her. Excerpts:

How do you feel being hosted recently by Oodua TV?

I was elated about it even till now. It's one thing to be doing what you love to do best, it's another thing to be appreciated. Although, I have been appreciated all over the world, but with Oodua TV also doing this as Omo Oduduwa and as a Yoruba theatre practitioner, that means the organisers  and owners of Oodua TV appreciate me well enough to showcase me on their programme. you were at the event and you saw me dancing, that was the reason behind the dance. I danced all through the event although I'm a very good dancer. I know how to dance. I appreciate dancing a lot. 

There is no specific role you cannot play perfectly, how did you hone it?

First of all, the glory goes to my God who gave me the talent. As a good actress, you must be able to play any role being given to you perfectly. I always say that we are lecturers, nurses, doctors. We are teachers correcting the ills of the society. So Toyin Adegbola, when she picks her role, she should be able to put her best.

How many movies has Toyin Adegbola produced so far?

I have produced about thirteen movies myself. And I have acted in several movies and productions that I cannot recollect.

How did your journey into acting begin?

I started acting as a teenager because I have been doing that even while I was in primary school. If you were in that hall that day, you know that I said so, I have been representing my school for a very long time. But professionally, I started in 1982 when I was working at the television station of Oyo State which is now called BCOS, subsequently, Oga Mukaila called me into his production. Since then, I have been growing in leaps and bounds as an actress.   

For how long have you been acting now?

I have been acting actively for close to 30 years. I thank God because when we started, we had fun for it. We were acting for what we liked doing. But now we are reaping the fruits of our labours. We are now making money from the profession. We can open any door. We can dine with the president, the governors and their first ladies. And you can see what is happening today (Iya Awero 50 years on Stage) that actors are no longer paupers. Look at the people that graced this occasion.

How challenging was it for you when you started in the early 80s and did you receive the support of your parents?

Unfortunately, I lost my parent at a very tender age but my siblings, especially my elder brother gave me all the support and even my late husband because I've been acting before  I met him. So they all gave me all the necessary support.

As a single mother, how do you cope with the tedious job and raising your kids?

 You mean after the death of my husband? I have people living in my house. My sisters and even my sister-in-laws live with me in my house. They normally take charge of the home when I am not available. More over, immediately I lost my husband, my children left this country.

What informed your low-cut hair do you've been wearing since?

I started adorning this low-cut 13 years ago, that was in 2000 just as a sign of respect for my late husband. Later I wanted to change by plaiting my hair but my fans said I should leave it. So since then, It have been on low cuts.

Anytime you look at the mirror and you remember your husband with your low-cut, how do you feel?

It's obvious that I feel bad but life must go on because I need to take care of my kids.

How do you cope with men who want to have fun with you?

I don't even have time for all that because I believe I have to take care of my children because they are my tomorrow. And there is no man out there who'll be ready to pay my children school fees or who will be ready to take me home. None of them is ready to take care of my large responsibilities.

Why don't you want to remarry after 13 years?

Because I want to take care of my children and I don't want to be an intruder to any marriage.

You are one of the few actresses that can act crazy roles, where do you get the inspiration from?

It is my God. I've said it before if you are a good actor, you must be able to interpret any role be given to you wonderfully. When have been given any script, I go through it, digest it and adapt myself into it.

You alongside with Iyabo Oko and Dupe Jaiyesinmi are the wave making actresses in Ibadan… 
I and Iyabo Oko are friends and colleagues. Dupe is also our friend but our junior in the industry.

I mean that you, Iyabo Oko and Dupe Jaiyesinmi are the only actresses in Ibadan who no producer or director can joke with...

Let me correct that. Toyin Adegbola, no producer or director can toy with me. Your claim that we are the only wave making actresses is not really true. All over the world, if you know what you are doing and you are good on your job and God is on your side, you'll be at the top. No body will want to toy with you. i think that's what happen.   

At what age will you say that you are done with Theatre?

No…, Government work is different from acting o. We are the watchdog of the society in pictures and drama. Why do you say I should retire? Baba Ogunde's wives are still there. Iya Awero is still there. Iya Rainbow is there. Baba Eda, Iya Duro-Ladipo, my older colleagues are still much active. "Laiye"! I can't retire.

What was the defining moment of your career?

When 'Asewo to Re Mecca' came out in the early 90s, it went all over the place. That should be my defining moment because I was moving around and people were calling me 'Asewo to re Mecca', even when I went to Jerusalem they called me Asewo.

How did you feel initially?

As at then when they call me Asewo, I used to feel bad and react angrily but later on, I became used to it. It's my job.
There are a thousand and one people that are seeking recognition, since it's my job, I don't have to complain. For people to recognize me, i just take it that I am not a prostitute. People that knows me can attest to that I am not that kind of person.   

What are your current works?

My new works are Ijo Nla and Oshomo. We just finished shooting Ijo Nla. It's a traditional movie. Ijo Nla is about a disciplinarian man who doesn't take nonsense from anybody and doesn't want even his children to become a nuisance to the society. He encouraged the speaking of our traditional language and made it compulsory that it is spoken in his house. Oshomo is going to be another big one. My fans should watch out for these movies.

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