Nollywood has grown tremendously and bred A-List old acts as well as notable young ones with outstanding talents. Entertainment Extra recently discovered yet another up-and-coming young and pretty talent in Tope Osoba. The Business Education graduate from Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), spoke with ADUNOLA OLADAPO on diverse issues.
Tell us about yourself and what you do for a living?
My name is Temitope Osoba; I studied Business Education at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ogun State. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education. I am an actress and dancer, I am single.
How did you delve into acting?
Acting was not something I intended to do, I was initially a dancer. I used to dance hip-hop and cultural dance, way back then in school, even before school. I was doing dance professionally. Acting was never in my mind, it was just by luck, because I had to feature in a Yoruba dance movie.
Which movie was that?
That was Ijoya. It was produced by Laide Bakare, in 2005. It was purely dance movie. Although I acted in it, it was the first time I would do something like that. But dance was the major thing there.
So, after then, what happened?
Well, I used to dance for Weird MC. I had to go back to school, so then I couldn’t keep up with the rehearsals and other things that were involved. I did a couple of music videos for the likes of Olu Maintain, Adewale Ayuba (Ijo Fuji), Pasuma (High Level).
What fascinated you about acting?
Generally, I like entertainment, be it singing, dancing or acting. When the director saw me, he asked me if I could do a thing for him and I said yes. He played a CD of Weird MC for me and I did the choreography, and he liked it. He gave me a script that I should read, that I will be acting a role. That was how I got the role; from then, I have been acting.
So, you started with dancing, what year was that?
Basically, I started dancing in 2004, after the music video of Ijoya. Later, I was laid back a bit. It was not that I was discouraged; you know the society one lives in, one has to be careful, especially when you dance for Fuji artistes. I decided to stay with acting.
So for how long have you been acting?
That was in 2005. My first movie was Ijoya. after that, I did a couple of movies like: Abimbola, Anu Oju Mi by Ayo Adesanya. It was my second major movie. In 2009, I did Ogun Mi (My Sweat). It was produced by Dayo Amusa; it was the movie that projected my acting career.
Could you tell us why you dumped dancing for acting?
I enjoyed dancing a lot, no doubt, but because of the perception that the society has about professional dancers— they see them as wayward, loose and even prostitutes— I had to quit. However, I was beginning to enjoy acting a great deal then.
What role brought you into limelight?
That was in the late Bisi Komolafe’s movie, where I acted as a stripper, but we didn’t strip anyway in the movie.
What was the working relationship with Bisi Komolafe like?
She was a good and nice person. I remember the first time we met, it was on a location, in a film, Tipatikuku (By fire by force). It was a Yoruba flick and it was released in 2010.
Can you act nude?
Of course not, never. Even in the movie where I played the role of a stripper, we did not strip naked. We didn’t even put on Bikinis. We were on shorts, gowns and bump shorts. I can never act nude because my friends and family are watching. I can’t do it even for a billion naira.
Did your parents endorse your choice of profession?
Yes, they did. My parents are late, but I had the support of my uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents; they were always there for me and they are still there for me.
Did they prefer you acting to dancing?
They preferred me dancing, they were not against it, but they didn’t really like it, obviously because of the society’s perception of professional dancers then. But now, my family members see me as the star of the family. I don’t see myself as a star yet, but I’m happy my family likes what I’m doing and gives their blessings.
If your parents were alive, are you sure they would have loved what you are doing now?
When my father was alive, he was a strict man, I don’t think he would have supported me. But, my mum, if she were alive, she would have loved it.
Were there temptations for you to indulge in social vices in order to survive then?
Poverty is not desirable, but it’s good to be of high moral standard and hardworking. Of course, there were temptations but I never fell for them because I was ready to do legitimate work to earn money and see myself through my education, and that I did by dancing and modeling.
Talking about the challenges in the industry, have you encountered any of such?
No, I have not. Right now, no. I haven’t. However, every profession has its challenges.
What about sexual harassment?
It has always been there.
Have you ever succumbed to such advances?
I have never done that. My belief is that with God, I will make it in life.
Have you dated any of your colleagues in the industry before?
No, I have not. I’m in a relationship, right now. We have been dating for three years. I don’t think that I would want to do something like that at the moment. When you are talking about colleagues in the industry, we are professionals. Even if I were not in a relationship, I can’t date my colleagues.
Why, there must be a reason for that?
My reason is that both of us do the same job. I can’t just marry a man in the same industry with me.
Your boyfriend, does he not worry about your romantic roles?
He knows what I’m doing. If he sees me on television acting a romantic role, he would be like “see what that guy is doing to you.” I will have to explain to him that I’m the one on set.
If you get married and your man says you should quit your job, would you?
I believe that before going into marriage with me, he understood that I love my job. We will sort out everything before taking the next step. This is something that brings food to my table. Acting is my first love and he needs to understand that, but if he insists and gets me another good job, I may not be acting fully, but I will be producing.
How did you meet your guy?
We went to the same university, but we never met. He was my senior. He knew me, but I didn’t. He graduated two years before me.
What turns you off in the opposite sex?
I don’t like guys that are too handsome and too ugly. You know when a guy is too handsome, it is a problem because ladies will be chasing him but when he is averagely handsome, he’s okay by me. When other ladies see my guy, the will go for someone else and not my guy.
Have you produced any movie of yours?
Not yet, and I’m not working on any one at the moment, although I have scripts already.
How many movies have you featured in so far?
Let me say over 20 movies, and still counting. In some of the movies, I played major roles, in some, second lead roles and there are couple of others that are not out yet.
Do you restrict yourself only to Yoruba movies?
No, I also act in English soap operas. I have featured in Shadows and a couple of other movies.
What qualities stand you out among your peers?
I’m real, I’m very natural and fun to be with. I’m just a simple person and down to earth.
Who are your role models in the industry?
I have a lot of people who have been influential to me. I will mention a few, like Ayo Adesanya, Bimbo Oshin, Eniola Badmus, Yomi Fash-Lanso. A lot of them are my role models.
What part of your body do you admire the most?
I would say my boobs, but I admire the whole of my body, because I have a nice shape and I love it. A lot of people like my shape.
Have your boobs given you any lead role before and do you consider it your selling point?
Well, I don’t reveal a lot of my body, but I do reveal a little cleavage. So, put together, I will say my boobs and my body fetch me the jobs. People tell me I have very lovely skin, shape and lips. I guess they get the roles coming for me. I can’t show more than my cleavage.
There are lot of tattoos on your body, how many are they?
All together, I have eight at different parts of my body. I have one on my left knee, I have a cross on my hand, I have a star on my neck. I also have my mum’s name on my back, I have a logo. Also, I have my boyfriend’s nickname on my neck.
Why the craze for tattoo and why not one on your boobs?
I just love tattoos. My boobs are very special to me and I cherish them. I don’t want to tamper with them and I can’t stand anybody touching them anyhow in the name of doing tattoos on them.
Are you related to the former Ogun State governor, Segun Osoba?
Yes, we are related in a way, because he is related to my paternal grandfather, although we have not met one on one.
If not an actress, what else would you be doing professionally?
I would be into business, probably run a salon.
Has your heart ever been broken before?
Yes it has being broken, that is why I have this tattoo, with a broken heart and a knife piercing through it. It was really painful, I cried, because I really liked him and he got married a few months after we broke up, it was really painful.
Why didn’t he consider taking you back, was it that you were not ready for marriage then?
I really don’t know. I was ready for marriage even then and I was still dancing too.
Did you ever think it was because of your dancing profession then?
Why should that be his reason, I don’t know. Is dancing a crime? I guess he was just being a man.
Are you set for marriage?
Certainly, of course, I am set for marriage, if the right man comes my way.
In the next five years, where do you see yourself?
I see myself at the top, being one of the best actresses, one of the best producers and one of the best role models.
Among the movies you have acted, which do you consider the most challenging?
I will say Ogun Mi. it was kind of tough for me. I was paired with top actresses. I felt intimidated, shaky and timid and the director kept shouting at me and I cried that day, because the director made me feel embarrassed and I am used to being pampered by my late parents.
What good and advantage do you derive from the job?
As an actress, when I’m on stage, I take away all my worries; I don’t think, all I do is my job. So, I will say acting helps me forget my sorrows and worries because while on set, I am just free, my mind is empty.
What are your plans for this year?
Well, the year is still new, I have done Tomilola, The Taxi Driver. I just finished doing one which name I don’t know yet. I still have some other ones I will be doing. Honestly, I have couple of works on hand at the moment.
Is there any particular actress or actor you will like to act with in Nollywood?
I would love to work with every person in the industry, not just one. I’m not selective.
Have you produced any movie of yours?
No, not yet, but I really hope to produce one this year. I actually have some stories I have written but the financial constraints is delaying my producing a movie but I’m seriously working on doing one before the end of the year.
While acting has deprived you of your privacy, would you say it has helped open fortune or contact doors?
Oh yes, though I have lost my privacy to acting, I will say it is actually opening doors for me. But one thing I don’t enjoy is that I now have to do my shopping in boutiques. I can’t go to Yaba bend down boutique to shop again because I am a rising star in Nollywood now. But my sister once in a while I still manage to go to Yaba for my shopping oh. (Laughs.)
How do you do it, do you disguise your identity or what?
I donn’t have to disguise, when I am hell-bent on shopping at yaba, I just carry my face, dam the consequences and go. I don’t care what people say because I won’t steal or prostitute because I want to look big, I shop based on my pocket. Also, when I go to shop in the market, the shop owners usually hike the prices of items for me, saying “you people in Nollywood are rich and we always buy your films so you don’t have to bargain.” It’s not easy being popular; it has its advantages and disadvantages.
Culled from Tribune