Omoni Oboli, a budding movie producer and seasoned actress with claim to fame from her roles in Figurine and Anchor Baby has also inched a few miles further to become a notable director. Her debut effort in directing was with the popular movie entitled Being Mrs. Elliot.
As huge as that feat seemed at the time it was achieved, Oboli thinks that it was a stroke of luck, a dream come true or what you may call at best, providence. She said: “We wrote to the Presidency through the Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria and we didn’t think they would honour it.
We just wanted to try our luck. And when they actually said they were going to do it, I was still thinking maybe they would change their mind. So, I didn’t talk about it at all. I didn’t publicise it. I didn’t talk about it until the day of the event. I put my invitation on my DP because I actually got an invitation to the event.
How was I going to enter without the invitation? So, I put my invitation on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on the afternoon of the event. That was when people knew about it. Till after the event, I was saying to my assistant that if I wake up and this thing is a dream I would kill myself.
I was saying ‘pinch me, pinch me, are you sure this thing really happened. Are you sure I was actually sitting on the high table with the President, governors and there were ministers there, senators, House of Representatives members, elder statesmen and the PDP chairman? Are you sure?’ And it was about me? It was about my event? It was just such a big thing.
And I think it’s a big feat for Nollywood”. Before 2014, the consummate thespian had written a few scripts adopted and enacted by others, and according to her, it wasn’t all the time that she was hundred percent happy with the way the stories panned out. “I said to myself, ‘if I do my story myself, it would have my DNA. It would be exactly what I have in mind.’
You know when you are writing, you can see it. I don’t know if it happens to everybody. When I’m writing I see it, it’s a moving picture. In my head I can see what I’m writing. I told myself if I do it then it will be exactly what I have in mind. I would see exactly what I was creating when I was writing it.
So I decided, I should direct, but then I didn’t just leave it there. I didn’t just take up directing. I decided to actually get some technical knowledge because acting and directing are two totally different things. Actors are born. So I have a natural talent that God gave me to act. But I don’t have a natural talent to direct.
So I had to go to school to learn it. I went to New York Film Academy. I did a short course in digital filmmaking. So that qualifies me to direct movies,” she stated. Somewhat finicky in her style sense, Oboli it was who recaptured the almost forgotten fad of wearing natural hair to high-octane functions which in no time became trendy again. And blazing this trail had nothing to do with a lack of money to patronise the upscale salons or foreign wigs, but a daring act of trying out what others didn’t want to. “I just wanted to do something different.
I wanted to go back to my root and I’m loving it,” she remarked when this reporter e n q u i r e d about why she prefers carrying her natural hair to wearing the foreign wigs that are now in vogue. But on her mystery catlike eyes, Oboli wouldn’t budge, even when it’s widely believed it’s all the spectacle of contact lens. “It’s a question I never answer.
There is a lot of controversy about my eye and I want to keep it that way. I want to keep people guessing. I have people quarrelling in some family; one person is saying she’s not wearing any lens, the other one is saying it’s not true. Let me keep them guessing. At least let them have one thing to talk about me,” she retorted.
Despite being towering in an industry bursting with so much energy, Oboli exudes unmistakable calmness. “I think I am who I am. Naturally, I am a home girl. That’s just the truth. I’m not the party goer. There is nothing wrong with it, but it’s just not me. Even when I was single, it just wasn’t me.
Once in a while, your friend might drag you to a night club or something but even at that after one hour I’m tired. The music may be too loud and I would just want to go and watch a movie or read a book. So it’s who I am. I’m naturally kind of laid back.
I’m extroverted and introverted at the same time. You can’t be in entertainment industry and not be extroverted but at the same time, I have my moment where I just want to have a quiet time. I am who I am”. With a rare marital bliss in an industry characterised by frequent broken marriages, Oboli, married for 16 years, shares the opinions of many others who believe that marriage is beautiful when you are married to your friend. “We are friends and there is a God factor in our marriage as well. Both of us are strong believers. We’re Christians.
And we always make sure that first of all, we will not do things that will hurt the other person. It doesn’t mean that we don’t disagree. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have issues. There is no marriage that is perfect, don’t let anyone deceive you.
We do have issues but we resolve those issues because we’ve made up our minds that we are not going to get a divorce. So when divorce is not an option, you must resolve whatever issues you have. It’s when divorce is an option that you say irreconcilable differences. There are no differences that are irreconcilable.
But when divorce is not an option we try as much as possible to resolve all our issues because we say, ‘I’m stuck with the person anyway, so I might as well be happy.’ I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being reasonable.” When asked what the attraction was to the ‘guy’ who would later be her crown, she recounted: “For me personally, I think I fell in love with the way he loved me. He loved me unconditionally.
I know it’s difficult for you to think a human being can love another unconditionally. He actually did because there were certain things that I would think, even before we got married, I would think ‘nobody should take this,’ but then he will be say ‘it’s okay as long as it’s you.’ That for me was a wow factor!
How do you love somebody this way? Are you serious? That was it”. The formula for remaining svelte and lithe after three kids is something she’d held close to her chest and left fans guessing before this chat. She finally let out the secret: “Diet and fitness, I would say.
I’m not a fat person, I’m not going to lie about it but after my last child I was probably three or four size bigger than this. But exercising, eating right and changing my whole life style in terms of diet and exercise has helped. It’s science, less food and more exercises equal to weight loss.”