DESCRIBE YOUR EDUCATION BACKGROUND
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos, an Acting for Film certificate from the NYFA as well as several work specific training certificates during the course of my eight year sales and marketing career. My most important learning however came from hustling on the streets of Lagos.
WHAT MADE YOU GO INTO ACTING?
I’ve always enjoyed stories and since about the age of 5, I’ve enjoyed acting. Growing up I realised two things; acting was the one thing I could possibly be the best in the world at and secondly, that drama and actors have in them power to change lives and cause social change. In the last few undergrad years, I got into a fellowship group, Harvesters company of HICC, and later led Xtreme Reaction, the drama, music and dance youth group of Covenant Christian Centre. I always found ways to express my passion even while I worked full time without it affecting my job. All the hard and mostly free work finally paid off when I posted a few short films I featured in online and they got quite a positive reviews. The calls from producers started coming in after (yes, yes I’m Nollywood’s version of Justin Beiber).
HAS IT BEEN FULFILLING AND FINANCIALLY REWARDING?
Making the career shift from sales and marketing to acting has been my best decision yet. For me the acting profession has been immensely fulfilling and much more rewarding than I thought possible.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON IN THE PAST?
I’ve had the opportunity to play roles in some films – ZR7, Journey to Self, A Few Good Men, Kpians Feast of Souls and A New You. I’ve also done some short films such as Blink, In Iredu, 6:30, Dependence, A Grain of Wheat, Lagos Lying Game and Badt Guy. I’ve also appeared in some TV and web series like Gidi Up, Knock Knock and Kpians Premonition. I’ve also been in theatre productions including Itakun, Clogs and Diagnosis.
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT DOWRY?
I had met Victor a couple of times and we had both talked about seeing each other’s work and wanting to work together. So when I got his call for Dowry, the decision was already 80% made.
WHAT MADE YOU COMMIT TO THE PRODUCTION?
Victor! The story, and the manner in which it was told was one of the most innovative I had experienced as well as his passion for filmmaking and his skill (caveat – he paid for this promo).
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS?
Acting wise, Richard Mofe Damijo and spiritually Poju Oyemade. I have observed them prove that no matter the obstacles, clarity of purpose with depth of thought as well as determination with a sense of responsibility will bring results that exceed expectation.
WHAT DOES FAMILY MEAN TO YOU?
A haven to go to when the world goes crazy (even when my family is crazier than the world at least it’s a craziness I am familiar with).
IN ONE WORD, YOU ARE?
INTERVIEW: Isabella Akinseye
PHOTO: Courtesy of Deyemi Okanlawon
This Interview first appeared in Issue 6 of Nolly Silver Screen Magazine