Early this year, actress, Foluke Daramola, was in what was termed a husband snatching scandal. She did not flinch about the controversy, as she went ahead to marry her man. In this exclusive interview with senior correspondent, Hazeez Balogun, she speaks on her new role in the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and her plans to have children with her new man
You have just been saddled with the responsibility of organising the Screen Actors’ Awards. As the chairman of the organising committee, won’t it be a huge task for a busy actress like you?
When I joined the team, I saw the passion and vision of our president, Ibinabo Fibresima, and I could not help but be a part of it. I was later asked to be the chairman of the organising committee, which is a big task. I have come to accept the job and I see it as a challenge. I like challenges. I believe that it is a better representation of us as actors if we have such an award. I share the dream and I believe in it.
(read more after the cut)
Most Yoruba actors tend to shy away from working with the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). Do you see yourself as a rebel?
It is not the issue of being a rebel. First, I am a liberal person, so I know what is good and I do it. Also, I would not like to be fully labelled a Yoruba actress. If you can remember, I actually started acting in an English production.
How did you move to acting in Yoruba movies?
When I was in the university studying international relations, a lecturer advised me on the roles I should be playing in movies. He said that I would not be representing who I am as a person if I stick to acting in English movies. He said the best way to project my culture was to take part in Yoruba movies. I took the advice and I started taking Yoruba roles, and before long, I became deep in it.
Going back to the awards, don’t you think it lacks credibility already when actors are giving awards to actors?
No. First, the awards will not be judged by actors. We are only organising the awards; we are not judging them. We have a panel that will pick the judges. We will not even know the winners until the day of the awards. We are not just picking judges, we will make sure that we have capable hands that know the industry very well and also know about movies. We will also have some media people as judges. It is going to be all- inclusive. In fact, people at home may have a chance to vote.
You are always busy on set; will you have time for this project?
Life is all about sacrifice. I have been acting since I was 17 so, by now, I know how to juggle work and manage time. Yes, it is going to be a challenge but as I said earlier, life itself is a challenge.
You once said you would get a PhD, is that still possible?
Oh sure. In fact, there were two factors that slowed me down a bit. First, I got married and had children; they come first in my life. Also, being an actress and also working with various NGOs is not easy.
You are well educated and many of your colleagues are not, do you think all actors must at least have a first degree?
Yes, I believe that would be a good idea. A lot of children look up to us. They see us everyday on their television and they want to be like us. It will be a disaster if they learn that we did not go to school. They will start thinking it is okay not to go to school. That is why I am very concerned about education. I have a master’s degree, and as I said, I will still acquire a PhD.
Since you got married, you hardly talk about your new status. Why?
Well, I thank God. I did not plan for it. I had told myself that I was out of it, and I was done with it. It just happened. I am happy with my husband. I thank God that I have a man that understands me and has taken me for who I am. He is someone who tells me to keep giving my best. He gives me a lot of push.
Many say the marriage is that of convenience, and it’s all about the money. What is your reaction to this?
It is not at all about material things. In fact, if it is about material things, I would not be in this marriage; I will be somewhere else. What I need and prayed to God for is a man who will love me and understand me, and I got my wish.
Are you planning to have children with your new husband?
Oh sure. Children are the joy of every marriage and we definitely look forward to having children together.
Are you sometimes scared that this one might end up like the first?
That I believe is not a possibility. We are attracted emotionally to each other, and we both have a spiritual connection, which we didn’t hesitate to find out all the way. My mum went out to pray about it with men of God. I also went out to pray and fasted over it. He had a past; I have mine, so the two of us coming together is like we don’t have a choice than to make it work for both of us. If you have noticed, both our families, all the family members were involved, which is unusual. Normally, you find one or two family members saying one thing or the other, but in this case, everybody, my father-in-law, my brothers, my brothers and sisters-in-law, everybody, including my uncle and parents were positive. So, at the end of the day, you find that God is actually telling us something. So, I needed that spiritual conviction.
The first time, not that I didn’t need the spiritual conviction, but then I wasn’t in a hurry, everything people told me was like let us do it. But when I was about getting married, I had this strong heartbeat, it was very strong, but I looked at it and said maybe it’s maturity and I know it is maturity. I guess it’s just peace of mind. There is a difference between infatuation and love and this you may not know when you are young. Now, I know am in love with the right person, and my mind is at peace. We have our fights, we have our quarrels, but we understand we are both in something that has to work.