Actors should have a side hustle – Olajuwon Adewunmi
I am from Ilaro in Ogun State. However, I was born and raised in Somolu, Lagos. I am the first girl in a family of eight. I have four younger ones and an elder brother. My childhood was tough. I thank my elder brother and mum for being there for me and showing me the right path to follow. I am also thankful to God because that is a thing of the past and I am much bigger than that now.
I have a diploma in accounting from the Owo Polytechnic’s satellite campus in Lagos. I also studied marketing at the Lagos State University, Ojo.
I have been acting for a very long time because my mum, Mrs. Oluwaranti Adewunmi, was an actress. As far back as 1995, I always went on locations with her and I featured in some movies too. After sometime, my mum asked me to stop so that I could concentrate on my studies but I came back professionally into the industry in 2005 while I was still in LASU. Professionally, my first movie was Ada bani in 2005 it was directed by Ibrahim Chatta who also featured in the movie. I acted as his American girlfriend. I met my boss, Lekan Ojo, popularly called Gbatami, in the salon so I told him about my interest in acting and he told me to join their rehearsals on Lagos Island.That was how it all started. I was brought to limelight by the movie, 21 Years, because after that production, I started receiving calls for jobs. I then produced another movie titled, Oko Oyinda.
My family has been very supportive because my mum was an actress and my dad likes entertainment.
Some of the challenges I faced from producers and marketers happened because I turned them down when they wooed me. Most of them threatened that they wouldn’t feature me in their movies and tried to sabotage my career by telling people that I am a bad actress. I thank God for where I am now.
I have produced about 10 movies. Some of my movies include Arebi, Olugbo Jara, Oko Oyinda, 21 Years, Surebet, Shedi Mentor, Marital Vow, Aiye Olomo Kan and Osika.
I am yet to portray a character that fits my personality because I am a very quiet and peaceful person. All the roles I have played are different from who I am. I will like to act the role of a blind person. Also my movie, Ara Ire, was challenging because I played the role of a hunchback. It was a different one for me, unlike the usual pretty girl character I usually portray in movies. Before accepting a script, I look out for its content, director and co-actors because there are some producers who give scripts that don’t make any sense.
I don’t think acting pays (well enough) but it is not the case for those in English movies. When it comes to Yoruba movies, it is just so sad. Producers used to pay good money in the past, but actors are now paid a pittance. Some people will offer you very ridiculous fees and you wonder if it is compulsory you act in the movie. Also, piracy is an issue. Some people spend so much to produce movies and at the end, they are unable to recoup their investment. If you are an actor, you must have a side hustle so that you wouldn’t be frustrated.
Being popular has not changed anything about me because I am still myself. I don’t pretend to be what I am not. People who know me will tell you that I am always myself. I love everything about stardom but sometimes, it is difficult to go out or meet people. Sometimes, you can’t even go to the market or dress the way you want to because people are watching you. I am a very free person; sometimes, I go to the market and a lot of people come to appreciate me. I love it because I love meeting people and I play a lot. My siblings tease me at times that I don’t even behave like a celebrity but I can’t change my life because I am an actress. Being an actress opens doors for me.
I am into buying and selling of fashion accessories for both sexes. I also have an online shop. Whenever I need to be on the set of a movie, I let my assistant see to the business .
Nothing has really changed about me because I feature my son in some movies. Motherhood has been part of me for a long time due to the fact that I have played the role of a mother in some of the movies that I have featured in.
I am engaged to be married very soon.