General News | 10 April 2007 15:17 CET


Moji Olaiya, actress and daughter of legendary Highlife maestro, Sir Victor Olaiya, does not relish discussing her relationships on the pages of newspapers and this is not because she's not proud of her man. It is also not because she is afraid of losing him to other husband-hungry girls in the garb of single ladies in the movie industry.

She may have refused to talk about that, but she opened up on her acting career, other intimate details about her life and family. In this exclusive interview with our correspondent, she particularly spoke on claims that she was not close to her father, Sir Victor Olaiya.

Like most ladies, if not all of them, light skinned Moji looks forward to marriage with her prince charming. She favours a "God-fearing man, and of course no lady wants to have an ugly man. I need a God-fearing man, that is presentable and comfortable, not somebody I have to spend my money on; somebody that can take care of his home; should be man enough to take care of his responsibilities," she said.

Prodded into divulging who the lucky guy is she explained that "I don't want to talk about that. It does not mean that I'm not proud of him; I'm very proud of him. Neither am I afraid he could be snatched away from me, in fact, that can never happen. I just don't want to talk about it, I prefer to keep it private for now," she stated flatly, in a tone that suggested she wouldn't want the line stretched further.

Moji, who debunked widespread views that she was not close to her father told Klieglights that being Victor Olaiya's daughter does not get into her head, rather, she has always being herself adding that her being in acting might be because showbiz runs in the family. This might not be far from the truth considering that one of her male siblings, Bayode, though a banker, also has passion for singing.

"My showbiz talent came from my father. I'm very close to him. The career I have chosen for myself makes me always busy, even at that at my own time, I talk to him and we see when we need to see. So, the issue of not being close to him is not true. It's not as if his children are not close to him, we're very close to him. Whenever there's need to be around him we do so. For instance, I'm a lady and hope to get married someday and move in with my husband, but the talk that his children are not close to him is not true", she declared.

Perhaps, besides her father, the other person that enjoys as much regard from her in showbiz is director, Antar Laniyan. Though, not the first to speak glowingly about the University of Ibadan theatre arts graduate, Moji's respect for Antar is traceable to their time out together on the set of one of the most successful Superstory series, No Pain No Gain, which Antar directed.

Antar earned her respect because of the way he brought out the best in her. She recalled the encounter thus, "Antar really brought out the best in me on the set of No Pain No Gain. He challenged me, especially when he felt I was not emotive enough about the scene, he would tell me 'I know you can do better, so let's take it again.' He did not mind taking one scene over and again until I got it right," she explained adding that "But in the long run I love what I went through because I could say that was what launched me. People still regard that as the work that gave me my break," she said.

Moji can be very compassionate too. It was learnt that she would stick her neck out for friends at the risk of being castigated. An example of that played out during the drug saga of the actress popularly known as Yetunde Wunmi. Perhaps it is in acknowledgement of that that the remorseful actress has not stopped saying thanks to Moji for standing by her during the infamous travail.

Insinuations were rife within the Yoruba movie industry at the time that Moji was into the same trade going by the way she stood by Wunmi.

But she denied that in this interview with our correspondent. She argued that while no one was happy with her for getting involved in the misadventure, the kind of person that she is, it would have been difficult for anyone who knows how warm and pleasant she is to abandon her at her trying moment.

"The reason I stood by her was because, she's always been a warm and pleasant person in the industry, she does not bear grudges with anyone, she keeps to herself; and I felt that if I cannot stand by her now is it when she's gotten over it that I would stand by her?

"The issue of whether I was into the same thing; I have never and will never. I believe I'm a role model to many, I don't have to do things that will tarnish my image," she stressed.

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