Behind the scene | 17 May 2008 12:40 CET


By By Fred Iwenjora

While Nollywood movie makers are on break due to the decision of the marketers to rest and rechart their course so to speak, Nollywood star actress Omotola seems to be having it cool .

The celebrated screen beauty who will always say “I love what I do.” in the past weeks, stunned her fans when she stormed a Kannywood set in Jos, where she took part in the 3SP movie, 'Hamza', making of the Legend. And she gave a very good account of her self according to movie buffs.,

After playing her part as Queen in the movie, which she described as heroic, Omotola could not hold back her feeling of contentment and of course excitement when she said that she has never been so challenged. According to her, she has “never been so challenged like she was in Hamza”

She also used the chance meeting to trace her entry into the movies she said, “I came into the movie industry sometime in 1995, immediately I completed my secondary school education.

It all started when a friend introduced me into modelling, which I did for a while. Later, another friend invited me for an audition, where I did well and was given a role, but unfortunately, my mother kicked against it.

She said it was for my own good.” So when did she get the green card to start showing her face in movies?

Barely after some months, she got another role. This time, it was a romantic one that had to do with a lot of kissing, from the producers of The Testament, in which she was supposed to act alongside Tunde Obe.

Again, her mum revolted against it because she didn”t want her beloved daughter to be seen kissing in movies because it would affect her future and the church will not be pleased. So once again, she had to reject the role.

For her, it was a rough start and a battle of sorts with her mum, until the same director of The Testament offered her yet another role. This time, it was a “responsible” one in Venom Of Justice, which she said happened to eventually be the first film she featured in. That was in 1995.

Today, she has been opportuned to write her name with a golden pen in Nollyowood's yellow pages with several roles in the kitty.

Does she see herself as a successful actress? the reply from her is “You should be the one to tell me that, I don't know.” But a clear examination of Omotola's exploits in the industry will show you that she has done her bit to have her name etched on Nollywood.

She has been able to combine acting with many other things. She went into the matrimonial institution at an early age, and had four kids while trying hard to maintain her shape and position.

Asked whether she has role models in the industry, she says “I admire people who have outstanding qualities, like Joke Silva. I admire her for her proficiency in speech; Liz Benson, for the fact that she has been able to stay relevant and Richard Mofe Damijo. I admire them because they are pioneers of the game.”

Omotola took considerable time to express her joy for playing a lead role in Hamza. Although she had her secondary education in the north, according to her, she realised that her six years in Kaduna was a waste. “I would have learnt more about the Hausa culture. I now realise how beautiful the culture is. This film, Hamza, is going to be great and was a challenge to me, I love it.”

Unlike many other actresses in Nollywood who disregard their fans for one reason or the other, Omotola is different. In Jos, she chose to keep her fans around her. At a point, she went to a super market in Jos and returned with a Ghana-Must-Go bag filled with goodies, which she gave to her fans.

She enjoyed working with the Kannywood stars like Ali Nuhu. In fact, she says she is overwhelmed by Nuhu's immense talent, fast reasoning and commitment to his roles.

She was surprised by how he profusely wept on set when the director asked him to get in the character. “There are lots of talented people here in the north.

Ali Nuhu is an outstanding actor. He is a multi-talented young man with a keen, enthusiastic mind. Sani Mu'azu is another credible actor in Kannywood.

There are many others and with what I saw here, in the near future, this part of the country will be great and will compete with any industry in the world”, she enthused.

As a queen, Omotola excelled in the role. She had this to say about northern royalty, “the royal home in the north of Nigeria is something else. Gaskiya, I am impressed. Check out the protocol in the palace.

Imagine, the sarki does not talk to anyone directly when it comes to domestic affairs, except through the Jakadiya.

That symbolises that royalty in northern Nigeria enjoys tremendous respect and reverrence.”

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