Promising Nollywood actress, Adenike Hamzat, has continued to carve a niche for herself in the industry with her tenacity coupled with her brand and talent. In this interview by SEYI SOKOYA, she speaks on her passion for acting and her versatility. Excerpts:
How has it been since you began acting professionally?
I may look like a fresher but I am privileged to have gathered some experience in the industry as well as face a full knowledge of acting. I remember that I started as an apprentice years back under the tutelage of ace actor whom I referred to as a prolific leader, Odunlade Adekola, through his school, Odunlade Adekola Films Productions. The acting industry has been so interesting and I thank God for where I am today. What seems to be unclear from the onset has given a shape and gradually becoming a celebrated brand in the industry. I see myself as a promising future in the make-believe world, because I have been able to prove my worth in the industry.
What stands you out among your peers?
I have a unique way of adding verve and originality to my style of interpreting roles, which has been my unique selling point and garnering more roles from directors and producers. I am not in competition with anyone whatsoever. I have my personal brand and it is different from anyone. I am not relenting on my game because I still have a long way to go.
You are still an undergraduate, how have you been able to combine acting and education?
I am currently an Accounting undergraduate at the National Open University (NOUN), and I thank God for giving me wisdom to juggle the two without any clash. I love education and I am happy I am focusing on it and at the same time I have all it takes to reach the pinnacle of my career as a prolific thespian. I am not leaving any stone unturned to make my dream come to pass and I am confident that God will see me through.
How do you intend to get on top of your game?
I may not have gotten to my expected height in the industry, but I am so determined to push my career to the topmost level. Though I am taking my steps gradually in the Yoruba genre of the Nollywood movie industry, I am open to opportunities and responsibilities because I am a versatile as actress.
How was the experience like under the tutelage of Odunlade?
This opportunity I would say gave me leverage in the industry. My experience at the school helped me so much because it turned my novice to being a professional. I remember that I was very active and participated in many movies the film production company churned out and I was spectacular and sensational in my deliveries. Now that I am in the mainstream, I am determined to maintain my dignity in the industry.
How many movies have you featured in?
I have featured in over 25 movies since my debut movie some years ago. This development has helped my career and made me become a regular face which has also increased my fan-base. All these could not have come to pass if I had not met with Odunlade. I have never for once regretted ever joining the Odunlade Adekola films production family because my boss and the entire crew made everything so easy for me. The experience was amazing and very encouraging. I will still continue to learn every day from him; Odunlade is an exceptional being and I am proud to be his product and protégé. He is a great leader with the insatiable instincts to make his products surpass him; an exemplary leader par excellence.
Could you recall the movie that brought you into the limelight?
It is a movie entitled: “Pepeye Meje” (Seven Ducks). This work made me to gain more grounds as well as raised my game. I have always had passion for acting and to say it is in-born for me will not be an overstatement. In my mutation years, I discovered then that each time I just finished watching any movie, I would immediately try to be mimicking some of the principal characters in the movie and this I kept on doing unconsciously not knowing that God was ordering my steps towards a prospective career in the making for me.
When did begin acting professionally?
Acting has actually been part of me; because I used to mime some of those characters seen on the TV from home video and TV series but professionally, I started acting in 2012.
What are your plans in the industry?
I want to be successful as a career actress; to be financially okay and to be a good role model to the younger generation and also be a good ambassador to the Nigeria entertainment industry and the Nollywood in particular.
Are you satisfied with the state of the industry?
A dreamer will never be okay or satisfied with the state of things in the Nigerian film making world; but I believe with time, everything will be fine, because change is the only constant in life.
Do you feel threatened as a young lady among the popular actresses in the industry?
Feel threatened? Not really, because I believe in myself and I see most of them as my role models and one of my ultimate goals is to do more in the area that I think they have not touched as an actress. We are all promoting the beautiful culture of our country and exporting our entertainment heritage to the western world.
What was your greatest challenge in acting?
Greatest challenge as an actress was when I was given a script; which the role is to play the role of a goddess and being my first time, I was really scared and it was challenging; it was a big task at that time and kudos to those that have passed that stage in their acting career.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
I was fortunate to grow under a disciplined producer; and my boss, prolific Odunlade Adekola; he never gives room for any of his students to be harassed or sexually embarrassed. But I will say it was when a producer called me to a movie location, only for me to get there and realised my role had been given to someone else just because I refused to date him.
Can you marry an actor?
Yes! If we both love each other, but I’m not settling for marriage now.