I avoid advances from men by staying indoors —Toro Aramide
For Toro Aramide, United Kingdom-based Nigerian actress, the goal is to remain relevant for a life time with her career. In this interview with SEGUN ADEBAYO, she speaks about life, career and future plans.
How did your career in acting begin?
I have always had passion for acting for many years but it was quite challenging to start because my kids were quite young. I knew I have got what it takes to be one of the best actresses around but I was only waiting for the right time and the link that would make it happen and easy. So, one day after some years of waiting, I told myself that the time had come and I went for it. So, I spoke to my friend, Mercy Aigbe and asked her if she could coordinate a script. That was how it all started.
So how has it been since you hit the silver screen?
The experience has been great. I feel like I have to keep giving my best to my fans all the time. The job is very taxing but it is what I signed up for and I am not complaining. Living up to expectations sometimes comes with pressure especially when you have to be on top of your game to deliver a masterpiece. But in all, I give thanks to God for the talent, wisdom and strength to keep doing what I am doing well.
Tell us about your first movie and how it happened?
Producing one’s movie is a lot of work. You have to ensure that every member of the crew understands the vision you want to project to the people. They have to key into your idea and bring it to life. So, it is always challenging but I worked with a fantastic team when I was going to produce my first movie, Ogoji. I played about three scenes in the movie. Just recently, I produced my second movie entitled ‘Eniobanke’ in which I was the lead actor. I had so much fun on set working with people of like minds. As I am talking to you, we are shooting my third movie and I can’t wait to share the good news with my fans from Nigeria and around the world.
You live in the UK. Did your career start over there?
My career started in Nigeria and so far, it’s been amazing. It has been a great experience since I started. The journey actually started in Nigeria and it continued when I got here.
Have you tried to produce any movie in the UK and what was it like?
I have not produced any movie since I got to the UK. I have also not featured in movies there. I get most scripts from Nigeria and I honour the ones I could take if it works with my time and schedule.
Don’t you think staying abroad would not help your career in Nigeria as people will not get to see you if you stay away from home?
You are right if you say that the relocation could hinder my career a bit. It could be hard getting known and commanding good scripts because I am not in Nigeria, but there is nothing I can do about that situation for now because I now have a family here in the UK and it might be difficult to move back to Nigeria again. For now, I need to concentrate on my family and put certain things in place. If I would return to Nigeria, there has to be proper arrangement that would make my return worth it. Hopefully, very soon, I may return to Nigeria.
How often do you get scripts from Nigeria and do you actually honour such invites regularly?
I tend to get a lot of scripts from Nigeria but I have only honoured the ones that work with my own time of production. It is hard juggling work and movies together. Most times, I don’t honour scripts because it clashes with my time here. But trust me, scripts come regularly and I take the ones I can. You can’t appear in every movie. No one can.
Tell us about your career and what makes you believe that acting was your way?
Acting for me started since I was a child. It is one thing I knew I could do very well without having to look for help. I have loved acting since I was a child and I still do till now. Even as a child, I remember representing my school in stage plays. I derive so much joy and pleasure in acting and I love watching movies a lot.
You are also an entrepreneur. How would you describe the journey so far?
It is not an easy ride. I have a family that I have to pay attention to. I have other commitments here and there, but God has been so faithful. Sometimes, I tell people that God loves me specially because some of the things I pull through couldn’t have been possible if not for God’s intervention. I am grateful to God.
It is becoming a common trend among thespians, especially the female folk, to relocate to the UK, Canada and even US. What is it about these countries that attract them?
I really don’t know what prompts anyone to relocate. We all have different reasons for doing what we feel is good for us. For me, I think anyone should do what makes them happy. I think your peace of mind and comfort should never be negotiated. If moving would make things easy for you, please do it.
How was life In Nigeria before you left?
I didn’t just leave Nigeria as some people might think. I have been in the UK since I was a child. I was born into a comfortable family, so we could afford things easily.
But they say there is no money in the UK, how have you been coping?
I think you should ask those who say there is no money the kind of job they do here. It depends on each individual to define how and what he or she wants to achieve in the UK. I am comfortable here and I am grateful to God.
What are your plans to remain in the movie industry?
The plan is to remain relevant for life. I don’t want to be relevant for a few years and be forgotten. I am putting a lot of efforts into my craft to make sure that every movie I produce or feature in is one that people will always remember and make positive reference about. The journey has begun and I am optimistic. We will get there.
As a pretty woman, how do you cope with advances from men?
I am not the outgoing type of woman, so I avoid some of the advances you are talking about by staying indoors. The focus is to build a brand that could last a life time not to focus on mundane things.
Not many people are familiar with your name but you have a face that turns heads when you appear on screen, how do you feel?
How do I feel about my look? I feel good of course. I am glad people love to see my face, but I think they should focus on my career and not the face. It feels good to be beautiful and turns my head!