Popular actress, Temidayo Babatunde, famously known as Ejide, has only been in the entertainment industry for about four years but she has managed to raise her game to heights others now envy. With more than seven movies to her name, Ejide in this interview by SEGUN ADEBAYO, shares her rise to fame story.
You joined the movie industry some years back but you are fast becoming a popular name. What does this mean to you?
I am really grateful to God and my fans for the support I have received since I joined the industry. Becoming a popular name in the industry means a lot to me. It shows the reward of the hard work I have put into my career over the years. I am elated that this is happening to me at this time in my career.
Rising to this level, does it come as a surprise to you? Did you see yourself attaining this height so soon?
No, I did not see myself getting to this level as quickly as this. This is premised on the fact that starting as an up and coming actress was not easy then, let alone becoming a movie producer. The fact is that I could not even afford a single production not to mention doing more than one. I will say God has really been good to me. As I’ve said, this is a product of hard work and God’s favour.
The industry is always tasking you as you have to be up and doing. How are you coping with this celebrity life and the attention?
The industry is very dynamic and tasking. But I have always been myself every time and everywhere. Celebrity life is not easy, as we are not free to do as we like, just like every other person on the street; but it is interesting with the fame that comes with it. Also, coping with attention from fans and other people is not easy . However, I have been coping well and I don’t regret becoming an actress or a famous person.
Was acting what you have always loved to do?
My advent into the industry was not accidental but a deliberate move by me because of my passion for a career there. I actually started acting when I was much younger and it has been part of me till now. My professional career started about four years ago.
You seem to be enjoying your time being an actress. What exactly do you like about being an actress?
I love many things about being an actress. I love the fame, attention and opportunity that come with it. Doors that ordinarily were denied to others were flung open for me because of the fame. I am enjoying being an actress and there is no regret ever since. I am having fun doing what I like doing and being appreciated for it.
Thinking of the journey so far, what would you say has been the most thrilling part of the experience?
The journey has been good so far. The most thrilling part for me is the fact that people I revered greatly and thought I would not be able to mingle with are the ones calling me for one thing or the other today. I am glad this is happening. One can’t really express the true feeling of being an actress, but for me, it has been a thrilling one..
You have featured in a couple of movies over the years, but many people still don’t rate your game high; are you not bothered?
I believe I am always at my best anytime I am on set. I am not under any pressure because the sky is so wide for all the birds to fly without inconveniencing one another. I am a lane minder and I give my best at all times. God makes everything beautiful at His own time; no pressure can sway me.
How do you cope with pressure from men in your industry, especially those who like you because of your pretty looks?
Pressure from men in the industry used to come in the past but not anymore. I believe that I am now seen and accepted as a professional colleague. I think we see ourselves more like a family now than before. The pressure from men has shifted to the fans and people from outside the industry.
Being pretty they say is not enough to keep you relevant in the industry, but your beauty seems to be opening doors for you as you are always in high demand by producers. What’s your take?
Beauty is not enough to set someone on the highest pedestal in this industry. One’s skills, respect for senior colleagues and favour of God are needed to put one at the zenith. I combine all these as values and they have been helping me greatly. I always tell people that I didn’t give myself this talent; God gave me. He ordered my steps into what I am doing today. This craft was given to me by God and I believe it is with me forever. People cannot get tired of me as I will remain forever. I am not resting on my oars and the best will always be unfolded. It will keep getting better each day.
Some of your colleagues say you don’t like mixing with others. Don’t you trust them enough to make them your friends?
I have actually heard people say that. The issue of not mixing so much with my colleagues is not about trust and this is not limited to my professional colleagues alone. I believe if one wants peace of mind with few scandals, one’s circle should be kept a manageable level. I am not saying life should be lived at a solo level, and that I don’t socialise with them, but I love keeping my circle small.
They say acting does not pay the bills, how do you cope manage to live on this for years?
Acting is my passion but I do have other things that pay my bills. We believe there will be a time in the country that actors will live solely on the income from it, just as it exists in Hollywood. There is no glory without story. The experience, when I started was not palatable for up and coming actors like me. I could recall an experience where I was called for a movie production. I was there for three days and ended up with a ‘waka pass’ role and I got nothing.
Has it been hard finding true love because you are getting famous and pretty?
True love may be hard to find because it takes focus not to be distracted and get swayed by people that are only after your fame and beauty. When you are pretty and famous, it could be hard to find who truly cares about you. I really can’t say finding love is hard for me but the distraction could be unlimited for the famous and pretty ones.
How many movies have you produced so far?
I have produced seven movies in all but many are still on the way. My fans should watch out.
What’s the latest project you are working on now?
The latest project is entitled ‘My Confidant (Alabaro Mi)’.
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