Biola Adekunle is a familiar face in the Nigerian movie industry. The Ogun State-born actress and movie producer, who studied Accounting at the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic both in Ogun State, in this interview with FEMI OGUNTAYO, talks about indecency among Nigerian girls, her career and some of her experiences on the job. Excerpts:
What is new with Biola Adekunle?
Well, for now, the new thing for me is that I am married and my union is blessed with a beautiful baby. Her name is Bibiire and that is the title of my next movie, which will hit the screen soon.
How was growing up for you and your educational background?
I must say my growing up was fun and I really thank God for everything. Though, it was not really a smooth one but I thank God. My primary and secondary education was in Abeokuta, Ogun State, after which I attended Federal Polytechnic Ilaro for my National Diploma in Banking and Finance, later I pursued my Higher National Diploma at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic.
How did journey to stardom begin?
First of all, I give God all the glory. Professionally, I started acting in 2018, I started with Odunlade Adekola Film Production and I was influenced into acting by my elder sister, Bose Adekunle, who was also into acting as a makeup artiste then in Lagos. I just indicated my interest in acting to her and she introduced me to Odunlade Adekola and that was how it all started for me. So I thank God.
What movie would you say brought you into the limelight and how did you get to feature in the movie?
I cannot really picture the main movie that brought me out there, because a lot people call me by the different characters I have played in several movies. But I think Monday Omo Adugbo, Ashake Oni Bread as produced by me; Shade Pepper and the likes played very significant roles in my career. That is why you hear some people call me by the nickname ‘Shade pepper’ or ‘Ashake Oni Bread’ and many more.
In some recent interviews, you complained of not getting enough profit from your movies. Why do you think this is so?
Yes, I could remember I did. As it is now, the country’s economy is very bad and we just have to keep pushing, the government is not even helping. I don’t have a choice; we just have to find a way of marketing our movies and also venture into other side businesses like buying and selling. So, I will just have to keep pushing and I believe it will come to a time we will surely make huge profit. Meanwhile, there are some productions whereby you don’t have to take to a marketer but market it yourself. You know, premiering it and taking it to several film houses, I believe that will fetch me more profit.
Most of the times you played the role of a tout in your movies; what are the feedback you have gotten about this from your friends, family and fans?
(Laughs) Well, I know what is best for me, I am not a baby and I know how to manage any feedback I get from my people, trust me.
Some of your movies also preach against prostitution among our young girls, why do you focus on stories like that?
I focus more on that aspect because a lot is happening around us today, the world has changed. Most of these things are happening everywhere and to be sincere, it is affecting our young girls. So, I believe there is a way we can pass a message to them with our jobs, I mean the acting profession, in other to give them a second thought and to create a brighter future for them, because our young girls these days can do anything for money, That is why a lot of them are into prostitution, which is not supposed to be so.
While still trying to be known as a movie star, did you experience sexual harassment and how were you able to manage them?
(Laughs) That has always been happening and is still happening till now but I think as am adult and a married woman, I should be able to reject anything that is against my wish. It is very simple. I know what I want and I know what I dislike. So, I believe I know what is best for me.
A lot has been said about Nollywood movies these days lacking in quality, content and good story-lines, what are you doing to improve on this even as a producer too?
We are trying our best actually, though sometimes it is because of lack of funds and you know, we just have to manage our resources. We produce with the capital we have and we always try our best to use the best equipments and nice locations. In Nigeria, the government does not support the film industry and we just have to try our best. I know our fans and lovers are expecting the best from us, but for us to meet up to their standards and expectation, we need huge funds to give our best. Talking for myself, since I do not have that huge amount and no sponsor to fund my movies, I just have to cut my coat according to my cloth.
Would you act nude in a movie for 10 million Naira?
There is no amount of money that will compel me to act nude in a movie because I believe I have a dignity to protect. There is a limit to the roles I play. Money is not everything and I believe we should never sell our beautiful culture in the name of doing movies. I, Biola Adekunle, will never do such.
Would you quit acting for an office job that will pay you one million Naira per month?
It is not possible, I cannot. Acting is my life, my blood and my everything. I will never quit acting for any other job.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
It was a really funny moment. Sometimes around 2009, I used to brag to my friends that I am an actress and I feature in several movies. So, there was a day I told my friends that there was a movie coming soon and that I featured in it. So, when the movie was released, I got it and I called my friends to come so that we can see the movie together. The embarrassing moment was when we finished seeing the movie and I couldn’t find the scene where I featured in the movie. I was really embarrassed because my friends thought I lied. (Laughs) So, it was really embarrassing and I felt so embarrassed that day.
A memorable event in your career that you will never forget in a hurry.
My most memorable moment was in 2018 when I travelled to Dubai and I met many of my fans there. They all came out to show me love and took pictures with me. I was so excited that my fan base even in Dubai was that large. So it was a memorable day for me because I felt honoured.
Are there upcoming projects from you?
My upcoming project is my latest production coming out soon, entitle Bibiire. It is going to be marketed by Gemini Films and it features several star actors and actresses that my fans would love to see. I want to implore my fans to please get copies when it is finally out.
Your words to your fans and lovers.
To all my lovers and well wishers, I appreciate all your prayers and your love for me, I promise never to disappoint. I know we are going through hard times in the country and all over the world right now, please let us keep praying.