I’m glad to have started my acting career with Kunle Afolayan —Actor Tobi Bakare
Tobi Bakare is one of the ex-housemates of Big Brother Naija (BBN), where he emerged third. Bakare may not have won the reality show, but his name now rings loud in the entertainment industry as one of the new faces attracting attention of corporate brands. Recently, he made his debut in Kunle Afolayan’s movie, ‘Mokaliki’, an experience Bakare says he hopes to keep building on. In this interview by SEGUN ADEBAYO, Bakare speaks on life after BBN, going into movies and how he plans to keep pushing his brand. Excerpts:
A lot has been happening to you since you left Big Brother Naija (BBN). Though, you didn’t win, you have been making every moment count with your involvement in a couple of projects. How do you feel about the life of fame and attention you are enjoying?
I feel happy and I am proud of how far I have come. The journey has just begun for me and I just want to keep pushing on and take on new opportunities. The fame is good, but that is not the focus for me. I have bigger plans that will be unveiled soon. This is just the beginning of a very long journey.
What kind of life did you picture before the BBN fame?
The fact is that before I got into the Big Brother House, I already had my plans and how to execute these plans. I wanted to do something for myself and be proud of my life afterwards. I had a good job before BBN. Right now, I am doing something different but the hunger for success is still very big. The feeling is cool but I am not allowing it to get into my head. I just want to concentrate on my job.
So, you are not overwhelmed by the attention?
The best I can do is to focus on what I am doing while the attention keeps going. So, moving forward, I have just been building on the momentum and making sure that every moment counts as you have said. Talking about the attention and fame, it is something that one has to cope with and enjoy as moderately as possible. The truth is I appreciate the love and support I have been getting since the euphoria of BBN; it has been so overwhelming. I am happy.
You are about the only former housemate that is really keeping himself in the public space.
I don’t think I am the only one; maybe people pay more attention to me than others. Everybody is busy creating something for themselves. I mean BBN had ended and another one is about to start, so you can’t keep going about with that feeling that I am an ex-BBN housemate. People want to see you grow and make things happen for yourself.
You broke a new ground as you made your debut with Kunle Afolayan’s ‘Mokaliki’ movie. Many people did not see this coming and it seems you did pretty well with your delivery. How did you feel featuring in the movie?
Being on Kunle Afolayan’s movie is a big deal for anybody. It was an opportunity to learn a soft landing for me into Nollywood. I found acting a bit natural and I am willing to take on new challenging roles and build a bigger career in acting and other things that I do. The first thing that attracted me to the movie was the story line. I fell in love with it the very first time I got my brief. I also fell in love with its interpretation and how the project was executed. It was a well-thought out project that everybody can relate with and learn from. I learnt a lot from the project and I feel everyone should just wait for the movie.
This is not something that people get easily. How are you dealing with this moment? This is the first time you will be on a cinema movie and you are already starting big, so what’s your view?
It is just breath-taking and I can’t wait to see what it brings for me. There is a whole lot to still learn but I am willing to keep going and taking my chances. I was born to do this. This is something I have always wanted to do and it is already looking big for me and my brand.
But you didn’t see things coming this fast for you, did you?
Yes, I didn’t see things happening this fast but I am happy that I got the platform to show the world what I can do. I was able to sell myself and I feel proud that the opportunities are coming for me in a big way. Like I said, I am ready to keep going and work hard to make every moment meaningful.
What has changed about Tobi after BBN?
Nothing has changed about me. I really don’t get it when people ask me what has changed. The platform I got alone is a life-changing experience. It is big enough to put you on the path of success instantly, all you need to do is to be serious and manage your career very well because this is not going to go on forever. So, as far as I am concerned, nothing has changed and nothing is ever going to change.
Tell us more about the experience you had on the set of ‘Mokaliki’?
The experience was awesome. I am a patient person and also very down to earth. So, none of the conditions on set got to me because I wanted to make sure that the project succeeds. I am a good team player and I like to see a project come alive on set. I had so much fun on set. The director, Kunle Afolayan, made my work much easier because he already told me what he wanted from me and told me to always stay on the script. We spent some time together even before we started shooting. Mr Afolayan is a professional movie-maker and director and I am glad to have started my major movie appearance in his movie.
Are we going to be seeing you in more movies now?
For me, as long as the project aligns with my vision and brings growth, I will be willing to be on it. All my life, I have always wanted to be part of the entertainment industry- whether it is acting or something else. This experience is totally an eye-opener and I can tell you I am here to stay for a long time. My team and I have been working on a couple of projects that the public will be seeing very soon. One of those projects is the ‘Mokaliki’ movie. We are going forward and making sure we keep expanding the brand.