What I did to evade sexual harassment in Nollywood —Adey-Kosh

Nigerian-born USA-based fast-rising actress, Ayo Adey-Kosh, has continued to foster the Nigerian acting industry despite the fact that she is based abroad. The mother of one is a graduate of Psychology. In this interview by SEYI SOKOYA, she speaks on her acting experience and her assessment of the industry. Excerpts:

How has the experience been since you took up acting professionally? 

It’s been a journey of enlightenment. I have encountered lots of trials and errors, but the best of all is that my sojourn into the industry has been fun and interesting for me. Though, I cannot say that I have seen it all, because one is still growing in the system; I have enjoyed divine grace and the commitment to stay focused. So, I have every reason to say that I don’t have any regret venturing into this profession.

How did you discover your passion for acting?

I have always had a flair for acting, but more of hobby. Then I met Yomi Fash-Lanso and Kunle Afolayan in 2003. I was invited to one of their productions. Honestly, I felt so natural the first time I faced the camera, so, I decided to go explore the acting talent.

 

What has been your greatest challenge in the industry? 

Finance, it is no news that it is the major challenge of any surviving actor, especially in Nigeria. It has been a great task to source for fund to produce great movies. It is really hard, but we are not relenting against all odds. We will continue to give our best with things within our powers to promote the industry as well as to entertain and educate our fans with series of productions.

 

What is your relationship like with other actors?   

It’s great, I love being on set with other actors. We work like one big family. This ignites us to be more creative and excel in our crafts.

 

What is the distinctive thing you have brought into the industry?

That has to do with myself and my vision. I have a lot in stock that I want to unleash one after the other. I am delighted that I am currently adding value and making positive impact in the industry. I have not come into the industry to flaunt or wonder around. I mean business and I am confident that I am going to set a trademark.

 

What is your assessment of Yoruba-speaking moving sector?

It is like a lady bug when it goes after its prey. The stakeholder, especially thespians of this sector are tenacious, determined, resourceful and most often have to make the best out of a bad situation. Though we have a long way to go, I have utmost respect for the Yoruba sector; they work with one of the most stringent budgets and shortest shooting timeframe and still manage to come out with superlative movies full of lessons. As far as I am concerned, things can only get better.

 

How would you compare the acting industry abroad to that of Nigeria?

I’m in the USA.  The industry abroad is more of a family. We don’t have much of the crew sector so you find many of us doing more on set than just acting. Also, I have not seen any of our colleagues that are here that are full time actors or crew. We have other jobs that we do, so, the hustle is real. We work 10 times harder.

For instance, there is no makeup artist fixing your face every time; personal assistant running after you and doing your every bidding. But our finished products are on the same level with the ones made in Nigeria and now we are even doing way better.

 

Many female actors have lamented their ordeals with randy producers over sexual harassment even to get role. Have you ever had such experience and how did you overcome it? 

I have never experienced it. I simply removed myself from such an equation by becoming indispensable and self-reliant. So, you would have to be crazy to try that with me.

 

Is it true that many female actors are promiscuous?

A promiscuous person will be promiscuous in any work sector. Your type of job does not define your character. So, no, I don’t subscribe to that school of thought.

 

Do you feel threatened among female actors?

Not in the least; this world is about diversity, no one can be exactly like me all the time. So, I am unique and I love the diversity of everyone. So, why should I be threatened?

 

How many movies have you produced and featured in?

I have produced five movies which I also featured in. I love all my works, but ‘Shindara’ seems to be my favourite. I produced ‘Oga’, ‘My Regret’, ‘Asiri’,  and ‘Love Web’. I have also featured in several other movies including, ‘Strippers’, ‘Iwe Igbelu’, ‘Iwalewa’, ‘Ojiji’ ‘Oga’, ‘Ife ati Etan’, ‘Family Blacmail’ and ‘Sino’, among others.

 

What is the reason behind your relocation to USA in 2014, why?

I met my husband in 2014; we got married in 2015 and you will agree with me that home is where your heat is. My husband is my home. My husband is a confirmed Ekiti man and a thoroughbred Nigerian man.

 

Despite the fact that you are happily married and a mother of one, you still get lots of advances. How do you handle them?

I simply ignore it and if the person is overly persistent, I put them in their place. If the person is a nuisance, I cut him off completely.

 

You are a wife, mother and actress, how have you been able to balance the responsibility that comes with all these?

Being a wife and mother is something we women are genetically wired to do. Acting is my profession. Here in the USA, most of our shoot is done towards the weekend with enough time to prepare. So, there is no way it clashes with my life as a wife and mum. When I’m home, I do my duties and then take out a couple of hours to work on any project in front of me.

 

Which male actor would you always like to share roles with?

I don’t have any preference; I just like to work with any talented actor.

 

Do you have any project you are working on presently?

I currently have five personal projects and seven projects from other producers. But the coronavirus pandemic is causing a lot of projects to pile up. We pray that things come back to normalcy so that life will move on in its real sense again.

 

How have you been coping with life as COIVD-19 bites harder? 

I’m making the most of it. I get to spend the whole day everyday with my family. That is beautiful. I also get to work on scripts and plan for projects. So, it is like a vacation/work vacation for me.

 

What is your relationship with other female actors in the industry? 

It is smooth and cordial. I think that is the best and ideal way to go. Life is good and progress is certain when unity is in place.

 

What other things do you do aside acting?

I make beautiful wedding and event décor, which I sell through my online store. It is always a good thing to diversify.

Any words to your fans?

I love you all. No man is an island. I want to use this opportunity to appreciate them all for being the trees in my own little island.

 

 

 

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