You shot into limelight with the movie, Silent Scandal, in 2009 when you look back how has the journey been so far?
It has been eventful. Looking back I see that I have come a long way because 2009 was the first time I made an appearance on television. From that time till now, I have been through a lot and that has molded and shaped me into be the actress that I am today. I look at it as a learning process and I learn every day. So, when I look back at where I started, I am grateful to God for where I am now.
Did you envisage that you would attain fame and become an award-winning actress within this short period?
To be honest, I did not think I was going to get this far because I was not sure this was what I wanted to do. After two years in the profession, I realised that it was actually what I want to do. I hoped to get this far and I still hope to be bigger and better.
If you did not set out to become an actress, what were your life goals?
I wanted to be an engineer, specifically an aeronautic engineer when I was a child but I ended up studying English Language. Even after university, I had plans to enrol in an aviation school but acting came along.
You bagged about three awards with your first feature in a movie, some believe that your rise to stardom is being influenced by a godfather. Is this true?
That is funny. I have one godfather and that is Jesus. That is the person I have. I did a film and people appreciated it and they felt I should be given an award for it and I am grateful for that. From my point of view, I do not think that winning those awards launched me as an A-list actress. I still have a lot of work to do and I still have a lot to learn. I was appreciated for the work that I did. The awards make me more aware that I have to strive to be better at my craft.
Some people believe you are a snub. Are you not?
The truth is that if you have not met someone in person, you tend to believe that the person is a snub. It is a normal thing. You have to get to know someone before passing judgments. Also, a lot of people see you and automatically believe that you have to smile all the time. I doubt that I will ever defend who I am because when you start doing that, people would have reasons to interfere in your business. I love who I am and I am not going to change it for anything. I am very comfortable with who I am; I am not going to walk down a street and begin to laugh at everybody; neither will I go about frowning. If the situation warrants for me to smile, I will. A lot of people do not know me but they assume a lot of things about me based on what they see. Some people see me walking down a street and feel that I am unapproachable because I have a straight face on. Anyway, it is okay because it keeps certain people at bay. People that really know me are aware of the fact that I play too much. I try not to take myself too seriously because life itself is not that serious.
How would you describe your childhood days in Kano?
My childhood was great and when I think about my early days, I miss a lot of things. The Kano State that I was raised is different from what exists today. A lot has changed, no thanks to the crisis that rocked the northern part of the country. Before all that, Kano was very peaceful and I can say that it was better than Lagos at some point. I remember back in school, we had a lot of people from the South-West. Growing up was awesome and I was raised in a very nice neighbourhood. I got all the things I needed and some of the things I wanted and I remember my parents always told me that there is a difference between wants and need. Everyone was nice and friendly and sometimes I would forget that I was an Igbo girl because there was no segregation or tribalism. Now, things have changed and I feel very bad when I hear that something bad has occurred in the north. It is where I grew up and I never imagined that things could be this different; but it is the world we live.
How did you feel when you were lambasted by fans for wearing a revealing outfit to an award ceremony a few years back?
It was the outfit I wore for the closing night of AFRIFF. To be very honest, that was my first time at AFRIFF and I did not know what to wear. I did not know that you needed different outfit for different days. Same thing happened to some of my colleagues during the previous edition. I was short of dress so I just matched some outfit together from my closet and I stepped out. Shortly after, people began asking me why I wore that dress. A lot of people actually liked it. Some told me that it was very nice but quite revealing but I did not think so because I did not have any wardrobe malfunction; my boobs were not coming out. It was different and that is what I like. I do not like to wear what the crowd is wearing, I like to be different and on my own. In a way, it worked for me. I am okay with the fact that it was the sensation at that time because people would always talk at the end of the day. It is when they do not talk that you know there is a problem but when they do, know that you are doing something. If I had an insight about what people would say, maybe I would have worn something different but at the end of the day, I still like what I wore. Will I still rock it again? I certainly would.
How did you take the backlash from the public?
Shortly after I decided to become a full-time actress, I told myself that not everybody will like what I do, so I should not let anything the public say get to me. When I saw the comments online, I went back to look at the picture and I found nothing wrong with it. So I decided that I would just let them talk. I try not to live based on other people’s comment about me. If there is a story about me, I look at the story and if it is something that I have to address, I would but you would hardly find me commenting on people’s post about me.
What would you never be caught wearing?
I hate wearing suede cloths; it has this furniture feel that I dislike a lot. To be frank, when I see suede, chair is what comes to mind. In my place, it is called ‘apoche’. It is so heavy, so I doubt I can ever be caught wearing that. What makes you fashionable is your ability to rock anything but there are some things I will never be caught wearing and suede is part of them.
Why do you like wearing bum shorts and short skirts?
I wear what accentuates my physique. I like to wear bum shorts and small skirts for that reason. I have nice legs and if you have it, you flaunt it. I also like wearing long dresses but what I do not like are skirts that are neither long nor short and they just hang in between; I dislike them because I feel the lower part of my body is skinny.
What is your fashion fetish?
Shoes and bags; I have lost count of how many are in my possession. Sometimes my sister just takes some of them and even at that I still have a lot. I also give them out because I believe if I keep them, I might not realise that I need new things. I would rather spend money on a shoe and bag as opposed to cloths.
Did you intentionally refrain from having tattoos?
I don’t have tattoos on purpose because I don’t want to have a permanent ink on my body. But I have a nose piercing and that is about it. I am light skinned and I need to be careful.
Has your complexion ever worked against you?
Yes. There have been some projects that I was supposed to be involved in but I was told that I am too light skinned for the part. I remember when Kunle Afolayan wanted to do the cast for Figurine, I asked him if I could come for auditions but he told me that I am too ‘yellow’. There are some characters you need to play but you have to be dark skinned. I have had cases where I have to play some certain character and the make-up artiste makes me look very dark. Sometimes my complexion does not always favour me but I will not change my skin hue for any reason.
But some people bleach their skin to be as fair as you are…
I don’t subscribe to that. Why punish yourself and your skin because in the long run, it does not make sense.
What do you consider as an asset when it comes to your body?
I cherish my skin a lot and that is why I always pamper it.
How often do you visit the gym and spa?
I work out most times in the comfort of my house. On days when I do not go to the spa, I already have a skin regime that I do; I make sure I drink a lot of water and eat right.