Opeyemi Sowunmi, a 2009 graduate of History and Diplomatic Studies from the Olabisi Onabanjo University (formerly Ogun State University), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, is one of the budding actresses in the Yoruba home movie industry. In this interesting interview with BABATUNDE SULAIMAN, Sowunmi, the second child in a family of six, talks about her love for acting, challenges and many more

Could you tell me how your journey into acting started?
It started while I was still in school. I met a friend at Ijebu Igbo in Ogun State who introduced me to some people. But I later met with Don Richard who has been helping me since then. I first acted in a movie in 2007; and ever since, I have acted in several movies like Ore Meta, Alaborun, Olugbeja Mi Leyi, Atiwa Aye Eda, Mo Sa Di Oluwa.

Which of these will you described as the most challenging so far?
I don’t think I have done any challenging role as such because I have only been acting minor roles. I have never played a lead in anybody’s movies. But when I produced my own movies, I played the lead role.

Did you say you have produced a movie so soon after you came into the industry?
I have produced two movies. I did the movies last year. The title of the first one is Owo Tete, but I am yet to give the other one a title. They are not out yet, but the first one will be released towards the end of April.

Why did you rush into producing movies?
As an up and coming actress, it is not easy to get jobs. And if you are lucky to get one, you will not be given the lead role. Most producers or directors believe that only the established actors can do good jobs. Personally, I don’t think I can continue to lobby for roles and I don’t want to be at the mercy of some directors or producers who like to make some funny demands.

So, you are saying you went into movie production to avoid being sexually harassed?
Sincerely, nobody has ever harassed me sexually. But I feel that when people begin to see you play lead or sub- lead roles in movies, you will get the desired recognition.

Okay, what have been the challenges so far?
It has not been easy. For instance, when I was still in Ijebu Igbo, it was tough because I was shuttling between school and Lagos. I remember a time I was invited to a location and when I wanted to sleep at night, the producer told me that there was no provision for me because I was not a known name. So, I ended up sleeping on the floor. I cried throughout the night. I remember another incident when I was invited to a location by Bola Ayilara in Abeokuta. On my way to the location, I was robbed. They collected my jewellery, phones, money and so on. It was in the evening and I felt like calling it quits with acting that day.

What is the attraction in acting?
When I was growing up, I loved watching movies. And whenever I watched a movie, I would say that I wanted to be like some of the actors, especially Sola Shobowale.

So, you came into the industry because of fame?
Yes, and it is also because of the interest I have in it.

How often do you get jobs today?
For now, I don’t get jobs, except when Don Richard invites me to his locations.

Don’t you have friends among the people in the industry?
I keep to myself most of the times; so, I don’t really have friends.

What is the least fee you have got for any role so far?
For now, I have not got anything.

But you said you have featured in some movies. So, does it mean you have been acting free of charge?
Yes; I am made to believe that that it is the way it is in the industry for up and coming actors.

So, how have you been coping?
I have been spending my money because I really love acting.

But is it not discouraging? Maybe you are just desperate to be a star?
I am not.

If you were not, then, you won’t be acting free of charge all this while.
Well, if you say so.

Who sponsored your movies?
My parents.

What support are you getting from your boyfriend?
For now, I don’t have any boyfriend.

I don’t know.
When was the last time you were in a relationship?
That was last year

Why did you break up with your former boyfriend?
It is personal; so, don’t worry about that.

What kind of a guy would you want as a husband?
He must be handsome, God-fearing and romantic.

What part of your body do you love most?
My hips and people do compliment my hips.

So, why hasn’t any guy succeeded in ‘winning’ your heart?
For now, I want to be alone and I don’t want any disturbance.

What did your last boyfriend do to you that you now hate men so much?
You know guys can be silly and deceptive at times. They would promise you heavens and earth; but at the end of the day, after seeing your… (pauses) they would just run away.

Was that what happened to you?

That means you were cheated?
Yes, I felt cheated and sad about it.

Was that the first relationship?
Yes, and we dated from 2003 till 2009.

What lesson did you learn from that experience?
I would say I was still a kid then; I was still small when I went into the relationship. I am in my mid 20s now, so you can do the calculation.

So, he probably took advantage of you.

If you want to go into another relationship, what exactly will you look out for?
The person must be sincere. But for now, I am still scared of guys.

I guess the guy deflowered you; otherwise, you won’t be this pained at heart?

So, you are ready to deal with any guy that falls for you now?
Ha! No, it is one of those things.