Sultry actress cum producer, Funke Adesiyan , has obviously moved on after her frosty relationship with Saidi Balogun . AYOBAMI ADEDEJI speaks with the actress on her relationship with Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, her career and other issues.
AFTER you convened thespians on Lagos to show support for Presidential candidate of All Nigerians Peoples' Party (ANPP), Ibrahim Shekarau, many thought that you were going into partisan politics, what do you have to say about this?
(Laughs),personally ,I’ve always thought that it’s just about acting, because acting is a hubby, not just a career. I love acting ,it’s an integral part of me. However, the ANPP presidential candidate dinner that I organised in Lagos is just a way of trying to do something positive for our country .I don’t believe everybody should fold their arms and let things go in certain ways. Everybody is a stakeholder in this country and I believe it’s high time, we stand and fight for the right thing.Since I met with Mallam Shekarau, I became converted, I’m not particular about the party he belongs to , tribe he comes from ,but I’m just fascinated about his person, I like his dream and his vision for Nigeria. I like what he stands for. That man knows what he wants and I’m ready to work with him. Although, I’m not a professional politician, but I can contribute in my own little way to make that dream come true, because we are all political animals.
That night , Mallam showered so much encomium on you and afterward many started insinuating, if it’s more than just a working relationship...
Mallam is like a virus, when you come in contact with him , you are infected instantly. I met him at the airport in Abuja, I was coming back to Lagos, he was going to Kano, we were to be introduced by a friend, So I was waiting to meet with him and when I saw him coming amidst his aides, I was impressed by the humility he displayed. You would hardly believe he his a governor If you have not met him before ,he was chatting with his aides as if they are friends. When he started talking to me, I was expecting the hausa accent, which he didn't have, I was really surprised, then, I knew he had worked hard on himself to get to that height. He spoke very well and the striking thing is that you cannot take away the fact that he is very intelligent. We got talking, and he told me all he had done in Kano . Kano is more like my home, because my mum is from the state but I don’t go there often .So, I decided to travel down and I was surprised at the level of development that has happened in Kano. Yet,he wasn’t blowing his trumpet, he’s very selfless.
You speak so well of him, are you dating him, like it has been rumoured?
What! Why would anybody think of a thing like that. That’s a cruel insinuation. It’s not everybody you work with that you want to date. He is a married man and he loves his family dearly.
Since the debate, Mallam Shekarau, has won many hearts, but do you think he has the national acceptance that can make him win the presidential election that is just days away.
In 2007 presidential election, with the caliber of contestants, nobody believed late Yar’dua could win.Even in Lagos, Fashola was not very favoured but he won the governorship election. l don’t think you have to be a knight with the shining armour to rule us. Once you have what it takes, you deserve to be given the chance. We all know that Mallam Shekarau has what it takes and it’s not true that he doesn’t have the national outlook .In 2003, when a lot of people in the race had money to throw around, he was like a novice, yet he won. I think politics is about the people ,our people are waking up .Look at the voter registration, it was different from what we used to have in the past, people came out, a lot of people who used to sleep in their homes came out to register. It’s because, they want to choose their leaders.
You sound so optimistic about Mallam Shekarau’s chances. Are you going to work in his government if he wins?
Nobody knows what tomorrow holds, one thing I’ve learnt in life is to say, never, I didn’t say I was going into politics but ,if he thinks I will add value to his government ,that’s another thing entirely. I don’t believe I have to occupy a seat or run for an office, before I serve the people.
Although reports have it that the relationship is over , tell us about your affair with Saidi Balaogun
Saidi is now a friend and a colleague like every other person I have worked with in the industry.
What about the reports that your relationship crashed because he was always battering you?
That belong to the past now, lets talk about today and tomorrow. Let not dwell on insinuations, lets talk about what will take us to the next level. All that is in the past and in the past it will always be.
So, are you in a new relationship?
I don’t want to say anything about that for now. What I know is that I’m not searching, I like my life now and I am enjoying my self, I’m not searching at all.
When is the wedding bells tolling?
There is nothing to talk about the wedding bells ,what is the essence of a wedding that crashed after a short while. Marriage is important, but it’s not the most essential thing in life ,it’s what you are able to do for your self and humanity .Marriage is not the deciding factor for who you are or what you are going to be.
What is the most important thing to you right now?
That is to make history, I want to write my name on the sands of time ,so when I’m not here anymore, generation to come will appreciate me. A whole lot of people today never met Hubert Ogunde, but you cannot erase his impact in the movie industry, look at Princess Diana, even in death, she is still remembered. I want to be remembered for how many lives I was able to touch, the people I was able to put smile on their faces
Since your movie ‘Ayokuleyin’, not much have been heard from your production outfit...
As regards my career, I’ve been putting some things together underground . Although, it’s not about how many movie you appear or how many films you featured in. I try as much as possible to interpret my roles as if it’s the last I will ever do. I don’t want to be the face in every movie jacket, I just want to do my best in the few ones, I’m able to lay my hands on, but then, as a movie producer, I’ve not done any since ‘Ayokuleyin’ but I’ve been acting in other people’s movies. Producing a a movies and not getting your money back because of piracy has really discouraged me. That’s why, I’ve kept low with production.
Can you tell us about how you started?
I started acting as a child, I was part of drama group in school, we used to perform on stage. I later featured in some Wale Adenuga drama series before I went to Olabisi Onabanjo University to study Performing Arts. It’s just because I wanted to study more about what I choose to do. My parents actually wanted me to study Law, probably because as a child, I was very articulate, I was always winning arguments ,they saw the lawyer thing in me. My dad filled Law for me but I changed my course to Performing Arts, when I got to school . Can you imagine that I use to bring law books home until my third year when they discovered that I have been playing pranks. My first appearance was ‘Aparo’ in 2007, then ‘Obirin Ale’ my own production, I also featured in ‘Kakaki’ , a Yemi Amodu production.I did ‘Ayokuleyi’,which was mine ,’Okiki Aje’, I did ‘Adayeba’ for aunty Sola Sobowale. I’ve worked with so many people, and almost lost counts career-wise,It’s been good with me and I look up to a brighter future.