Abosede Niniola Atey was a prominent face in the Yoruba genre of Nollywood about a decade ago. She left the shores of the country some years back to marry her beau, US-based Rasheed Keshiro. The mother of three speaks with Adunola Fasuyi on a wide range
Abosede Niniola of issues, especially marriage and Nollywood.
How did your journey into Nollywood come about?
Well, before I got introduced to Bayowa, through a friend who is a journalist, Alonge Michael, I had attended a couple of auditions which include Super Story, but I was not lucky during the selection process. But when Bayowa wanted to shoot a movie, Larinloodu, I was called for audition and became part of the cast. So, if I have to answer your question, I would say I came into Nollywood through Bayowa in 2001.
So, how many movies have you featured in?
Well, before I moved to the United States of America, I had acted in quite a number of movies. In fact, right now, I can’t tell you specifically the number of movies I featured in.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and bred in Lagos, but I grew up in Ifako-Ogba area of Lagos .
Would you say your background and environment influenced your love for acting?
Actually, I have always loved acting and broadcasting. I’ve always imagined myself on the screen, so when the opportunity came for me to act, I jumped at it because it had been my passion.
How would you rate the industry now and when you started out?
The industry has really improved. Entertainment generally, in Nigeria, now competes favourably with the international world, it’s really a job well done, for all the stakeholders who are making things happen in Nigeria. I doff my hat for them…
What challenges did you face while coming up as an actress?
In any profession, you are bound to face challenges, but what motivates one is the love that you have for what you do and your constant efforts exceed all challenges too. I started out as a model, you know, it’s not about my height, but skin, I have a very beautiful skin and looks, so, while in secondary school, I was a model for top companies in Nigeria and abroad. The challenges were such that I was able to handle.
During your time in Nollywood, did you ever date any actor?
Yes of course. I was not married then and there were pressures from producers and actors. I contacted a friend to advise me on what to do and she said there was need for me to date one person, within the industry, as a shield. When they know you are somebody’s girlfriend, they will desist from pestering you for a relationship. And it actually helped push off pressures from the producers and actors.
What would you personally consider your major achievements in life?
Nothing more! God has blessed me with a lovely family, my husband and my children are my major earthly possessions.
Would you consider a return to Nollywood and start acting again?
I am not sure of that for now. I have my husband and kids to take care of. Besides, my husband is taking good care of me. Though, acting is a passion but I think my passion now is to be around my husband, nothing matters to me more than that.
What are your regrets in life?
What do you miss about Nigeria?
My sisters, my granny and the rest of my family and friends whom I’ve not spoken with for almost a decade.
What would you not be caught doing?
Stealing, smoking and talking bad about people. I am not the gossip type.
What is the dirtiest thing you have ever done before?
Dirtiest thing I have ever done before is my laundry. (Laughter)
What motivates you to do things?
Where I’m from, and where I’m about to go, these are two things that ring like a bell in my eardrum and I have been drumming this into my children and my sisters too.
Do you miss Nollywood?
Yeah, I do but my marriage and home come first. If God says I’d be back there no qualms, but I enjoyed it while I was there.
What part of your body do you cherish most?
Every part of me, because I am full of life, I thank God for that.
How would you describe your background?
I am from a humble Christian background. My mum is late now but I still have my dad. My parents instilled the sense of humility and discipline in all of us. Funny enough, we are all females. This Christian discipline helped a lot, as we grew older, knowing that God should be put first in everything and that we should have respect for fellow humans.