She was raised in Lagos Island, but not the typical Lagos Island gal. She was raised by a disciplinarian father who she admired a lot, but never saw a lot of. Still, she was ambitious, she wanted to be a star. Today, Bimbo is everything she dreamt of becoming with the memories of slum and beauty of the Island where the most notorious and well educated come from still shaping her disposition to life.
What has Omo Getto done for you?
I tell you, it’s a big turn-around for me. Before it was released, I received a lot of gifts, commendation and all that and the very first day it was , I can’t even name them all, a car, a guitar and lots of promises. It’s been a whole lot of fun. I’ve been embarrassed with commendation and I must say I’m grateful to God.
Did you say somebody offered you a car because of this movie?
Let’s have the details
I don’t want to go into details, because the person asked me not to disclose details. When I saw him, he handed me his own personal car keys and he told me that my own car will be with me on the 15th of this month and I still have his car with me.
What’s the make?
Are you sure the giver is not trying to play the toasting game?
No he wasn’t doing toasting toasting o. I’ m not his type. He doesn’t do chubby girls.
Are you sure he can’t change his mind because of you?
He just came to me and said he loves my performance in the movie. I was stunned, he loves it.
What was your name in the movie?
When I saw apart of it, I said maybe this is the kind of movie you will be comfortable with. How did you feel doing the movie ?
No, I’m an actress. I can do anything. I can play practically all roles. The fact that I played that so well, doesn’t mean that would be my area of specialisation.
I haven’t seen much of you, but I think somebody once told me that you do more of the area girl role . Correct?
It’s a lie. I think that’s my second script. My first was Omo Iya Ijo by Fathia Balogun. I played the role of Saki.
So what’s your plan after Omo Ghetto?
I’m planning big. I’ve been working on another script since last year, even before Omo Ghetto. I’m also planning a trip.
Where are you going?
I’m going to South Africa first at the end of this month and second week of February, I will be in England.
I’m going to have fun.
Who is the lucky guy?
Non. I’m going with friends.
I didn’t say the guy can’t be a friend?
You asked “who is the lucky guy”. I’m going with a group of people I call friends. I just want to have a good time and chill-out and probably get some material for my job.
Why are you with Funke Akindele almost always?
Well, it’s because we are quite close. We understand each other and we think alike.
I learnt you try to defend her whenever a fight breaks out on location or something?
Do I look like a thug or a bodyguard? It’s certainly not true.
Who’s the real Bimbola we saw running helter-skelter in Omo Getto?
That’s in the movie. I’ve always told people that the Bimbo you see is different from the Bimbo on set. They’re two different people. I’m not talkative and I smile a lot but in the movie,I can go on and on and on. I’m just getting my job done.
How was life as a UNILAG student?
Splendid. It was sweet and beautiful and I was focused, outspoken and easygoing. I just attended my classes. I worked hard and I didn’t have problems with my lecturers. Dr. Duro Oni my HOD is my very good person. Ahmed Yerima and likes of Mrs. Opocha were very close.I didn’t have problems with them.
What did you not do at UNILAG?
May be I didn’t contest for any post in the Students’ Union. I didn’t travel a lot.
As in travelling in a group. I wasn’t a party animal and I didn’t date any guy on campus. I didn’t fight on campus.
But you dated guys off-campus?
I’m sure they were big men?
I don’t know what you are talking about.
Would you date a struggling or poor man?
I date anybody I’m comfortable with. Anybody I think I can be happy with, anybody that catches my fancy that’s cool .
Anyway I don’t know what you mean by poor. Nobody wants to be seen with a wretched person so to speak. God does not even want me to go to that level. I can only date a comfortable, young, good looking, God-fearing guy, I don’t go all out for wealth. No.
Are you saying people like us don’t have a chance , because we are not that comfortable?
Even if you are a salary earner and you earn cool cash, you drive a good car, you live in a comfortable apartment, you are good-looking and God-fearing. I think that’s okay as long as you have something upstairs.
That means those of us without AC in our cars have no chance?
(laughs) I don’t know.
What was your childhood like?
Growing up was sweet and sour.
Tell me more
I was daddy’s girl and you know he travelled a lot.
You said you were daddy’s girl?
Yeah, I’m daddy’s girl though my daddy was very strict , but he was loving and caring. I was a lucky girl that got everything I wanted. There was always a bus to take me to and from school. Our area was a kind of ghetto , but still we lived rich. Our house was like the only Christian house, a cynosure of all eyes with a large compound and gates, flowers and all that. It was beautiful, people often came to our house to play. It was awesome.
Where was it ?
Lagos Island. Obadina precisely.The area was like a ghetto like I said earlier. There were smokers, gamblers, hustlers and policemen parading the area scouting for criminals. There were thieves and other miscreants but they had no impact on us. After school , a private teacher coaches us at home. We play in the large compound but most times it was when my daddy travelled.
Where did he travel to?
I really don’t know. All I knew was that he travelled for some years and later came back.
Did that shape your impression of men?
Well, I won’t say that because my mother didn’t give us the impression that something was wrong or that she wasn’t happy without him. It was just his company that I felt that I was missing. Later, he came back and we were one big happy family.
At that time, who was playing the role of a father in the family?
Our first born.
How many are you in the family?
Six and I’m the fifth. I followed the twins, so, I am an Idowu.
So, there is no way you will not be spoilt
No, I’m not.
Tell me about life as a Lagos Island girl
Like I said, if I didn’t tell you I lived in the island, you wouldn’t know because the regular Lagos kids came back from school and went about in their school uniforms. You see them on weekends in the morning with shally on their faces and they will go to the public tap in their wrappers or singlets. I didn’t live like that even though I lived in that area. My dad didn’t like seeing you in your towel in the compound not to talk of wrappers with a different top . My friends in school didn’t visit me because our dad was quite strict about that. Like I said, there are all kinds of rules like when you brought a friend into the house, he wanted to know who she was? When we left the island, we moved to Ebute-Metta.
What’s your dad into?
He’s a businessman.
What of your mom?
My mom is a civil servant.
When did you start dating?
That was way back in 1999.
Were you in UNILAG then?
No, it was before UNILAG.
You started quite early. Why?
(Laughs) I was in OSU before I went to UNILAG. I did SESAP at OSU for five years and you don’t have to serve after but I didn’t finish the SESAP programme because I got admission into UNILAG when I was to resume for the second semester at OSU.
So, who was the lucky guy?
The guy wasn’t an OSU guy. We met in Lagos and he was a graduate.
This shows that you don’t date poor guys isn’t it?
I don’t know. All I know is that I’m a girl with some class and if I’m to have a poor person, it would be as a friend not as a date.
But poor people have potentials you know?
I’ve a lot of male friends and I am very comfortable with them. I confide in guys even more than I do in girls. So, I have seen the poor, the rich, the bad, the ugly, the good and all of that.
Can you remember your first kiss?
I remember. I gave it to one guy in 1997.
What did the guy do to get the kiss?
He stole it. I didn’t give him.
But I’m sure you enjoyed it, didn’t you?
I wouldn’t know but I just know that he stole it. It wasn’t voluntary.
What did you do to the guy?
He’s been on my neck for a while wanting to date me. I was running errands for my mom one day when I met him and he said he wanted to follow me and he walked me to the place. Then I got what I wanted and I was coming back home around 7 or there about. We were somewhere, a few blocks away from my house when he asked “can I talk to you” I wanted to leave but he pleaded. The next thing, he held my neck and I asked him what for? Then came the kiss and afterwards I walked home.
When did you have your first sexual experience?
Maybe because I was a tomboy, I didn’t think of sex until later in secondary school. We had a unique party during which we started picking papers from a basket. When it was my turn to pick, I picked a request that directed me to pull up my top and show people what “ I have got” and it was very hard for me because I usually wore male vests . I pulled-up my top and went to my sit immediately. The guys roared like lions with excitement and even the girls wondered what kind of underwear I had on.
A guy was at one end of the class room and he’s been on my neck for a while. He was influential in making me the girl that God created me to be. My mom initially told me that any guy that came just wants to get down with me and leave, so I had it at the back of my mind and every guy that comes seemed the same to me. But there was a guy that talked to me and I turned down. He didn’t even mind as he kept coming back and I asked my mom, didn’t you say guys will leave if you don’t give them what they wanted? She said no, “that’s how you know guys that are committed though some pretend to be but most of them are not patient”. Those were the words that kept me going. Though I’m still single, I believe those words have saved me from danger because having a daughter who has children out of wedlock is not what most parents are proud of.
So, when did you disobey your mom?
(laughs) It wasn’t as if I disobeyed her. Even at the University, all I did was to be the good girl I’ve learnt to be. I didn’t want to destroy the good image my parent has struggled to build for me. I had fun tactfully and with wisdom.
When will you marry?
Who is the lucky guy?
Don’t worry, when the time comes you will know.
Speaking of coming from a Christian home, why do you go clubbing?
We used to have parties in our house. You know indoor parties without alcohol and all of that.
Why are you not an S.U.?
What I am saying is that my father is not a ‘conk’ Christian but ours was a disciplined Christian home. It’s just my mom that attends C & S but my dad is a “happening” man. So, my parents believe in God and going to church .
What can a guy do to become your boyfriend?
I have one already, so I don’t need anyone to do anything again.
When did you start acting?
How did it start?
I was in UNILAG when I met Tayo. We were in the same department and we became friends and started talking. We became close and she told me that I could act because she was also an actress then. So, I decided to give it a try and followed her to a few locations and whenever I got there, I talked to people that I couldn’t have talked to on a normal day and they often offered to give me a role but I didn’t have time because I was in school.
I decided then that when I finished school I would try acting. Along the line, I met Uncle Abbey Lanre in 2003 who was a family friend and I told him of my interest in acting since it goes with my discipline. He took me to his circle. On getting there, I thought I could start immediately, but it was different. I was given a form to fill, and told to come for rehearsals and I was like, I did rehearsals in school and I am a professional. The likes of Wole Soyinka came to watch what we did in school. They just told me not to worry that I should just come. Before I knew it, I started going to rehearsals twice a week and I was meeting people in the industry and doing movies for three years.
What was your first movie?
I acted my first movie with Femi Odeleye, Lilian Bach, and many others, but my first movie with Odu Kaka is titled Ori Omo Lo Komo Yo.
Have you ever played the lead role in a movie?
What movie was that?
Some say women in Yoruba movies do “runs” do you do “runs”?
I don’t do runs, it’s just what people believe. Like I said earlier, I’m elebi repete . I have people all around me. Even though the money they pay me in the industry is not enough to get me going, I’ve got uncles, brothers and sisters that believe in me and they can support me in whatever ways they can though I have few friends that play with cash with me but I don’t do “runs”.
I don’t condemn people that do it because when men see a beautiful lady, they go the extra mile to have her in their arms. Some of them do it not just for money but because they want to be known, and they are ready to do anything to be known. For the very ambitious ones, they believe in God’s timing and I happy to be one of them. I have been in the industry since 2003 and the only lead role I have ever done was in Awa Obinrin. In others, I have just been playing supporting roles and God has been wonderful to me. Some of my peers have done over ten lead roles and they are not as popular as I am.
Are you saying you have never done a back-on-ground thing to get a role?
Never. Not once.
But what’s the big deal in getting what you want with what you have?
Well, there are better ways of getting what you want with what you have. Like if I have something upstairs and somebody has money but doesn’t have what I have upstairs. If I put down what I have upstairs to get money from the person, then I have used what I have to get what I want. The general belief is that when you say that , you are using your body to get what you want. I have a whole lot that I can share with whoever has what I need.
What will make you share your body?
What do I need to share my body for? Maybe with my man of course.
Are you saying you’ve never cheated on your man?
I’ve never cheated on my man. Why will I cheat on him? The man has always been there for me. So, there’s no reason to cheat on him.
Are you as faithful as faithful comes?
(Laughs) Well, I think I’m 85% of the time.
What happens to the remaining 15%?
Maybe I need that as a strategy … just in case.
Are you saying you don’t double-date?
No, I don’t. I stick to one man at a time.
Have you been requested to offer sex for a role before?
How challenging was acting in Omo Ghetto?
Hmm! Omo Ghetto. I tell you it wasn’t quite difficult maybe because I see a lot of that . It wasn’t that hard for me. People didn’t believe I could do it. I thank God. I didn’t know people would accept it the way they did. I really thank God and of course a big thanks to Funke Akindele for giving me the opportunity to feature in it. I love her.