Sola Asedeko, popular is known as Abeni, being the lead actress in the movie, Abeni, by Tunde Kelani’s Mainframe Production. She has appeared in more than 30 home videos produced in Yoruba language and soap operas in English language. Easily one of the most visible Nigerian film actresses around, the Theatre Arts graduate of the University of Lagos talks to ‘FUNMI ELUGBAJU about her career as an actress and a worker; how she got to play the lead role in Abeni, the pains and gains attached to fame and her plans for the future. Excerpts:
How would you describe Sola Asedekio?
I am a just a regular girl next door. Reverend Dr Henry Asedeko and Esther Asedeko are my parents. I am from a family of eight - six girls and two boys. I am the sixth born of the family. I went to Somori Comprehensive High School, Ogba Ifako Ijaiye, and the University of Lagos Akoka, where I studied Theatre Arts. I am presently back in school doing my Masters in Public Administration.
You are one of the most celebrated top actresses. How does it feel to be so appreciated?
I thank God because everything that has been happening to me since I was born till now has been with the help of God. So, I thank him for his tender mercies over my life. He has indeed been faithful.
When did you get into the movie properly?
That was in 2006 when I played the lead role in the movie Abeni; it gave me a lot of leverage as people started calling me for other roles.
How did you get to play the lead role in Abeni?
I was at Narrow Path location and one of the producers noticed my performance and thought I would be good for the role; so he gave me the job. Before then I had been doing stage plays and different auditions. Narrow Path did an audition for their movie and I was selected and given a role to play. That’s basically how I got into the movie industry.
What were you doing before you started acting?
I was in school and immediately after school I worked in a production company for a while. I had to go and serve in Akwa Ibom. When I got back I started working at Indicator Media where we produce magazines for the Lagos State government and continued with my acting career by the side. It is not really easy to juggle between my office work and my career as an actress but God as been my strength.
How has the industry been treating you?
So far, so good, we have produced two movies already but they are not out yet. We have produced Kikelomo and The Rehab. For Kikelomo, we involved people from the industry like Yemi Sholade, Femi Adebayo, Fathia Balogun, Kemi Afolabi and many others. I had to work with their camera men. I worked with all of them and it was fantastic. They are very interesting people and fun to be with and work with. The industry has indeed been very favorable to me as I have been favoured amongst all my peers. There are few people out there who call me to come and work for them. People like Funke Akindele, Fathia Balogun, Yomi Fabiyi, Yinka Quadri, Akin Olaiya amongst many others. They are all fantastic people that if you get to know them you will know their ways of life.
Which would you prefer, the Yoruba or English speaking movie?
Both industries are okay for me, everything boils down to your human relationship and bargaining power. I am currently on different English soap operas now. I was on both platforms and payment depends on your personality and how you can sell yourself. It’s your job and your source of livelihood and you will definitely be paid. I wouldn’t choose any, both of them are good.
What are the pains and gains attached to fame?
For me I don’t think I have pains. God has been so nice to me. I go out and people appreciate me. It has paved a lot of ways for me. The pain I would say is not being able to move around freely. I go out and people point at me and all sorts but aside that it has been very good. I am kind of used to it and I have been able to manage myself till now.
Are you married?
I am not married and I am not searching. I don’t want people to start saying I am single and looking for a husband. I am currently in a relationship.
What are the things you search for in a script before taking them?
The storyline matters. Whatever we do, it’s supposed to pass across messages and teach people morals and lessons of life. So, I wouldn’t want to appear in a movie that I wouldn’t be able to gain anything from it and also where the society at large cannot learn from. I don’t want to sit down and watch the movie later and be disappointed that I was part of it. I think the directors and producers matter too. The key thing for me here is if it has a fantastic storyline and an equally good director.
Have you been involved in any scandal?
No, God has been so good to me so far, nothing bad has been written about me.
You strike me as a very humble person, does that depict your kind of person or this is just one of the characters in the home video?
I am not acting. I won’t say I am a quiet person or a lousy person. This is just me, no film trick.
Do you have friends in the industry?
I don’t have enemies in the industry. All of them are my friends but I don’t have any close friend there.
What is your fashion statement?
I will go for anything comfortable and smart.
You are very pretty, what is your beauty routine?
I wake up in the morning, wash my face with Fair and White soap and apply the cream.
How do you unwind?
I watch a lot of movies, foreign and local. I hardly go out because I am an indoor person.
Who are your favorites in the industry?
Everybody, I don’t want to offend anybody by mentioning names.
If you were not opportuned to join the movie industry, what would you have been doing?
Probably working in Alausa, I am a wrestles person; I don’t think I can work in a bank or any organisation that will make me sit on a desk.
What are your plans for the future?
Get married, have two kids, own my own production company. Own a non-profitable organisation like an orphanage or an old people’s home and especially doing good movies.
If you had a wish, what would it be?
I wish that God should continue to favour me. That is the only thing I can wish for.
Are your parents in support of your choice of career?
At first when I got admitted to the University of Lagos my father wanted me to study Law but I was admitted to the Department of Theatre Arts. He was a bit disappointed but with time he got to love what I do and has been a source of encouragement to me ever since. He encourages me to buy my movies and do my profiles. My parents are wonderful.
Do you belong to any cabal in the movie industry?
No I don’t.
What is your most embarrassing day?
I was at a party once and someone came out of nowhere and started spraying me for no reason. I wasn’t the celebrant and I was very embarrassed and kept saying am I the celebrant? They actually gave me a nylon bag to put all the money in, it was that much.
What is your general take on the Nigerian movie industry?
I just think that producers and script writers should put more efforts in their works and try to make good movies. It is going to cost us money but they should take their time and do good movies, something up to standard.
In the league of top Nigerian actresses, how would you rate yourself?
I am just by myself. It is left for the public to rate me themselves. I am just a normal and regular kind of person.
What are you working on presently?
I am working on a movie titled Rehab. It’s a about girls sharing their life experiences. One of the girls was narrating her experience to another girl that was about to make the same mistake. In the movie we spoke Hausa, English and Yoruba. We are hoping that in December the movie would be complete.
What message do you have for your fans?
I want to say a big thank you to them for loving me and encouraging me and I will try my very best not to let them down.