Olu Omotosho recently spoke with ace actress, Elizabeth Ibukunoluwa Anjorin who is gradually taking a different path from the unenviable tag of ‘controversial’ actress to enhance her budding career. Lizzy, as she is fondly called, came into prominence after starring in a Yoruba flick, entitled Iyawo Ojo Kan. Prior that experience, she had been involved in a few productions and had only managed to get minor roles.
Her A-list performance in the highly successful movie by Alasari has catapulted her into instant fame with more and more roles coming her way. However, that has also been at a cost with scandals including a car theft saga and the open fight with equally controversial actress, Iyabo Ojo.
But Lizzy is now hoping to set new standards for movie premiering in Nollywood with her new work, simply entitled Gold. The Badagry, Lagos State-born actress confessed that the movie’s story line is indeed her true life story. “Everything in that movie has to do with me. It is my experience with the man I gave my heart to but he betrayed my love.”
Talking about the title of the movie, Lizzy likened the women folks to raw gold, which she said is estimable. “Women are like the raw gold. You cannot put a value to them. I want the men to know that they need to take care of their spouses and treat them like the raw gold.”
“I was a model and an activist on the campus of the Olabisi Onabanjo University but my friend introduced me to one Mr. Segun Adeniji, who is now late and the man tutored me in his acting college for four years in Abeokuta. It was there that I met the late Idowu Ogungbe and (Ahmed) Alasari, who have been there for me ever since I started. I don’t know what they saw in me but they ensured that I had the best of training and helped my career grow. In fact, it was Alasari that gave me the first major role that gave me my break”.
On her fight with fellow actress, Iyabo Ojo, Lizzy would rather forget the ugly and “concentrate more on my career”, but she explained that she was disturbed by claims by Iyabo Ojo over her manners “I know my age and I can’t be bothered by anyone who thinks she is so big in the industry. I was at an event and I humbly greeted Iyabo Ojo like other actors present but she ignored me and later warned me never to greet her again, saying I’m so spoilt and should respect her by calling her Aunty Iyabo. I know when she claimed she celebrated her 30th birthday, unless she was lying, and for God’s sake, I know I am older than 30.”
Having been bitten once, would she ever fall in love again? Lizzy’s answer is in the affirmative. “Sure, you don’t expect me to remain single all my life. Moreover, you don’t say because your child died in an auto accident, you won’t use a car again. I will definitely fall in love when the right man comes my way.”
How expensive is Lizzy?
Yah, I love fashion, I love good things and that is why I work harder because I am comfortable. So, as an actress when you are meeting people they want to observe what you are putting on right from your hair to finger nail. That is why when I have money I prefer getting one material that is of good quality than buying five materials which are inferior but cheap. The reason is because some people may not even appreciate your career or person. It is what you are putting on right from your hair to fingers nail they want to see.
Where do you shop?
I shop here in Nigeria and outside the country. As a business lady, what I put on give you an insight of the stuff I am made of and sometime I put on goods that I sell as marketing strategy. Because what I put on give me the idea of what people want from me as goods. For instance there was a day a lady walked up to me, and said that I should sell my head weave-on to her. All this is because she cherishes it and these are things that give me insight into what people want to buy from me.
Who is your favorite designer?
If it’s in London, I love Sera woman, in Turkey I like Miss Style, my perfume is Christian Dior and my sun glasses is either Gucci, Mill-mill or Channel.
What do you cherish most in your dressing when going to an occasion?
I cherish my jewelry.
Is Lizzy preparing for marriage?
For now, I am not ready.
I want to put some things together before going into marriage.
How would you describe a guy of your taste?
He should be a God-fearing person regardless of his religion, because there are some who claim to be Muslim and Christian, yet they do not fear God. It is even possible a practitioner of traditional religion is the one who will really have the fear of God. But the person could also be from any tribe. All I need is a God fearing man who must be simple.
What is the most memorable day in your life?
Yes, the day I bought my first car Nissan, which was miraculous because some of my friends just bought their cars a week earlier and they encouraged me to go and get my own. I was wondering where the money would come from and that week somebody just gave me a wedding materials contract and that was how I bought my first car at age of twenty three (23).
The way you talk about business, it seems you cherish business more than acting?
I cherish both because if you don’t have another job apart from acting, you may not be up to the task. Imagine a situation where I make a hair worth N100,000 for a customer, whereas no Yoruba producer can pay such huge amount for artistes except one who is playing a lead role. That is why I have no option than to be involved in business while continuing my acting job.
Which of your movies was the most-challenging one?
Yes, Iyawo Ojo Kan.
Combining acting and business together how do you unwind?
You see, one need to make hay while the sun shines. Now that am strong, young and not married, there is nothing stopping me from doing 10 jobs. This has being the principle my mother taught me right from my childhood and I always keep myself busy instead of getting involved in scandals.
What can you say about sex for roles in the Nigerian movie industry?
This is the word that irritates me because it happens in a setting where there are beautiful ladies. Bank managers can ask out his staff out, lecturers can date their students and so on. And people hardly complain. Let people stop blackmailing the movie industry. It is the actress who needs to be careful.
How would describe Lizzy Anjorin as a person?
Very straight, friendly. I love meeting people. I don’t underrate people and I don’t tell lies.
What is your favorite dish and colour?
I love African dishes, and white is my colour.
Like most actresses, you have produced movies of your own. How do you source funds?
Well, almost everyone has a godfather or mother somewhere. I have people who support what I do and help me by financing the flicks I do. Because most of my flicks sell and make profits, I’m always able to pay back but I hardly get loans, rather I get funds from people who help me with it. Aside this, I don’t squander all my funds on showbiz, I invest and keep some for the next production and God has been doing well for me.