Ope Ayeola was on top of her game as an actress in the Yoruba genre before her marriage. Many thought her marriage would be the end of her acting career, but when she came back four months ago she picked up from where she started from.
SAMUEL OLATUNJI who has been there with her before, during and after her marriage went after her and got her talking about acting, marriage, African woman and her romance with Corporate Pictures boss whom many thought she would marry.
What would you say have changed about you since you got married?
I’m more matured now and very much dedicated to my family.
Do you now place your family above every other thing?
My family is next after God.
Are you not tired of camera, light, action?
I’ve not even started yet, I’m just starting. Don’t forget that I am barely 10 years in the industry.
When did you release your movie, Onilara Part 2?
Last Monday and it has been doing well in the market.
What were you trying to teach this time around?
I’m just trying to teach myself and others one or two things about jealousy.
Are you jealous?
Not to an extreme. Even my God is a jealous God.
How do you react when you see a woman who is trying to woo your man?
I think it is just a way of life. There were women in London when I met him, before we got married and after our marriage and there are still women in London. Because of the nature of my job, men flock around me too. They call me to appreciate me even in the presence of my husband, and he handles it well. So there is no reason for me not to handle it well too.
What has marriage changed about you?
Marriage has changed my general belief about men; I’m a little bit more matured right now. Women believe men are horrible while men believe women are terrible. But right now, I believe that while there are terrible men, there are still those that are good, and my husband is one of them.
Did your relocation abroad slow down your accelerated growth in the movie industry?
In life, there is always a stage, a step one has to take. I cannot continue to live here while my husband is living abroad. I had to go and meet him. It was my decision to get married and I have no regret. Anyway, since I came, I have not had rest. It has been from one location to another.
Since you came back how many films have you produced?
I’ve only done one. You know I don’t do more than two movies in a year. My own film is Agbeko. It’s a semi religious film. We are trying to preach against insincerity, fornication and many other things. My husband is the executive producer as well as myself. We spent a lot of money on the film. So far, I have spent over N3 million naira on the job. It won’t be released until next year.
How many jobs have you done since you came back?
I have done about 10 movies.
Has marriage been fair to you?
It’s been wonderful.
Is being a full-time housewife in London not boring?
It’s a bit boring. I’ve been thinking of what to do. I’m going to be getting some education. I’m not the type that likes to be at the same level, I always strive to improve. I don’t like to just dabble into whatever I want to do. I like to be a professional. Right now, I don’t think I’m a professional. Though I’ve learnt on the job, but I still need to go and learn formally about the job.
What did you miss about Nigeria?
I missed the weather, my friends, and vigil.
Why did you rush into marriage?
I didn’t rush. I got married at 29.
People often say those who are not married are trying to get in while those that are married are trying to get out. Have you experience that?
I pray I won’t be part of those who want to get out of marriage. So far, it’s been wonderful. I have a wonderful husband, why would I want to rush out?
Why do you think celebrity marriages fail?
I don’t know. It may be because of lack of understanding.
Don’t you think it is due to the fact that female celebrities are not ready to be under subjection?
We are in an era where husband and wife share ideas. Gone are those days when the husband’s decision is the final. Though, no man wants 50/50, but we can try to make it 60/40. My husband and I are in partnership. I think it is only a big issue with those that are not educated. Educated husbands know that women have ideas also. Though men make the final decision, but most modern men are now asking their wives for ideas. Marriage is a conglomeration of both parties’ ideas. Nobody wants to be boss around
How romantic are you?
My husband can answer the question. I try to meet up. I try to be romantic in my own little way.
I’ve heard of situations where women are afraid to express themselves romantically because they don’t want to come across as wild. Have you experienced that?
No, we’ve passed that stage as well. Every 21st century guy wants a romantic wife. So, I won’t say I’ve experience that. I’m romantic in my own little way.
What can some young men outside there do to snatch you away from your husband?
Nothing. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.
Why don’t you do business with Corporate Pictures anymore?
People have asked me questions on this issue and I’ve told them I don’t want to say anything concerning that.
One of the things about African women is that they are ‘back-heavy’ and it is obvious you are not. Does your husband like it that way and find it handy?
If he doesn’t like it that way he wouldn’t have married me. He likes it like that. I respect my body and my husband likes it that way. I appreciate God for what I have.