Rose Odika in this piece with Azeezat Oguntola sheds light on her swing from acting to singing, her background and marital life, among others. Excerpts:

People know you as a veteran in the movie indus try, what was your first movie?
My first movie was Express Lady with Wemimo Films. That was in 1988.

So far, you’ve made how many movies?
Ah, I’ve lost count. I can’t count, but maybe an average of a hundred. But the truth is that I’ve lost count.

Which of your movies brought you into limelight?
That was Ododo Eye. It was shot in 1994 with the same Wemimo Films Production.

Now you’re into music, why?
Thank you. It’s a calling. I didn’t just decide to go into music because everyone is going into music. As you know, most actors and actresses are now singing, but mine is a calling, and I’m into gospel music, and it’s a calling to address people that are sinners and to deliver them.

What is the title of your album?
The title of the album is Ara Jesu. Ara Jesu means “Jesus Wonder”. I call it ‘God’s wonder’ because I sang it in Yoruba, despite the fact that I’m not a Yoruba lady. I’m from Delta State, Ibo-speaking Delta, but God really used me. If you listen to the music, you will not know that this is a Delta lady singing. All was done in Yoruba except for one track that was done in my dialect. So, I decided to call it Ara Jesu because I felt God has used me in a wonderful way.

How many tracks do you have in the album?
I will not call it tracks really. It’s a medley, I did a medley, chorus by chorus.

You wish to continue with it?
Yes, I wish to live with it for the rest of my life.

Does it mean you’re dropping acting for music?
The two go side-by-side because as an actress, what we’re doing is preaching to people, talking to people to change or get some advice from what we are showing in the films. You talk to people and try to change them and sell ideas to them, so they both work hand-in-hand. I will not drop one for the other.

So far, what challenges have you faced in the movie industry?
I would say I’ve not really faced a lot of challenges, unlike the one I’m facing in music. It’s a different world entirely. In the acting world, all you do is try to come up to become a star, to be recognised, and that can be easily achieved. If you’re talented, you can do acting. But in singing it’s not that easy. You can be the best singer but if you don’t have money to start it, nobody will help you. You can decide to act for people without getting paid, with time you’ll make a name. But in singing, nobody will help you, even ordinary demo, nobody will give you money for it. Everybody wants you to get there before they invest in you. So, the challenges in music are more than that in acting.

You launched your album recently, what was it like performing for people to see?
Yes. It was a wonderful thing. Everybody kept asking ‘what I’m I doing all this while?’ “We didn’t know you could do this.” I wanted to mime to the album that day but unfortunately the deck was fumbling. I now called on my drummers and said ‘come on, let’s do it live’ and to tell you this –nobody knew I could sing. And honestly, I didn’t know I could do it too. And it was welcomed.

Let’s go a bit personal. You’re from Delta State, where exactly in Delta?
I’m from Aniocha North, Nseluku, a town before Asaba.

Your family background?
Yeah, I’m from a family of nine. My father, a police officer, he’s late now. My mum is a petty trader. I’m the second out of seven children.

What was your growing up like?
I had a humble beginning. I went to St. Richards’ Primary School, Eleyele, Ibadan, from there I went to Ahmadiyya Secondary School now Anwarul-Islam, also in Eleyele. Then I went to Alvan Ikoku College of Education, which is affiliated to the University of Nigeria, Nsuka, where I studied Health Education.

That means you grew up in Ibadan. All my life. My mum and dad were based in Ibadan. We came to Ibadan in 1978, and we’ve been here since then.

People argue a lot about your marital status, can you shed more light on this?
What can I say? It’s really a personal matter. But nevertheless, I was once married, but unfortunately it did not work out. So, now I’m a divorcee with a daughter.

Did your marriage break up because of your career?
No. It’s not because of my career. We had our differences even before marriage. I’ll call it family influence on the side of the guy. It’s parental influence.

If your husband comes back to you, will you accept him?
You ask really sensitive questions. But he’s married now, and I don’t pray for his marriage to break up a second time.

Do you plan to get married again or you’d like to remain single?
I’d like to keep my fingers crossed. I cannot answer that question.

Would you like to marry a single or married man?
Well, if a single man comes, I mean one who has never been married, why not, yes. A single man, a divorcee like me, or a widower. But never a married man. I will definitely not go into a polygamous home. I don’t want to be a second wife to anybody.

What is your daughter’s name?
Oyinkansola Osanaiye.

Your happiest moment?
My happiest moment was in 2004 when I gave birth to my daughter because it took me five years after my marriage to have her.

Your saddest moment?
The day my marriage broke up.

What do you envisage in the next five years in the course of your career?
Better things to come because, you know, one has to face challenges before success. In the next five years I want to see myself getting up there, changing lives, reaching out to people. I want to see myself as someone God is about using.


D’Banj, Ego, Okposo Lend Voice To Glo New Campaign
By Tope Olukole

Celebrated music icons including D’Banj, Sammy Okposo and Ego Ogbaro (Ego for short) have lent their voices to the new celebratory expression from Globacom, We’ve Got People Talking. These music icons with wide acceptability across the country, were recently flown to South Africa to put finishing touches to the song which Globacom will soon spice on the airwaves to celebrate its achievements and acceptance in the country over the past five years.

We’ve Got People Talking is Globacom’s way of acknowledging how its activities since August 2003 have had profound impact on the lives of Nigerians –be the workers, businessmen, students and children– both in the conduct of businesses and in interpersonal relationship.

One of the press materials for the campaign, We’ve Got People Talking Fun Among Youths in Africa, features MTV award winner D’Banj and Hip-Hop duo, P-Square. The Koko Master also features in another press material titled We’ve Got People Talking About Our Passion for Music.

Explaining the root of using music as a means of expression of this campaign, Mr Atunwa added: “We introduced the campaign theme through the medium of music, which is one of the Nigeria’s greatest passions”.

Globacom being a brand that makes conscious effort to cater for the different segments of the Nigerian population, the campaign music is orchestrated in diverse forms, ranging from instrumental to voice-enriched ensemble –in all cases ensuring that they are imbued with the network’s core values of clarity, positive energy, and world-class quality.

Since its introduction about six months ago, We’ve Got People Talking has provided the music bed for most of Globacom’s new TV commercials.

Globacom on Monday had an opportunity to explain the details of the campaign to newsmen. Mr Joachim Atunwa, Globacom’s Director of Advertising, who made a presentation said: “When we hit the 20 million subscriber base recently, which coincided with our 5th year Anniversary, we felt we had an obligation to celebrate a dream realised – the dream of empowering Nigerians of all strata and across geography, to talk.

“We’ve empowered them with unique and innovative products and services”, he added.