The award-winning actress and movie producer, Yewande Adekoya Abiodun speaks with SEGUN ADEBAYO about her rising career.
You have been in the industry for more than a decade, what can you say is the fondest memory you have had?
“God has blessed me with the grace to enjoy what I do at every given period. I am happy to have come this far on the job and it has been through the sheer grace of God. So I might not be able to tell you which experience exactly I am most fond of but I know for sure that I have enjoyed my work from the very beginning till date and I thank God for that. I have always enjoyed my job and the success that has trailed it over the years. We have created many beautiful memories and we will continue to create new ones by the grace of God.”
Surviving on the job all these years must have come with its challenges, part of which could have forced you to want to quit. What has kept you on ground all these years?
“I am grateful to God for giving me the strength to withstand the storm. I must confess to you, it was really challenging at the beginning. I started this journey in 2002, and I give God all the Glory today. When I look back at some of the stormy moments that God helped me to get through, my heart is always filled with thanks and appreciation because it is only by the Grace of God that I am here today. No one would have survived those troubled moments without the strength and grace that comes from God.”
So you never at any point felt like quitting the industry when things were not rosy for you?
“Quit the job? No. I never for once wanted to quit. Consistency and perseverance are the key.”
You have been a strong force in the industry and you have a number endorsements; would you say your perseverance and consistency have paid off?
“Did you just say it has paid off? Paid off keh?, Let me tell you today, I am just getting started oooo. There is room for improvement. We have to keep working hard to make sure that we are at our best at all times. In fact, permit me to say that we can’t say we have stopped improving. There are still many grounds to cover. The journey has just begun. We pray for more grace to keep pushing on”.
You have been consistent in raising your game and you don’t seem to be resting on your oars as this could be seen in the level of hard work you put in your work. What motivates you?
“My motivation comes from the Almighty God. I have no strength of my own. All I have done and will still do is deeply rooted in God’s motivation. His strength makes me strong”
Why have you developed special interest in producing scary movies?
“Your question sounds funny. Well, I don’t know why I come up with such story lines. The stories just come to me and I swing into action. But trust me, I have produced some movies that are not scary.”
Talking about movies, you seem to be very good at interpreting roles but producing movies appear to have taken the better part of you these days. Why is this so?
“If you are a fan of my work, you will know that I have appeared in other people’s movies. If you are, then you will know that I appear in much more movies now than ever before.”
You have been married for about five years now and you guys seem to be soaked in love. Does that mean yours was a union made from heaven?
“I hear people say union made in heaven. But I beg to ask that, is there really a union made in heaven? My brother, that we have come this far, as a couple, is by the grace of God. It is not that we are special or we have a special secret that others don’t have; it has just been God from day one.”
Do you really like the fact that you and your husband do the same job?
“Well, it has helped us to cope better. Being in the same field has actually helped us to understand each other better. We are fine together.”
How far can Yewande go to interpret a movie role?
“I can go to any length to interprete any role I am given in any movie but my clients know my stand regarding nudity in movies and my stand regarding featuring in scenes that are too sexually explicit. So they don’t even send me such scripts.”
Did you take this stand because you are married?
“This has nothing to do with whether I am married or not. I have always been like that, even long before I got married.”
A popular actress in Nigeria, last week, said sex scenes should be played and interpreted well, do you share her view on this?
“Yes, I do. If it must be done, then it should be done tastefully. For me, if it would be done, it should be classy and moderate.”
As an actress, are you supposed to be restricted in interpreting roles?
“I am an African. I am a woman. I am a mum and I am married. All these information about me should be enough for you to know the kind of movies you will find me in.”
Actress Yewande Adekoya
You premiered your last movie in Ilorin and it was said to have been a success. What message were you passing with the movie?
“Yes, it was a success. I thank God. It is a traditional epic movie. It seems our traditional movies are fast fading away. People are more comfortable with watching a modern Yoruba movie. They claim the traditional Yoruba movies are most times boring, which is not entirely true. so, I decided to work on a traditional Yoruba movie that can be seen and enjoyed by all.”
How much did the movie cost you?
“I thank God, the response has been overwhelming.The project cost us millions.”
Shooting a movie with millions of naira in a time when some of your colleagues complain of lack of cash to produce movies. How have you been raising cash to shoot capital-intensive movies?
“For me, as a movie producer, you are as good as your last job. Your work will always speak for you anywhere in the world. Sometimes I fund my movies myself and at other times, I do my movies in partnership with movie investors. For instance IYAWO ADEDIGBA was done in partnership with IROKOTV partners.”
Have you been surviving on acting alone all these years? Some of your colleagues say it almost impossible…
“It is acting acting and movie production alone for now.”