It is almost impossible to meet Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde in person for the first time and not get carried away by her warmness and beauty. For this mother of four, who has spent the last 17 years in the public eye, no question is out of bounds. When asked how it feels to be constantly ‘talked about’ or scrutinized, Omotola takes a deep breath saying,” I am very humbled about the fact that I have remained relevant over the years. Sometimes, I cannot believe it myself.”
The journey to the top has not been so rosy. In fact, Omotola who studied Estate Management at Yaba College of Technology, says at various times in the past, she has had to contend with the ‘baseless rumours’, being peddled about her. But thanks to the social media boom, she says it has become a lot easier to let out the ‘right information.’
“The social media has helped people know me better for the first time. There are times I go online only to stumble upon certain stories about me, like how I slapped somebody who sat on my car, and I am just dumb founded. People just have this idea that of who I am. Some paint me in the light of someone who is extremely harsh or pompous. My friends are surprised to read these stories and then call me up to say ‘Omotola no be you them they talk about. You this talkative and friendly person?’. But with Twitter for instance, fans can ask me direct questions and get an instant reply. Other people also get across to me to clarify certain stories, they have read or heard about me,” she reveals.
On October 2, 2005, the actress shocked fans when she launched her debut album, Gba, amidst mixed reactions and criticism. Like a cat with nine lives, Omotola who had tried her hands out in modelling a year earlier, was unabashed. Five years later, she went ahead to prove that ‘it was serious business’, by dropping yet another album titled, Me Myself and Eyes. But once more, the LP which was sold for N1000, was not a commercial success. As this interview progresses, she mentions that she is not done with music, just yet.
“I have been taking my time as regards music. Because music takes time and you have to do everything yourself unlike movies where you just shoot and then somebody else edits it. My album has been ready since 2010 but I do not want to bring it out the way I did in 2010 with Gbawhere I did not have videos. I hear that was the downfall of that album. I am hoping by God’s grace to release it before the end of this year.”
Watching her speak so passionately about this passion of hers, one question readily comes to mind. Is she doing music to make money?. Omotola corrects this impression saying, “I am doing music for fun. I always tell people I am not a commercial singer. I do inspirational music because I am not really interested about singing About body parts so I don’t expect such things to sell as much as a lewd song will. I don’t do commercial music and my influences are from rock. The truth is, I am doing music for the international market but that is not to say that I don’t want Nigerians to embrace it. But what I always say is people who will love it, will love it,” she says.
All year round, the actress, who is the first of three children, says she is handed a number of film scripts that keep her constantly busy. Ironically, Omosexy as she is fondly called, says she is never inundated with the work load, but rather derives so much joy doing what she knows how to do best-acting. “I unwind by working , I love work but when I am not working I am at home. I don’t really go out and my life is pretty simple. I think you unwind however you find peace. Some people find peace by going to the beach and sitting there all by them self, so you cannot really question how anybody finds peace. In my own case whenever I am working or with my family, I am extremely happy. For me it is not work it is pleasure and when I am with my family I am happy,” she says.