The prolific and multi-award winning Nollywood actress, singer and philanthropist Omotolo Jalade Ekeinde was featured on CNN’s African Voices on Sunday 12th January 2014. The in-depth interview focused largely on Omotola’s early childhood days through to her first role she earned in the Nigerian movie industry, her reality show and other equally significant aspects of her life.
The thriving actress had to hit the road working at a very young age of 15 years after she lost her dad and family fortunes took a negative dive from “high-class” to below “middle-class” standard of living. Omotola took her first job as a model. She later earned her first movie role which was actually a lead role when she accompanied a model friend to a movie audition.
According to the adorable actress and singer, her mum was against her movie role and literally chased the movie producer and crew with brooms out of their house when they came to plead with her mum to allow Omotola take the lead role in the 1995 movie Venom of Justice. The movie eventually became a crescendo to her acting career.
Amidst the star actresses numerous prestigious awards including making the list of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world alongside Michelle Obama, Beyonce and Kate Middleton, she’s also the first African celebrity to hit over a million facebook likes and the first Nigerian superstar to have her own reality show “Omotola: The Real Me” which runs on African Magic Entertainment.
Omo Sexy,as she’s affectionately referred to by her husband and fans, stated that she entered into the world of singing as a result of her engagements with the United Nations WFP (World Food Programme) as an Ambassador in 2005 going to missions in Sierra- Leone and Liberia. She wanted to express herself more on her experiences at those missions. “I wanted to speak more. You can say more with words when you sing”
Asked if she’ll love to break from Nollywood to make a career in Hollywood, she replied “everyone wants to be at the peak of their career and Hollywood is the pinnacle of our career but I feel like I’m more needed in Africa”. Also in reply to a question on what she thought would be her parents reaction if they were to be alive to witness her successful career, she said “My dad will not surprised. He’s always believed in me…my mum will be like wow because she never believed in me. She felt it was quite hard to tame me and felt I was a rebel, she didn’t think I’ll amount to something great.”
Omotola is currently embarking on remarkable projects in Africa including building a Film Village in her country, Nigeria. She believes in the potentials of Africa and says “Africa is the New Market, the New Destination. If you don’t know, now you do”