Oyebade Adebimpe is an up-and-coming actress and a professional model who is beginning to shine in the limelight. In this interview with Ghaniyah Olowoyo, she reveals how lucrative her modeling work is.
How did the idea of action begin for you?
I entered Audition. I served then. I was a model at the time, I started modeling from school. After school, I became a professional model, a full-time model. So I saw this broadcast message asking for an audition and that the producer would even prefer the role played by a model, a dark one; the description, everything just suited me. So I thought I would give it a try. When they said I should come, I was in Benin, I still served, so there was no time. I got a message later that we could make a video and send it by e-mail. That was when I tried my luck and about a week or two later, I think, I was contacted and that was it. I was selected by Yomi Fabiyi for "Agbede meji". He made me the lead actress, I played it next to Gabriel Afolayan and the rest is history. That's how it started.
How is the journey so far? The challenges and successes?
The journey was good, we thank God. It was good for me. Trading is not so easy, you have to be diligent, you have to keep working and keep working. When you look at the challenges, it's exhausting, it's a lot of work. If you want to succeed in acting, you have to be patient and ready to work hard. Mostly I'm in the location for two weeks, without even being at home. You have to be ready to give everything. And when I talk about success, I was able to play in films, back to back. I received awards, I was nominated and I received three awards, and I still have three nominations. I made three movies of my own, just got off my last set a week ago. My first production was "Dear Sister", the second one is "Entrapped" coming out next Monday. It has Odunlade Adekola, Mercy Aigbe, Taiwo Hassan (Ogogo), Lateef Adedimeji and others; it's a big one coming out on Monday. Then, "07-07", I just shot it and hopefully it will be out soon. I will be working on other scripts before the end of the year. It's been less than a year since I started, so I feel it's a big achievement.
Can you say something about your modeling career?
I've always loved modeling. It's something I've loved since childhood. I started with the pageantry, back then in school. You know, you just have to fight for this or that. At that time I started for Miss Culture and I won. Then I have a manager, I just did it as a pastime at school. After school I moved to Lagos and joined an agency, G & A Models, Africa and started getting jobs. I'm still modeling, I'm a commercial model. I model for brands. I've shot a commercial for House of Tara, it's a big one, but it's not out there yet. Kemi Adetiba has managed it. So I'm still modeling. I just do not have as much time as before.
How did your parents react to your career choice?
They are always very supportive. During my school days, when I started modeling, they supported my decision. They allow me to do what I want, as long as it makes me happy. I am grateful to them.
Between modeling and acting, what do you think pays more?
Trust me, modeling pays off. Modeling pays more than now. Back then, when I started modeling, it was not so rosy, I had my challenges as an upcoming model. But now I'm in the movie industry too, so I'm not satisfied with anything less. Modeling pays me more than acting, although I get more from acting jobs. But I know, if I have to shoot like three movies and just make one commercial, I'll get the money for the three movies in one commercial. Modeling pays more.
Which of the two professions do you find more challenging and do you stand in the way of the other?
It's acting. I think acting requires a lot of work, because no matter how good you are, you have to keep working on it, you have to get better and better. And yes, they often get in each other's way. I have dates that I can say we can go out like this and I'll be in a movie set. I will not even remember that I gave them this date. They will have to call me to remind me of the call time and I will be so shocked. And it can be a problem. Sometimes I have to return your money, sometimes I ask you to postpone it. Action requires a lot of work, it is time consuming. You have to be there. And if you call as an aspiring actor, you do not want to disappoint.
How have you been able to handle male advances?
In any case, they will come. It is expected. That's how it has been since I became a woman. We, women, know how to handle such things. In social media, they just come in your direct message (dm) or your email or Facebook or other platforms. It is your decision to answer or ignore. Most of the time I try to cope with the maturity as much as possible. You know, no matter what, these people are still my fans, so I can not be rude. So it's really not a problem, it's normal.
What part of your body do you consider to be your main selling point?
That will be my face. As an example, God helped me by giving me this face. You know, the face covers the eyeballs, the nose and the lips. My complexion helped a lot.
Has your skin color always been a hindrance for you?
No not at all. I got the "Agbede Meji" roll because I was dark. I have scripts where the director will prefer me for some roles because of my dark skin. I do not know why people think there should be discrimination based on skin color. I have not experienced it before. Contrary to popular belief, where some people say that they like fair girls, they all started to bleach. I have heard this many times and have seen people asking me how to do it with my dark skin. I'll be like, is it a crime? But I do not blame them because I think it's all because of their experience. I did not have that kind of experience. I think what brought me here is God and my skin color, which was a blessing of my career.
Do you have a role model in the industry? Who do you want to work with in the future?
Yes. Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekinde. And in the Yoruba films, I worked with people I love like Aunt Fathia Balogun. I worked with Opeyemi Aiyeola and Toyin Abraham, she was in my first feature film "Agbede Meji", I really like her. I have played some English movies but they are not out yet.
Are you in a relationship?
No, later, hopefully, and by God's grace. The most important thing now is the career because it's just new and I'm still working hard to build my brand.
What is your most embarrassing experience in your career?
You know, I do not really read my dm, especially when I imagine the person is not good. I know that some men can be very angry, especially when they see that you are an actor, you are a lady and a model. You must be able to ignore it so that you are not tempted to offend your lover. I do that, I ignore it. What I find most embarrassing is when men send me pictures of their cocks. They do it very much. I find it so disgusting and just delete the whole chat and lock the person off. That's what I do. It does not make any sense for anyone to think that they can send me pictures of their private belongings.