By Bridget Amaraegbu
Olajumoke Oduba may not be a regular face on the screen, but the Lagos State University computer science graduate has been around and as theyâ€™d say, has paid her dues in the movie industry. Highly principled and a no nonsense woman, the Ogun state-born actresses who would rather stay off the screen than give in to the demands of some lecherous movie directors, say she has no place in her heart for suitors who are ugly and are not financially buoyant.Â Enjoy.
My name is Olajumoke Oduba and Iâ€™m from Ogun State. Apart from my mummy and daddy there are just the two of us (girls) in the family and Iâ€™m the last one.
Why did you play the same last born role in Spiders?
Iâ€™m lucky to be interpreting the same role (baby of the family) thatÂ Iâ€™m used to in real life.
And how did it all begin?
Iâ€™ve actually been off and on the industry. In high school, I used to admire Genevieve a lot and at a point, I thought I could die in her place if the chance had come. I dreamt of meeting her every night.
One day, as I was watched one of Charles Noviaâ€™s movies, I copied his phone number from the screen and called.
I apologised first for disturbing him, then I said I wanted to meet him. He invited me to his office and I went I got there, I opened up on my desires.
Soon, he offered me a role in one of his new movies where he paired me with Genevieve as her friend. It was a dream come true fro me.
Which movie was that?
Itâ€™s a long time ago, but I think it was titled â€˜More than sistersâ€™. I was very happy that my dreams had come to pass, that I acted alongside â€˜the Genevieveâ€™, Iâ€™d been dying to meet.
The excitement was so much that I vowed to do my best, which I did. But after that role, I stopped. Iâ€™d actually wanted to continue but the stress was just too much. I couldnâ€™t cope with incessant harassment posed by directors and I didnâ€™t want to go through with the lies and bullying.
Did you say harassment and lies?
Yes. I met a lot of people along the way who told me a lot of lies. In the short time I spent in the industry I met some people who specialised in taking debutantes for granted. Theyâ€™d promise you lead roles in movies that donâ€™t exist. I remember a particular guy who gave me a script and told me I was going to play the role of Omotolaâ€™s sister.
And every day heâ€™ll come around to know how far I was preparing. Heâ€™ll ask if I could wear a bikini in a movie and Iâ€™llÂ say okay, no problem.
One day he came to my house,Â met my mother, my sister and started telling tales of how heâ€™ll make me a super star and all that.
But something inside me told me from beginning that the guy was not real. And true to my instincts I found that the guy was just an assistant make up artiste. Such lies and deceits made me decide to leave the industry and focus on my education. Right now Iâ€™m a final year student of the Lagos State University.
Are you studying Theatre Arts?
Funny enough no. Iâ€™m actually studying Computer Science and canâ€™t wait to finish so I can have time for myself and concentrate on acting. I love acting
So why did you go in for Computer Science?
Iâ€™d wanted to be a doctor but I was scared by the reality of spending years in school with no immediate opportunity of a decent job upon graduation. The added fear of unpredictable strike actions by ASUU further dampened my spirit. But being a science student made me settle for Computer Science. Beside I love computers too much.
You said youâ€™re just two in the family and youâ€™re the baby. Were your parents not scared when you ventured into acting?
Iâ€™ve never really lived with my dad because he lives in the UK, but he didnâ€™t have a problem with my acting career. Maybe his stay abroad helped shape his decision to let me choose my career.Â . But my mum wasnâ€™t comfortable with it.
She expressed her fear following the stories sheâ€™s heard about the ways of lives of actors and actresses.
She was really worried because of my age but she was always praying for me. She kept saying, â€œGod will help you . . . O. Just be careful and donâ€™t follow all those yeye menÂ . . . O.
But I assured her I wonâ€™t fail because I knew what I wanted. And I have just started. My best is yet to come.
How many movies have you done so far?
Iâ€™ve not really done much but Spider was really the big one for me.
Its still opening doors for me because some producers have been calling me since Spider made its debut.
I also didÂ one movie with Stephanie Okereke that was produced by Emen Isong. Itâ€™s titled Enslaved
Youâ€™re still very young in the industry and . . .
Yes. Iâ€™m young but I canâ€™t wait to explode.
When you eventually explode, how do you intend to handle scandals?
Iâ€™m not scared of scandals at all. After all, weâ€™ve heard so many scandalous stories which turn out to be lies. People will surely talk even when they donâ€™t see anything. And when they see, they spice it and blow it up. For me, scandals are no big deals because they can be taken care of.
As a beautiful lady, how do you handle advances from men?
Men are really something else sometimes but Iâ€™m used to them. I know all of their tricks so they canâ€™t make me fall for them. Men have fickle minds and they donâ€™t scare me. I can handle them.
You say theyâ€™re small?
Even with all the gifts theyâ€™ll throw around to get you?
The truth is that I wonâ€™t accept any gift from a man Iâ€™m not interested in except where IÂ want to deceive the person.
Someday, youâ€™ll want to settle down, so what manner of man will you go for?
He must be a God-fearing and handsome man because I love fine, clean guys. At least he should be financially, academically, socially and morally stable.