By Benjamin Njoku
Despite all the controversies surrounding her acting career, Elizabeth Ibukunoluwa Anjorin fondly called Lizzy strikes you as one actress who has an insatiable desire to stay on top of her game. She has come a long way, having featured in over 50 Yoruba movies, in the last few years of her sojourn in the industry.
Today, Lizzy is breaking new grounds for herself in the area of business. Only recently, she opened a supermarket, ‘Peam Me’ , located around Ogba area of Lagos, as a way of expanding her business interests. Showtime Celebrity caught up with this Badagry, Lagos State born actress at her supermarket, where she relives memories of some of her old tales, her growing interest in business and why she is still single.
You are gradually branching into business. Is it the destination for you now ?
Actually, business is something you can fall back on, if anything happens today. One can hardly quit business, but in the area of acting, the problem of piracy undermines the well-being of the profession. Apparently, I love acting and if I didn’t act for a long time, it looks as if I’m missing out something. Acting is in me, but business is something I have been doing right from my childhood days. As a student, I was into buying and selling of clothes, perfumes and other things. I combined doing business with my studies. Later, when I went into acting, I did not give up my interest in business.
In other words, you didn’t initially set out to become an actress . You are acting for the fun of it?
I’m acting because I have a passion for it .But business is something that can be there for one as long as you are existing. Yes, I’m acting for the acting sake. Acting is ephemeral, it doesn’t last long. My interest in business is to grow stronger everyday and to open branches in every nook and cranny of the society .
How much have you invested in your business?
I can’t really disclose that now. But all I know I have invested a lot of money in my business.
Are you sure there is no sugar Daddy behind all these investments?
God is my Sugar Daddy . If there is any man that helped me to achieve all that I have achieved in business, I’m sure I wouldn’t have gotten away with it. I would have been living under the man’s roof. A man cannot be doing all this for you just for nothing. I also have a branch in Abule-Egba area of Lagos. At Abule-Egba, I am dealing in wines, costumes, assorted biscuits and shoes. I am also into supplies.
Would you say business has been more rewarding to you compared to acting ?
Acting has been rewarding to me too. As a celebrity, people are ready to meet you and to do business with you as well. In my supermarket, my fans come to patronise me. If I’m not a star they will see the supermarket as a normal super market. Some of them visit my shop just to meet me one on one. As my acting career is expanding, so also is my business interest .
What has been the reaction of the people each time they see you at the market arena, bargaining for goods ?
Each time I’m going to the market to buy goods for my supermarket, I try as much as possible to do away with the ego of stardom. I go into the market as a really market woman though there are some traders who will see you and then scream loudly, while many others will stop and be staring at you.
You could hear them openly saying ‘’ I like your film , I bought your film with my money, you must pay back today.” If I’m in my business outfit, you’d meet me as Lizzy the business woman, and if I’m on a movie set , you’d meet me as Lizzy, the actress. One of the major problems that confronts people in the acting business is that of controversy .
How much of these controversies have been tied around you?
It has not been fair when people read negative things about you. They tend to treat you negatively when they see you outside. I wonder why people derive joy in destroying other people’s hard earned name . I’m no longer bothered because my destiny is my destiny.
Nobody can take away my destiny from me and no one can use his or her pen to change my destiny . Anybody that is writing negative things about somebody that is not real is evil , and that person remains an enemy of progress for ever . Most of the negative stories that have been written about me don’t get to me , because I don’t buy the papers to read the stories . Reading the stories would mean giving the writers some kind of relevance that they don’t deserve . It doesn’t bother my heart any more .
As a child, what kind of relationship existed between you and your late mother ?
We were very close , she loved me a lot as her only child . She already prepared me to face the challenges of life ever before she passed on , early this year .
How often do you remember her ?
I remembered her during the mother’s day celebration . Every mother’s day , while she was alive I usually called her in the morning and she prayed for me . In fact , I really missed my mother indeed , she thought me so much about life.
As an only child, what was growing up like for you without siblings around you?
It was okay , my parents were there for me . I lacked nothing ,except the fact that I had no siblings around me .Before my mother gave birth to me , she recounted how she was mocked by her fellow women and all that . She told me that giving birth to me wiped away every of her tears and consoled her .While she lived , she never allowed anything to hurt me . I will forever miss her and I pray that God should grant her soul eternal rest.
Your enemies once alleged that your controversial nature contributed to the death of your mother .Was it true ?
The person that wrote that story and posted it online is cursed forever .How could somebody talk ill of the dead .Normally, no mother would be happy to read negative stories about her beloved daughter .I’m the only child of my mother and she loved me so much , and did everything to protect me while she lived .How could somebody be so callous to insinuate that I was responsible for the death of my mother .
My mother never had any heart attack as a result of negative stories that were written about me . I did her final burial in March, and I tried as much as possible to give her a befitting burial . Everybody loves his or her mother. And I loved my late mother very dearly. She was everything to me while she lived . The person that wrote that story will live to regret it.
When I read the story online, I was shocked and dumb founded. How could somebody just sit down and fabricate stories that are capable of tarnishing another person’s image . I just want to see how that person will end his own life .
In one of your interviews , you said you are still single because you want to accomplish a few things before getting married . Are you saying that you have not accomplished those things up till now ?
I will get married when I will get married . You will definitely be invited to my wedding .
Your mother would have loved to see you get married in her lifetime ?
My late mum was a very strong woman . She allowed me to follow my heartbeat , and never in any way influenced my decision .
When you kneel down to pray , what do you usually ask from God ?
I thank him for his mercies. I don’t have to kneel down to pray . Even when I’m driving , eating , on the set , my mouth is full of praises for his goodness unto my life . He is worthy of my praises .
You recently reconciled with your long lasting friend Iyabo Ojo , what actually happened between you and her ?
I don’t want to talk about it again . We have resolved our differences and I like her .We are friends now .
Do you still believe in love ?
Yes I do .There is true love . But in Nigeria of nowadays ,there is no true without money .Even as a young girl , if you are not well equipped financially , men will be far from you. In fact most Nigerian men are gold diggers . They want to get married to ladies with good family background (big men’s daughters ). They don’t want to build their own women .
I could remember when a guy brought one lady to the city and refused to assist her become a full -fledged woman . His fear was that the lady would later dump him for another man after he had finished investing in her . That’s absolute nonsense . Men want to reap where they did not sow but you can make a woman and take the whole glory .
If the father of your 15 year old daughter returns to you today, would you accept him ?
Unfortunately , he is late now . My daughter will be entering SS1 very soon . And she is 15years of age .
Have you ever experienced true love ?
Of course , I have but …..
Meaning what ? They broke your heart or you broke theirs ?