By Ayo Onikoyi
Temitope Osoba isn’t just any rookie looking for the big score in Nollywood, she’s right in the middle of things and making things happen. Even though she would never agree she has arrived, she has done many Yoruba blockbusters to have her name written in gold.
Beautiful, sexy and ever-smiling, Temitope bedazzled the movie world as stripper in the late Bisi Komolafe’s strippers’ film “Igboro Ti Daru” and certainly got some tongues wagging about her. In this chat with Showtime, she opens up on variety of issues. Meet the ‘golden girl’ of Yoruba film:
Who is Temitope Osoba?
Temitope Osoba is a simple girl, an actress by profession. I was born and bred in Lagos. I graduated from Olabisi Onabanjo University with a BSc. degree in Business Education. I have been acting since 2005 and to date I have done, well, if I am not exaggerating, over 20 films and I am still counting.
How did you actually start acting?
My journey into acting was by accident or do I say by fate. It wasn’t a planned thing. I didn’t have any intention of acting, I was actually into dancing when the opportunity to act came knocking at my door.
I was lucky to be there when they were rehearsing for a Yoruba dance movie titled “Ijoya” when one of my friends called the attention of the director of the movie, Bayo Alawiye, to me saying; “ that’s the Tope Osoba I have been telling you about” and they said okay let’s see what she could do. I was given the script and that was it. I played a supporting role to the producer of the movie, Laide Bakare who played the lead role.
In the movie, I was the jealous girl who was always beefing the lead character because she seemed to be getting all the attention even when I thought I was a better dancer than she was.
Someone once said doing music videos pay more than doing movies. Is that right?
I wouldn’t say that but while I was a dancer I was appreciated for what I was doing and now that I am in acting I am being appreciated for that as well. Whoever said that might have a point because doing music videos consumes less time and pay just as well as movies, depending on your part in the movie.
At least when I was dancing I made enough money to pay my way through school conveniently. Yeah, it was good but I would not go as far as saying it pays more than movies. In movies you can get a huge pay-off that makes all the difference. Moreover, nothing compares and pays more than producing your own films. Through that you make much more money. And definitely, people appreciate actors more than dancers.
Now Temitope Osoba is a known figure in Nollywood. What were the challenges like trying to rise to stardom as an upcoming actress?
So many; the first is getting noticed as an upcoming act. In the industry there are so many talents lining up there and they not given a chance, so it takes the grace of God and something extra in you to get noticed and be called for jobs.
Secondly, moving from one location to another isn’t easy. Sometimes you are on location for days doing nothing and have to wait for your turn to be called on set. Then, you have to build a profile as a dependable actress to get called upon from time to time for roles.
In a nutshell, I think the beginning is the hardest part. Once you have started and have created an impression the rest isn’t so difficult. For me, I was lucky. I didn’t even go looking to start acting it fell on my laps on a platter of gold but then it’s my passion and talent that keeps me going.
Which movie would you say gave you your break?
First of all, I must say I have not had my break yet. I am about to, very soon. I can feel it on the way. But that is not to say I haven’t done a lot of lovely films that have pushed me out there to be known. “Oogun Mi” was my first major film and I guess it was from there people began to know there is an actress called Tope Osoba. It was produced by Dayo Amusa. Then “Gucci Girls” by Mercy Aigbe also launched into limelight and “Igboro Ti Daru”, produced by Late Bisi Komolafe, was the icing on the cake. And there are still a couple more
Yes, “Igboro Ti Daru”, you played the role of a stripper. Wasn’t that a bit on the raw side?
Common, it wasn’t raw. We were supposed to be strippers and we didn’t even strip. I played the part of the girl who was dating the Senator. The film was produced by Late Bisi Komolafe and I was her friend in the movie. As far as I am concern that movie wasn’t raw I was comfortable with the script.
Okay, maybe you didn’t actually strip but there was enough striptease in the package?
Well, I was only doing my job. We didn’t reveal vital parts of our body. Maybe we wore some sexy dresses, that was all. Hey! That isn’t raw, it just playing the part.
But there were enough flashes of the cleavage, the laps and even your backsides weren’t so covered, so to say?
I don’t know what you are talking about. Every day we see ladies wearing dresses that reveal their cleavage and shorts that reveal their laps. You wouldn’t call them strippers, would you? About the backsides, you are on your own because I don’t see where we revealed anything of sort.
See, the film wasn’t about showcasing the life of strippers, the message in it is to teach girls not to live wayward lives and that’s what we did in the film. You would see all the girls who lived waywardly ended up bad.
How many movies did you do in 2012?
Oh, I can’t really put a figure to it. 2012 wasn’t a bad year, I think I had my share of good jobs. I think I did about 5 or 6 movies. Don’t forget I am still an upcoming actress. I am not there yet but I know I am on my way. Presently, I have jobs lined up. It seems 2013 is going to be a good year too.
What were your parents reaction when you picked acting as a career?
My parents are late, I was raised by my grandparents. When I picked up dancing I saw no negative reaction and didn’t see any either when I picked up acting. I can say they have been supportive, knowing this is what I have always wanted to do and I enjoy doing it.
Have you ever encounter the issue of sexual harassment or the case of sex for role?
Never. I have never encounter such a thing I only hear of it but never seen it happened. See, the question is when you offer yourself for a role; how many times would you want to do that? How many directors and producers are you willing to sleep with? It’s a bad thing. Those who do it never get any respect in the industry.
Even though you think people don’t know, those you have been with definitely know what goes around and what goes around comes around.
What’s your idea of sex generally. Some believe it should be for married couple alone?
I think sex is meant to be enjoyed by two people who have serious feeling for each other. Sex is good, it is there for two lovers to enjoy themselves and share the secrets of their hearts.
On whether one should engage in premarital sex or not, I would say, yes. Premarital sex is okay as long as it is a safe sex. Our society allows it. These days, you can hardly keep a relationship going without sex
I once saw a picture of you and Desmond Elliot, as your Black Berry ‘Display Picture’ in a rather snuggling position. Is there something between the two of you?
Nothing between us O. It was his birthday, I only used that picture as my ‘Display Picture’ to congratulate him on his birthday. That picture was taken the first time I met him on a movie location and I was so happy seeing him. You know, he is a great actor and I felt it was a privilege to meet him so I hugged him and snapped with him.
Would you say you are friends?
Yeah. He is a good friend. We don’t talk regularly but we talk once in a while. He is really someone I admire. I admire his talents and achievements.
Have you ever dated anyone in the industry?
(laughing): No, I haven’t
Because I haven’t seen any need for it.
Must there be a need before you date somebody?
Exactly. If there’s any need maybe I would have done so but so far I have no need to do that. After all, I am in a relationship that is working just fine. So there won’t be any need for that.
So, what attracted you to your man?
I guess it was a natural and mutual attraction between us. We have been together now for 3 years. By the grace of God we hope to go all the way very soon.
What was your first love like, the first time you fell in love?
Well, my first love was way back in school. I was a little girl and I think it was much of a childish thing. Seriously, I can’t remember the details. It’s been so long ago.
What about heartbreak. Have you ever been heartbroken over a relationship before?
Well, every girl must have had their hearts broken once or twice before. Yes, I have been heartbroken and I must tell you it wasn’t a nice feeling. It was as if the world stopped moving but life has a way of healing everything. Even when you don’t want the pain to go away life has a way of making it all okay again.
Are you a jealous person?
Every woman is jealous but to different degrees. Mine is mild not a wild kind of jealousy
What if you catch your present man in bed with another woman?
(laughing): I won’t do or say anything. I will just walk away. Of course, that will be the end of the relationship,no woman wants to share her man with anyone. I am a woman with feelings. Yes, I am a jealous person.
Most of your colleagues are getting married to married men, would you?
I have never considered doing that. Those who have done so have their own reasons for doing so. As for me, I can’t see myself doing that. I hate polygamy. It’s not a good thing. I can’t marry another woman’s man, it is like marrying another woman’s man, I can’t do that and I wouldn’t want it done to me too.
What do you first consider before taking up a role?
First of all, the producer. Then the director and the people I am going to be working with. The next thing is the script. I need to understand the story very well to know I can be comfortable with the role and my character.
Which of the movies you featured posed the biggest challenge to you as an actress?
I will pick “Oogun Mi”, it was done in 2009. It was my first major role. Before 2009 I have done many jobs but they were nothing compared to “Oogun Mi” where I took the lead role for the first time in my career.
When I got the script, I was like “my God what was I going to do”. Playing the lead role in a movie that has top stars like Sikiratu Sindodo, Ronke Odusanya, Iyabo Ojo, Kemi Afolabi, Dayo Amusa and others was a big pill for me to swallow but thank God I pulled through.
You have acted as a stripper before. Does that mean you can do a sex scene?
Of course, that is just make-believe, it is not like you are actually going to be having sex on set. I don’t know of pornography but in real movies there is never anything like actual sex taking place on set
Have you ever missed your line on set?
Yes, I have. Nobody is perfect. It is an annoying situation and you feel so terrible with yourself. Sometimes with the top celebrities you feel you are not good enough especially, when you see them going on without as much as any interruptions. Meanwhile, everybody makes that mistake, it is all part of the trade.
Why do you have tattoos all over your body?
(smiles): I don’t have tattoos all over my body, they are just on my arm, my leg, my neck and my back.
Do they mean anything to you or they are just fashion?
Certainly, they mean something to me and I have had them before I even start acting. On my arm is a ‘Healing Cross’. My leg has a ‘Sun goddess’ and it represents brightness in my life. On my neck I have ‘Stars’ and on my back I have my late mum’s name. I have them because I like tattoos.
Are you in any way related to former Governor Segun Osoba of Ogun State?
Yes, I am related to the former Governor through my paternal grandfather.
What is sexy about you?
(smiling):The whole of me is sexy. I have a sexy body. I can’t say this is the sexiest part of me, the whole of me is sexy
Who are the people you admire in the industry
I admire a lot of people but if I am going to mention just a few I will mention Ayo Adesanya, she has been a great sister and a big inspiration. I will also mention Bimbo Oshin, she’s wonderful to me too. Then Yomi Fash Lanso and so many others I cannot mention here.