By Juliet Ebirim
When Afro-pop singer, Adokiye declared she was avirgin in a chat with Vanguard’s Potpourrirecently, many thought she couldpossibly be the last of the virgins in the Nigerian entertainment industry. But it seems there are others, at least one other, as another entertainer, Seyi Hunter has come out to declare she is a virgin as well.
A Performing Arts, Industrial and Labour Relations’graduate from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Seyi, born of an Igbo father and Akwa-Ibom mother, started out her career in the Yoruba sector and has since featured in close to twenty films in both Yoruba and English language movies.
In this interview with Showtime Celebrity, the wave-making actress talks about her career, passion, secrets and fears, among other issues:
When and how did you start acting professionally?
I started acting in 2011. I entered the industry through Funsho Adeolu. I met him at a movie location.
What has been your experience since you started?
It’s been tough. But with God on my side, I’ve been able to achieve a lot within the short period I’ve been in the industry.
Which movies have you done?
Broken Fixtures, Pain, Many Days-One day, My Club, MM Girls, Insanity, etc. TheYoruba movies include Rukayat, Alenibare, etc.
Since you do both the Yoruba and English genre of Nollywood movies, which would you say is better and has been most favourable to you?
The English movies have been really favourable to me. The threelead roles I’ve played are in English movies. I usually play minor roles in the Yoruba movies. If I were to assess both sectors, I’d say they are both good and that’s why I’m doing both.
What challenges do you encounter as an upcoming actress in the industry?
The truth is they don’t really pay us well as upcoming actresses. Another challenge is getting roles. Though for me, God has been faithful. When I go to any location or for a production, I get another job from that one. It’s as if one job gives birth to another. So far, people I’ve met are people who want to help me, who are willing to stick their necks out for me. People like Collins Onwochei, Chico Ejiro, Damijo Efe Young, Funsho Adeolu and others.
What would you say is your selling point?
(Laughs) Look at me now. It’s not as if I’m so endowed physically. I’m just one humble girl next door. Favour is my selling point.
If you could change anything in the industry, what would that be?
It’s the practice of not paying or appreciating new actresses. They feel that because you’re upcoming, they are doing you a favour by featuring you in the movie. That’s one trend I’d like to change. I have told myself that whatever production I do, everyone must be paid as long as you worked on that set, you should be paid for it. Besides that, I think Nollywood has improved a lot.
What would you have been, if you weren’t an actress?
I think probably a dancer. I used to dance and then I stopped and started acting. So, I would have been dancing or modelling if I wasn’t acting. I love to entertain, so I would still be in the entertainment industry. The truth is I’ve always wanted to act, though I started as a dancer.
What’s your view on pornography in the industry?
So far I’ve not done any pornographic movie and I’ve not gotten any pornographic script.
What if you were asked to, would you?
Let that time come first. When I get to that bridge, I would cross it.
Can you go nude in a movie?
I can’t go stark nude in any movie. I can’t even strip naked in front of any body.
Would you have sex in a movie?
We don’t have real sex in movies, it’s make-believe, we don’t do the real thing. I can kiss,smooch and touch. It’s my job, there’s nothing to it and it ends there, it doesn’t go beyond the camera.
Would you date a guy in the industry?
I can if I meet the right person.
How important is money to you when it comes to your choice of man?
I’m not lookingfor a stinkingly rich man. If he has allthe money without good attributes, then he’s not for me. I like humblepeople. So, he has to be humble, God-fearing, extremely nice, very romantic and loving.
Define your fashion style?
I’m just an ordinary person when it comes to fashion. I wear things I’m comfortable in, I don’tfollow trends. As long as it suits me and I’m comfortable in it, I go with it.
Can you talk about the Children’s Day Party you recently organised?
It was actually thebrainchild of my company, Hunter’s Media. It’s a partnership firm I run. I had always wanted to do things for children because my growing up wasn’t rosy.
I lost my dad at a very tender age, my mum was a housewife and I had a lot of sibling. My adopted baby sister died when she was just eleven months old. It really affected me a lot because I practically took care of her and she died in my arms after being admitted in the hospital for three months.
That incident shook me a lot and I was just 15 at the time. That was part of the motivation for the Children’s Day Party. And I love children a lot. This event is going to give birth to an NGO and we will be organising it yearly for special kids. That was the initial plan, but I’ve started making enquiries on how to interact with special kids so that I can relate with them without a third party.
Are you planning to go into movie production like some of your colleagues are doing?
Yes, my media company is into film production,documentary,rental of equipment, modelling and photography. I’m presently taking a photography course.
How do you unwind?
I’m basically an indoorperson. I hardly go out, but once in a while, my friends and colleagues drag me out. I just like to read novels and watch movies.
What was your childhood like?
My childhood was fun. I grew up in a polygamoushome. I had a lot of brothers and sisters, so it was a full house. I grew up in Surulere.
My primary and secondary education were in Surulere. Then, I had my university education at the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State where I studied Performing Arts.
Where do you hope to be in the nearest future?
I hope that my media company alongside my NGO will grow bigger. I can’t even picture how big it is, because it is bigger than my imagination. I hope to see myself at the top soonest, by God’s grace.
Who in the industry do you hope to be like?
My name is Seyi Hunter. There’s only one me, so I want to be me. I admire my colleagues, they are good and beautiful. They are super role models and I love them.
Which top actors have you worked with?
I’ve worked with Tonto Dike, Mercy Aigbe, Toyin Aimakun, Funsho Adeolu, Collins Onwochei and others.
What was your first time on set like?
The movie was a Yoruba movie, Aromodomo. It was shot in Ibadan. I was a bit nervous at first and Funsho Adeolu was the one who encouraged me. He told me to imagine I was in a theatre hall about to have a stage play with my colleagues. That was how I was able to flow.
What’s the most challenging role you’ve played so far?
Broken Fixtures, where I had to kiss and romance. The role I played in My Club was also challenging because I had to drink and smoke, which I don’t do in real life.
Is there a role you would turn down?
As long as I’m not required to have actual sex, I can’t turn down any role.
Who’s your ideal man?
My ideal man is someone who is God-fearing, understands me and my job, someone who is loving and extremely caring. He also has to be nice to a fault.
Are you in a relationship?
Yes. I was attracted to him because of the fact that he’s born again, spoils me with gifts and puts my needs before his own.
Sex and money, which is more important to you in a relationship?
I know nothing about sex, I’m a virgin. Money is more important to me in a relationship.