By Benjamin Njoku
You cannot safely say that Iretiola Doyle is not your everyday actress. For her love for acting, the versatile actress, television producer, and scriptwriter, who is married to an equally popular actor, Patrick Doyle, recently revealed how she hit the set of the late Amaka Igwe’s TV series, “Fuji House of Commotion,” with her three-month old baby.
Ireti made this revelation while responding to a question on how she has been able to strike a balance between her career and her personal life as a mother. She said, “I have been striking that balance for 14 years, which is the number of years I have been married. Fortunately for me, my career and family grew alongside each other.
My baby was three months old when I hit the set of Fuji House of Commotion. You need to see my car. I used to drive one nice “tuketuke” BMW at the time. I had everything, from the baby bath, stove, food to everything in my car because I had to go with the baby. So my kids grew up getting used to my kind of work.”
Speaking further, Ireti said every woman who is a working mother knows that it is not easy, adding that “You just have to strike that balance, and it is also a sacrifice. I am also lucky to have a partner who understands the business and he has given me all the support these years to raise our children who are grown now.”
Ireti, who got her first professional role as an actress in a soap produced and directed by the late Mike Tasie called “Riddles and Hopes”, said she’s living her dreams as an actress, which makes her a happy person. According to her, she’s driven by passion for the acting. “I love what I do. I’m living my dream as an actress and it makes me a happy person. When I see any juicy script, I set a goal for myself to bring out the best in me,” she said.
Talking about the secret of her success, the Thespian said she’s her own critic. “I watch myself, I critique myself, I am harder on myself than anybody else and think of ways to do things differently, otherwise people will get bored and they will move on to the next thing.”
Has she ever turned down any role over the years? Ireti replied, “Several, it is either we didn’t agree on script, or we didn’t agree on terms or my schedule could not accommodate it.” However, reversely, Ireti said, one of the things that could attract her to a accept a script is the fact that the character has to be memorable.
It also has to be a character you will remember and talk about for long. The script has to be tight and the conditions have to be right to suit what I can agree to. The director and producer are also very key to achieving a pretty good production.
On her new deal as Fairy Brand Ambassador
Ireti said, she’s absolutely proud to be selected by the number one brand in the world. “If I had to wait this long to represent anyone, it will have to be a major brand and that is what has happened with Fairy and I am indeed happy to be the Fairy godmother.” According to her, endorsements are not things you actively pursue as all you can do is be diligent at your work and hopefully someone will look your way.
In the past, Ireti said she has been approached by some brands but it didn’t work out. This, she said, means that somewhere along the line we are not the perfect fit and in just a matter of time, a brand will come along and it will be like a match made in heaven.
She said, what is bringing to the table as the brand ambassador of Fairy is her professional integrity, which is very important to her and which according to her, is another reason “I did not sign any endorsement all along. What I am bringing to the table is my commitment, my professionalism and my voice to strengthen the Fairy brand ‘which stands for excellence’ here in Nigeria and hopefully all across the African continent.”
As fairy brand ambassador, Ireti confessed that she has been using the brand Fairy ever since it came into Nigeria and it is very effective. ”Everyone I know that has used it has shared the wonderful experience she had. I have several bottles in my Kitchen, my daughter who is married now has several bottles in her kitchen; other women that I know have several bottles in their kitchen.
It is an effective brand to use when it comes to washing. Cooking is fun but washing of dishes could be difficult. Fairy makes it a whole lot easier. You get it done in half the time with less stress.”
“While I cannot tell you categorically right now that Fairy is the number one brand purely because it’s new, we are confident that, in a short while, Fairy will be the number one brand, and I will tell you why: it delivers on its promises. All that is needed for you to do is to try it to see that it is very effective. A bottle of Fairy lasts two times longer than the other brands.”
Talking about what attributes that aligns her with Fairy as a pretty and elegant brand, Ireti said, “Without meaning to sound immodest, I consider myself elegant and self-contained. I have integrity and I try extremely hard to deliver on any promise I make. If I tell you I would be there, I will be there; if I think there might be a problem, I will leave myself a backdoor.
I hate to promise and not deliver. So I think integrity, elegance, delivering on whatever promise I make. These are the major attributes that connect me with Fairy. Recounting the story of her journey into acting, Ireti said, “Let me give you an insight by saying I studied Theatre Arts at the university of Jos and when I left school, I moved permanently to Lagos with one intention – to take over the Nigerian movie industry.
Can you see my choice of words; the arrogance of youth. I had it all planned out: I will come to Lagos, do one or two waka pass roles and by my third movie, I became a star actor. It didn’t quite work out like that because in this business of acting you will pay your dues, one way or the other.
You either do all the hard work, go from the bottom up or you do it lying flat on your back to do the work, I chose to do the work. Eventually, I got a job in a production company, where I learnt to produce and present and I became a broadcaster. From there, I started to produce and present my own show, the fashion show.”
Why she looks ageless
The actress said, “I cannot take credit for the way I look because I did not create myself. I find it amusing when people list physical beauty as part of their achievements. What do you have to do with it? You are a recipient of grace and good genes which is what I tell people.
I grew up skinny, very thin; I was always insulted and called different names while growing up. I just filled out nicely with time. I think, regardless of what you do to your physical size to keep looking good, you just need to rid yourself of the negative energy in whatever way it presents itself – be it circumstances or people. “