By Adetutu Adesoji
Professional model, Adebimpe Oyebade popularly known as Mobimpe among her ilks, during her compulsory national youth service, stumbled upon an acting opportunity that would later place her on the list of Nollywood’s most sought after actresses and has since then progressed beyond her imaginations in the celebrated industry.
Only in the industry for two years, it is almost impossible to think City People Magazine could crown her as ‘ The Best New Actress 2018’ in the Yoruba sector, ahead of so many big names in the industry. In this interview with Star Tracker, the Melanie beauty talks career, relationship and many more.
You just won ‘Best New Actress 2018 (Yoruba) at the City People Magazine Awards that held last Saturday. What’s the feeling like, in view of having being in the industry for just two years?
I feel great. It is by the grace of God and hardwork. I joined the industry in 2016 but started professionally in 2017, after my NYSC in Benin in 2016. I started with modeling when I was in the university but didn’t go professional until my service year in Edo State.
You have achieved so much in the modeling industry within a short period, what will you attribute this success to?
I have God to thank for the success. Also, I have been able to achieve all these through hard work, I worked very hard for all I have today. The industry is not easy, I had to prove myself over and again before people could trust me.
It was quite difficult in the early phase. When I came back to Lagos, I had to do a lot of free jobs, that is, photo shoots and all just to show people how good I am. It took a lot of sacrifices before brands started to request for my services and it has been amazing since then. I recently worked on a massive campaign for House of Tara shot by Kemi Adetiba, although the campaign is not out yet.
What spurred your interest in acting?
Honestly, acting was never in my plans; as a child I wanted to be an air hostess or a newscaster. Acting happened by chance for me. During my NYSC I got an information about a movie audition, the director was casting for a lead role of a movie. I decided to audition for the role, it was an online audition, so, I sent different videos to the email that was attached to the message that I got. Eventually, I got selected to play the role, the movie was titled ‘Agbede Meji’ (cross road) by Yomi Fabiyi. I acted alongside Gabriel Afolayan. After the production of the movie I went back to Benin to complete my service year. The movie however got a lot of good reviews and that got me so many acting opportunities.
Which drama group did you join to fully launch yourself?
None. I’m on my own.
But there’s a notion in the industry that you cant make it on your own without going through a training or apprenticeship under a master or join a group?
Oh well , I really can’t say how true that is. I got in through auditions and sincerely I didn’t start getting jobs until the movie was released. But ever since the movie came out last year October, a lot of opportunities have been coming my way.
Are your dreams of being an air hostess and broadcaster still valid?
Man proposes and God disposes, I really can’t say if I will be going that path anytime soon. You know how busy we get, I’m still new in the industry and I will like to focus more on my career growth for now but of course, I’m still young and can explore.
What are some of the challenges you have had to grapple with?
As a model, I had a challenge with the fact that models were not as appreciated as they should be at the time when I started. We weren’t paid as much despite our hardwork during casting and photo shoots but this is 2018 and things are getting better in the Nigerian modeling industry. I have not had a major challenge as an actress but I hear people complain about directors giving out role based on complexion and that is why you see most actresses bleaching their skins in a bid to get movie roles. Thankfully, I’m dark skinned and I get movie roles which I believe most are because of my skin colour.
Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?
I have progressed even more than I ever expected. I have featured in over 30 movies in less than a year, so I’m doing very well.
Are there similarities between modeling and acting?
They are both entertainment and make-believe. As a model, you advertise for brands and basically act what you are not. My modeling life is very different from my personality. People find it hard to believe how calm I am when they meet me because they say I look wild in the pictures they see. It is my job and I have to interpret whatever character is required of me, same thing goes for acting, one can act as a prostitute, a pregnant woman or whatever according to the script.
As a young and beautiful lady in the industry, do people sometimes try to take advantage of you?
Of course! In this industry you will definitely have people on your case, people that want to date you and people that just want you in their beds. It all depends on the person involved, you either accept or reject their offers. No one is forced to do anything against their wish. These things happen everywhere, it happens in the modeling as well as the acting industry. Even while I was in school my lecturers wanted to date me at some point. People make it seem like it happens only in the entertainment industry, meanwhile it happens everywhere. As long as you are a woman, beautiful or not, you will go through this.
You are also a producer, tell us about some of your productions and your experience as a producer?
I have produced two movies thus far, ‘Dear Sister’ and ‘Entrapped’. Movie production is what I enjoy the most because I get to pick my script, select my cast and crew and make production decisions myself. It is different from featuring in someone else’ production where you don’t have a say on anything. I love telling stories and being a producer gives me an opportunity to do that.
Are you in a relationship?
I’m very single and not searching. I’m focused on my career so I don’t need any man.
You mean having a man in your life will disrupt your career?
I don’t mean it that way, if I meet someone today and I like him then why not? What I’m trying to say is that I’m not desperate to be in a relationship.
What type of man catches your fancy?
I like a God fearing and a supportive man. Considering the nature of my job I need someone who will support my career.
What if you find these attributes in an entertainer like yourself?
Lately, people have been asking me this same question. Well, I don’t know if I can be with an entertainer because I have not tried dating one. I’m an entertainer, therefore, I’m not against dating another entertainer, it depends on the person’s personality and not what he does.