Budding actress, Ife Olawale is gradually becoming a known face on the movie scene. With three successful film productions to her name, the young star is on a quest to imprint her legacy in the hearts of movie lovers. In this interview, the Ondo State indigene talks about her sojourn in Nollywood.
By ADETUTU ADESOJI
Tell us more about yourself.
I was born and brought up in Oworonshoki. I’m the first child of my parents. I attended Evans Adelaja Girl’s Grammar School for my secondary education. I proceeded to Moshood Abiola Polytechnic where I studied Business Administration for my tertiary education.
How and when did you develop an interest in acting?
I have been interested in acting since childhood. My mom had a friend, Kemi Korede who I talked to about my passion for acting, she agreed to help me and I started working with her in 2013. I went with her to movie sets, although I didn’t appear in movies until I met my boss, Tayo Amokade, popularly known as Ijebu in 2014, he trained me to act and that was it.
How did you meet Ijebu?
I watched a movie at the time and after the movie ended I saw Ijebu’s phone number on the screen. I called him and told him about my interest in acting, he asked me to meet him at a film location which I did. I started off as his personal assistant and that constituted to a first-hand training in acting for me.
When did you get your first movie role?
I got my first movie role shortly after I started working with Ijebu and that was in a movie called ‘Teacher Oko’. After ‘Teacher Oko’, I acted in ‘Omo Malaysia’ and the list goes on and on.
How will you describe your experience in the movie industry so far?
It has not been easy but as I like to say, “with God all things will be fine.” Things were a bit difficult at the start but I will say that everything changed for me in 2018.
What made 2018 special?
I have produced three movies in the course of my career, they are ‘Amu Idunnu’, ‘Ajoke Apesin ‘and ‘Remilekun’. I produced ‘Remilekun’ in 2018 and it was a game changer for me. Ever since its release I have been receiving accolades and gifts from fans. Also, with ‘Remilekun’ I have become more popular.
What are the challenges you have faced as a rising actress?
There are times I feel like giving up on acting because things could be very difficult sometimes. For one to make it big and enjoy this industry of ours one must have money. It is better to come into the industry as a producer than as an actress, this is because as a new actress trying to succeed in the industry you will get exposed to all sorts of situations like directors and producers asking you to date them or warm their beds in exchange for movie roles. One of my reasons for going into production is to project myself and like I said earlier people now respect and recognize me as an actress after I have produced my own movies.
How do you handle producers/directors who ask you to compromise your values for roles?
I simply refuse their requests. I cannot date anyone for the purpose of getting jobs, I will only date you if I like you and want a relationship with you.
Have you had anyone like that or can you date an actor?
I have not had anyone like that so far and yes I can date an actor as long as I like the person.
Considering the cost of film production, how do you fund your productions?
I get money from my personal savings and I also get financial support from family and friends.
Do you belong to any caucus?
I belong to the Ijebu caucus.
What is your caucus doing to improve the movie industry?
The association is trying its best to expand the industry. It was my boss, Ijebu that encouraged me to start producing my own movies.
What will you attribute your success in the industry to?
Hard work, determination and resilience; but most important is humility. Being humble will take you far in this industry, no matter what.
There is a rumour that you are dating Ijebu, how true is that?
I have never dated and I’m not dating Ijebu. I worked with Ijebu for almost six years and because we are very close people tend to think we are together. Ijebu is married and his wife knows me. Also, I granted an interview sometimes ago and the reporter took what I said out of context and published a false story which further fueled the rumour. Ijebu is my boss and that is all about our relationship.
How will you describe yourself when you are not working?
I’m a calm person but I do not tolerate nonsense. I’m down-to-earth and fun to be with. I’m also a very private person, whenever I’m not working I like to stay indoors.