IyaboOjois not new to Nigeria film industry popularly known as Nollywood.Apart from being an actress, she is also a producer who has been in the industry for close to two decades yet she has not stop dishing out scintillating performance to millions of her fans around the world. Born about 39years ago to the mix family of Yoruba and Edo parents- Her father is from Abeokuta, Ogun State, while her mother is from Edo State, she is one of the few Nigerian actresses who has taken her make believe profession outside the shores of Nigeria having shot most of her films in Ghana, Togo, America, Dubai and so many European countries. The talented actress, who studied Estate Management from Lagos State Polytechnic, in this interview with AJIBADE ALABI, revealed among others thingsreason she still bears the name IyaboOjo despite the fact that she has divorced the man who bears the name Mr. Ojo. She also spoke on many issues in the industry.
IyaboOjo is a name that is synonymous with you for many years. Don’t you have any other names apart from IyaboOjo?
Ojo is my marital name.It is a name I have been using since when I was married and it was the name that I brought into the industry, even after I left my husband, I still stuck to the name Ojo. So IyaboOjo was like a brand name to me. My names are AliceIyaboOgunro. I am from Ogun State, and my father is from Abeokuta, while my mother is from Benin Edo State. My mother’s parents are from Delta – Ibo, so you could call me Nigeria half –cast (general laughter).
So what has the movie industry done for IyaboOjo as an actress and as a society lady?
The industry has done a lot of things for me, because it has opened a lot of doors.It has given me an opportunity to meet with people of high society and also made me to make a lot of money.So I can say the industry has been so good to me; at least, I would say I am blessed to have been in the industry.
But despite the good things that the industry has brought to you, there must be some sorts of black spots. Like the negative side of the paparazzi, not so?
Well, paparazzi comes with our job.It is a thing you expect to come with the job, and so when it comes, you have to adapt to it, so you don’t see it as part of defect again, you see it as part of your profession, part of the industry.It is a price one has to paid for stardom, and if you look at it from that perspective, you don’t see it as any big deal anymore, you see it as part of what you go through as actress. Like the popular saying, there is no gain without gain, which is what we see as celebrities. People encroach into your private life and write all sorts of stories they like about you, some which are not even true, and these are the sorts of stories that society will use to judge you, and we just have to move on not to bordered about the stories been written about us.
And talking about bad press, do you still have any bad memory of press that hurts you most?
Like I said, I am used to it, so I don t get upset with what has been written about me, especially bad news; when it comes, it comes with a lot of news and it goes. I don’t want to remember any bad press. I am not someone that dwells in the past, I don’t care about the past, because me talking about it brings back bad memory which I don’t want to think about.
After close to two decades in the industry, what legacy have you put into the industry, especially for the upcoming ones?
Yes I have put in a lot, especially the upcoming ones. I tried to tell them how to do it right. I let them to understand that humility is very important and to be humble. I also told them to look at the footstep of those who are successful in the industry. Obviously you don’t need to take to the steps of someone who was not successful in the industry. If you moved with the right clique you will be successful and if you are humble and respectful, it will open doors for you, and if you work very hard and have the fear of God in your heart, definitely you will be a success.But some of them want to get to the top quickly, they forget that everything is step by step with endurance. You don’t come to the industry because of money, because if you come to the industry and you did not get it in time, you will get frustrated. But if you come for the arts, you will enjoy it even when the money is not yet forthcoming, and with time, people will get to know you and notice you, then the money will come.
Talking of caucus, which caucus do you come from or you belong to?
I belong to Odunfa Caucus.
A lot of age has been tagged on you. Can you tell our readers how old is IyaboOjo?
I am 38 years, I will be 39 by December, 2016.
That is interesting, but you never look it?
Well I thank God for that.
What is the secret?
I eat in modest. I believe in my youthful look.Being an actress and a celebrity, I have to be careful with my look and stature. I need my look, so I could continue to act.So I take very good care of my body and skin. I don t eat late, I don t eat too much junk food and I try to drink a lot of water.So I take very good care of my skin and face because that is the business I do and like they do say, looking good, is a good business.