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    Monday, June 17, 2013

    I've Paid Dues As A Starter In Movie Industry - Eniola Badmus

     Eniola Badmus is one of the best cross over actresses in Nollywood. She gained national prominence with her unique role in ‘Jenifa’. Since then, her career has been on the rise and lately she has been featuring in English movies and making cameo appearances in music videos. Gbogbo Biz Girls as she is fondly called by fans and her neighbours, welcomed SAMUEL ABULUDE into her modest home in Lagos

    You have been absent from the social scene for a while . Can you tell us what you have been up to
    I haven’t been absent from the social scene. However, I have been going for events, at least I was in the Black & White Ball by Encomium Magazine. It’s just my mood, brother.
    Basically, I have been moving from one location to another. I have been featuring in so many English films lately. I just finished one two days ago with Emem Isong titled Visa Lottery. And then a whole lot of stuffs, travelling to Asaba and other places. I have been doing other stuffs too. I am yet to do my own movie but I will be doing mine in a couple of months.

    We’ve seen you gradually moving from acting in Yoruba movies to the English movies....
    I didn’t move, I still do Yoruba movies. I don’t know for some reasons, if you are good in what you do, producers from all over will call you for different jobs.

    Can we say that your level has finally changed
    Abi now, we don’t pray that we should remain in one place. Let us just say my level has changed.

    What has been your milestone as an actress, how many years now in the industry
    It is been long o, close to 15 years.

    Come to think of it, didn’t you come into the limelight about six or seven years ago                    
    It’s God. It happens like that. At times when you see some people, it seems as if they’ve just started but they’ve been there ever since. It depends on how God wants it, not by might or power, It’s God.
    My love for acting began way back when I was in secondary school. I used to be a member of a theatre group then and ever since I had love for it. It’s something I love passionately. So I went on to study Theatre Arts in the University of Ibadan and I finished in 2004. Initially I thought I was going to become a lawyer because I knew I was so outspoken but as destiny will have it, I had to switch over. And I received the support of my parents. They didn’t raise a fuss about acting. They just wanted us to be a learned person. Whatever you choose to do is left to you.

    Recently, you criticised those who made negative comments about your photo shoot. Would you like to comment on it
    I realize that my country people underrate you. Because you are big they make you feel wanted in the society. They feel that when you are big, you should be isolated.

    Really …
    Yes, that’s true. I see it from the two sides. This is life. We can’t all be equal. It’s just like having a dwarf and a tall person. It’s not their fault that they are like that. But then, people tend to underrate just to make you feel somehow or to intimidate you. That’s why I say, I don’t see intimidation. If anyone should come out and say ‘Eniola is big! She is that!’ For goodness sake, I like it like that. I’m okay. Besides, my body shape is giving me money and I’m good. I’m living well. I’m healthy. I’m sure I’m healthier than some slim people. All of us can’t be slim. People should stop this body-shaming pinging. It’s not nice.
    Even if you want to advise someone that it’s not nice, there is a way you can say it not by insulting people because you feel you can just write or talk anyhow on social media. No! Anybody that insults me on social media, I will insult back. Yes, because it doesn’t make one feel good. In foreign countries, intimidation causes some people to commit suicide. When you are being intimidated, that’s when depression comes up. After depression, you go and die. Me, die because of what? No oh! This life is too sweet to die, because of words of some people. I’m okay. If anyone doesn’t like me, they should keep a distance.
    The people that like me will forever be around me. I remember that I wrote, why use panadol for my headache? Every blog carried it that I said I know my stature is a big problem to some. But it’s the truth. Among all of you that are insulting me that Eniola is too big I’m sure your mum is bigger than me. So why not concentrate on the one you have? I know one of your friends is bigger than me, or one of your sisters. Most of the fat babes, the plus size people who watch me want to emulate me because I’m a celebrity. Whatever she does let’s do it. You get it? I know I’m a role model to some people. If I want to shed weight.

    Are you involved in an NGO
    I want to start one that has to do with Asthma. I found out that people battling with Asthma are not well taken care of. I want to use this Non governmental Organisation (NGO) to contribute my quota and give back to society.

    What is marriage to you
    Obviously, marriage means union, togetherness of two people. Why is everybody asking me when I’ll get married? I will get married in due time. The due time might be tomorrow. But I’m not a loud person when it comes to things like that. I don’t broadcast things like that. Or is it because I am big so you think I can’t get married? Whoever says that is foul because I have best man in this world right now. So what are you saying? Pleases I neither want to talk about my man nor disclose his identity.

    How did your journey to Nollywood begin
    My first movie was an English movie, Brutal Times or is it Love Affairs.

    So which movie brought you into limelight  
     I won’t lie to you. Seriously, I really do not know. But I knew when I did 100 years which is a Yoruba movie. When I did 100 years, people tended to know me and speak well of my delivery. I acted as part of the robbery gang in this movie and it was a distinct one and I was credited for the role. This person is around, we think we know you, we can reckon with you. We can give you roles. But the one that actually sky-rocketed it dear to my fame is Jenifa. Jenifa brought global fame to me though I have been around before Jenifa. To an extent, I was known but Jenifa took me all over. After Jenifa, Blackberry Babes also added to the fame.

    There is this belief that English movies pay more money than Yoruba movies. Is this true
    I don’t know, that’s what they say. You are an insider and should therefore know about that.
     I don’t want to start discriminating right now but I won’t lie to you, my height now in Yoruba films I get money, I get paid, I get good money. Even in English movies, I get good money but I don’t want to start saying one pays, one does not pay. It’s all good. Everything is okay now.

    Your style of acting is unique to you and different from others. How did you hone it
    I believe in originality, I belief in my thing, I don’t want to be like some other person. I want to be me, Eniola Badmus, maybe that was the reason. Then, the style, I don’t know, I don’t know even whether I have a style. It’s people that tell me. May be because I’m committed to what I do. It’s people that say, Eniola, we love your style. I just go there and do my thing.

    What about the challenges you faced in the movie industry
    My brother, if we start now, we won’t finish. When it comes to challenges, a whole lot of it, things I cannot even remember. I won’t lie to you, a whole lot of stuffs. If you want to stay long in this business as a starter, you need to pay dues, which is normal. When you pay your dues, no body can talk you down when you get there. I have paid my dues. There are a whole lot of challenges. Is it when we get on set and we don’t get paid? Or when we are being asked to play a particular role and the second day, you are told that you can’t do it again that someone has been casted for it already. We go on locations and we don’t get paid.
    Even where we sleep, it is so hard that I take money from my pocket to pay for my hotel room. I started from the bottom now I am here. What I faced before becoming this Eniola Badmus of today, if I should think about it, I am sure I would have quitted. But the passion was there. It was something I like to do. It was the passion, something in me that I wanted to show the world. There was no day or time that I started this that I said I was quitting.

    That means you must have come from a wealthy background
    Ehhn. Let me just say I am from a well- to -do home. I came from a very good background. My parents are not rich and they are not poor but I know I was born with a silverspoon in my mouth. I am the only one in my family that is into acting.

    What growing up was like
    My up bringing was fantastic. I was born and bred in Lagos in Shogunle area. That was where my father’s house is. People born from that area look tough and rugged.
    They say so, I am not tough, I am just me. I am from a very good background. Despite the fact that I was born in Shogunle does not make me a local and raz person. Besides, the Shogunle that I was brought up in is the GRA side.

    You have a good command of English Language and seen more in Yoruba movies, do you feel underrated with all the talent you have
    Yes o, my brother. That’s why I say whatever you position your mind on is what you see and what you get. It’s no big deal if you call me a Yoruba artiste. If you call me an English artiste, it’s no big deal. To me all that doesn’t matter. What matters to me is the money that I get from whatever I do. If you like underrate me, it doesn’t remove the ‘E’ from my name Eniola.

    How did you come up with the name Gbogbo Biz Girls
    That’s a character’s name in Jenifa. It has become part of me.

    Despite your physique, you are still agile. How do you keep fit
    That is because I go to gym and I play lawn Tennis. There is one G4 a court around my house beside the palace. I play tennis sometimes at 1004 lawn court. I also love swimming.

    What are the awards you received  

    I was given the best Cross Over Actress at the Best of Nollywood BON Awards in 2012. Then I was given the Best Supporting Actress in 2011 at the BON Awards. Also in 2011, I was given the Best Supporting Actress in 2011 at the City People Awards. It makes me feel good that some people are watching. Some people are seeing what you are doing.
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