Omotola Ekeinde is a familiar screen face. The actress and singer reveals more about her life in this interview.
She sashayed into the room with her trademark confidence. All eyes were on her. With a big broad on her face, she agreed to an impromptu interview.
The opportunity to talk to Omotola Ekeinde was a rare one, coming on the heels of her decision to start a reality show on her private life.
“I am scared about the reality show but it is a risk I have to take, life is all about risks,” she says.
Omo sexy, as she is fondly called, cannot forget her background in a hurry. She wanted to be a model but fate had other things in store for her.
She says, “I did not always aspire to be an actress, I started out as a model. It was tough then, modelling like every other part of entertainment was not developed and one had to wait forever to get a job. Plus, there were too many girls who wanted the same job. It was just a hobby for me.
“I thought if I wanted to do something for a career, it would be music because I sang in the choir and one could see the direction music was heading at the time. But I went into acting when I accompanied my friend who was a model to the casting of a movie. She did not get the part but she told me to try, I did and I got my very first movie role.”
As a young girl, Ekeinde would tell you she was a mischievous little lady who enjoyed making trouble when no one was watching.
She says, “I was troublesome! Nothing too crazy though because my mum was extremely strict and I could not go all out to make trouble. But I would be the one to pinch or probably tear somebody’s dress somewhere. Then I had this sweet face so when they catch me I would deny, look very innocent and everybody would be petting me instead of punishing me.”
The saddest day of her life came when she lost her father at a young age.
She recalls, “It was the worst moment of my life till date. Even though I have lost my mum and my mum’s death too was very painful but I think, my dad’s death was more painful because I was very close to him.
For a very long time I did not get along with my mum because of her disciplinary nature but I was very close to my dad because I was the only girl and the only child for a very long time. My dad was the manager of Lagos Country Club and I used to go to school at Chrisland Nursery School, Opebi. Then we moved from Ikoyi to Iyana-Ipaja and since my house was far from the school, I would naturally go to Lagos Country Club to stay with my dad after school.
When he died, it was like life left me, my younger brothers are quite younger than me so when my dad left me I did not have anybody. I was alone emotionally; I closed up. I did not mourn and I did not grieve. I was in shock for a very long time, I did not know what to do or where to go but when I saw the trauma my mum was going through, I just figured out I had to be the man.
“My mum was a petty trader then, she had a store where she sold drinks and pepper soup, but after my dad died, she started doing other things and I had to step up and help because she was going through a lot. ”
But her story hasn’t been a sad one all through, meeting her husband, Matthew Ekeinde, who was 26 then, is one of her happy memories.
She enthuses, “I was 16 and really big for my age, I actually looked 20, I have always been very mature anyway, maybe because of the death of my father, I had to grow up quickly. So when he met me he actually thought I was older and when he got to know I was 16 he said ‘ah ha, what would I do with 16?’ So we became just friends but when I turned 18, he said ‘oh you are an adult now, will you marry me?’ I was like oh, hell no!
“He was a pilot then; he had been flying since the age of 17. It was not what attracted me to him. Actually that was a turn off for me. Before I met him, I wanted to be a pilot too at some point. Besides, I knew the lifestyle some of them lived; pilots had a reputation for having wives in each of the cities their planes landed!
I told him I was not ready to be a caricature, I asked him- am I going to be your Lagos wife now?
“But I got to know him and his soul; everybody fell in love with him, because that is one way to gauge a guy, from what everybody says about him. Everybody, including my mum loved him.”
The couple has been together for 15 years and at a time when most celebrity marriages are crashing, Ekeinde attributes this feat to God.
Hear her: “We both have our foundation and that foundation is Christ. I am not too sexy to admit that. I will always be sexy. If it was just love it would have crashed a long time ago, there are times when you would not be in love. The fear of God as a higher power keeps everyone in check.
“When we fight, we don’t go for counseling because we don’t like discussing ourselves with other people. And we do fight, oh yes. Our fights are not even funny. I am a very vicious person, when I fight, I fight. But he is mature and he hardly gets angry, when he is angry, my madness has to give way. I don’t get angry when he is angry because it is not going to be pretty.”
So which of the children wants to be like her?
“All of them,” she says, referring to her two boys and two girls.
“They are all very independent minded. In my family we are all very strong minded people, we don’t treat them like they are kids, we talk to them like adults. The boys naturally want to be pilots. My second daughter is actually a fashionista. My first daughter is into church and prayers; she wants to be a journalist actually.”
Remind her that she still has the same youthful appearance she had when she was 18, she agrees,
“I don’t stress myself. I don’t wear makeup when I am not working. Nothing stresses me! I don’t get embarrassed, I have no shame. If I fall down here I will get up and tell everybody, ‘I don fall o! How we go come do am now?” She jokes.
What’s her favourite meal?
She says, “I just found out that fried plantain is not good. I skip meals, not because I am dieting but because I work all the time. Naturally, when you are doing this sort of job, you start to become very conscious.
When they yab you and say ‘see your turkey hand,’ It will start to get to you. Then you will be forced to do some research to find out what your problems are and if you find out that dodo is part of your problems, you start working on it.”