HER name may not do enough justice to her face and personality but Khadijat Adeola Ayoade is one of the young actresses who is clinching major roles in Nollywood – especially the Yoruba speaking sector. The actress who holds a Masters Degree in Theater Arts from the University of Ibadan has grown to be one of the most loved actresses in the make believe world.
HOW would you describe your journey into Nollywood?
It’s quite fair, a bit challenging but really nice. I have always wanted to do movies when I was in school, I studied theater art so it’s something I knew I ‘ve always wanted to do. I am not part of those people that would say I had a boss, I had to pay money for hotel or be on location for three days without shooting.
So far, how have you been able to reach your current height in the industry?
I think it’s just the grace of God and consistency. I am not even where I want to be yet but I am working hard for the brand to become really big and recognized all over the world and I’m not stopping.
What were the challenges you faced when you first started?
It has to be a trust challenge because as an upcoming, people will not really trust you well to do justice to some certain roles and because you don’t have that face yet they prefer to use the stars. Well, for market strategy we all want to make money. So it has to be that trust, not trusting you enough to kill a particular role because you don’t have that face yet.
Who encouraged you most in the industry?
It has to be Abiola Paul Bogunbe and Tobiloba Abraham. Those are the two people that encouraged me to stay even times when I was down.
You are in seven out of ten released movies lately, how often do you get movie roles and why do producers want you on their productions?
I think it is basically because of my talent, I am not saying I am extra talented but I know that I have something good to offer my producers. I have something to bring to your movie, I have something to give your audience, I have something good to make people want to see your movie because of me and then like I always say, the grace of God. I get movie roles quite often but I am very picky.
How would you compare the Yoruba speaking Nollywood and their English counterparts?
Well, I actually don’t like comparing but I feel like in terms of money they are quite on the high side and they take their time to do their movies not like they are any better or extra better than us but we can be better. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. It’s just monetary aspect, they make more money than us, they go all out for their movies, they have sponsors and all that.
How much does your busy schedule affect your love life?
It doesn’t really affect my love life. I am in a relationship with somebody that understands the kind of work that I do so I tend to balance it up so we don’t really have issues.
Does being an actress have a negative impact in your relationship?
No it doesn’t. I’m in a relationship with somebody that understands my kind of job. You have to know that this is what I do first, you have to know there are times I will get busy, there are times I won’t be there for you but we just have to keep balancing it up.
What do you love most as an actress?
Playing different characters, the facet that I get to be more than one person in different stories. I love to play characters, I love playing pretence because I play pretence for a living. I love the fact that I am a positive impact to a lot of people.
How do you switch from being your real self to a movie character?
Once I get my script I am always in character already. Right from when I start reading my script, I always picture myself to be in that character so its not always difficult for me to switch from my real self to my movie character and once I’m done on set I am back to my real self. When I hear ‘action’ I am the character, when I hear ‘cut’ I am Khadijat.
How was growing up for you?
Sweet and fun, I was a very spoilt kid, I had a whole lot of attention on me from my parents, my grandparents. Growing up for me was really really fun.
What else do you do aside from acting?
I have an online food business that I run called Fish and Food Affairs, Then I have a thing for fashion.
Have you ever felt embarrassed by a fan?
You can never shame the shameless, I hardly get embarrassed but sometimes I get really shy.
Have you produced your own movie yet?
Yes the first movie I produced was in 2016 It was titled Okun, then Inufufu in 2017 then Say It which would soon be premiered. It’s a very nice movie that talks about parental care, PTSD and all that. There’s a docu drama too that has to do with rape and women issues, the tile is ‘Inside Life’.
What would you change about Nollywood if you have the power to do so?
It has to be picking out scripts, taking time to shoot our movies, good scripts and not to underpay casts and crew and all that.