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I no longer have regard for a lot of Nollywood Producers-Foluke Daramola



Foluke Daramola-Salako is not new in the movie industry. In this interview with our reporter, she talks about her passion for advocacy, why her face is becoming irregular in movies and more.

A lot of people know you as an actress; tell us about your passion for advocacy?
I have always had the passion to teach and impact knowledge. When I see my husband’s students that have grown and travelled out of the country I say to him ‘Kay’ you have impacted knowledge and I will like to be a teacher, so that I can be remembered for what I have impacted into life.
Is there any likelihood that you might dump acting in your bid to impact in the life of others?
Acting is a continuous thing. Once an actor, you are always an actor. I have watered-down on the movies I do. I do more of advocacy jobs now, but that does not mean that if I am given a fantastic script I wouldn’t act. However, there will come a time when I will decide that I want to start lecturing fully because that is where I will derive joy and fulfillment.
What is the secret of your success in the movie industry?
To succeed in the industry, you must have a sense of responsibility. You must be focused. Mentorship, you must have someone that you are looking up to, someone that has excelled in that career that you intend to join; someone that you will see and get motivated. You also have to think positively. If you are pessimistic or thinking negatively it will draw you back. You also can’t afford to be around people that are pessimists. You have to be with positive thinkers.
Earlier, you talked about watering-down on your appearance in movies; some people would argue that you have simply gone out of vogue, what do you think?
I have been acting since 1996. I feel bored and tired doing the same type of scripts. I feel that it is becoming monotonous, as far as I am concerned. Aside this, it is becoming less professional. A career that you have chosen, that people have little regard and respect for! I came out with a 2.1 from Obafemi Awolowo University with all modesty and humility. It didn’t mean that I didn’t have any other option while in school. It was because of the passion that I had for acting that made me become an actress. I have decided that acting is becoming so monotonous, its time consuming and I have my family to consider. With my advocacy job combined I have seen that I have little time to play around with. I still act, but the agility I had as a teenager for acting has watered-down because I am now more matured. It can’t be the way it used to be.
Are you conceding to your loss of popularity?
Foluke Daramola is not less popular as an actress who acts in movies every day. How I have been able to manage this is because I have been able to fashion out a theme for myself. I know that it is not about doing several films, but fashioning out a theme for yourself; thinking out of the box, finding out what others are not doing that I can do.
Would you attribute this poor script situation to the fact that your producers are not thinking out of the box?
That is what I am saying. Producers are just stagnant. I think the stage we are now has gone beyond doing movies of “mum meet my father, father has a baby”, no it is becoming boring, dry and monotonous as far as I am concerned. At the end of the day, there is nothing challenging in our movies any more.
Are you ascribing this to all Nollywood producers?
It is not all producers who are guilty of this. There are some producers who are thinking outside of the box that I will like to work with again and again. But on a scale of preference you will see about 30 percent who are thinking and 70 percent who are not. A lot of people are just joining the bandwagon who wants to be producers so that they can have a public face. When you say someone is a star it is not about the public face. If you have a public face and you don’t have anything to do I call it a beautiful fool. It is something that is shallow and not deep. You need to understand that as a celebrity you must understand what you want, how you want to fashion your brand, where you want to take your brand to in the next 10 years, where do you want to see your brand in the next 20 years? After that, you can fashion a theme for yourself, and make sure that it does not water-down.
Weeks back, you lost your cool on Instagram, what really happened?
There are things that people talk about and they can’t back it up with facts. When you say gender equality, the role of the woman can never be deemphasised. That is why Hilary Clinton and Bill Clinton could not be the President of America at the same time. Bill Clinton had to teach her the ropes of the road to being the President of America. The Bible says that “the man would love the woman and the woman shall submit, and respect the man.” That position can never be over emphasised. On Instagram, I wanted to pass a message, but I realised at some point that it wasn’t just worth it. When you have a bad mindset there is no way you can change it. My position as an activist on gender based topics is not for woman to be competing with man or for a woman to see herself in the position of a man. That is what is happening to Tee-Billz and Tiwa Savage right now. The position of that woman was overemphasised. At the end of the day, when people are talking they should be able to think deeply and not just from the surface. It doesn’t make any sense.
Will scenes like that make you dump social media?
Funny enough, things like that increases my fan base. People will want to go to my Facebook wall to know what is going on, while others will even follow back and such will make my page more active. For me, it’s the more the merrier. Don’t forget that I am a brand and when it comes more it means more money for me.
So it was a deliberate effort at attracting people to you?
It was aimed at attracting traffic because when Foluke talks, people will want to know what she said.
Away from that, what is this common norm in the movie industry whereby a new face features in a flick and six months later she wants to produce her own movie?
The industry lacks structure, it lacks professionalism. It is not Foluke as a person that will come up and say I want to do this. It will take a couple of people to come out and say we want to put a structure to the movie industry, we want to put a standard to the way things are done. For instance, if you are joining the industry today you cannot produce this year, you are not going to produce for the next three years, you have to go and learning the job properly and understand true scripting. Presently, I am working on something that has to do with culture, it has to do with showbiz, but it is not a movie. When it comes out you will understand what I am talking about when I say depth. There are a whole lot of opportunities when it comes to the movie industry, when it comes to scripting. We should have movies and documentaries that the United Nations can relate withl; movies that foreign brands can relate with; identify with and even benefit from aside movies. Producers should start to think out of the box and begin to ask themselves questions such as what will I be remembered for when I die?

Passion Against Rape In Africa is your advocacy project. Tell us about it.
It has been registered for about two years now, but before then it has been working. I don’t believe in jumping the gun. PARA is my initiative because I am a victim of rape. I thought to myself and found out that the only way I can reach out to people who have been raped is via the initiative. Today, we preach the gospel of “even if you have been raped it doesn’t make you a lesser person. It only means that it has happened and you have to move on with your life.” We are working on creating associations or clubs in both public and private secondary schools where we can talk to the girl child on things such as how to protect themselves from being abused or raped, how to grow up morally, what to do and what not to do. Advocacy is our main objective in Para.

How has it been handling PARA?
PARA has been wonderful because we have had several situations. What we do is to channel them to Mirabel Centre because we don’t have the equipment to keep them with us. So, all we do is counseling. We also facilitate help one way or the other because we have some people who become single parents due to rape. We have to cater for their children. What we do is more of advocacy. We have our hands full and sometimes we can’t even cater for some of the people we get.
What has been the response of agencies to PARA?
We have dropped several proposals, but maybe due to the fact that the government at the centre is not yet firm we haven’t got the response that we anticipated. Gone are those days when we talk about armed robbery. When you open the Newspapers today what you read about is rape and nothing is being done about it. Daughters being raped by their biological fathers, step fathers raping daughters and more. These are things that can be prevented with little campaigns and awareness programmes.

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