Fast-rising actor, Tobi Makinde in this new interview with OYA MAGAZINE talks about his passion for acting, his father’s influence on his growing career, his journey so far, and what the future holds. Enjoy.
Who is Tobi Makinde?
Tobi Makinde is a free spirited human being, an actor, a production manager, a Christian and trained Thespian generally who hails from Ilesha, Osun state. A graduate of Theatre Arts from the prestigious University of Lagos with both a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts degree in the same course. He is also the first born of 2 children.
How did acting start for you?
Acting for me was not something I knew I was gonna do but thanks to my father who discovered it early in me and helped me explore it. As a child, I was always following my dad to locations and met lots of veteran actors like Bob Manuel Udokwu, Tony Umez, Femi Brainard, Funsho Adeolu, Jide Alabi, Ayo Mogaji and the likes. I remember then that I used to tell my dad jokingly that I wanted to act, I never knew that he took me serious until one day, around 1998, there was a shoot around my place in Badagry, and they were in need of a young boy to play a certain small role and my dad put in word that I could do it. He just immediately came home to pick me and said I was going to act. I was nervous to my bone marrows.. But the rest is history now. Some years later, when I was in secondary school, I was called for another role in “Full Circle” an NDLEA sponsored soap opera produced and directed by Tunji Bamishigbin. This role was also facilitated by my dad. Not too long from that, I got a role in the first soap opera produced by Royal Roots owned by Greg Odutayo and Debbie Odutayo, the owners of R2tv now. The title of the project was “Tides of Fate”. It was after that I landed my first major role in “Kamson n neighbours” as “Nathaniel” and that really exposed me to the public eye. From then on, its just been God.
Does your background have anything to do with your career?
My background absolutely contributed a lot to my career, especially, becauseI was the son of an actor, a trained one at that. My dad studied Theatre Arts too so it wasn’t difficult for me at all when I decided to study the same course. In fact, the support was great because I got lots of books from my dad that I used for both my undergraduate and postgraduate days. So when people say their parents never supported their career or dream, it sounds strange to me course mine was the other way round. While I was in secondary school, I’ll miss classes to go act but I never toyed with my books and so my grades were always on point. As a matter of fact, I read for JAMB while I was on set of Kamson n neighbours. So my background affected my career positively.
Asides Acting what else do you do?
Asides acting, I manage productions. And trust me, being a production manager is a different ball game entirely but I’m enjoying the whole experience. In other words, combining both acting and management isn’t easy but the process is making me more dogged. On the side, I compere for events and I also have a flare for teaching/imparting knowledge.
If yes, how do you manage to combine them?
Challenges I’ve encountered include being turned down at auditions despite time and money wasted. And I mean being turned down, back to back…..Lol. But we thank God anyways. Another challenge I used to face in the past, not now, was combining schooling with acting. It was not easy at all because I had the pressure of maintaining good grades and still keep my career going. I’ve had to come from location to an exam on the morning of the exam. Revised for just a few minutes before the exam commenced. It has just been God all the way. In the past, I used to think having a baby face was a challenge but I’ve realised its actually a blessing, so I won’t consider it a challenge anymore..
How have you managed your challenges?
How I overcame these challenges was consistency and hardwork. I never gave up even when the chips were down. I borrowed money to attend auditions sometimes even when I’m not sure I’ll be chosen. Funny enough, most of the major jobs I’ve done are either by referral or getting picked at auditions I least expect that I’d be picked. So hardwork and consistency is the key to overcoming challenges.
Who/What inspires the most?
Every single successful person home and abroad inspires me a lot. I listen to people’s success stories whether in my line of business or not. So, positive things I read, see, hear, the sensible music I listen to all inspire me. Most of all, the word of God inspires me, cos I am a devout Christian.
Who do you look up to in the industry?
I look up to a lot of people in the Industry, especially people who have proven to know their craft. Some if them include, Funke Akindele Bello, Mr Abdulrasheed Bello (JjcSkillz), Majid Michel, Gabriel Afolayan, Niyi Akinmolayan, Niji Akanni, Kunle Afolayan, Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Mo Abudu amongst others.
Industreet, how has it been, auditioning for it, preparations, shooting and since its release?
Industreet so far is one of the best experiences I’ve had in the industry. It is one of those jobs I auditioned for and never thought I’d be called back. I was shocked when I got a call to come for reading. I was so excited during the preparation and all, it was so thorough, we had about 3 months of rehearsals and workout sessions not to talk of the musicians who had been working tirelessly recording songs prior to the rehearsals. The shooting process was good as well but challenging as I had to contend with my masters program in UNILAG and shooting. In all, the hard work paid off and this is evident in the success of the series. Every aspect of the production was on point due to the director and producer’s knack for attention to details. Since its release too, I’ve garnered so much attention, especially because of the fact that the storyline is quite relatable to people in the entertainment industry generally. It is a show that has mileage and I’m glad I’m part of it.
What’s your next project, what should your fans looks out for?
There are works in the pipeline… My fans should watch out for me on Jenifa’s diary and some other new projects. I promise to keep my creativity game tight for my fans. So my fans should look out for the best, they should look out for quality entertainment.
Advice to those looking up to you already…
My advice to those looking up to me is to rise above all odds and pursue their dreams with vigour and finesse and they just be fine. Finally and above all, they should love God.