OYA MAGAZINE’s Tomi Otekunrin recently had an interview with award-winning writer, actress, and director, Kehinde Olorunyomi. In this chat, Kemi talks about her journey into Nollywood, her experience and lot more.
TOMI: Tell me us about your journey into Nollywood
KEHINDE: I used to be a very big critic of Nollywood movies. My uncle noticed and advised that I could do more than that. I took up the challenge and started going for auditions. Fortunately, after a number of auditions, I got selected to star in ONE LOVE, a Tajudeen Adepoju movie in 2000. I later starred in EVERYDAY PEOPLE (2002), DOMINO where I played Stella Lord-Williams, the wife of the lead character, Oscar (played by Femi Branch). That opened more doors included a series by Wale Adenuga and lot more. I started writing officially in 2006. My first commercial work was MAMUSH which had stellar actors like Bimbo Akintola, Desmond Elliot, Yemi Black among others.
TOMI: If you were to choose between acting and writing, which would it be?
KEHINDE : As a human, I will be selfish and go with both, although they have their peculiarities. Writing gives me the chance to play God. I determine who dies and who lives. I love acting a lot, however, I feel I am yet to get a very challenging role. I have also fallen in love with directing.
TOMI: Which is more lucrative?
KEHINDE : I think my writing is much more lucrative. I get paid more than some popular actors and I love it because I don’t have to be in front of the camera all the time. I am sure that is the reason I have been able to have a discreet lifestyle.
TOMI: So, you prefer being behind the camera?
KEHINDE : Actually, I love both – on and off camera.
TOMI: What is the inspiration behind your deep stories
KEHINDE : There are many ways I get my stories, It might be from a dialogue I can’t get off my head; an action or reaction.
TOMI: Tell us about the blockbuster movie FINDING MERCY?
KEHINDE: FINDING MERCY is a drama that reveals my first pregnancy experience, in addition to other interesting plots. And lately, I have noticed that comedy seems to be the trend. My friend, Mike Enzunronye is the only one trying to bring out the comedy part of me.
TOMI: Describe your directing experience
KEHINDE : I like to work with actors who won’t give me a headache on set, regardless of their popularity status. I won’t manage awful actors. I enjoy working with professionals. I work with people I am comfortable with.
TOMI : Behind every successful woman is an incredibly supportive husband. How has your husband influenced your career?
KEHINDE: I love that phrase you used ‘incredibly supportive’ to describe my husband because that is exactly who he is. He believes so much in me. He is my manager and my everything. I bless the day I met him. He is the best husband in the world. Every woman needs a man like him in her life.
TOMI: Tell us about the day you met your husband
KEHINDE: It is a long story. Interestingly, we met at the Excellence Hotel around Aguda and the rest they say is history. He didn’t know I was an actress when we first met, but when he got to know it wasn’t a problem. We got married shortly after, and we are blessed with a happy home and lovely children.
TOMI : What should we be expecting from you?
KEHINDE: People should keep their fingers crossed.
TOMI : How do you unwind?
KEHINDE :I take time to rest, although, I have a very active son. I am a family person and so I don’t joke with family time. My husband is good at making sure I rest. He is the best man in town.
TOMI : Message to young and upcoming actors?
KEHINDE: Be patient. You can’t start acting today and want to be Genevieve tomorrow. It takes time. Don’t fall for any guy who promised to make you a star. it is only God that makes one a star, not any man. Please learn on this job as well, go to school to study, take online courses and be cultured. Go for auditions and have a teachable heart. Be focused. Don’t forget the God factor as well. He is the only One that can bless your hustle.
YOUNG AND USEFUL is a new monthly interview series by Tomi Otekunrin with the spotlight on young people making giant strides in their chosen career.