Oyinkasola Emmanuel is a U.S.-based fast-rising actress currently rocking the Yoruba genre of Nollywood. Within a short time of joining the make-believe industry, she has been able to feature and also co-produced some hit movies such as ‘Deceits’, ‘Ola & Ola’, and ‘Marriage or Die’. In this interview with EDWIN USOBOH, she talks about her career, choice of man, why government should eradicate piracy and lessons she learnt from her father, among other issues
Tell us about your background, childhood/growing up years?
I am a lucky girl born into a family that cares properly, especially my dad before he passed away in 2002. I grew up in Ijesha Surulere Lagos, and had both primary and secondary education in same environment.
Who would you say influenced you most; your mum or dad? How?
My father influenced my growing up most because he was a nice, kind, generous man who everyone in the vicinity respect, love and adore. He gave us lessons about integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, fear of God, how to go after our passions. He always tell us he doesn’t have any family but us that we should always have that at the back of our minds. Sincerely, he was right, Only God to be trusted.
What made you to decide on acting as a career?
Acting has been my passion since I was a child. I remember those days when I was in drama group in my church. After the drama, people will tell me, ‘sister Oyin you are too funny good job’. Before then, I tried to join the movie industry fully back in Nigeria but the only song then was how to survive.
How did you get your first role?
I got my first role last year after I joined Tampan USA. It was a TV series titled ‘Ola and Ola the Smith’, produced by KennyKay Buga. He’s a good friend, he gave me a restaurant scene and I was glad I could feature in the production.
How did you hit the limelight and who were people responsible for it?
Sincerely, I am new to the system and grateful I met good people that gave me the courage to do more.
Which of your movies would you describe as the toughest and best so far?
The toughest movie so far will be ‘Bride or Die’, directed by Mr. Bayo Alawiye. It’s a group production and it’s in English. I had not done any English movies before, it was tougher than the usual things I am used to. But, the director, other casts were patient, and the love was real.
Describe your style?
I am not a fashion person…But in real life, I love to be unique and different in my own ways. I love to look my best in any occasion.
What is your passion?
I have passion for two things in life. One is acting, and the second one is marriage. Wearing a wedding dress in a church or court setting is something amazing to me. I cherish marriage a lot and I pray God will make it happen soon.
Why did you ignore your passion to pick up a white collar job?
I had to ignore my passion then because when my dad passed away in 2002 things became entirely different. The only song then was how to survive. Getting a banking job was the best option then.
What gives you fulfillment?
What gives me fulfillment is having the opportunity to go after my passion (acting), and the fact that I know all my help comes from God is a good sign that I will get there one day.
Any regret dumping your corporate work for greener pastures, tell us about the experience?
It wasn’t easy when I first got to abroad. The first few years were terrible and I almost returned home. But my brother always reminded me of where I am coming from. He kept advicing me to endure. The best experience was having my kids here. That I cannot buy with money. God made it happened. If I were to choose I will stay home continue my banking job and visit abroad for vacations. It’s very stressful here!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what will that be?
The only thing I could change will be to be more patient. I lack patience as a younger person and right now I pray for more grace to be patient because that’s the only way to survive.
What is your advice for those who want to relocate abroad for greener pastures?
Hmmm… My sincere advice is that if you are doing great back home (Nigeria) stay and build yourself, you can always visit abroad and go back home. But if you can endure the stress, do any job to survive, then you can join the train. Always have it at the back of your mind that you are on your own!!
How is life as a single mother?
It is really not easy training a child all alone, that is the last thing I ever planned for or prayed for any woman. God bless all single mothers out there.
Describe your dream man?
My dream man will be a God fearing person, tall, good looking, kindhearted person because I am a giver. A man that loves God will love his woman unconditionally. I don’t want a man that will turn himself to Mike Tyson or Anthony Joshua in my marriage. Regardless of his status, he must be very tall. I believe that I am short in stature and if I marry a short man like myself, we might end up having dwarf as kids.
It is not about wealth, achievement or your status. It is a matter of choice. Nothing a man can use to entice me that will freak me. You just have to be tall. I can’t even marry someone like Dangote because he is a busy type, he might not be with me physically. But, sincerely, I am not searching!
What turns you on about men and what turns you off?
A good man with a good heart turns me on but a stingy man with no love for God or people turns me off.
What’s your greatest fear about life?
My greatest fear about life is how people backbite each other, tear themselves down. Lack of integrity, dishonesty, untrustworthy is the only song people are singing here and there. People don’t care about the next person, selfish interest is the only way for people of our generation. These are my fears moving on everyday because with a look at the youths of this generation, my heart is heavy. May God help us!
There has been a lot of story about sexual harassment in the film industry, what is your experience?
I have never experienced sexual harassment since I started my acting journey. Maybe, because I am abroad and I started late. I am like a soldier and don’t give no room for disrespect of any kind.
What extent can you go to interpret your role?
I try to make every role as realistic as possible. I can go to any length to interpret my role so far my directors are pleased and so far, I have been able to do exceptionally well. I am dedicated and I study my lines well.
What are the three things people don’t know about you?
I am very peaceful. I like to be on my lane and mute forever. But if you look for my troubles I am hot pepper. I am soft minded person, I may look hard from facial look but inside is different. I am a lady full of integrity, honesty, trustworthy. These are lessons I learnt from my old man before he died.
What is your advice for young upcoming actress?
I am an upcoming actress too, so my advice will be if you plan to produce a movie please never join hands with anyone. Go for your passion, look up to good people. And don’t join groups where you cannot interact with other people in the industry. That’s not fair at all.
Piracy is still a major issue in Nollywood. What’s your take on this?
Piracy is not new in Nollywood but I think the government can help in eradicating it once and for all.