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“Some Mothers Advise Their Sons Not To Marry Us” -Nollywood Actress, Azeezat
Shorunmu Azeezat Oluwatoyin is an actress and script writer. She hails from Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state. She spoke to OgunToday about her career in Entertainment industry and other related issues. Excerpts;
I have diploma in public Relations and i am currently doing my Bsc programme in National Open University (NOUN) . Professionally, i am a script writer, actress and a movie producer.
You are young, well exposed and could have excelled in many other fields, why did you decide it is acting, not any other?
I just felt I have the talent in me and if I couldn’t utilised it, then I know it will be a sin to me, but
I just followed my heart and go for the acting. Though it was a tough time in my life then because I just lost my dad.
And you know the mentality people have about the people who are into acting, they believe we are what we portray in movies, they see us as some people who are not responsible, even some mothers advised their sons not to marry actresses, they have strong belief that all actresses can never settlements in for a long term marriage.
A lot of ills and public disadvantages come with this profession . How have you been able to stay balanced and gaze high?
Self determination is the secret and being focus , determined and follow your heart, that is the goal. That is the only way you won’t be distracted with what the public said about you.
Life generally is a mountain climbing and we all are mountain climbers. If we focus on nothing what we do is nothing and is going to stop us from reaching the top.
How do you remain positive and focused on your role?
I don’t just act, I am a script writer and i write for top actors in the Yoruba movies industry. As a writer you see pictures of things, it will be easy for you to understand the mood
Can you name few actors you have written for?
Fathia Balogun, Eniola Badmus, Mercy Aigbe, Yinka Quadri, Mercy Ebosele, ijebu, Dele Ogundipe, Tope Oshoba, Dayo Amusa and many more.
As a young actress and script writer, do you have a godmother or godfather in this profession?
All the seniors, legends are my godfathers and god mothers, I respect them a lot and this has helped me in progressing. If I don’t understand something I walk up to them and seek for their advice. All my senior colleagues, the legends in the industry are my godmothers and godfathers. They guide me at the right path.
Who trained you?
Funke Akindele. I could remember that we were the first set of her school, Scene one school of drama and after the graduation, I was able to proceed to Future concept creative art school, from future concept, my boss sensed something good about me and he trusts me and gave me a lot of test and that test leads to what I am today that tag a script writer.
Motivation is important within the acting profession. What would you say is your motivation?
Music, if am not in a good mood I listened to music, If am happy I listened to music. When I listened to music it persuades me to pick up a pen and write beyond my imagination sometimes.
How close are you to the public, particularly, your fan base? Do you try to connect with them?
Sure, If they follow me on Instagram , I followed them back, If they appreciate me through messages I appreciate them back and let them know how much they mean to me.
What is your definition of success? What extent will you go to realise it?
My own definition of success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, everyone desires success in one form or another. Some just daydream about it, while others do something to achieve it, getting the job I wanted and I will never quit until I accomplished the dream because already the dream is big.
Thinking back over your career to date, what has been your greatest accomplishment as an actress?
Relevant, when you are relevant ,that means what you are doing is being accepted. The fact that am relevant among my colleagues gives me more room to be thankful and again am also a producer which is just like a dream comes true.
What year did you start this your career?
2010, the first movie i feature in is Omo ghetto produced by Funke Akindele. And I have featured in Etan, Omo Eleso and the one I just finished shooting Pase.
If you had to start over again and choose again. Sincerely, would it be acting?
The script am writing made me pass through some challenges. Nobody is going to take advantage of you. If you are a writer people respect you more when you are a writer, so ,as a writer it paves ways for my acting. I love writing, because as a writer I have a lots of advantage and those advantages gives room for the acting. For instance, I can write a script and submit to the producers. I still have access to tell producer to give myself a scene and he or she will accept, giving myself a scene can be for a different character far from what people know me to be.
Nollyhood is being appraised well, especially by other African countries. What limitation does the industry still face and how can it get over it ?
Piracy has spoilt everything and when we have a government which never supported the activities of the profession then you should know there will be a problem and for us to pass through the moment we need the government support.
How do you think government can help entertainment industry?
The government can help by helping us to fight against piracy. If we have their support then everything will be easy. There will be a mutual understanding between the marketer and the movies producers. We really need their support.
Looking at the 21st century there is a lot of vices facing the Nollyhood world, how have you been abstaining from those vices?
Prayers, there is nothing that can over shadow the power of God, He is the alpha and omega.
A popular adage says, education is the best legacy, this contradicts the thinking of today’s youth rushing into Nollyhood without education background, what’s your advice to youths in this category?
They should try go back to school. Education is the best legacy. In life if you have thousands, millions in your account, there will be a day you will cry and regret your action for not going to school. That is why I advise some people to try and finish schooling before joining the entertainment industry, because It will distract them.
Can you give one example of a time where you’ve exceeded expectations?
When I went for an audition and I was told am playing the leads, just for the production to start and they told me am not fit in for the role. I cried and went back home calmly. Expectations hurts a lots
What irritates you about someone you were working with?
Someone who doesn’t heed to correction and who believes he or she knows the best and never makes mistake.
What should the entertainment industry be doing for scriptwriters?
They don’t really appreciate them like they do in other countries, they only see a writer as a normal person. Some producer will even remove the name of the writer from the continuity sheet and write their name as the writer. Making the effort of the writer a waste.
Was there a specific moment that made you start writing and if so what was it?
I cant really say, but as an upcoming you faced a lots of challenges, you can’t depends on acting alone because it will never bring you income at the early stage. You need the face first before any other thing , so one day I thought of writing, because I realised am good at that and I discussed with my boss then and he gave me a chance and that was what leads to the script am writing till date, though, then I know nothing about film making, but now I understand the in and out of the movie production. Now I can coordinate a movie for anyone.
What is the most difficult thing about scriptwriting?
The most difficult thing about script writing is the breaking of scene into sequence and that is where the challenges comes from, you don’t just break down a scene, each scenes must have an impact on the story you are writing. After the breaking then you can do the dialogues later.
What is the most enjoyable thing about scriptwriting?
Its when you are writing the lines(dialogues ) and that depends on the type of concept you are writing for the producers. As a writer you are bound to collect different concept from different producers.
Where do you see yourself (as a writer) five years from now?
I want to see myself as one of the best writers. I also want to be a movie director and one of the top movies producers and I will make that uniqueness shows in it as a writer.
One surprising (non writing related) fact about you.
Though am a female, but I love watching football a lots. I watch all the leagues, I even watch pre season match also and i love listening to music and I love dancing.
Finally, what is your message for your colleagues?
They should wait for their time, they shouldn’t rush into anything, they, should be focus and trust in God because that is the only key to success. No shortcut.