Nollywood actress, Adenike Hamzat made her mark as a rising star after featuring in several films produced by star actor, Odunlade Adekola. Hamzat carved a niche for herself under Adekola’s tutelage and she says she won’t succumb to sexual advances from directors or producers in exchange for roles in this interview with ASSISTANT ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, GBENGA BADA.
WHAT was the experience like working as a trainee actress under Odunlade?
I’ve never for once regretted ever joining the Odunlade Adekola films production family, because my boss made everything so easy for me and the entire crew; the experience was amazing and very encouraging, simply because I still continue to learn every day from my boss and it has been awesome being his product and protégé; Odunlade is a great man and leader with the insatiable instincts to make his products surpass him; a very irrepressible leader by example.
What’s your opinion of the state of the Nigerian film industry?
A dreamer will never be okay or satisfied with the state of things in the filmmaking world but I believe with time and everything will be fine because change is the only constant in life.
Don’t you feel threatened with the success of top actresses in the industry?
Feel threatened? Not really, because I believe in myself and I see most of them as my role models and one of my ultimate goals is to do more in the area that I think they didn’t touch as an actress.
We are all promoting the beautiful culture of our country and exporting our entertainment heritage to the western world.
What is your greatest challenge as an actress?
My greatest challenge as an actress was when I was given a script to play the role of a goddess and being my first time, it was really scary and challenging. It was a big task and kudos to God that I have passed that stage in their acting career.
There is a notion that actresses are women of easy virtues, what’s your take on this?
I want to object to that notion, even as this notion is not peculiar to actresses alone, it is the same all over the professions.
The reason why the case of we actresses are more prevalent is that most times the roles we play in movies makes people think that is exactly how our lives are in reality, and again, because we are always in the news for one negative thing or the other, even when it is not true, people always draw their conclusions from these stories, most of which are either cooked up or fabricated by some bad belles within and outside the industry.
An actress who knows her onions will never submit herself to the whims and caprices-cum-sexual advances of any gallivanting producer or director in exchange for roles.
But I can only speak for myself, I am not a woman of easy virtue or that cheap to be conned into such mundane things.
Share with us, your most embarrassing moment as an actress?
I was fortunate to grow under a disciplined director and my boss, Odunlade Adekola. He never gives room for any of his proteges to be harassed or sexually harassed but a producer once called me to a movie location, only for me to get there and realized my role had been given to someone else just because I refused to date him. I was embarrassed.
Can you marry an actor?
Yes! If we both love each other, but I’m not settling for marriage now.
Why did you decide to take up acting as a life career?
I have always had a passion for acting, and to say it is in-born for me will not be an overstatement. In my mutation years, I discovered then that each time I just finished watching any movie, I would immediately try to be mimicking some of the principal characters in the movie, and this I kept on doing unconsciously, not knowing that God was ordering my steps towards a prospective career in the making for me.
So, how did the journey in the world of acting began for you?
I joined the Odunlade Adekola Films Production outfit precisely in 2012. I joined as a trainee, with the popular and famous versatile cross-over actor/director/director, Odunlade Adekola.
It was under my boss that my innate skills and talents as a fledgling actress and role interpreter were really honed and well-harnessed.
Were your parents in support of your career, when you began acting?
At first, they were not in full support, but after seeing my zeal and determination to pursue the career with all seriousness and honesty, they had no choice than to lend their full support and prayers.
What would you refer to the highlights of your career since 2001?
I give all Glory to God who has been my succor over the years. So far, so good, and the journey has been very interesting, worthwhile, and very amazing.
I have been spurred to go on in a very steady and calculated tempo. Besides, my boss and big brother, Odunlade Adekola, has been very helpful and always comes in handy in my blossoming career, making the whole experiment very smooth, unencumbered, and very easy for me to navigate.
As for the highlights of my career, I thank God again that I have been privileged to have featured in many movies, which I can now say without being immodest, I’ve actually lost count by the number of flicks I have featured in; but this particular one, entitled ‘Pepeye Meje’ (Seven Ducks,) probably threw me into the limelight and I have been enjoying the stardom I instantly gained from the movie.
As for the challenges, I believe there is no venture in this life that has not got its own ups and downs, and I have had my own fair share of challenges, however little they were, I have managed to remain cool and undistracted to remain focused.
When did you join acting professionally?
Acting has actually been part of me; because I used to mimic some of those characters seen on the TV from home video and TV series but professionally I started acting in 2012
When you joined the film industry, what were your set goals?
To the filmmaking industry; I want to be successful as a career actress; to be financially okay and to be a good role model to the younger generation and also be a good ambassador to the Nigerian entertainment industry and the Nollywood in particular.
You are close to Tunde Owokoniran, what’s the relationship between you both?
My relationship with him started via Facebook. I engaged him and narrated my passion for the make-believe world and he has actually been a wonderful guardian angel in the industry, and very supportive to me in the journey to bringing my acting career to the front burners of the industry.
Let me use this opportunity to thank Tunde again for making me take that rightful step ago. Owokoniran and my egbon, Odunlade, will always take the credit for my eventual evolution in the acting sphere.
They were and are still very instrumental to my career, not forgetting the impact of God on me.