Veteran actress Sola Sobowale is a popular Nigerian film actress, screenwriter, director and producer. The seasoned thespian who has spent over 3 decades in the film industry is one of the most respected actors in Nigeria. She hit limelight with her spectacular role as Toyin Tomato in Wale Adenuga’s hit TV series Super Story and has since then registered her presence in the minds of movie lovers both old and young. A mother of 5 kids, She joined acting as a member of the Awada Kerikeri Group under the leadership of Adebayo Salami. Over the years, she had scripted, co-scripted, directed and produced several Nigerian films. She scripted, produced and directed, Ohun Oko Somida, a 2010 Nigerian film that stars Adebayo Salami. She featured in Dangerous Twins, a 2004 Nigerian drama film produced by Tade Ogidan, written and directed by Niji Akanni.She also featured in Family on Fire produced and directed by Tade Ogidan. The movie star took a long break from acting after she went off the scene 15 years ago but she is back with a bang, featuring in the much anticipated movie Wedding Party a Nigerian romantic comedy/drama film, directed by Kemi Adetiba and recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival .For the light skinned and ageless beauty, there is no better way to return to her passion as her role in Wedding Party did re launch her in a big way. In an interview with City People Head of Movie Desk, VIVIAN ONUORAH, she speaks about her career, why she went off the scene and her role in the new movie.
You have been off the movie scene for close to 15 years, what was the reason behind the long break?
I had to go off scene to take care of my kids, children did not ask to be born so when you have them it’s your duty to take care of them and I have got 5 of them to take care of. So I left Nigeria 15 years and took them with me to take care of them and today I give God the glory because they have all graduated and they are working. I have given them their legacy so now it’s time for me to face my passion. Now I feel fulfilled and am back for good. A mother is a home maker, she takes care of the kids and her husband because the husband is the head of the house. A mother must respect her husband.
While you were away, did you miss being in movies?
Yes I would say I did because every year, I would come home and produce my own movie but I was equally working in England but now am back fully to work, I will only travel to England for holidays.
What has kept you still relevant in the industry despite the long break?
I believe so much in God, I believe this is what God ordained me to do and that is why am still relevant.
For how many years have you been acting?
I have been acting for 40 years. I was in Village head master, Mirror in the sun, and I have done stage too.
Asides acting what else do you do?
I can’t do any other thing apart from acting because most of my clothes, I design them. I don’t wear readymade, I design and my daughter makes them. I once had a restaurant, salon, fashion house but I wasn’t concentrating so I went back to acting.
What was the experience like for you being in the movie Wedding Party?
It was fantastic
How were you able to get into that character so well?
That is me for you, it is what I love doing, am not a business woman, am an artiste so I love doing what I do.
What would you say is different about the movie, compared to other movies you have done in the past?
Technically, it was fantastic because years back what were we doing? We were all managing but now I can say it to whoever cares to listen even abroad that we are now on the same level. Well directed, fantastic talents, no cutting of corners, no short cuts and when I saw the script I was happy because I have been off the scene for a while.
What impact has the movie Wedding Party had on your career?
It is a good welcome back, it has proved am still relevant so am grateful to the producer of the movie for believing me .
What kind of person are you off screen ,are you the strict type?
Yes, am a very strict person but am not proud. I am very principled too , and I call a spade a spade. What you see is what you get. My father retired as a principal and my mother, a headmistress so the education and discipline instilled in me is still there. I was brought up in a very disciplined home so the same thing goes for me now and my children. I am very strict and also very down to earth. Am not a party goer, I rather love to spend time with my family than attend parties.
In the last 40 years how would you rate the growth of the industry?
It is just growing now because it was crawling.By next year we would be competing with our counterparts in Hollywood.
God said this is what he wants me to do and when He says go do this, just go because he has already ensured that it won’t be difficult for you. For me it wasn’t any problem because we were always together. Even when am working and they are on holiday, I will book another room in the same hotel where I am and keep them there with me.I always moved around with my camp gas to enable me cook for them so I always carry them to locations. Also I had siblings who also came to help take care of them so it wasn’t a problem at all. Before I left for England, two of my girls were going to Nigerian Turkish International, one was going to British International, another one was going to Corona and I was paying so much so I said after paying all these my children must attend good universities and that was why I moved them out of Nigeria.
How is your husband?
He fine and doing very well.
Is any of your kids taking after you career wise?
Before, one was in Everyday People but now I have got Accountant, Business Manager, Engineer .But in the movie Meta and all my productions, in the last 15 years were written by my twin daughters.
Any challenges for you so far being an actress?