MEN IN NIGERIA ARE OPPORTUNISTS----KABIRAT KAFIDIPE
Khabirat Kafidipe in her 20s came to limelight when she played the role of 'Aresejabata' in 'Saworo Ide' an epic movie produced by Tunde Kelani's Main Frame Productions. In this exclusive interview with www.nigeriafilms.com the graduate of Mass Communication spoke on her background, Nigerian Movie Industry, attitude of Nigerian men, why she seldom features in movies and other sundry issues.
Tell us about your background
My name is Khabirat Kafidipe. I am from Ikereku, Lugbekan's compound in Abeokuta, Ogun state. I attended Saint Benedict's Nursery and Primary School. I proceeded to Abeokuta Grammar School and I recently graduated from Olabisi Onabanjo University where I studied Mass Communication.
When did you start you career as an artiste?
I started acting in 1996. My first role was in 'The White Handkerchief' - a short movie by Mainframe Productions for MNET. After that I acted in 'Saworoide' which was the movie that brought me to limelight. Since then I have been involved in the
production of one movie or the other such as 'Agogo Eewo', 'Obiri Oloja' and 'Oju kan Epa'.
You rarely feature in movies unlike other young female artiste what is responsible for this?
That is quite true. This is due to my resolve that if I must feature in the production of any movie it must be up to standard. I mean it must have a good beginning, middle and a superb ending. It must be meaningful. I am not saying Nigerian producers are not trying but they are not putting enough efforts that can make our movies conveniently compete with movies abroad. I think I owe a lot of my fans and so I don't imagine taking a role in a movie that would make me to disappoint them. You don't get to see me in all the movie because I'm cautious of what is expected from me.
How do you know a substandard movie?
Basically, a movie must have a script, the synopsis must be available and I must see the script development and the dialogue must be printed out. It nauseates me to get to a movie location and all I am told on set for instance is, 'This is your mother,
talk to her that you are going back to school..' Not that I cannot improvise, but if a job does not have a script I would not take the job and if it has a script once I browse through and I feel some ideas should be added, the producer must agree with some corrections so that we can have a wonderful movie.
Which movie has challenged your ability since you became an artiste?
'Saworo Ide' was very challenging. It was my first major movie. I had to learn the Yoruba dance and other things associated with the Yoruba culture. And lately 'Iwalewa' where I acted as the lead character.
What is your view of the Nigerian movie industry?
We are getting there and I think the orientation about artistes has changed. People now want to associate with artistes unlike years back when they saw us as
How do you take your time off to relax?
I love to sing, dance, read and take care of kids. I love children.
What is your view on piracy?
It is pathetic that there is no support from Nigerian government to fight this problem of Nigerian movie industry. I think it is a global problem but it is the bane of the Nigerian movie industry.
Why did you decide to be a professional artiste instead of being a banker for instance?
I see myself more of a communicator. This may be responsible for my not being a regular face in movies. Don't forget I studied mass communication with a bias
for advertising. I plan to have my own agency, a communication outfit very soon. This will be alongside my career as an actress.
Are you married?
I am not married.
How soon would the wedding bells toll?
What is your view about Nigerian men?
Let me talk about men generally. There is nothing wrong when a man sees a good-looking lady, whom he appreciates and wants to associate with her. On the one hand, the situation sometimes gets embarrassing when someone calls me and starts asking me for a date and wants me to come to his residence on a first date.
On the other hand, some guys are so courteous, they would apologize for disturbing me and tell me they love what I did in some movies and tell me they just
want to appreciate me and this encourages me. This makes me feel great.
A lot of men are opportunists, they want to take advantage of the female artistes. All they want is to take you out and tell everyone they are dating you
even when there is no serious relationship between the two of them.
How do you view the issue of sexual harassment before directors give out roles to female artiste?
I think that has really reduced. I have never experienced such a thing. I think we have more graduates coming into the Nigerian movie industry. To me taking up roles is not a do or die affair. If it comes fine and if not I thank God.
What is your philosophy of life?
To me life is beautiful and life is wicked!
How do you mean?
It is wicked because sometimes you don't get what you want. And it is beautiful when you get what you want. To me it is so because God is perfect and He know
better than we human beings.
Do you have any regret as an artiste?
I don't regret being an artiste and thank God a lot of people appreciate me.
What puts you off about Nigerian men?
Some of them are so rude, some are respectful. It puts me off when a man calls me without any word of courtesy. What makes you want my attention is because
I got attracted to you.
What is your best colour?
Green and pink.
What is your best meal?
I don't really like to eat but any good meal would be okay. Like my sister says, I can eat anything but in small quantity.
After 'Iwalewa' what next?
We have a lot of things coming up as they unfold we would let the world know. However, we have an outfit called Kafi Movies Incorporated. My sister Aisha
Kafidipe is the CEO. We have produced 'Oga' and 'Iwalewa' and we are involved in other movie related businesses.
What do you appreciate about people?
What has your name alongside fame brought to you?
What are your plans in the nearest future to develop Nigerian movie industry?
I intend to travel abroad for a course on directing and editing. I don't intend to leave the industry, with all these I see myself as working as a communicator.
BY TAIWO OBATUSIN www.nigeriafilms.com