ACTRESSES ARE BEST HOUSEWIVES - DUPE JAYESINMI
Modupe Toun Jayesinmi is an outstanding Yoruba movie actress. She recently spoke with Gbenga Olumide on how she became and actress and her marital life, among other sundry issues. Excerpt:
How has it been?
There is nothing wrong. I'm okay and my job is going on. Everything is fine.
Can you tell us some things about yourself we might not know?
Well, I was born and bred in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State. I attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan, where I studied Secretarial Administration. I once worked with The Punch newspaper. My parents are still alive and I'm an actress. Dupe Jaiyesinmi is going on as usual; and by the special grace of God, I will continue to be.
How did you actually become an actress?
I started acting right from my secondary school days, but I couldn't really make it then. However, after I finished from The Polytechnic, I started working with The Punch newspapers. While at it, I met one of the artistes at the Custom's office. I talked to him about my interest in acting and he put me through. From there, I started acting.
And how long have you been doing this now?
I started acting fully about 18 years ago. Since then, I have not looked back.
How many films do you have to your credit?
You mean that I have produced on my own? I have not produced any of mine, but as of today, I can't remember how many I have starred in. They are just too many.
Which of these films brought you into the limelight?
I can say that people knew me through the role I acted on the television series in the olden days. That time, we called the programme Mama Santare in the television series. I played the role of Funmi Lakonko.
Based on your experience so far, would you say you are fulfilled?
Of course, I am. I thank God for everything I have made from acting.
What has been your most difficult moment in the theatre industry?
My most difficult moment in this profession was the time when people were calling me all sorts of names, most especially my colleagues in the profession. Some of them actually tried to ensure that I was suspended from the Association of Nigeria Theatre Practitioners (ANTP) Oyo State Chapter. They thought that I was dating Mr. Ayo Olabiyi (one of our members) – which was far from the truth. They were saying that Olabiyi and I were dating each other, and for this, we should be suspended. I don't know why most of our members are so jealous. But along the line, when the truth of the matter came to light, they left me alone and I continued doing my job.
A lot of things have been said about your marital life. What do you have to say on that?
I don't have any other thing to say than to tell you that I'm married. I have my boyfriend (laughs), Oh, my husband. Actually, I call my husband my boyfriend; so don't be surprised about this. In short, I'm with my husband. But he doesn't stay around; he stays in London and he comes often. We do stay together when he is in Nigeria.
Based on what you have just said... 'My boyfriend', it seems you don't count him as your real man?
Haaa! (laughs) He is my real man o. He is the one and only; my crown. He is my husband. Calling him my boyfriend, I'm only joking. At least, we became husband and wife about six years ago.
Who is that lucky man?
You mean his name?
Don't worry about that. It is better for me to keep his name for security reasons. He doesn't like publicity, and for him to see his name on the pages of newspapers would be an embarrassment to him. So, for God's sake, let me keep mute on that.
Any role model?
They are very many. Mama Rainbow is one of them; Iya Awero is also there for me any day any time; but I won't deceive you, Mama Bukky Ajayi is my number one role model, because she has all the attributes that one can admire to be calling her a role model.
Did you at any time want to quit acting career for something else?
No! No! No! There has never been a time that I ever did want to quit. I will never quit acting, except I'm old enough to do so.
Apart from acting, what else do you do?
For now, no other job apart from acting; but I'm planning to have a cosmetics shop where I can sell all sorts of women's make-up things.
As a married woman, if you could kiss another celebrity on set, who would that be?
This is a big question o; but I want to tell you that I don't kiss. If you watch me very well on set, you will see that I don't kiss. I can only peck. I can't kiss any other man apart from my husband.
It's not possible; because I'm a married woman and they can't even give me that sort of role. For somebody that is married, a role must be carefully selected.
People believe that actresses are wayward. What do you have to say?
Once you call yourself an actor or actress, people will talk of you; they will say a lot of things, but you as a person have to be cautious. And let me tell you that not all actors or actresses are as careless as people seem to believe.
If you come to our location, you will see the way we interact with one another. Seeing us on location, you will think that we are dating one another – which is not true. We play, we chat, we do a lot of things in common. But when the people outside will talk, they will say artistes – especially the female ones – are flirts. They go out with other men. All these are lies; a ruse and blatant falsehood.
Female artistes are the best housewives and our men are the best husbands. Take it or leave it. Because once you are a star, you cannot just date somebody anyhow. If you are a married woman and somebody gives you an appointment in a particular hotel or wherever, remember that people around will definitely recognise you. We are just like that; and maybe because of the nature of our job, that's why people are saying what is not true.
When should your fans be expecting your films?
By the grace of God, before the end of this year, my own film will come out. What is causing the delay is my husband. He said he would like to be around when I'm going to shoot it. So, I'm waiting for the time he will be around so that we will do it together.
Your husband seldom comes home from London, and as they say, 'Body no be stone'.How do you cope, especially with your male admirers?
Look, my friend, it is true that body no be stone, as you said, but I want to tell you that that doesn't mean anything to me. I am not a kid and a good woman should be able to keep herself.
Look at our mothers in the olden days, their husbands may not go to them even if they were watching each other everyday. Some of them may not even do it for three or four years and nothing would happen. So, a good married woman should stay alone with her husband.
I have lots of admirers that call me on phone, saying that they like me, they love me, and I will just say 'Thank you'. If anyone of them wants to go to the extreme, I will just say, 'I'm sorry, I can't do it.' That is it.