I'm not bothered when people call me a prostitute- Bisi Ibidapo-Obe
Smarting from her quarrel with fellow actress, Bukky Wright, over her rumoured affairs with the latter's lover, Bisi Ibidapo-Obe recounts her most embarrassing moment and her plans to get married soon.
What would you say prepared you for the acting profession?
Right from my secondary school days, I've always liked acting. I have always been inspired by people like Yinka Quadry, Abey Lanre and Ogogo. These are the people that trained me for what I'm doing now, through rehearsals.
That means you didn't have a formal training In acting? No, but I'm preparing to go to school soon.
How long have you been acting? About 10 years now.
Why haven't you had formal training all these years?
I have always been busy with rehearsals for all the films that I have taken part in. You know, these films that people watch under two hours sometimes take months to produce. And for me to give my best in anything I'm doing, I like to do one thing at a time. Besides, I want to make a name in the industry.
Could you remind me of the films you have taken part in?
I have taken part in a lot of films but most people know me for such Yoruba films as Olabisi omo logba logba, Oko opo, Ibadi laiye wa, GSM lomo and many other films.
Among all these films, which one took you the longest time to prepare for?
It was Olabisi Omo logba logba. For one thing, it bears my' first name and I had to play the major role of a prostitute which wasn't easy to prepare for, because I wanted to make it look real. Eventually, it was the role I played in that film that made me popular.
Would you say the role you played in that film had certain things to do your real life character?
No, that's not possible. In that film I played the role of a prostitute who went to bed with many men. But in real life, I'm not that kind of person. If I'm dating someone, I concentrate on that person only until that relationship is no more.
How then would you describe yourself!
A nice and decent girl. I'm friendly with people.
Are your parents supportive of what you are doing as an actress?
You know it's rare to see parents who would want their children to go into acting. When I started acting, my parents fought tooth and nail to pull me out of it. But they later succumbed when they realised that it was what I wanted to do. Now, when they see my films, they are always happy that I'm their child.
Has acting been lucrative?
Well, I'm comfortable. At least I'm not begging to eat.
Has there been any role you regretted playing?
You know, before you play any role, those who invite you to play the role would have given you a script. So if you don't like it, you won't play it. So it's difficult to regret playing any role.
You have always acted In Yoruba films, is there any reason why you have not acted in English speaking films?
The truth is that I have never been invited to play in any English speaking film. But I intend to do one this year.
Don't you think the fact that you don't have a formal training In acting would constitute a barrier to your acting in English films?
Not at all. That can't be a barrier at all.
Have you ever acted with anyone you later nursed romantic feelings for?
Is there any particular reason you are not married?
(laughter) No. You know marriage is a delicate thing and one needs to prepare very well before getting into it so that one does not rush in and rush out. I'm only taking my time to prepare for marriage so that when I get married, it will work.
Does that mean you are into a relationship right now? Yes, I have a man.
Let's talk about him.
No, that's my personal life.
Are you still friendly with Bukky Wright?
Bukky Wright is not my friend, she's my big sister. And we're still friendly.
Why did your relationship turn sour in the past?
You know there was this rumour that I dated Bolaji Basia. But those who are closer to me, those who are closer to Bolaji and those who are closer to Bukky would know that that kind of thing is not possible. Anyway, we have settled the matter.
Are you saying you never dated BolaJi?
I didn't date him. Bolaji is like a big brother to me. He was even the one that settled the quarrel between Bukky and I. And they are back together.
What happened to your romantic relationship with King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall?
That's a forgotten issue. I don't want to talk about it.
Would you quit acting for something else some day?
I don't intend to quit acting for anything. I may be doing something by the side, but it would not disturb my acting career. I'm into acting for life. I do not intend to go and do "yes sir, yes ma" for anybody.
Who would you say is your mentor?
It was the late Ireti. In those days when I watched her films, I enjoyed her act a lot. And she was the one that made me to like acting.
In all these years that you have been in the acting profession, what has been your most embarrassing moment?
There was this day that I was in a taxi, and despite disguising myself, because I didn't want people to recognise me, about 20 "Area Boys" came and insisted I must give them money. Could you believe that when I told them I didn't have any money to give them they started destroying the wiper of the taxi? Eventually, I had to give money to the driver to buy another wiper. You can't believe that so many people had already gathered at the scene and it was really embarrassing.
Did you settle the "Area Boys"?
Of course, I had to settle them because they laid in front of the taxi and said if the taxi killed them, they would know it was Olabisi
that killed them. So I had to give them some money before they allowed me to pass.
How do you feel when people refer to actresses as prostitutes?
I have heard that many times. People have told me that before. But what I always tell such people is that if you call actresses prostitutes, definitely it is those prostitutes that make you happy. For one thing, there have been many sad homes which actresses and actors have turned to happy homes through their acts. Many couples who may have quarelled in the past have had to end their quarrel after watching a film. We're not just playing, although people call it play, we do serious work when we produce our films. Just like those who work in the banks do serious work, so do we when we are on set. For me, I don't even bother if anybody calls me a prostitute because I know that I'm not one and those who are close to me know that I'm not a prostitute.
What kind of man would you want to get married to?
I would love to marry a man that would understand me and trust me. I can't marry a man that would be wondering where I am at any time. I don't like a man who would not trust me. I can't marry a man who after watching my film would be asking whether anything goes on behind the scene. I can only marry a man who would not doubt me and who is cool headed. I don't want to marry a man
who would be thinking that I'm with somebody else when I'm on location.
So when do you hope to get married?
Very soon God's time is the best.