I can act in a blue film
Anything short of a huge sense of self would have got any girl hiding away from the public glare after the public's reaction to Cossy Ojiako's generous self exposures that marked her break into Nollywood. But not Ojiako. This UNN graduate of Accounting with a Master's degree in Management from UNILAG is still as bold as ever. They like talking to Victor Akande of Nollywood. Really in spite of her resentment towards the press, Ojiako told him. “You know I just don't know why I like to talk to you.”
Hello Cossy, there is this news making the rounds that you are delving into music, between music and acting where do you really belong.
Acting is actually my first love and let's just say that acting goes with other things like modeling and music.
How did you come into the entertainment business?
It all started when I was in school, in 1999 when I got the opportunity to perform in a movie entitled The Only Nigerian Girl. It was a minor Waka Pass (extra) that I played and people seemed to like it. Then I started dreaming more in that line and I guess that doing my youth service in Lagos State gave me more opportunities.
Which school did you attend and what did you actually study?
I went to U. N. N (University of Nigeria) and I read Accounting. I also have my MSc in Management from the University of Lagos and from ITPAN I have Diploma in scripting, producing and directing
Talking about your latest love, music, how did you discover yourself in this area.
We had this organ in our house and you know my mother read Music at U.N.N., so my brother Emeka, Nnena and I would play around the house, dancing and won't know when our father comes in. That was how I started nurturing the idea and, then, sometimes, people tell me that I look like Dolly Parton, with big boobs, and a tiny voice like hers, so I said, fine, if I look like her and she sings well, probably, I can also sing well.
Have you been able to make any effort in the musical line?
I am actually through with my album now as I am talking. I will be shooting my video this upper Sunday and before the end of August, you'll be getting a feel of me on T.V.
What's the title of your album?
No .. not so fast, when it comes out, I will get a suitable title for it.
Was that the reason you travel to Ibadan so often?
No, I indeed travel most of the time. This is not the only thing that I do, like I've been busy trying to order for a mini-studio for my house at Lekki. I placed orders of some things and a lot of things have been going on in my life that's not for the public.
Like the chief we are made to understand you are dating in Ibadan?
Well, I have heard a lot of stories about me, it's all good. Sometimes, they say that I go to Abuja for you know what… well, if a lady like me with Diploma, B.sc., M.sc is into prostitution, then, it's time they recognize and praise us, because we have a lot going for us.
Between acting and singing which one do you perceive will earn your loyalty the most?
No, the two, I love acting. I've things putting up now, and I have scripts that we are supposed to do, but everything is holding on till the middle of the year for things to unfold.
Talk about your first film.
My first film was The only Nigeria Girl I was the girl that walked up the stairs shaking her bum bum (laughs)
Now let us talk about this unique sales proportion of yours. I want to believe that in most of the roles you play, your boobs are the objects of showcase, and I found every message that you have to tell being relayed most by your boobs.
The thing is that you only see what your eyes want to see. That's a quote from Madonna, you know. There are different movies that I have done, where I acted mystery child, nurses, witches and even a priestess but people don't want to relate me to those movies, they only want to relate me to the only one that I did in which my cleaveage showed. I don't really want to be talking about this boobs thing, that's why I cooled down for about six months now to let it fade off. That's why you've not been seeing me. I want that angle to fade off. This is a new beginning for me, so we should talk about better things.
Do you really think that this can fade off, people have been so used to the fact that the other name for Cossy is boobs.
To me I believe it can die down because I don't go to places where I will get too much attention and questions about the boobs.
Really I'm surprised at you, Cossy, I would have thought that you don't really care what people say about you as long as it brings food to your table, so what's the reason for this new spirit?
No, I don't care about the bad titles, I even admire them because they make me to think twice about myself, polish up myself.
In essence, what you are inferring is that you are not going through troubled times fighting this negative image?
No, the thing is that I don't want to give the press …it's the press that paints the picture, not really the people, and there are some fans that still care, that love me and get worried when they write bad things about me. So, I've been trying to keep off the bad press by avoiding the press.
Talking about Dolly Parton, what niche are you trying to carve for yourself, do you want us to begin to see you as the Nigerian Dolly Parton.
No, I want to be seen as Cossy. I really want to be me but I love Dolly Parton. I love Madonna, but I am just me.
Talking about Madonna who is one of your idols, you know she's been known to have acted in an X-rated movie, popularly called Blue Film, would you be able to act such roles if the pay is attractive?
I can act in a blue film, but only with my boy friend or husband and if it has to go public, maybe, I should see the movie trying to teach a lesson, maybe on how to make babies.
Where are you from?
I'm from Anambra State. Maybe we should continue this interview later; I'm really tired.
Oh no, let's just thrash these things once and for all, I'm sorry. Out of the movies which one did you find most challenging?
I've not really done any challenging movie. I'm still looking forward, but, then, you know the ones that the Censors Board banned Shattered Home, The Night Out. I can't forget them because the films where good. Sony Mcdon and Obi Osotule produced them respectively.
Why did they ban them?
They banned them because the producers didn't really have a stand. If only they were very big producers. People watched them abroad and commented that they were very good.
The culture aboard is different from our culture here.
That's what I always hear but there was no nudity in the films. They were all blabbing because it's me, they are just wondering where did this girl come up from and overtake most of the big artistes. I was everywhere in the film and some people were in the film and some people were not happy about it. Somebody walked up to the posters and just tore them, you know, the human mind can be funny.
That's the work of your detractors.
Yes, my detractors, but, I love them because they made me what I am today. Without the bad ones, maybe my name wouldn't ring a bell.
Now that you intend to slow down on this attractive area of yours, are you saying if somebody offers you a big modeling contract that requires that you let loose your boobs you won't accept?
It depends on what you mean by big deal. If it's really big and my boyfriend supports me, I'll do it.
In that way you are not slowing down on it.
No, in that way, I will be slowing down because I won't allow the musical producer to take shots of that video and give to the press, like I hear the Sun used a picture I took two yeas ago from one musical deal. One of my good friends saw it and was now asking why should I wear that in the picture and give it to the press. I don't give such to the press. So I want every picture I do to be approved first before going to the press. So anybody using me would have to sign a lot of agreements if the picture would be used. I have to consent to it and it would be for the promotion of that particular film. People don't really get to see the video, but it's the picture they see.
I can't really see any difference between what is shown in video and the picture of same in the newspaper, it still boils down to the same thing.
Yes, it boils down to the same thing, but, you need to buy the video to see the pictures and not the other way round. Then people would get to see the location where such picture came out from.
When and where are you shooting your musical video?
We are actually going to use Olumo Rock in Abeokuta in Ogun State. Different places, and different countries.
How do you manage the numerous phone calls you receive from male admirers?
They make me feel good, but, answering those calls does not mean I will get to see them. Besides, as a beautiful lady if I don't get male admirers, then I will believe something is wrong with me.
Who told you that you are beautiful?
My dear, I know, when I look at myself in the mirror I know I am.
How rich are you?
I am very rich at my age. At least I have a house in Lekki, a mini-music studio. I have a small car I am using. I've done well enough and don't have to depend on anybody for anything.
How did you make your money: through music, modeling or acting?
I am not from a poor home. I've had money even when I was in school. I've had everything I needed. My parents don't let us lack; then, I have uncles who rally round whenever I tell them I need money to do a thing. My friends, my boy friend, too, gives me money. So when I have surplus I utilize it on other things and I don't have responsibilities than to take care of myself and also help out people in trouble if I feel like.
What do you love about your job?
I love the freedom. I love the money and it makes me happy. What some people get as monthly salaries, I can make in two days.
What is your parent's disposition to what you are doing?
Maybe when you get to meet with them, I can't really answer for them because I am not they.
People find it difficult to believe that all you have said is enough to fetch you that house in Lekki?
My dear, it's a matter of priority. When I came to Lagos, I found out that housing was so expensive. As an Igbo girl, I immediately thought of savings. That's all. Even a poor man can build a house in Lagos if that is his priority.
What's your boy friend's name and what does he do?
Well.. let me tell you. His name is Debo. he lives in U.S with businesses in Ghana and Nigeria. Now, at least the girls can stop feeling threatened when they see me with their supposed boy friends.