HOW EMPLOYERS HAVE REFUSED HER THE WHITE COLLAR JOB
Kabirat Kafidipe popularly dubbed Araparegangan following a role she played in Tunde Kelani's satire entitled Agogo Ewo, is a charming screen idol. The 26-year old Yoruba actress, one would expect would grab all the opportunities and fame that abound in the acting career.
She spoke to Victor Akande and Dupe Ayinlain this interview about how employers have refused her the white collar job, among other issues.
The last time I spoke to you, we talked about Iwalewa being your sister's film.
Now turning out to be your own film, how is that?
I'm not sure you got me right. But that not withstanding, Iwalewa is not about who owns the film, it is all about Kafi Movies, my sister is the producer. So, it is not my film.
Did you play any technical role in the film?.
Apart from playing the lead role as Iwalewa, I was also the production manager.
Does this mean that you run a production outfit as a family?
It's not about our family, it's about our own outfit. It's about Kafi Movies. We 're building a career and that's what it's all about.
How did this passion for filmmaking begin between you and your sister?
Well, it so happen that my sister is creatively talented. If you've seen a movie like Oga, you will be able to testify to what I'm saying. And we just couldn't relent on such talent or allow it to die. It's a gift from God and you need to push. So that's how it started, we saw it coming, we saw what we have and decided to bring it out for people to appreciate.
When you started, it was like seeing your sister off to a location, and somehow you got involved. Do you intend to keep this dream?
I love acting, it's a hobby, like I always say, but you see I don't see myself as an on and on actress. I could live up to acting till an older age likes Bukky Ajayi and Joke Silva, but not to play as much roles as they play. I could do more in the technical aspects of filmmaking. I could get into directing and editing. I'm really learning about that now. I really like to edit, I already have some experiences with the editors in both of our two films. I intend even going out of the country to learn more about it.
You read Mass Communication, your father wanted you to study law and here you are doing the acting job. How do you see the twist?.
He still wants me to read law. He still says Kabirat, won't you study law? Even if it is at diploma level. He really desires that for me a lot. In any case, we are still thinking about it.
Talking about Iwalewa, how much challenge did that movie pose to you?
My movie roles have always been challenging because whether you like it or not, you find out that you are just playing who you are not and it has to be real; you have to make people believe that this is Iwalewa, this is Araperegangan and not Kabirat.
Having received tutelage from Tunde Kelani, one would expect that your film would not be about glamour but an epic or one laced with deep rooted traditional.
Well, talking about glamour andYoruba traditional films, I think it's all about what we have now, it's about the idea we have now and how it comes. It's not me now, it's my sister and that is what she has. But more will surely come that will entail the kind of story that elevates our tradition. She has a lot of stories and we are coming up strongly.
Now that you are out of school, is there any other thing that you do outside of film business?
Well, well, at the moment, I just work on my computer at home(laughs). I mean just like when we spoke this morning, I was already on the system. I was trying my hands on graphics; teaching myself a lot of stuffs. And when I'm tired, I play games and listen to music while I wait for someone that will employ me. Because a lot of people will say Kabirat you are unemployable (laughs)
Why did they think so?
I don't know, I went to school. I mean I studied Mass Communication because I wanted to come into the field, only for me to say hey! I want to work and then I'm told, 'ha! I can't employ you oh! how much am I going to pay you?' Acting is just my hobby, let me work. Even if I'm going to continue as an actress, I really still want to work, let me work for five years at least.
What kind of job will you like to take, a banking job?
What do you have against acting really that you don't want to see yourself as a total actress?
I like my private life. I like people to see me only when I want them to. Although I 'm into acting, but I see myself outside it, and I don't want to be stereotyped. I want to work, I want to go to my own office outside of Kafi Movies. I want to work for someone before I start employing people myself.
You haven't done a movie in the past one year, does it mean that the scripts are not coming in?
Maybe they are just not the type I like. The truth is, if your script comes to me and I feel it's not up to what I would like to get involved in, I will tell you.
What is your style as an actress?
Strictly me, it's just me (laughs). My style is my own, its just the simple me, Kabirat.
What is your fashion preference?
Fashion, I'm not really into fashion. But I can say I like everything African, borrowed the English style and mix it with African style.
You are carrying a dread lock? That is also African. Isn't it?
Yes, it is African, I like dread locks. I just feel like it, not for any particular reason though. I just like to change my look, I mean once in a while, you wear dread locks today, wear braids tomorrow, cut my hair, as it comes.
You still stay with your parents, right?
And your dad is not a fanatical Moslem?
No, we are Moslems.
You are into showbiz. What are those little restrictions he puts on you, at least to guide you?
He simply says to me, "the fact that I accept that you do this job does not mean you should not remember who you are. You are my daughter and I want the best for you. I think that's one thing I appreciate about my dad. He will always give you this word of encouragement and moral and every other thing like that; what you should say in public, how you address people, trying to be a listener and not always the one doing the talking. This has really, really been helpful to me.
How much of hanging out do you do?
Hanging out, I hang out with my own system, my computer. Unless, it is very, very important like this.
Does that mean that you can be boring?
(Laughs) I can be very boring if that's it. I go out once in a while with my brothers, sisters.
Don't you feel bothered that you are this conservative?
Don't you like me the way I 'm, don't you like seeing me like this. Do I look like an abnormal person, except I tell you, you won't know (laughs) I don't push things.
He likes you the way you are?
Who, my dad.
No, we are talking about your boyfriend here?
Oh! but he likes me for who I am.
Two years ago, you were not ready to talk about him. Today you are more mature, tell us a little about him?
He's not bothered like I said. And I think that's enough about him (laughs).
Do you mind telling me your age?
I'm 26 years.
That's an age for marriage right?
What? I don't know what you are talking about, (laughs)
How soon are you wrapping it up?
At God's time.
How do you manage your popularity?
Two ways, which ever way it comes. At times, I beg, they see you, they just want to acknowledge the fact that you are there. And because I'm already used to it, I'm not bothered, as far as I'm concerned I'm just one of them. And I don't know whichever way they feel I'm not in their heart, but the fact still remains that they appreciate me. And I try to reciprocate.
Tell us about your mentor?
Tunde Kelani, T.K, I owe it to him always, he's there and he's still there. Always looking up to my success and just telling me, 'hey! you are out of school now, what are you up to now? What are you supposed to be doing, aren't you going to go for your French lesson and so on'.
How come you are not into jeweleries like most actresses?
I don't know, it's God now. Maybe, I envy a lot you know, when I see other celebrities, I envy them with their big weavon, fashionable make-up, I wish I could, but I just like it like this. I wish too, but I can't I'm not sure I can use it because it's not me.
Have you had any embarrassing moment?
Well! Embarrassing, I can't really think of one, but if we can call this an embarrassment let it be. It was during Christmas in Abeokuta in my home town. I went to the market to get ingredients for salad and fried rice, myself and one of my sisters. And this lady came from nowhere, I don't know if she came from behind, I don't know and you know she just pulled my cheek, she didn't say anything, she didn't say hi, she just pulled my cheek and left. And I stood there, I couldn't say anything.
What is your favourite meal or food?
I eat because I have to eat, I don't have a particular food. I like to try any new recipe or menus.
How do you keep fit?
Just those our primary school exercise. Hands up, hands down, hands on the waist.
What should we be expecting from you soon?
I think what I will say now is to leave everything unto God. But I'm sure beautiful thing will come soonest. So we take them as they come.