Why I packed out of my home-----Foluke Daramola
http://nollywoodgists.com can authoritatively reveal that star actress; Foluke Daramola is separated from her husband, Mr. Shobowale. After a year of separation that many alleged was occasioned by constant battering by her husband, Foluke decided to open up to Sunday Sun for the first time on the issues many are dying to lay their hands on. We serve you hot and fresh exclusive from our stable again.
How was it like directing Oba Asa?
It was a wonderful experience. It was not so much of stress as I had already got my hands on directing. The only thing was that I count myself really privileged to be the director because of the kind of script we had and the kind of cast on set. When Saheed Balogun believes in you, he will always want to give you a chance. I respected the fact that I was given a chance to do what I knew best how to do, because I've discovered that I enjoy directing more than acting these days.
With the privilege of being an insider, can you say if the movie is actually a hit or not?
You know the Part One has a lot of hidden note that is untied. Part two is the perfection of Part One. In Part One, you just saw clips of everything, what happened to each family. Some people never knew it has a second part because they thought it had ended in Part One. No, the story had just begun. We have more stars in the concluding part than part one.
Did you act in it?
Yes, I did. Though I did not have too many roles and that's what I do whenever I'm acting. I don't like having so many roles. But if I must have many roles, there will be another professional directing my set.
Let's first talk about Tag-Team and Wakati Eda. You're going serial, is it because you started with soap?
Well, to a large extent, yes. I once had the orientation of soap, which was Palace, but I discovered over time that we were beginning to forget that originality and people were like limiting it to movies alone. There are several soap operas, several serials, but we have to come back to the originality. I believe there are ways we can pass across moral messages around in the entertaining manner. That is what acting is all about. And it's the incorporation of both the old and the newer generation.
What's the story about?
It is a serial, we have different topic, ranging from HIV, child abuse, rape, parental care for children, child upbringing, the norms of the society and how it can be rectified.
Who wrote the story?
I wrote the story, but Noba Anene was the one that did the screenplay with me. I directed it alongside with him, having Lanre and Moji as my D.O.P.
Who were the stars in the cast?
We had Joke Silver, Yomi Obileye, Yemi Sholade, Ann Njemanze and I was part of it. The lead character is actually Taiwo Obileye, who played the role of grandfather and there is Demilade who is the granddaughter but her real name is Peju Sijuade. She has never acted before but she did very beautifully there.
What do you hope to achieve with the Tag-Team?
Tag-Team is about the family. The family is the first group that makes up the society. When you are trying to correct the ills from the foundation, automatically we are trying to create a better society. So, we are trying to achieve a better society to commensurate with what our governor, Babatunde Fashola is doing. Because there was an episode we wrote in Tag-Team on the way government is demolishing houses and we spoke on the advantages and disadvantages. We weighed the two sides. It is just a way of correcting the ills of the society without doing so much talking.
When did you finish shooting it?
We haven't finished shooting it yet. We just shot a few episodes about a month ago.
When is it coming to on air?
We should be on air by next month or in two months time.
We are looking at Silverbird and AIT for starters.
Who is bankrolling it?
For now, it's still an individual thing. I bankrolled it. I called the one I shot the pilot. I don't want to do one or two episodes.
How many episodes have you in all?
I have shot 13 episodes, because I'm not restricting it to just the conventional one or two episode pilot. So I've already shot 13 episodes and immediately we get our corporate sponsors, whom we are working on, we enter location and do the bulk shooting.
Your money for 13 episodes will be such tasking.
We spent over N2.5 million for that. When you know the quality of what you are actually giving out to the public, you are comfortable that you are going to get your money back.
You have not been working. So where did you get the money from?
Well, I'm into business. I also sell baby stuff, do a lot of travelling, do interior decoration for my friends. Aside that, I've never been a full time artiste. I'm also doing my masters programme in Unilag.
To the best of my knowledge you're the first Yoruba actress to shoot an English soap. Is that deliberate or you just feel like?
I was actually the first female Yoruba to direct as well. The first one I directed was Emi, which was in 2006. One thing about me is that I always want to be different. At each point of the way, I like to do my things differently. There are other things I'm working on which are still in the pipeline. But basically, I just thought to myself that everybody is doing movie, but I just wanted something different. I also did a multi-media movie as well.
So, why a soap? Why not a movie?
Well, I needed to relate with my environment closer. I have a lot of friends in the corporate world. How many of them in the corporate world have time to watch movies? There are also people who don't allow their kids watch home movies because they believe it's beyond them and they shouldn't see some things. But there's no way anybody could watch Tag Team and find anything obscene or negative therein. I know that's the only way I could get across to my direct viewers. I also believe that corporate bodies can enjoy it because there's no how you would do a serial and not use the daily chores, directly or indirectly, because one way or the other, you are doing a whole lot of adverts for them.
Why is everybody doing soap, is it because Omotola shot a soap?
There is a difference between a soap and serial. Soap has a long span of story while a serial is like short stories.
I always said people have their different scopes. Bimbo Akintola is having one on Circle of Three. My own scope in showbiz has to do relate more with the teenagers, adolescents and the children. I always said some have to do with the mature minds of people, couples, prostitutes and destitute. Circle of Three falls in that line, so people have their different scopes and where they think they best fit in. It is not about having soap or having a serial, but knowing where you fit in and where you want to be remembered.
Is money a motivation? I learnt you make more money in soaps than in movies?
At the same time it takes a longer time to get corporate sponsors in soaps. It's not the motivation now that matters, but for me what drives me is actually seeing my work and people appreciating me and telling me: "That's a wonderful piece". It gives me fulfilment than the monetary value. There's nothing bad in making money from where you work actually. If you are just after making money, you will at a point get frustrated. It takes you having a flare, you enjoying what you do in showbiz to get the creativity out of that person and not the money.
What is Wakati Eda" about? Are you done with it?
I shot that in January. I took the lead from my boss and colleague, Saheed Balogun and I used over 20 stars. I haven't finished, because I'm combining the Hausa; the likes of Sadiq Daba to the likes of Stella Damasus.
Do you have other stars participating?
A whole lot; Taiwo Hassan (Ogogo), Rachael Oniga, Funsho Adeolu, Yemi Sholade, Laide Bakare, Ronke Odusanya, M.C Kirikiri, Stella, Mercy Johnson, Sadiq Daba and myself. I have a whole lot of stars there.
Who's marketing it?
I've not made up my mind about that yet.
Why not try Okiki films?
Is it a corporate sponsor or what? Basically if I want to market the movie, it's not going to be a marketer solely buying it over because most of them cannot afford to buy it outright.
Because I've spent over N4.3m on it and I have not finished it yet.
How much did you spend on location?
For my location, I have the best equipment, over two cameras there, one shooting behind camera. We shot from the best hotel for thirty days.
Are you done with the shooting now?
Yes, because I'm a perfectionist, I still have one or two finishing touches to add to it.
I thought you said you were still looking at Mercy Johnson and Stella?
Yes, I'm still doing that.
If you are done with the shooting how will you feel?
That's why I said I'm a perfectionist; I'm ready to remove some scenes and some, just to have the best out of it.
What's the story about?
It is a combination of morally oriented Christian, Muslim and individual timing. Over time, I to discover that people happen to become desperate to make money, desperate for anything but at the end of the day, when you talk of timing that's when God had really destined you to make it in life. It's a morally oriented thing but it's not a fanatic kind of story, it can go with the church, mosque, and the combination of a lot of thing. It's just like a sermon.
When are you releasing it?
I'm looking at this December or January next year because I'm still going to premier it in Nigeria, London and Abuja.
How come Foluke Daramola is becoming bigger, having bigger vision and lot of that?
Well, I guess it's just about time. At some point, I decided I did not want to join the bandwagon anymore. I have not done any movie this year because I discovered it was becoming so boring and monotonous. I just thought to myself; how I could actually make myself different?
Why are you back for your Master's Degree at UNILAG?
I'm one person that believes so much in academics. I read International Relations at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. I'm doing my Masters in Social Law and Diplomacy now. Most likely I'll go for Law again and my PhD. Most people believe once you have the fame, the face, that's all. No, I believe that's just the beginning.
Some people perceive you don't relate so much with other colleagues of yours.
Well, I don't snub. I'm myself, but the fact that when I'm on set I'm on set, I'm a professional. Those are the things I've learnt from the industry. I also happen to have friends outside the industry. I happen to have more friends outside the industry than the industry. I'm one person that can be temperamental, so I might like to keep my distance. I'm a very nice person, but I get easily touchy. So, I try to put a line between whatever I do.
What went wrong, why did you disappoint a lot of us as regards your relationship?
Well, one thing I always say is that everything is in God's hands. I don't discuss my relationship but you'll be the very first person I'm discussing it with. I'm very passionate about marriage; I love my kids very well perhaps because of my orientation. I grew up from a family orientation and I believe so much in the marriage institution. We are all individuals and we all have our shortcomings. If I have misunderstanding with my spouse, it doesn't mean anything is wrong; it's just normal because we are coming from two different backgrounds and there's bound to be ups and downs.
Where did the passion disappear to when you were packing? If you have passion for your home, that passion should have kept you back from packing?
When you have passion for something and it's becoming detrimental to the children you have to do a rethink. I discovered that I was passionate about my family and I wanted to stick to it, but it was detrimental to my children. Eventually, I discovered that it would cause more harm to the children I was trying to protect.
I've been to your house and your kids looked healthy.
I'm talking about psychological trauma, everybody has issues. But when the issues become constant, sometimes there has to be a separation for you to come to compromise to understand each other.
I've heard mothers say the only reason why they have not packed out of their homes is because of their children. You, on the other hand are using the children as reason to pack out, is that not contradicting the norms?
The norm is relative. In our parents' days, most of our mothers were not working. But now, we have women sharing responsibility with the men. So, there's bound to be conflict. When there's regular or frequent crisis in the home, it tends to affect the children.
When you were getting married, didn't you see things that went wrong before you got married?
The marriage really worked. The marriage that didn't work is the marriage that has no issues or children. I don't want to be definite because I don't know what God has in stock for me. There's hardly anything that's new for me about marriage anymore. I can't be definite but the chance of me getting married again is slim. Those things I saw in my husband then were still there and I was ready to adapt myself to all that. But what I had issues with was the tension in my home that was affecting my children; that did not make my children to be in the happy environment they needed to be. Sometimes we have issues that would create tension that you could almost hold. If it's just the two of us, it could have been easy to manage. But because the children are there, they were not growing in the right environment and it was definitely going to affect their mental alertness.
But this is funny, since you did not go to your husband's house with kids, why did you have to leave with them?
My kids are still young. My daughter is someone that's very passionate about her father and I have never done anything to contradict that, but I have to take care of them as no one can replace a mother in the life of a child.
There's a saying that love me, love my dogs, why didn't you love his dog?
I told you I loved his dog. I cherish them most and at the time that I discovered this thing is affecting them, I had to take the bull by the horn.
You are carrying the load of two people, how are you coping?
God has been my strength. Like I said, when you enjoy what you are doing, it only makes you strive to do more. I enjoy taking care of my kids, especially my daughter. I have never had such joy in my life and I don't have any cause to complain.
Has marriage been fair to women?
It's a relative statement because some women are lucky for having the best men. Some women are just lucky, just as all fingers are not equal.
Are you unlucky?
I won't count myself as being unlucky. I just count myself as someone beyond the normal.
Would you say you are lucky with your marriage?
In some areas I am and in some areas I am not. I have my ups and downs. I'm not saying I'm getting back to my house neither am I saying I'm divorcing him. But I'll just say we've had some issues. I can't make a definite statement that I'm unlucky with my marriage, no.
But I learnt your man has been trying to get some reconciliation, and that you are rebuffing the move how true is that?
Perhaps, yes or no. I need a separation to gather my act together. If I get the separation and I feel we should sit down and talk about it, and I think what I feel for him is still intact, well, I might invite you for another marriage.
So, do you still feel anything for him?
Of course yes, why wouldn't I feel anything for him? The love I felt for him then is definitely still there.
How long did you guys stay together before you called it quit?
Four years plus and we had two wonderful kids.
Is four years not too short?
Well, it's relative. It can be too short and on the other hand, it can be too long.
Some people are marking 50 years of matrimony.
Yes, but in those 50 years, they have had their ups and downs as you know.
But in the spirit of true love if you still feel for him, why not just forget the past and reconcile with him?
Well, reconciliation is a thing of the mind and an individual thing. It does not connote staying under the same roof. My feelings for my husband are nothing compared to what I have for my children. At this point, what I'm doing now is not looking at my husband but my children.
How long have you been separated?
It is about a year now.
And for a year now has he spoken with his kids?
If he feels he wants to talk to them, he calls them.
For over a year, he hasn't seen his children and you are not bothered.
Why should I be bothered?
Aren't they missing their father?
Well, if you have the chance to speak with them you can ask them.
There is a rumour you are planning to remarry, how true?
It is funny that some reporters are becoming so lazy that they want to sit in their houses and just write anything they feel like.
Even if I was separated from him, I had never acknowledged (except for now) that I'm separated from my husband. They should double check before writing their story. This is cheap journalism. They say I want to get to married to somebody I don't even know from Adam. I don't know who Tolulope is.
Was politics an issue?
Yes, he was into politics at some point.
Was politics the issue that made you pack out of your home?
No, It was never an issue. I supported him when he wanted to go into politics, because he supported me all through my career. It pained me that I put in so much effort for him to win, but it didn't work.
Have you spoken with him in the past one-year?
I've not had course to.
Did anyone warn you while you were dating that this might not work out?
Yes, once. That was the first time I was travelling out of the country. Something happened at the airport and I was almost not having interest in the relationship anymore.
Did he hit you?
No, he didn't but he was so aggressive and I had the rest of my colleagues at the airport and the rest of that. But later, I just thought I could just cope with that.
Now that you have been separated for over a year, have you dated anybody, how are you coping and will you get married again?
I'm not in a hurry to be married, and I'm sorry I like my freedom. I also want to build a better relationship with my children. As my daughter would say, I shouldn't marry again. As I will tell you, I have a relationship going, but I won't tell you whom that person is. At the same time, I'm happy with the relationship.