I CAN MARRY A FELLOW ARTISTE AND I`M DATING ONE.
She may not command the popularity of regular Nollywood star, just as her name may not ring a bell, but Preere Yibowei has some sterling movie performances to her credit. And that, in simple terms was because she prefers to jealously guard her professional integrity by shunning run-of-the-mill movies.
However, those who have seen her at work are unanimous about one thing: She is a very good actress. Besides acting, the 2004 University of Ibadan theatre arts graduate is a professional dancer.
Until she played Moyo in Doctors Quarters, she may have been an unknown quantity; but that was as far as screen acting. She is a household name with those who love stage drama having been in several both as an undergraduate and as a professional actor.
Some of them are Kongi`s Harvest with Ben Tomoloju, The Scoundrel Suberu, All for All to mention but a few.
Industry critics would readily attest to her ability to transit between roles in a production is one of the benchmarks for knowing a gifted thespian. Preere who said "my versatility as a performer is my strongest point;" noting she has had her fair share of that, especially on stage.
"Mind you, I am an actor and also a passionate and professional dancer. Having to transit from one role to the other in the same production is not new to me because we get to do that a lot in stage productions, especially with epics. Besides, I have done stage plays where I doubled as actor and dancer," said Preere who boasted she has never had to roll in the hay with any director or producer to get an acting or dancing role in any production.
Those that follow Wetin Dey, a BBC series presently running every Sunday, on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) network, her face is by now a familiar one. She plays Joy in the well applauded series.
The character she interprets in Wetin Dey, she said is her most challenging thus far and you are taken aback notwithstanding her stage pedigree.
"My most challenging screen appearance so far was the role of Joy in Wetin Dey. Joy is a devout Christian sister; now I am not saying I am a bad girl but I am certainly not as good as Joy.
"It was challenging because the directors wanted Joy to also be exciting even though she`s morally upright, in other words they didn`t want a stiff Joy," she recalled.
As she told the story of how she got the role, she exuded an uncanny confidence in her ability as an actor.
"I auditioned like every other person. I knew I was going to be picked but I never would have guessed it would be for Joy, I didn`t even read for the character of Joy," she disclosed.
Even with the way Doctors Quarters went, the series would continually occupy a special place in her heart.
"My opening scene remains my most memorable moment on the set of Doctors Quarters that was where I introduced my character, Moyo. It was my launch into the screen, for me it was very significant as an introduction of Preere Yibowei," she said and when the brouhaha that marked the series became insolvable, "I was like, Oh! Here we go again. The Nigerian factor, it was just too bad, I was confused and since it was like an introduction of Preere to the world I really didnt want to get on the wrong side, but I also wasn`t going to be pushed into a tight spot."
learnt that what is on the rise about her is not just her acting resume, her dancing credits is equally mounting.
Since she impressed so well as a dancer during the opening ceremony of COJA 2000 in Abuja, those in need of her dancing acumen have continued to queue up for her services.
The latest was as one of the three judges at the on gong Maltina Dance All Family Reality show. Before then, she served as dance instructor for the interns of Creative Academy a reality television show, which held last year and to which Elder Steve Rhodes actually recommended her.
"I was recommended by Elder Steve Rhodes to participate in Creative Academy, which held last year as a dance tutor; I was recommended for the Maltina Family Dance show as one of the three judges from there," disclosed Preere who said she has been a professional dancer for upward of nine years.
As discovered during the interview, conducted via online chat, the daughter of a Naval officer has always loved dancing.
"I have been dancing since I started walking, but I have been dancing professionally for nine years now; that was before I went to University of Ibadan to study theatre arts.
"I started with Disco that was what we called Hip hop back then; then I joined a dance troupe - Gongbeat Arts, where I learnt how to dance traditional dances. Now I do all types of dances be it contemporary, Salsa whatever," she revealed.
Asked how financially rewarding being an artiste has been, she said: "We in the showbiz industry have come to accept that you cannot be paid your worth especially in Nigeria. But I must also admit that I am comfortable. I don`t crave material things desperately; so I guess I would have to say it has been good," said the former student of Nigerian Navy Primary School, Lagos from where she proceeded to the Nigerian Navy Secondary School and then on to University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State.
She doesn`t see anything wrong in marrying a fellow artiste. She even disclosed that she was presently in a relationship with an actor. Of course we wanted to know when the weeding bells would sound.
In her true characteristic, she quipped, "I don`t know when we will be brave enough to tie the knot. I can marry a fellow artiste and I`m dating one."
She however spoke about her growing up years: "I had a wonderful childhood. I was a bit spoilt though. I lost dad and as the first child from my mum; you can imagine what followed; but it made me a better person because if I hadn`t had to grow up I would have been an unbearable person."