MY HUSBAND’S DEATH WAS MY GREATEST SETBACK
Stella Damasus Aboderin is an epitome of beauty. Though married, she is still one of the most 'toasted' Nollywood gals. She was recently cornered by Tope Olukole at a function in Lagos. Excerpts:
Can you tell us how you came into acting?
When we were growing up, I used to sing with the junior choir in church and whenever they wanted to do anything artistic in my school – drama, singing, drawing – there was this friend of mine that would tell me to go for it and I followed her instructions obediently. She used to be an opera singer and also a stage actress then.
So, when I was growing up, she made me sing along songs by Bonny M, Abba etc whenever their tapes were played. I would hold an electric kettle cord as my microphone displaying in front of a mirror. Today, the rest is history.
You must be exceptionally talented to have been able to combine singing, dancing and acting.
I think it's because I have been doing it right from my childhood. It's like it has become a part of me and I hardly find it difficult doing it. My education too really helped me. And, of course, Jaiye and God are just the brain behind it all.
Whom would you refer to as your mentor?
Jack Nicholson and Cicely Tyson. They are fantastic people and I learn a lot from them.
Would you encourage your children to go into entertainment?
Isabel, my second daughter, seems to be walking towards that path; unlike her sister, Angelica, who rather likes things technical – like the computer, cables, phones etc.
How will you classify your music?
I play all genres of music as a singer. I don't think there is any music I cannot sing. Apart from my own songs, most of the songs we render at events are copyright songs. We play all kinds of songs – from highlife to reggae; raga to juju; hip hop to oldies, jazz and stuff like that.
What is your beauty regimen like?
I don't have any special routine. I don't even know the names of these facial or body stuff. I am just myself because I know I have a good skin.
If there is a change of fortunes today, how do you start again?
The greatest setback I ever had in my life was the death of my husband. I doubt if there would be anything else that would ever derail me. The reason is that Jaiye's untimely death is still a shock to me.
As you can see, I am just starting from where I stopped. My acting career initially was something I never wanted anything to happen to, because I wanted to be part of it like my mentors; but when the ban of a thing came up, I moved on, and I am still moving on. A man may die. Nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.
What then are you struggling with at the moment?
Before Jaiye died, I used to travel to these African countries like Ghana, Togo, Republic of Benin, to buy things like fabrics, beads, bags etc. I would come back home and design and redesign them. I am trying to put the shop in good shape due to customers' yearnings. I do a lot of things for a lot of people. Those, and not forgetting my renamed band, G-Factor, are what I'm struggling with at the moment.
What propelled you into fashion business?
Really, when I wore those things, I discovered that a lot of people would just ask me how and where I got them. When I told them how I got it, they would say, 'Ah! Can you get something similar for me when next you go?' This I can say motivated me into the terrain. Thereafter, I opened Mon Afrique, an African shop, where all sorts of African items are procured.
How have you been surviving?
God never forsakes His people. I'm managing.
Any man on your mind?