September 10, 2016 – Nigerian Actress Adunni Ade: I Was Born To An American Mother & A Nigerian Father
I Was Born In America, But I Love Nigerian Culture – Adunni Ade Grants First Tell-It-All Interview Of 2016
Nollywood actress Adunni Ade recently had a one on one chat with Lanre Odukoya where she talked about her upbringing and how long she’s been staying in Nigeria.
What Is Your Nationality
I’m part American, I had the privilege of growing up here but I wasn’t born here. I was born in America but I had the privilege of growing up here and learning the culture and the ways of life. And at some point in my life, I also grew up in America so it’s 50-50 for me.
I am a fast learner and I guess I just adapted to the Nigerian culture and it works for me, but it never even seemed like a problem in the past because it just comes out. I just speak and it’s recently people tell me and I know how to relate with everybody, if it is Yoruba I will speak and if it is pidgin I will also speak. However I can relate with anyone for him or her to comprehend what I am saying. (NaijaGists.com)
How long did you live in the U.S. and how long have you stayed in Nigeria?
That’s the reason I said it’s 50-50, but I have been back here for almost three years
Which of your parents is an American?
My mother; she is American, but she is of German and Irish decent. And that’s where I get this look and natural hair from. A lot of people thought I wear weave-on, (she led the reporter’s hand to the base of her hair), you can see it yourself.
I can’t deal with heat that’s why I always put my hair in a ponytail, you just see me put my hair up in a doughnut or a ponytail. Even if I do my hair, maybe once or twice a year, every other time my hair is in a ponytail, I don’t like that heat, I get hot easily. I am really warm blooded. I just braided my hair
What’s been the story of your career?
I wanted to be in the fashion industry, it was always fashion. My step-mum is a fashion designer and she had this big showcase in her store and I would just get dressed and put make up on and pose as a mannequin for hours and people would just stand and look at me. So I was like a Barbie doll growing up and I just loved the whole fashion world and then as life would have it I became an actress. But at least, I started off my career as a model.
What did you study at the university?
I studied accounting.
So what have you done with that degree?
I have never used my accounting degree. I studied at the University of Kentucky. In the States my job always had to with helping people, so I worked in the State of Kentucky at the housing department where we gave people with low income housing.
I worked with the housing authorities in Kentucky providing homes. Then I worked with the health insurance department in Maryland where we provided medical insurance and medical aids to those who couldn’t afford it and also the elderly ones. So I enjoy helping people.
What exactly is your fascination with Nigeria knowing the difference between America and Nigeria?
The thing is I can adapt anywhere you put me, I can live my life anywhere you put me. I love Nigerian culture, it’s tiring but I love it. And it’s just amazing how our things are done here and how crazy the system is, but people still become successful in this country and that’s a big motivation for me; I have really dealt with life in a very difficult way, so nothing surprises me. I can survive anywhere. Kos i nkankan to jo mi l’oju (nothing shocks me anymore).
What was the toughest situation life had thrown at you?
No difficulty really fazes me. My main focus is just to keep growing in my career and keep being the best mother that I can be to my kids.
How did you cut your teeth as an actor?
Well, it started from my comedy skits and my comedy started from me trying to just express the part of me that’s funny. And it was also a time when I was just working with my 9am to 5pm life. That was all, there was nothing special about it. I don’t know how exactly this thing started but I know that when you have that gift, when God blesses you, you’d better use it, otherwise he would take it away.
When did you do your first skit?
It was in 2012, my first movie was 2013 with Saheed Balogun.It was entitled ‘You and I’, a Yoruba movie.
Which medium of expression do you feel more comfortable with, English or Yoruba language?
Any one is fine. There is nowhere I can’t blend as long as I love the script; as long as I can translate the script I’m good to go.
What kind of lady is Adunni Ade back at home?
Adunni is very laid back, forget all those crazy stuffs, Adunni lives just in her room. It’s like I stay in my room 24/7, I am not so much of a people person. Don’t take that the wrong way. I’m not saying I don’t like people, but I am very shy, people don’t know that, but when you’re in this business, I’d rather let you see me in the positive light than you calling me a snub.
So, I’ve learnt to be friendlier and more outgoing with people, but at home I keep to myself. I live in my room and just listen to songs. I’m a very laid back kind of person. I think I live a boring life.
Do you do chores like cooking and washing by yourself?
Oh, yes I cook, but I also have a nanny, so we do it together.
Oh, you have two kids already?
Yes, I have kids. I have two children. They are boys.
Are you married?
No, I’m not married, I am a single parent.
What’s life like as a single parent?
Life is life, you keep moving. You don’t let one hiccup stop you from attaining your best, so there is nothing to see to it or ask like ‘how are you dealing with it?’ I have been doing it for a long time, so it’s fine. How old are your boys? My older son is nine next month and my younger is five.
What happened to your first marriage?
No, I have never been married before.
Are you giving marriage a thought at all?
I have never given up on love but for now it’s just me focusing on Adunni, focusing on my children, trying to raise more money and work harder. I never say never to love.
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