July 11, 2015 – Sola Sobowale Reveals Husband & Daughters Photos, Discusses Why She Left Nigeria To UK
Excerpt from a recent interview Victor Akande had with Nollywood actress Sola Sobowale at her house in Ikeja, Lagos
It’s good to know that you are back to the screen, starting with Nectar, your latest production. What took you away from Nigeria in the first place?
I love Nigeria. Nigeria is the greatest country in the whole wide world. I don’t know why people don’t want to live in Nigeria. I must also say that I was doing pretty well in Nigeria before I went abroad, because all the marketers loved me and they didn’t hide that fact. I got a job of N1million within the spate of one month; sometimes I got jobs of N800, 000.
So, I was really making money. I put my children in the best schools because education is the only legacy you can leave your children. However, I left for the UK over twenty years ago, and the reason is simple; Mo lo tunojo ale mi seni (I went to prepare for my future). I was paying close to a million Naira per term for three children here, but when I hear some graduates in Nigeria speak, their grammatical blunders saddens my heart. This is in addition to having a child spend seven years studying a four year course, courtesy of the regular strikes. So, I took them to study abroad and came home to continue my career.
But I always kept tabs on the kids. Therefore, I don’t do mobile phones. I do landline. And that is simply because motherhood goes beyond having children. A mother must do a job that gives her time to teach family values. By doing landline, I know when my children wake up in the morning, when they go to school, and when they close at school. I call them on their landline, and they must pick it. As time went on, I realised that was not enough. So, one day, I took off to England to be with them, and watch them closely. I told myself that stardom must wait. Now the three of them have graduated. Mission accomplished, I can now get back to work and that is why I am here.
What was your experience like, coming back to shoot Nectar?
My children wrote Nectar when I was abroad. Within that period, I came to Nigeria to shoot Ohun Oko Somida. I also did Family on Fire by Tade Ogidan. The movies I do come out of experience. Many Nigerians who travel abroad destroy our culture and heritage. Some don’t even speak their language with their children. Some are too busy to know if the girl or boy that left home for school actually attended classes.
Do you check your children’s notebooks? Do you know their counselors, teachers? Do you talk to the teachers about your children? That way again, I said to myself, let’s bring family values back. And that is why right now, I am working on an NGO on family values. This should turn people’s lives around to understand what parenting is. We want our children to stop doing drugs; we want our children to stop prostitution. In Nectar, you will find some of those values in it. When you govern your home well, you will govern your office well, and then you can govern your local government to an international level. Some people are very rich, but when you see their children you will cry for them. So, this is why I am back on screen, telling people how they can do things in the right way.
Are you trying to bring your children into the film profession?
Before I left Nigeria, Taiye; one of my twins was acting in Everyday People. She was still in Primary School at that time. She quit on her own, saying to me; ‘mummy I am not doing again’. But when they were in the UK, and at their leisure, they took to script writing. That was how Nectar came about.
What has changed in the Nigeria movie industry since you returned?
A lot. We need to focus more on transformational movies. People believe solely in what they can eat now. Don’t they have piracy in America too? Even on the streets of London, there are pirates. So why is Nigeria different? Why can’t the government build a film village for filmmakers to use? That’s why I give kudos to Nigerian producers because these things are done individually. So let’s touch important places in people’s lives. I want to touch fathers, mothers, and children by the grace of God and government too. I will get there.
How available are you for other jobs apart from your own productions, and your NGO?
If I receive a good offer I will do it. If I get a meaningful job that people will learn from, I will do it. I am available because that’s my job, and my joy. But I will not do a meaningless job.
Do your children place any restrictions on your acting?
Yes! Before I do any script, they will tell me “Mummy can I have the script?” And they will read. Another thing is that my colleagues know what to give me. There was a script in which I was asked to play a Sugar Mummy and I asked how they want me to play the role, because I have my own way. But then they told me the little boy will be cuddling me. I rejected the script. So, yes, I do have restrictions.
You acted in Asewo to re Mecca…
(Cuts in) Yes. Very well. It was a pacesetting movie, but did you see us taking off our clothes? Even in the swimming pool scene, I had my swimsuit with a robe. I love Asewo to re Mecca. I would do it over and over again.
I like the aspect of parenting, and the fact that you put your family first. But in all of these, you did not mention their dad…
(Cuts in) Come let me show you something. (Moves towards the sitting area) I have heard people say Sola Sobowale does not have a husband. (Shows family photographs of herself, her husband, a tall, dark, trim, bearded man with her children) People even said I wrote Ohun Oko Somida based on my experience but it’s not true.