From the bottom of her heart, busty and beautiful actress, Foluke Daramola-Salako, recently opened up to YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine on why her first marriage crashed. The mother of two also spoke on why she hasn’t had a baby yet for her new husband, Kayode Salako and other pertinent issues. Enjoy…
Who is a good actress?
A good actress is the one that knows how to interpret roles perfectly. A good actress is the one that takes the role of a prostitute and acts it well and you feel that the actress is a prostitute. She’s the one that takes the role of a virgin and you feel that she is a virgin. She fits into a role perfectly. Like me, if I am playing the role of Janet, I should be able to remove Foluke from Janet and be able to act Janet perfectly.
Who is a good producer?
A good producer is the one that should be able to first and foremost, get a perfect script, be able to look at the script from his perspective, the perspective of the director and the perspective of the actress as well and be able to fuse all these together to bring a perfect picture. A good producer should be able to bring the creativity of any script out without any inhibition to get a good picture. What do I mean by inhibition? Maybe sentiment, maybe funds or anything.
When you started, what plans and goals did you set for yourself?
I started as a teenager. I was very young, so I made a lot of mistakes. But one thing I always used as my watchword was that showbiz and celebrity would not change me from who I am. The fact that I’m an actress doesn’t change me from Foluke. So, it has helped me. Right from my primary school, my friends remain my friends, my family remains my family and celebrity this or not, I’m still the same old me. It’s just my profession.
You’ve featured in so many movies and you’ve also done yours. Which will you consider as the most challenging of all the ones you’ve produced on your own?
The one that I will say is the most challenging is Cobwebs. One, that’s my first English movie that I produced, aside my TV series. It took me almost three years and it was shot with so much fund and everything and it was the one that I just wanted to make a statement with. I wanted to create another impression about myself. I just wanted to go all out to achieve something different.
What is your take on actresses that get funds from politicians to do cinema movies that are below standard?
To a large extent, I have not been following the trends. But, I know that cinema-bound movies are not just anyhow movies. They are qualitative movies, they are the movies that people like Kunle Afolayan, Emem Isong, Desmond Elliot, even Iyabo Ojo and Dayo Amusan, will shoot. They are not movies that you can just say they are anyhow movies. Aside the fact that the way I get my own funding might be different from the way other people get theirs, if a lady is fortunate enough to get money from a politician and I’m not opportuned to get such, it doesn’t mean that I should bad mouth them. It doesn’t mean they should be crucified and that doesn’t mean the person cannot produce something qualitative as well. For instance, I had a nasty experience with Wakati Eda, one of my movies. I had to borrow money from friends and even the bank and at the end of the day, I lost. So, a lot of us know that the only thing we have to do is to look for maybe family members, people that believe in us, who can invest in us, so at the end of the day, even if we go at a loss, it won’t be too much. For instance, we have spent about 18 million naira on Cobwebs and I’m afraid to release it because I don’t know how I’m going to make my money back. So, I don’t blame them for collecting such money from politicians.
Talking about Wakati Eda, what actually happened to the movie?
When I shot Wakati Eda, I got some loans from friends, we shot it, I premiered it at the Sheraton, I premiered it in London, I premiered in America. When it was supposed to come out eventually, it was Litanda that sold the movie. Unfortunately, Litanda had issues with the rest of the marketers. He had a lot of people that he was owning, so when the movie came out and he sold to the other marketers, a lot of them didn’t give him money because he was already owing. As I speak now, Litanda is on the run. He has about 7 million with him. Pirates started to sell Wakati Eda the next day. I printed about 20,000 copies. The pirates had already printed over 80,000 copies and I sold my own on Monday, by Tuesday, in fact, it was the same day that I started selling that they started selling. At the end of the day, I ran at a major loss which I am still even paying for till now. So, with this kind of thing, it smeared my name, even with the bank that I was dealing with because at the end of the day, I took it the professional way. So, I won’t blame my colleagues that collect money from relatives or maybe politicians that can invest or believe in us so that at the end of the day even if they have to go at a loss, it won’t be so much. You can’t blame them.
Why do you think many actresses can’t sustain their relevance?
The acting world is changing. It is one that a lot of people don’t understand that you have to take a bow when the ovation is loudest; aside the fact that you can’t always be the rave of the moment. That’s why it’s called rave of the moment. The beauty of it is for you to be able to be dynamic. It is not about you acting and acting alone. The fact that I have been able to sustain the Foluke Daramola brand is not because of the fact that I feature in so many movies. But over time, I have been able to understand that when you are a celebrity, it is not restricted to just you acting movies alone, it is for you to relate with your environment. I do bit of activism job, I do other businesses and a bit of everything. I don’t always like my face to be on screen every now and then. At the end of the day, the beauty is for you to be able to sustain that name, that face and you can’t sustain it only by acting because at some point viewers will get tired of your face. So, the beauty is for you to look inward and think outside the box to understand that okay, apart from the acting, what else can I do? I for one, I produce, I act, I direct as well. Sometimes, I direct and I don’t act in the movie. Sometimes, I just face my activism work. At the end of the day, there’s no how you won’t relate Foluke Daramola with a lot of things and not just acting alone.
What is the best way to manage scandals?
The best way to manage scandals is first and foremost for you to keep quiet on it. If you continue to talk on it, you just continue to expand it unnecessarily. There are some scandals you can’t afford to keep quiet on, but there are some that the best way to handle is to keep quiet. So, for me, because I have been in the industry for about 19 years and have had my fair share of bad press and all, the best way to manage scandal is to keep quiet.
What is the worst rumour you have heard about yourself?
I can’t say this in the worst for me. I am not someone that likes to dwell on my scandals; I would rather focus on my achievements and things that have made a difference in my life than scandals. Scandal is not something that you should dwell on as far as I am concerned. So, I don’t dwell on it. I don’t even remember them. I just live past them.
What is the best way to balance your marriage as a celebrity?
For every woman that understands life, you should know that your marriage is where you come back to after the glitz, the glamour and everything. If you don’t build that home that you are coming back to, it’s going to tell on you at a time. Because you can’t always be glamorous, you can’t always be beautiful, you can’t always be there. It takes your understanding that you have to build your home so that you have somewhere to come back to. When the ovation is loudest, you have to take a bow by going back to your home. So, if you don’t build that home and invest quality time in that home, it’s going to tell on you later. That is how you get to see that a lot of celebrities get frustrated at the end of the day and commit suicide and some of them end up being with the people that they are not supposed to be with because they have not been able to build their homes. For me, I place more value on my family now than my career. That doesn’t mean I don’t place value on my career. Because it is also very important to me. But I believe my family should come first because I know that when the ovation is loudest and I have to leave the stage, it is my family that I will get back to.
What is the best lesson that marriage has taught you?
First and foremost, you have to understand when you are married that you have to come down from your high horse, no matter how. You have to be extra-humble because every man has ego, no matter how little or big and for a woman to be able to handle that, to be able to keep that home, the woman has to come down from her high horse. The fact that you are a beautiful woman is one and to now crown it that you are a celebrity, it’s like you are trying to push that guy. The guy would believe that is it because you are an actress or what? So, you have to be humble to convince your husband that you are different from whom you are when you are on stage. So, the greatest lesson marriage has taught me is for you to be extra humble when it comes to the issue of marriage.
What mistake do you think you made in your last marriage that you won’t allow to happen again?
First and foremost, I rushed into my first marriage because everybody was getting married and I also wanted to get married. So, I really did not know who I was married to the first time. That was the issue. The bane was that I was in a hurry to get married and because I was in a hurry to get married, I did not really study the person I got married to. But just because I had kids in that marriage, I don’t regret it. Because for everything that happens to us in life, it has been orchestrated by God. So, the only thing that I think was the bane of the relationship was that I was immature and I jumped into the marriage and never took my time. Now, in this marriage, I’m more matured and I value what I have now than then because I was still very young and jumpy then.
How well has your husband been coping with issues from your past marriage because you all live together?
First and foremost, I would never date, not to talk of getting married to anyone that would not have to take care of my children. Because any man that understands a woman would know that if you don’t love that woman’s child, you can’t get to the heart of that woman. One of the things that attracted me to Kayode in the first instance was the fact that he is one person that loves children. It can be mine or anybody’s child; he’s one person that loves children, even though he is a disciplinarian. He has never for one day segregated against my children to make them feel that he doesn’t love them. Let me give you a scenario, I went for an open day in my children’s school just after we got married and my children told me there that they didn’t want their surname anymore; that they will like to bear Kayode Salako and when their teachers refused their request, they would just write their names (Ire, Ibukun) and won’t write their surname (Sobowale) and it was because of the way he was treating them that they felt loved. It is not even about me, it is about him and the relationship he has built with the children over time. So, that was one of the major reasons I got attracted to him.
Do you think it is right to say most failed marriages happen because of immaturity and failure to know more about their partners?
Yes! Like I said, it is peer pressure. Peer pressure in the sense that a lot of us, when we get to a certain age, we get agitated. I want to be married, I want to get married and a lot of us don’t really take our time to know our spouses well and sometimes it can be that it is because the guy is financially okay, he’s alright and we feel that he can take care of us. Late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya said, “you have to be complete in yourself before you decide to have a spouse, either male or female”. Completeness in oneself means you have to be able to see yourself that I can stand on my own, devoid of any man or woman. So, our failure in taking time to know who we are dealing with very well contributes to marriage failure. Everybody wants to be married and once you are married, reality now sets in that this is the true picture and sometimes you can cope while other times we can be abused. It can be anything and I’m not an advocate that a man is abusing you, because of what people would say, you stay. You should say no, I’m sorry. Maybe years ago I would have advocated for that.
Is there any pressure on you to give birth for Kayode Salako?
I and my husband are not under any pressure at all. In fact, we have decided that we want to enjoy our marriage. Our marriage is not one that you think it’s a marriage. Sometimes we even ask ourselves: are we even married? Because we are like we are in a relationship, you know. We go out, we have fun, we club, we go to the beach at night, we are just ourselves. I’m like 16, he is like 18, so we are enjoying the relationship. We are not under any obligation to have kids, but if kids come fine, but it is not like I’m under any pressure because of the fact of what people will say. I don’t live my life for people, rather I live my life based on the fact that I enjoy what I’m doing and that is the only way you can live long. Because if you live your life based on what people would say, you just discover that you will die quickly.
It was once reported that you had a miscarriage, how true is it?
I don’t know where they got that from because I never had any miscarriage. I don’t know where that came from. Nigeria is one audience that just decides one day to sit down and write stories and at the end of the day…even if I had miscarriage, is it something pleasant that everybody would like to talk about? If I get pregnant and have a child, everybody would celebrate with me, but assuming I had any miscarriage, is it something that I would be celebrating with the world that I had miscarriage? That should be my private life and it should remain so.
Are you also considering veering into politics?
Yes! I have intention to, but it is just that I don’t see where I fit in right now. It is a very good one. Because if we all don’t do it, who will do it? We have been complaining about our leaders, so we should be able to make the difference. A lot of artistes that are going into politics now are well read and enlightened. They are educated and they can make the change as well. So, I think there should even be more people going into it. At the end of the day, as a celebrity, if they are not doing what they are supposed to do, people would now say you are supposed to be a pacesetter and you are now making a mockery of the whole thing.
NB: First publish September 2014