For those who don't know this beauty queen, she is a versatile actress in Nollywood. A very articulate actress, Bimbo Akintola is known for her sultriness in movies.. Most of her popular movies include: "Unwritten", "Another New Day", "The Last Oath", but the movie that brought her to spotlight was "Out of Bounds". She recently starred in the movie "Hoodrush", (I haven't watched the movie yet...)
Read and enjoy this interview.
Your fans have missed you. Where were you before Hoodrush?
I've been around. My soap, Circle of three, was on TV for two years. I produced, I directed and acted. It was on for two years. And it went off the air about a year-and-a-half ago. And after that, you have Amazons. Amazons is on TV right now. The problem is, it's not like I don't like acting or I don't enjoy acting. There is nothing else I want to do with my life. I love acting. That's my passion. But I think at this point, it will be ridiculous for me to be doing useless films. That's how I see it. If I can't get a script that speaks to me, I won't work. I will find other things to sort out my bills and take care of me, and wait until I can do something sensible. The industry has been there for over twenty years. And at this point in time, I think we've gotten to the point where we should be doing great works, not mediocre works. Some scripts come to you, and you can't read the first page. It doesn't make sense at all from the first page. You can't keep saying oh, when we get on set, we'll work it out, because at the end of the day, I've seen some movies that I was in and I would cry because we didn't work it out. It didn't turn out right. If they don't have it together from the script, that means the technical work will be crap. So I say to myself now, until I get good scripts, I will sit at home. I do Yoruba movies. Why do I do Yoruba movies? The scripts are beautiful. The stories are original. People keep saying, why do you do Yoruba movies? Is it that you don't get English scripts? I could show you at least fifteen scripts in my house right now, but I can't read them. When I try and read the first two pages and I can't do it, I send it to my friend, who after two weeks, will call me and say, 'I'm not reading it. I can't do it. You can't act it. Do you understand?' How can Nollywood at this stage still be doing such mediocre work? Everywhere in the world, they know what Nollywood is. Why would we still be doing such mediocre work? I don't understand it and I'm not willing to be part of it.
I don't get to see you with other actresses.Is this part of the reasons you don't even come out for premieres?
I do get invites to most of those things, but sometimes I'm not able to make it because I dohave other things that I do. A lot of emcee work. I anchor shows. And sometimes, such programmes clash with my own schedules. And if you say I don't mix with other actors, I do have actors who are my friends. It's just that I don't believe because we are in the same profession, we have to be friends. I pick my friends from the heart. If I see you and my heart says that you are my friend, then you're my friend. I've had friends who have been my friends for twenty years and we are still growing strong. You know what, friendship is a great relationship. It's almost like a marriage. And if you don't have the right friends, you are doomed. If you have the wrong friends, because they'll never tell you when you're going wrong, when you're getting too full of yourself, when you're taking the wrong step, and they are not there to support you when you need them. Friendship is like a marriage. I pick my friends with care and from my heart. I mean, I love Tonto Dikeh, I've met her once, I think she has a lot of respect. And I think she's absolutely beautiful. I love Omotola, and I would say she is my friend. But we don't see every day, we don't talk every day. But when we see, we're like together, gisting. That's the same thing with Stella. Keppy is one of my best friends, his wife, his whole family. They've been my friends for a long time. We are going on twenty years now. I still saw them today. That's how friendly we are. So, for me, friendship is not by profession. It's your heart that decides who your friends are.
Tonto Dikeh, Omotola both actresses are short-fused. Do you also share that trait?
You mean they have a temper? I've never seen it! You know people keep telling me that Omotola has a temper. I've never seen it! I don't believe it! Honestly, I think it's a story from somewhere that somebody started because I've worked with Omotola. And you know what, we were once together on a set where things went wrong, and if she truly has a short-fuse, she should have lost it on that day, but she didn't. We just started laughing, went to one corner, sat down and laughed, and said 'when they get themselves together they will call us.' So I've never seen this temper that they are going on about with. And if you say Tonto has a short-fuse, don't forget she's a young actress. And she's a brilliant actress. So she's getting a lot of attention. And some of it is not positive. And because she's just starting to deal with that, she might say things that people see as aggressive or wrong. But she will learn to ignore after a while because that's honestly the best thing to do.
Is that how you handle scandals?
I ignore a lot of things. You can never please everybody. I've known that since I was a child. And I believe in it totally. So you please yourself first and foremost, because at the end of the day, when we all die, you will stand in front of your Maker and face judgment alone. I always please myself first. It's not like I don't care about other people. I do care about other people, but I don't care what people say about me, and that's the difference. I care about my family, about my friends and they know me. If they think anything is wrong, they would ask me. But if you believe it without knowing me, without giving me a chance to defend myself, then you're not worth it. That's how I see it because you never judge a book by its cover. You never judge people by what you hear about them. You judge based on what you know. So if you can't take the time out to find out and be sure of what people are saying, then you're not useful and you're not worth it. I'm an actor. I studied Theatre Arts. I spent six years in the University of Ibadan. I did a diploma and then my degree. And I think for most of the writers in Nigeria, they also went to school of journalism. I'm sure there is something they taught them. You find out the truth before you write. Unfortunately, some of you don't.
Let's be truthful. Some of you do not. It now looks as if instead of being together, because we can only build if we work together, it looks like we are trying to destroy what somebody else has achieved. And I find that very painful. If you write about a woman, a married actress committing adultery, if it's true, put it there, and I will be the first to support you. But if it isn't, why do you do that? There was a publication about Kate Henshaw-Nuttal's child a long time ago. And it was the height of disgust. The person that wrote that story said whether her child was an albino or something. How on earth do you insult somebody's child? If it wasn't personal and you were now using your job to get revenge, why would you write that about somebody else's child? Why would you do that? Why would you write that Bimbo is dating ten men in Abuja when you know for certain that it didn't happen? Or you write that you saw me in Abuja at the airport fighting over runs money, which was also put in the papers. Why would you want to spoil my image for no reason? As an actor, we have a responsibility to the audience, to be happy anytime we see them, no matter what our mood is. You guys have a responsibility as well to tell the truth. If you're killing Nollywood, you are killing yourselves. What else is there to report if not Nollywood? So I find it very hard to understand why some journalists write what they write. It is sad. If I were a reporter, and I decided I wanted to write the bad things that actors do, and I agree you have a right to do that, because the public has a right to know if some of these people that they think are such great people are really great people, but you should be truthful.
I'm sure that you were particularly touched by Kate Henshaw's case because it involved her child. When do you plan having your own children?
I have loads of children.
I mean biological children?
Biological will come soon. But I have loads and loads of children. I even have children who are married and giving me grandchildren (laughs).
You just talked about your children who are married. Does it bother you that you're not married?
That's the bad thing, I never attend weddings. But I attended my sister's wedding. I'm not a wedding, naming ceremony, burial person. I really don't understand what I'm doing there. But I'm a birthday person. However, it doesn't bother me. I will tell you why, we are all individuals who have different paths to take in life. Some of us will marry. Some of us won't. Some of will have kids. Some of us won't. Some of us won't be able to. So I never judge myself according to other people's standards. And for me, marriage is such a huge deal and I'm not in a hurry to go there. That's the truth. If you find maybe two of my ex's, you will find out that I've had proposals. But I turned them down because at the end of the day, you are saying 'I pick this person above everybody else in the world, till death do us part.' I had better believe that! If I don't believe it, it's not going to happen. Look, I will be 70 and single if I don't believe it.
But do you believe in the maxim 'happily ever after’?
There can be happily ever after, but it takes a lot of hard work. You have to work at it. Relationship is work. Friendship is work. Marriage is bigger, bigger, bigger work. Marriage is the hardest institution on the face of the earth. As boyfriend and girlfriend, you guys are cool. You have an argument; you will vex, pack your loads and go to your house. He will come and beg you. Marriage, where are you going? Do you understand? You are in each other's space day-in-day-out as long as you are together. And that takes a lot. It's not the easiest thing to do. You're from a different background, he's from a different background; you guys are different people. You will always have problems until you find even ground. And it takes a lot of hard work to stay there. When my colleagues tell me 'oh Bimbo, I'm getting married', I always ask them one question. Are you sure?
Could it mean that you weren't sure of the guys you've dated?
I never dated anybody and thought to myself, 'oh, I want to marry this person and stay with this person for the rest of my life.' It's only normal that when you're dating someone, then you should have marriage in view… Opon ti sun (times have changed). Let me tell you the truth. Times have changed. It was back then that they say 'oh! At forty-something, you're not married. You are no longer on the shelf.' There is no such thing again. People are getting married at forty-eight. My friend's aunty got married; she's fifty-six, first marriage. In the village they did big wedding. I couldn't understand it. But you know what, it's happening every day, everywhere. It's no more a thing of you are old you can't get married. It's when you find the right man. And I'm glad parents are beginning to realise that they shouldn't put so much pressure on their children. That was why I did Circle of three, to talk about that pressure. Don't put pressure on your child. That's why marriages are collapsing everywhere. By the time everybody has frustrated the girl in their house, she jumps into the first thing to come along, and two months later, she's back at home. Marriage is over. And that is such a big shame.
You have shown that you love kids. Is there a possibility that you might have kids out of wedlock?
Of course, there is nothing wrong with having kids out of wedlock. It was before that they will say bastard, now it's normal.
Is that not a shift in value?
Is it? It's not a shift in value. It's says in the Bible that God removed a rib from man, Adam, and created his woman. What if your own rib creator has died? Some people die at infancy. Some people die in car accident. Are they not somebody's husband? And some people become monks, priests, that don't marry. If it is in the Bible that each woman is created for a man and some men have died, that means some women's husbands have gone. So manage your life and be happy. And does that mean such women should not have children? Let's even leave that aside. What if you are unlucky and you keep having relationships over and over and you've not found the right man. Or it never works out. Would someone tell you that at 45, you shouldn't have a child? If husband no come, pikin no go come? That will be unfair now. That's two blows to deal one person. Some women out there really want to settle down, but they can't find a man. So are you going to tell me that for those women, they shouldn't have children? It's not possible. You will be wicked to say that.
What is the quality of your ideal man?
There is no such thing as ideal man. What you get is a man that you can laugh with and then you build from there. Any woman that's looking for Mr. Right will die single, old and wrinkle. There is no perfect man. There is no perfect woman. What you have is a work in progress. Each of us is a work in progress.
You played the role of a sugar mummy in Hoodrush. From the experience of previous write- ups about you, do you prefer younger men, or is it a misconception?
I like men generally (laugh). I know what you're talking about. Let me tell you what happened with Dimeji. He came to interview me from Genevieve Magazine. And at the end of the shoot, he says, can I have a picture with you and I said yes and I held him like this and we took a picture and that was it. He became my lover. I haven't spoken to that boy since that shoot. I'm serious. Is it that every man or woman you hug is a lover? Do you understand? But it's ridiculous, because we can't keep doing this.
Your picture with OC Ukeje in a compromising state has been generating a lot of buzz. What's your take on it?
I think that is Nigerians at their funniest. This is how it is, you put a picture of two people, in what they see as a compromising situation or position in papers, and the next thing is, it has to be that they are dating. Lord, help us! I hope we get past this and behave like educated people someday and let go off all these things. When they tell you something is from a set, that means it's a make-believe, not true.