She came into the movie industry as Bukky Wrightís prot»g», but, that was back then. Today, Toyin Aimaku is on her own. SAMUEL OLATUNJI recently met with this actress who has been making waves in the Yoruba movie sector and she shared with him how she became a star within three years of her coming into showbiz and the reason she dresses the way she does.
You seem to have made a significant impact within a short time in the industry, how come?
This is probably my time; you will get to where God planned for you when the time comes. Actually, I wanted to be a psychotherapist, I never loved acting, but I met someone who introduced me to Bukky Wright and she brought me into limelight. This is what God wants me to do.
How was it like with Bukky Wright?
I was with her for a year, but now Iím on my own. I came into the industry through her and I went practically everywhere with her.
Are you a star now?
I am and Iíll always be in Jesus name.
In what way has acting paid off for you?
Am I not looking good? Iím looking good, Iíve got money to buy a small car and do whatever I want to do for myself.
If you were not an actress what would you have been?
Iíd probably have been a lawyer or psychotherapist.
I thought you read marketing in school?
I read marketing because I knew I was going to be an actress. I used to be in the University of Ibadan, but I later went to Ogun State University (OOU), and then Osun State Polytechnic where I read marketing.
How come you kept changing schools?
I read marketing at Osun State Polytechnic and philosophy at OOU. I couldnít cope at the University of Ibadan because I was studying medicine. So I changed school and went to OOU to study philosophy but before then, I had gone back to Osun State Polytechnic where I obtained my OND, before doing my HND. So I have two degrees.
How has life been as an actress?
It has been fun but there is nothing that is easy in life. Let me just say I thank God because it has been fun, encouraging and profitable. I just thank God for my life.
What did you learn from Bukky Wright?
She is a wonderful person, she taught me not to do all movies that I must learn to pick my scripts. And she taught me to be expensive and that I should not run after people because of money and production management. I learnt a lot from her.
What are the movies you did recently?
I did Morayo and some other ones whose titles I canít remember.
So how expensive are you?
What I meant was not just accepting all movies because of money. So that is what I mean by saying Bukky taught me to be expensive.
Is it true actresses sleep their way to the top?
Itís a lie; let me tell you sexual harassment happens everywhere, even in the bank. And if a man is wooing you, it does not mean that he is harassing you. He might just like you. I have fellow actors and marketers who like me. If Iím not being Ďtoastedí (wooed) I will feel like Iím not beautiful. I like it when guys walk up to me to ask me out, that means Iím beautiful and well created.
How many of your admirers in the industry have you said Ďyesí to?
I donít have a boyfriend in the industry. Iíve never dated anybody and I will not date anybody in the industry because I have somebody Iíve been dating for years or do you want to teach me how to double date.
If youíve not dated them, then how many of them have you slept with?
Iíve never slept with anyone and Iíll not sleep with anyone because I have what it takes to be an actress. You can ask them.
How far do you think you can hold on with this resolution, because I know some principled people that have fallen in the face of pressure?
If I want to do something there is nobody that can tell me not to do it and if I donít want to do something there is nobody that can tell me to do it. That is what I want to do and Iíve always told myself that Iíll not sleep with or date anybody where I work, that is because I respect myself and I want people to respect me.
Who is the guy you are dating?
I donít want to talk about him.
Is it true that you said you can give up acting for him?
Yes, because he is my husband. I can give up acting for anyone that loves me, provided I love him. If he wants me to quit acting, I will because there is no woman who doesnít want to have a husband and raise a family. And thank God, he stays in London at present.
How come you actresses are always dating people in diaspora?
Maybe they appreciate us more.
So we are not appreciative enough because we stay here?
Iím not saying that but I think they appreciate us better.
For how long have you been dating?
It would be about six years.
Where did you meet?
I met him at Ibadan.
How is he feeling now that you are an actress?
He loves it, he is proud of me.
You once said acting makes you live fake lifestyles, can you shed more light on that?
What I meant by that is, I like to play a lot, but right now you canít just expect me to do that anymore because a lot of people are looking up to me.
So what has that cost you?
It hasnít cost me so much.
So youíve also joined the league of movie producers?
I just have to produce to make money.
How much have you made from the movie?
That is a secret I canít tell you.
What was your first movie?
Dugbe Dubge Nbo
What do you think the future holds for you?
The future is the starting point. I see myself in the likes of Joke Silva, Angelina Jolie, Bukky Ajayi.
But you guys are doing things that those people you mentioned donít do?
It is because they have gotten to the stage where they canít do it anymore. I still have youthful exuberance, fine Iím going to get married soon, but that does not mean Iíll not do those things because Iím still young, so you canít compare the kind of life Iíll live to that of my elder colleagues. If you look back to when they were still young, they did some things like what we are doing now.
So how old are you?
I canít tell you my age.
How soon will you get married?
I think this year.
Why the rush?
Iím not rushing because Iíve been dating the guy for six years. It is time for us to settle down.
How did you maintain a relationship for six years?
We had a misunderstanding along the line and we broke up but we later made up. And during that period of break up, I dated about two other guys. Right now we love each other and there is no more fight and we are getting married soon.
What does sex mean to you?
It doesnít mean anything; please donít ask me about sex.
What was your impression of sex when you were growing up?
For me, I canít have sex with someone I donít love. To have sex with you I must really love you because it is something that must be enjoyed by the two parties.
Why do you like attracting attention with your dresses?
Iím an actress, Iím into showbiz so I need to Ďshowí. It is show business, so we need to show others what weíve got. That is my mode of dressing. You have to dress for people to notice you.
But anytime you dress like that it makes some men get eager to have a piece of what you flaunt?
I am sorry for them, it is only meant for one person and that person is my love.
Unless your name is Google, stop acting like you know everything!