Why I can’t drop the name ‘Balogun’—Fathia Balogun

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It is often said that stars do not reign forever but that maxim may not be totally correct. With a career spanning two decades, Fathia Balogun’s name resonates as far as Nollywood Yoruba film industry is concerned. Born to a Delta State father and Anambra State mother, a lot of her fans would swear that the versatile actress sure has Yoruba blood.

In this interview with MERCY MICHAEL, the mother of two and estranged wife of equally popular actor cum producer, Saidi Balogun, opens up on scandals, 'bad girl roles' in recent times, relationship, and other things.

THIS is a new look, low cut and all round gold tinted. Is it for a movie role or you just decided to sport a new look?

It's for a movie role. It's for my new movie.

What's the title of the movie?

Right now I don't have a Yoruba title for it but it is called Street Girls.

With your hair tinted all-round gold, don't you sometimes feel embarrassed in public?

I don't like it because it's not my style. It's too loud, too shouty even from afar. I still have continuity to shoot. I have like five scenes to shoot with Oge Okoye that's why I'm still keeping it but by next week it should be off.

You have Oge Okoye on your new movie. This is probably the first time. What is like working with her?

Hmmmmm yeah, she was really humble. She was nice. She's a pleasant girl. Sometimes you look at people from afar, you don't know them and you think they are pompous. But working with Oge was just 'it'. She was really nice on set. She was even trying to speak more of Yoruba. When we say don't say this, it's too much for you she would say no, no, no, let me say it. She was really nice on set.

There has been a lot of cross-over from the English to Yoruba. When are we going to see such a move from you?

I've done English movies but you know how it is now. They don't call us. When they call me I will go for it, if the money is right. They know I can do it because I've done it before. And I've done a lot of soaps. I've done one or two English movies too. I look forward to it, for real! Next year I really want to do more of English movies than Yoruba.

You've been playing more of 'Street Roles' or 'bad girl roles' in recent times. What informed this decision?

Maybe because I'm fit so producers think that I can still do it. Two, three years ago, I used to play like the 'wifey' thing but I think this year basically they've actually figured me out for street girl roles.

Do you actually get high on something to be able to fit into these roles?

No ooo. I would just say it is God. I used to exercise a lot but I haven't been exercising since this year. I've just being myself. Look at me, I'm size 12 now. I wear small 12. Late last year I was wearing 8 and 10. I went to America, came back and I was wearing small 10 but right now I'm wearing small 12 but I can still run ooo. Don't try me (laughs).

Is there any particular reason u choose to keep it on the trim side knowing that Africans generally love flesh?

We are not big in my family. My dad is slim. My mother is plump, not too big. So I would just say it's from the family basically. If I leave myself I can be big but my mentor, Sharon Stone, is not big. She's over 50 and she's still there. That's what I think every entertainer should strive for. I think as an entertainer you should be conscious of your size. You should work at being fit. Naturally I don't like it big. I want to be slim.

Onome Aganga, is one of those movies you played a 'street girl’. Tell us, your experience on that movie set?

I actually had to work-out for Onome Aganga. I wanted to be fit because of the stress in it. I worked-out and it paid off. Onome Aganga was just a small story that I actually sat down and wrote. It was something to do with the Niger Delta. I had a cousin then that actually went with the Niger Delta struggle. We didn't see her for a long time. But when we eventually saw her she had gone gaga. She's still living but she has actually gone gaga because she didn't see anybody to advice her. I actually turned it round that, going gaga does not mean you cannot change people. I actually wanted to write a movie on street life because I know that most of them don't wish to be there on the street, if they actually see someone to help them they will live a better life so that was how I came about Onome Aganga. And it was nice.

You've done a lot of productions in recent times, is that your new passion?

Hmmm producing, I don't really produce movies like that. I do two movies in a year because I use two outfits. One is called 'Fatia Balogun Power House Production' that is where I do my big blockbuster movies. And there is 'Gloria Concept' where I do the average ones. So I don't really produce movies like that. Last year was Sunmisola Otelemuye and this year, we are doing Street Girls.

There is this maxim that stars don't reign forever but that's not you. What is your staying power?

My sister I don't know. I don't. I'm just this actor that wants to be there. It is what I love to do. I can go acting without even asking after my kids. When I'm down, if I'm acting I forget it. Maybe when I'm driving home I can now think about it. When I'm acting I put every other thing behind me. I want to get into a character, do it well, so that my fans can see and be proud of me. I don't like to do same thing. When I was doing the 'wifey' thing, I was getting tired of it. I wanted to do something else and not cry and cry every day. You haven't even seen anything yet. The best is yet to come. Those days when they just put us in one role, you will play a role for like five years are gone. Now it's different.
Everybody comes with a lot of creativity. Acting is something I love to do. Some people love to sing, love to dance. When I went to dance I told them I didn't know how to dance. I can dance disco but definitely not choreography. It's wasn't my thing but glory be to God I was still there till the end of the show.

Talking about Celebrity Takes 2, if said you don't know how to dance yet you were there still the end. Was it stage managed?

Stage managed, when my head was on the floor like ten times, even my clothes got torn when I was dancing and everything. It was really fun. It was another experience for me.
At least it is something I can make reference to that I've done before. Whatever I set out to do, I try to psyche up myself to be different. Even if it's my movies, I want people to spot me out.

Why were you spotted out for Celebrity Takes 2?

I don't know o. They just told me they needed me to come and dance. I was like dance for what? I asked too many questions. It took them a lot of time to convince me because I was like me, Iya somebody to go and start dancing, for wetin? I can't dance. The guy kept coming to my place, pressurizing me before I eventually gave in. at first we thought it was a joke but when we got there we realized it's was a serious matter. Everybody wanted to outdo the other person. Anytime we had rehearsal, you will think it's a warfront. And we got paid. It was easy to say because we got paid we should go out of the game but no, everybody wanted to stay. If someone is going home everybody is crying, that we are going to miss the person. It was tough but I loved it.

You played different roles, some even similar. What is one role that you will honestly say have challenged you in recent times?

I would say it is Onome Aganga. It was one role I didn't know how to go about it. I was like how am I going to do this thing? How am I going to act it? It took me months before I could fathom it. The way I wanted to walk, talk, dress and other things. Funny enough, after the movie, I found myself actually walking like Onome Aganga. It got really out of hand, that sometimes I would have to make a conscious effort to be me again. Onome Aganga was a challenge for me and I give God all the glory that all my fans actually accepted it. Sunmisola too was stressful because it was detective. I had to go learn how to take my gun and everything. But I would say my number one is Onome Aganga.

Even when you play the 'bad girl' role, you don't ever wear shorts or mini skirt. Are you afraid of showing your legs?

I have bow legs, fine! But they're alright. I'm not just down with wearing mini skirt. You can't catch me wearing mini skirt. On set maybe once in a while if I'm going to sit down I can wear it but my producer is not going to tell me to wear mini skirt.

Tell us about some of the gains and pains of stardom?

The gains, I've had a lot of gains. Doors open because of your name. People call you to come and represent one thing or the other. I've gotten so many awards both within and outside the country. I appreciate myself and I appreciate those who appreciate me. We cannot be complete because we have blood flowing in our veins. I give glory to God that this job has giving me a lot in many life. I'm not rich but I'm grateful to God, I'm comfortable. My name has actually opened a lot of door for me.

The pains…Hmmm, let's not go there. The pains are more than the gains but we don't have a choice.

Like my mother will tell me, you chose the job so don't complain. When I just started my parents didn't like it, especially my mother. The bad press wasn't just going down well with her. It wasn't going down well with me either because I could sit down in the house and cry from morning still night especially when it had to do with something I didn't do or know about and then you find such on front cover of a publication and your kids can read and call you that mummy we read so, so and so.

Can you recall a particular scenario where your son as had to call your attention to something he read in a publication?

There was this scenario of me and one actress fighting on the street over some stupid thing, over someone. You won't believe that my son's teacher brought the publication to school and gave to my son to read. He got home and told me, mummy I read about you and someone fighting…I asked him where he got the publication. He told me his teacher gave it to him to read. I went to his school and confronted the teacher. That, I actually cried. So many things that you don't even know about, people will come and start talking and talking. There was a day I went to the bank and everybody was looking at me. I didn't think they were looking at me because I'm Fathia Balogun, what kept going through my mind was; only God knows what they've read about me. Sometimes you may go somewhere and someone will be arguing with you over what he or she read and you will be trying to make them understand it's not true but they will go on and go. If I get into my car, that day is just ended for me. It's not easy at all.

Why do a lot of people think you're a snob?

I get that comment a lot from outside that I'm a snob. If you come close to me, if you know me; you will know what to say. But if you think I'm a snob, well, I don't know what to say but I'm not a snob. I can be very playful that is if I like you. I'm very choosy about my friends, very, very choosy.



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Nice one.....I wonder where in the article she mentioned that she can't drop the Balogun name....or did I miss it?


Staff member
Tell us about some of the gains and pains of stardom?

The gains, I've had a lot of gains. Doors open because of your name. People call you to come and represent one thing or the other. I've gotten so many awards both within and outside the country. I appreciate myself and I appreciate those who appreciate me. We cannot be complete because we have blood flowing in our veins. I give glory to God that this job has giving me a lot in many life. I'm not rich but I'm grateful to God, I'm comfortable. My name has actually opened a lot of door for me.
The above probably. It can be inferred.
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