Nollywood actress Lola Faduri is a medical practitioner who has a very strong connection that drives her passion towards the filming industry. But despite her busy schedule as a psychologist and surgical assistant in the United States of America, this woman of substance pursued a degree in film-making at the renowned New York Film Academy, graduating with “Associate of Fine Arts” from the international film institute.
Charming Lola is a cross-over actress who started her acting career in 2001 with the popular Odunfa Caucus under the leadership of veteran actor, YinkaQuadri and has starred in series of Nigerian home videos both in the English and Yoruba genres such as ‘Scores’, ‘Against all odds’, ‘The Hurdle’, ‘Kofo the First Lady’, ‘Adisa the tailor’, ‘Egbin’, ‘Ola Inukan’ and ‘Majemu America. In this interview, the delectable Faduri talks about her multi-million naira movies titled: ‘Ife Odale’ and ‘Ayanmo’, featuring actors like Yinka Quadri, Funsho Adeolu, Fathia Balogun, IyaboOjo, Mercy Aigbe and directed by award-winning OkikiAfolayan.It will be marketed by Okiki Films.
Tell us about your new movies?
I recently finished the production of two movies. One is titled,‘Ayamo; meaning ‘Destiny’ which is basically about people who think they cannot succeed or survive in Nigeria without traveling abroad, they do not know the daily struggles of those living there and they think life is smoother on the other side. The irony of it is that people stay here in Nigeria and succeed without having to travel, there's a lot to learn from it but it simply teach us that wherever you are destined to be, God will locate and prosper you and you do not need to travel abroad before you can make it in life. While the second movie is ‘Ife Odale,’ it's a story of betrayal, hurt and greed between couples. It also emphasize on reasons why distance can damage homes and relationship. If a spouse relocates abroad and the other spouse is back home, should there be trust? Could such marriages work? Can such marriage stand the test of time? All these answers can be found in the movie ‘Ife Odale.’
A major challenge of producers is fund, how did you raise yours for these new movies?
Well, acting is not the only career I have, I work in the medical field here in the US and I'm also into buying and selling. Moreover, our industry is not as profitable as before but that doesn't mean we still don't make money from the movie we produce; most of my colleagues have other businesses and we fund our movies because it's what we have passion for.
What are the challenges of staying abroad and getting roles in Nigeria?
It's hard to be sincere, it's a big challenge but if you are determined, things will always work out the way you want. There are lots of actors that are based in US and UK, infact, Nollywood US produce lot of movies every year, we have industry here too. I know people who produce here in US without having to travel home. My last production ‘AdetounL'america’ was shot here in US, I mean 90 % of it and only few scenes were shot in Nigeria. I've featured in a lot of production here that didn't have a single Nigeria scene, so it's not so hard to get roles here but I personally have to travel to shoot my movies and get roles in Nigeria and I get roles here in US too.
What's your take on movie industry in Nigeria?
We are getting there, thanks to the legends of Nollywood; they left a great legacyand we cannot suddenly be like Hollywood within few years. Rome wasn't built in a day but trust me we are getting there. Before now, they used to think Yoruba Nollywood actors and actresses are illiterates who can't speak English but we are proving them wrong; we are very educated and just because we don't produce much English movies don't mean we can't speak English.Right now, we even produce and feature the Igbos in it. Nollywood as a whole, English and Yoruba, we are not their yet compare to what is being found in Hollywood but we are speedily getting there, we've improved over the years.
What can Nollywood learn from that of the US?
A lot... We are still learning, even Hollywood is still improving, that's the spirit, the day you start thinking you've gotten there and don't need improvement you are doomed ... Life itself is a lesson you won't stop learning, I'm proud to be a Nollywood actress and we have impacted so much during these years.
What are the pains of trying to rise to the top?
There’s no pain, if we believe in ourselves and hard work, it could take a while but we will surely get there, I'm not there yet, but I'm still climbing and God will take me there.
Have you ever have to bend the rules to get a movie role?
Never, I never had reasons to do that then and can never have reasons to do it now.
Coming from a wealthy home, how domestically are you?
I came from an average home, we weren't poor and we weren't like the Dangotes.
Are you one of the actresses who believe marrying a white man, make their career easy to maintain?
I don't believe marrying a white man make life easy to achieve in abroad and make career easy to maintain. Marrying black or white does not make any difference unless people marry whites to get their papers and most eventually get divorced at the end.
Did you pay those you featured in your new movie or it is the normal norm of exchange which is popular in the Yoruba genre?
I paid them all, although I cannot finish paying them, can we finish paying each other? No, the works we do is much but the pay is little, we help each other a lot too, may God bless our hustles.
How did you break into the English movies?
It started from my church, half of those English movies are produced By COGA Cathedral, and one of the movies was directed by Doyin Hassan and others by reputable Christian movie directors. I'm a devoted Christian and a child of God. I've featured in other Nollywood English movies as well.
Do you prefer movie acting to acting in drama series?
I do not prefer one against the other and as a matter of fact I love acting in drama series, I'm an actress, a very versatile one for that matter and I interpret my roles well in any scripts and every roles I get.
What's the future for your acting career?
I'm planning big, I plan to make more Afro/Hollywood movie; to cast Nollywood and Hollywood actors together. Right now, we are the third largest movie industry in the world, we can make it to the top...but I always leave everything I plan to do in the hands of God, with Him everything is possible.
Combining medical work, acting and taking care of the home, how do you combine all?
Acting is my passion and even though it doesn't bring money in like my other career, I combine them so well such that one does not affect the other. I put my best in all I do, sometimes my co-worker teases me that I shouldn't be in the operating room right now, I should be on set shooting .. I just live both professions and no regrets whatsoever.
Don't you feel your career would have advanced more than this if you didn't stop then?
Well, it could but I always believe that God's time is the best, I'm proud of my achievements in life right now, that could have been put on hold if I didn't stop back then, like getting married, raising kids, going to medical school, going to NY film academy, all these could have been put on hold while I face my career then but like I said, God knows the best and He always direct us in the right directions even if we feel it's the wrong way.
How did you cope with sexual harassment when you started your acting career?
To the glory of God, I've never been a victim of sexual harassment both in the industry and anywhere else.
How did you meet your husband?
Dat one na big question... though we met in Nigeria some years ago, we've actually known each other but never spoke until that fateful afternoon and the rest is history...
Was it love at first sight?
It was definitely like at first sight that eventually developed into love... Only those kinds of love lasts, I don't believe in love at first sights, some people will message me on Facebook that they love me, I'll just laugh that love indeed, how can you love someone you didn't know.
How does Lola handle male fans that want to take relationship beyond the normal?
I get a lot of admirers daily which is normal especially if you are a pretty lady and you are into entertainment, some of them don't know your marital status and just want to try their chances so I do explain to them that I'm happily married, but how many people do I want to reply? Let me just be sincere that I ignore a lot of such messages sometimes without a single reply, some definitely know you are married but will still come to you and tell you it does not matter, I've seen a lot and I just laugh at some.