Star actress, Bimbo Akintola , stands tall in the make-belief world. She is one of the foremost screen goddesses who shaped the country’s film industry, Nollywood, into a goldmine.
In this interview, she talks about her growing up, career and passion for children.
Growing up was fun. My mum got married at about 17, and at 18 she had her first child. As a young mother, she was a disciplinarian but loving. My dad was a Customs officer and he was posted to different places; so he only came home on weekends or fortnightly.
Then, in the evening, we would sit outside on the balcony and my mum would tell us stories and teach us songs. And anytime she was cooking, everybody, male or female, would have to be in the kitchen with her. While cooking, she would sing and we had to join her as well.
I was a tomboy and I liked to climb trees and jump fences. As a result, I always had bruises on my chin.
My mum just couldn’t understand it so I was chastised every day. Over time, she couldn’t stop me from climbing trees, because I was a real tomboy. After a while, she got used to it.
I am a bit harsh when it comes to advising female graduate who could not secure a job or raise capital to start a small business, because truth is bitter. My parents were not poor but I started working at age 16. This was not because I could not find a job but I created job for myself. My friend, Florence, and I used to cook food and sell to make money. We were also the cleaning crew then. We used to clean houses for people who were moving into new apartments. Also, I used to sing at nightclubs. Although these were not my choice job, but you need to get something doing while waiting for a better job. There is no job too menial to do, don’t wait for manna from heaven. Do something. If you’re not successful, it’s your fault.
You have a foundation that buys toys for children in orphanages. Tell us about it.
I have this natural love and attachment with children. So, my foundation is just to cater for children. In all honesty, the condition of children in IDP camps makes me feel guilty a lot. I have relatives who have been victims of Boko Haram. I feel sad about how these children feel without their parents. I pray we get it pretty soon in Nigeria.