ARALOLA Olumuyiwa, foremost female talking drummer rolled out the drums on Friday, January 23, 2015, at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos in celebration of her 40th birthday. She also had an executive screening of her movie, Osunfunke. The event was well attended by celebrities, friends and fans of the beautiful artiste.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with her on life at 40. We also spoke on sundry issues.
How does it feel to be 40?
Apart from the number, nothing else. I feel the same me. I feel grateful to God.
Do you feel 40?
You don’t even look 40. What’s the secret?
I don’t think there is any secret aside the fact that I do things in moderation. I forgive and let go of things easily. People have told me I have a childlike heart. I don’t bear grudges. You offend me, once you apologise, that is it.
Any regret at this age?
What are you most grateful for at this age?
The gift of life, the precious gift by God, that is my son. I also thank God for my career.
Is there anything you are looking up to God that He has not yet done?
I want God to give us a better Nigeria, where we will not need to complain about most things, a Nigeria where our leaders will have our interest at heart, not their ego at play. We are blessed in Nigeria but the blessing is in the hands of few. I want a better Nigeria.
As an entertainer of repute, is there anything you can do to take the nation to the place it ought to be?
I am a role model to a lot of people. I have been creating the awareness among Nigerian youths. The youths need to be informed about the power in our hands. We constitute over 50 per cent of the population of the country. The solution lies in our hands, if we know it, we will be able to change the country for good. I have been trying to create that awareness.
The Nigerian youths are not fools. Thank God for social media. If we can use it to do all sort of things, we should be able to use it to change the country for good. We should use it to our advantage too. Some of our past leaders were in their 20s, 30s when they effected changes. I believe it can only be done as a collective responsibility. We need to believe in each other. We need to trust each other.
One of the greatest problem of the youths is the get rich quick syndrome. Some youths don’t believe in due process. Some will wake up today and want to become a millionaire. Once some of them get to power, all they want is to amass wealth for themselves. They would have forgotten that posterity will judge us all. In my little way, I have created awareness, hoping it will go a long way.
What kind of president do you want in 2015?
It doesn’t matter who sits in Aso Rock, the most important thing is getting someone who has the interest of the nation at heart, the president that will harness our resources in the right direction. It doesn’t matter where the person is from. If the mandate of the people gets you there, then you are chosen. What matters most is having a leader that has the interest of the masses at heart. Why do we clamour for someone from the North, South East or wherever? It is because we are not patriotic, whosoever gets to office should be supported. Look at Obama and Hilary Clinton, the two of them worked fine. She served under him without discrimination, so, what is wrong with us? Let us support whosoever God puts there.
Have you collected your Permanent Voters Card (PVC)?
Oh yes, I have. I am voting.
What will you consider your achievement at 40?
My greatest achievement is being a mother, having a wonderful son. Every other thing is secondary. Every parent pray for their children to outlive them. God has given me that grace. I thank God for a wonderful career, the good people around me. For those who tried to stop me, they meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. Indirectly, they spur me on. I went through challenges to be whom Ara is today.
Can you share the greatest challenge you have been through in your 40 years of existence?
I am a warrior. I will say picking the talking drum, playing it and fear of acceptance. I wouldn’t call them challenges anyway. Everybody has, at a time or the other gone through challenges. Challenges must come. It must be a bit rough before you can gain your ground.
You produced a movie sometime back, Osunfunke, what is the reception like?
We had an executive screening. We will have a proper premiere very soon. The response was fantastic. They said it was interesting, they say it was long overdue for release.
Looking back at 2014, would you say you were able to achieve your targets?
Not everything. I planned to release an album but I was not able to, but now, we are working.
What is your plan for 2015?
I will be dropping my album. My movie will also be in the cinemas. We have a lot of surprises anyway.
Is Ara in a relationship now?
Are you thinking of giving marriage a shot again?
It is not a priority. For now, if it happens, it happens.