SHAFFY Bello Akinrimisi, singer and actress, has been in the news lately, courtesy of her inimitable role in Taste of Love, Nigeria’s first Telenovela drama series.
In this interview the America returnee and diva granted ENCOMIUM Weekly’s Associate Editor, UCHE OLEHI, on Saturday, August 1, 2015, she talks about her character, Adesuwa, her promising movie career, music, family, among others things.
The mother of two (an 18 year- old daughter and a 17 year- old son) also clarified that playing a ‘dirty’ role has nothing to do with her person, but just a portrayal of character in the script she featured…
Taste of Love is Nigeria’s first Telenovela drama series produced by Micromedia Marketing Limited.
What is the central message in Taste of Love?
What Taste of Love portrays is that family is everything. It shows that no matter what people go through, there is always that need to go back to the family, among other things.
You played a controversial role in Taste of Love. Many are beginning to say you have a lot in common with Adesuwa, the lead character you played?
That’s not entirely true. Yes, I’m sexy and beautiful like Adesuwa, but I’m a mother of two. I have been married for about 19 years! So, you are not talking about Shaffy Bello here but Adesuwa, the heroine of Taste of Love.
And now they say Shaffy Bello dated father and son in Taste of Love and hence she’s promiscuous, what would be your response?
That’s the height of ignorance. I’m an actress, interpreting roles. I can play a prostitute, unfaithful wife or mistress, drug addict…I’m an actor. I’m paid for the character I play. So, it has nothing to do with me.
Generally speaking, you are saying the roles you play don’t necessarily reflect your person?
Yes. Like I said, I’m a sexy woman. I have a loving husband that makes me feel sexy. I have children that make me feel wonderful and family that are very supportive. I am very confident and that’s because I feel I have things that make me feel that way. So, it basically works for me. I think people get the sexiness in everything I do because I exude confidence.
What challenges did you face acting this role, especially when you had a controversial affair?
I didn’t have any challenges at all. I enjoyed the script. The character just walked into me instead of the other way round. However, there was a little issue when the director wanted me to act more like an Edo girl but as time went on, I got into character. So, instead of challenges, it was rather fun.
In what ways did being a wife and mother influence the character you play as Adesuwa?
It is fun playing Adesuwa. I am a mother, a wife and playing Adesuwa thrills me because she is a powerful woman. She’s not overly powerful but she gets what she wants. She gets what she believes is hers anyway, even if she does it in a dubious way. To me, she is an emblem of a strong woman.
Taste of Love is said to be one of the biggest film productions in Africa, how does it feel to be part of such a huge success?
It’s great. It’s one of the first big-budget movies I’ve done since I returned to Nigeria from the States. Micromedia invested so much and I feel gratified to be part of the project.
With massive viewership rating on the Taste of Love show, did you envisage it would be this successful?
To be honest with you, Nigerians were ready for something new. The producers spent a lot of money in the series. They got everything right, from pre to post production. So, if things were done well, the positive result won’t be a surprise at all. I still insist Micromedia is the best production company I’ve worked with since I returned to Nigeria.
What should we expect to see as the show goes further?
The audience are going to love every character. There would be more drama and more romance. I think we’ve shot about 110 episodes.
Shaffy Bello had featured in some of Nigeria’s best movies and stage works like Eti Keta, Ika Kan, Tinsel, Crystal Slipper, Mad King of Ijudaya, so what more?
A lot more. I just finished shooting Taste of Love. I am also involved in new projects featuring Ramsey Nouah, Gideon Okeke, etc.
Wouldn’t you love to produce your own movie?
In a way, I am still learning the ropes. But I must say it is not every actor that should be a producer. I love to produce some works one day. If I do, it is okay. And if eventually I couldn’t, there is nothing bad in it.
You sang the chorus of the popular old song -Love me Jeje and Everyday I think of you by Seyi Sodimu, have you finally dumped music?
No, I’ve not dumped music. I have done a European musical tour. I also had two albums there.
So, when exactly are you going back to music?
I have not taken a decision on that. My focus right now is acting. And the jobs have been coming.
How does it feel to know that Love me Jeje is still enjoying airplay years after it was recorded?
I think it’s fabulous that a song recorded over two decades ago is still being enjoyed by many. Don’t forget that Love Me Jeje contributed to the now popular fusion of English and indigenous tongues in Nigerian music. I think it’s fabulous. Love me Jeje is one of the oldies that still evoke fond memories of the past.
So, where have you been?
I have lived in the United States of America for over 25 years. I went to school there.
When did you return home?
About six years ago.
Can you please tell us a bit about Shaffy Bello Akinrimisi -love, life, family and much more…
I’m married. We’ve been married for over 19 years. We have two children. My daughter is 18 while her brother is 17. My daughter is in college; her brother is in high school. I visit my family regularly.