Veteran Nollywood actress, Toyin Afolayan, popularly addressed as Lola Idije is well known in the Yoruba section of the industry for a decade now. She has been into acting since early 80’s and still doing what she knows how to do best.
She got into acting through her late brother actor cum producer, Ade Afolayan. In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly recently, she told us how God has been her pillar all along and why she wants her fans to celebrate with her on her 55th birthday on November 2, 2014.
Congratulation on your birthday?
Thank you very much.
How does it feel to turn 55?
I thank God for my life. I have a good cause to thank Him and hope that He will be more gracious to enable me give more gratitude. I thank all my fans, male and female, young and old in all parts of the world for their prayers. I believe their prayers have kept me going all these years. I want them to continue praying for me.
What will you say you are grateful to God for?
I’m grateful to God for everything – my life, my children, and my family at large. I cannot count my blessings and that’s why I will always praise His holy name.
Do you feel your age now?
Not at all, I feel the same.
What will you say is responsible for this?
It is not by power or might but by the mercy and grace of God Almighty, the author and finisher of my faith. He has been my pillar all along. I give him the glory.
How was your growing up?
It’s wonderful, I give glory to God for where He has taken me today because it is not how long but how well.
Are you in any way related to the veteran actor cum producer, late Afolayan?
Yes, he was my elder brother
Can you tell us how your journey into movie started?
I came in through my brother, the late Ade Love, Chief Adeyemi Afolayan. I never believed I could be an actress, but I don’t know why my brother influenced me to become one. In short, he forced me into it.
However, I want to believe that God used my brother’s name to put me where He wants me to be and his name will never perish. The name can’t perish because his children, Kunle Afolayan, Moji Afolayan, Aremu Afolayan and Gabriel Afolayan, are doing very well in the industry, so we thank God.
Would it be correct to say Ade Love was your role model?
We are all fine, no problem. We love each other and I always tell them that what their father couldn’t achieve, they will achieve and even surpass his aspirations.
It makes me happy when I see their achievements. Of course, when I am old, I will point at them and say these are my brother’s children.
You don’t act with your nephews, can you tell us why?
This is not true because I played along with Kunle Afolayan in his film, Irapada. I played the role of his mother. I was the one who handed over the baby to late Toun Oni. May her soul continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord. So it’s far from the truth that I don’t play along with them. They are my children ,we are all building the name of Afolayan together and the name will never collapse, Insha Allah.
For how long have you been a single parent
It’s been a while now.
What really happened? Were you separated or what?
No, my husband died.
Being a single parent should actually give you the platform to ‘enjoy’ yourself?
Is there enjoyment anywhere? Let me tell you something, if a man comes to you as an actress and tells you he loves you, it is not you that he wants but the mere fact that you are a star. It is your stardom that he wants to sleep with, not any other thing. And aside that, my children are all female, so if I start dating this and that, do I know which family my children will marry into? One has to be very careful.
Did you ever think that you will be this famous when you started?
Like I said, no one knows tomorrow. I couldn’t imagine I would be this popular but I give thanks to God. May His name be praised in Jesus name.
What has been your greatest challenge?
There is nothing you lay hands on that you would not face one or two challenges. There’s nothing God cannot do, so there is no battle God cannot win.
Which of your movies brought you into limelight and what year?
They’re uncountable, in as much that nobody can count the sand of the seashore. I have done so many films and I give glory to God for helping me thus far.
Has any of your children shown interest in acting?
None of them has done that yet. But I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, anyway.
Aside acting, what other things do you do?
It has been acting all along and I thank God for that.
Which of your works would you say is your favourite?
Every production matters to me, I love all the jobs I have done. I can’t say this is the one I love in particular like Lady Terror, Pappy and Mammy, Igba Eda. Too numerous to mention, they are all very good.
Any regret so far?
God forbid, no regret. And I always thank God for my children, all what He has done for me in particular May His name be exalted. I thank Him so much.
Tell us an experience you can never forget?
The first one was when my brother died. That was the saddest day of my life because he was my mentor, my everything. Another one was when I lost my mother. I can never forget that day because it was very painful losing such a dear person as my mom. In fact, if there is anything like reincarnation, I would love to come back to my mother!
Who in the industry is your closest pal?
Everybody! Both old and young.
What do you have for your fans across the world?
First thing I am actually going to say to all my fans out there is I love them dearly. I am not the star, they are the stars. The reason is because without them, I am nothing. I thank them and so grateful for their involvement in my career, their passion for me and their zeal for my work.
I also thank them for their prayers. I’m using this channel to invite them all to my 55th birthday party up on November 2, 2014.