Celebrity, Interviews

‘How my sister and her unborn baby died of malaria’ – Maltina Dancehall host, OSAS IGHODARO

Maltina Dancehall reality TV show host, Osas Ighodaro’s Joyful Joy Foundation was launched in Lagos on Sunday, October 27, 2013, at the Avenue Suites, Victoria-Island, Lagos, amidst fanfair.

osasThe pretty actress, who is famous for her role, Aunty Danni in Tinsel, co-founded the foundation with her friend, Sioux Greaux in the United States of America (USA), but she felt the need to launch it in Nigeria, where malaria has killed many, including her sister.

In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly held on Thursday, October 31, 2013, at Avenue Suites, the graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism, recalled how her sister, Joy Ighodaro, contracted malaria during her visit to Nigeria in 2006 that didn’t only claim her life, but that of her unborn baby…

Can you narrate how your sister lost her life and that of her unborn child to malaria?

My sister, Joy Ighodaro, was born in Nigeria but lived in the States most of her life. She came back to Nigeria, got married and was pregnant. Everyone was very happy about her bringing a beautiful life to the world but shortly after she got very sick. Everyone assumed it had to be morning sickness. By the time it was revealed she had malaria it was already in its fatal stage, and unfortunately my sister and her unborn child passed away. The establishment of the Joyful Joy Foundation is to honour her, and the continuous efforts to help others not go through the same thing.

osas2Was that the reason you decided to return to Nigeria?

It wasn’t the reason I moved back to Nigeria. I didn’t initially move to Nigeria immediately. The plan was to perform on Tinsel for six months and head back to New York but God had a different plan and I have been here for over a year. It has surely been a blessing. Being back in Nigeria inspired me that people needed to properly know what Joyful Joy was all about; our mission, vision, and future plans.

What exactly were you doing in the U.S before you returned?

I was born and raised in New York. I was acting and working on my newly launched foundation before I moved to Nigeria.

What was it you learnt while in the States, that’s really working for you now in Nigeria?

I would have to say always keeping God first and taking life one day at a time.

Let’s talk about your role in Tinsel.

I am blessed to play the role of Adanna aka Danni aka Aunty Danni. She is Nigerian-American Art student who travelled back to Nigeria to find inspiration for her Master’s thesis project. Danni is adventurous, outspoken, and quite energetic. I have an amazing time playing her.

For how long have you been in cast for Tinsel?

I have been blessed to have been a part of the talented cast of Tinsel for over a year now.

OSAS-IGHODARO (1)Do you intend to go into Nollywood?

Time will only tell (smiles).

How would you narrate your experience hosting the just concluded Maltina Dancehall?

My experience hosting Maltina Dancehall was fun, intense and emotional all at the same time. Although, this was my first time hosting a live televised show, I’m certainly grateful for the experience. I’m excited for next year.

What other things do you do maybe at your leisure?

Besides acting, hosting, and my humanitarian work, I love to travel. Experiencing other cultures and getting a chance to see the world has always been a dream of mine. I also enjoy spending quality time with family and friends and having Osas Time is always fun. Osas Time is when I get a chance to do whatever it is I want on my own – be it relaxing, going to the movies, or going to the spa. It’s always fun for me. Everyone needs it.

What would you highlight as your pains and gains in the industry?

I’ve been blessed so far. My career in the industry has been a blessing and a gain. I’m doing what I’ve always dreamed of doing and having the opportunity to inspire others while doing it. It’s been wonderful thus far, thank God.

Let’s talk about fashion. What does style mean to you?

Style is being comfortable, expressive, and you!

Being a fashionable person, how do you put your outfits together?

It always makes me laugh when people say I’m fashionable because growing up, I was a bit of a tom-boy. I love wearing jeans and T-shirt any given day, then switch it up with a dress and heels the next day. When it comes to my sense of fashion, I always follow my mood and seek to be comfortable.

Do you have a stylist?

Yes, I have the opportunity to work with Adaeze of Jennique Consulting and Bubu Ogisi of I AM ISIGO.

What fashion items can you not do without?

There isn’t a fashion item I cannot do without. If an item isn’t available, I usually make it work.

What should your fans be expecting from you?

I’m grateful to even have fans – it’s still a notion I’m getting used to. I would say expect more acting, more hosting, more humanitarian work. Stay tuned!

 -RASHEED ABUBAKAR

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