Classics, Interviews

‘I want to exceed my father’s success,’ says Sola Kosoko

SOLA Kosoko Abina is one actress who has become a force to reckon with in the Yoruba movie industry.  Although she has her father, Jide Kosoko, who is a veteran actor to thank for her existence in the make believe world where she has established herself with her talent.  The actress who tied the nuptial knot last year in this chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly talks about her career, marriage and sundry issues…


What have you been up to?

I’ve been working on a lot of projects. I have a lot of films that I am working on presently.  Most of the scripts have finished, the only thing left is to execute them.

Sindara was your first foray into movie production, would you say the outcome was successful?

Of course, the outcome was successful. But commercially, I wouldn’t say I was impressed, with the issue of piracy and the likes. But I believe it’s our call, this is something we cannot run away from.  We have to tackle it until a change comes.

Were there any mistakes you would like to correct in your subsequent productions?

I don’t think I made any major mistake.  The only one I can mention is over spending. I spent so much because I wanted the very best and at the end of the day, I couldn’t make the real money back.  With my new productions, I’m likely to reduce the budget because the market is not too good at the moment, largely due to piracy.

Would you say being Jide Kosoko’s daughter has opened more platforms for you?

Definitely, it has. The number one door it opened is being an actress, I did Sociology in the university, but I had been acting before going to school, which means if he hadn’t been my dad, I probably wouldn’t have considered acting.

Have producers casted you in films simply because you are his daughter?

Yes, though that was when I started because people know me as his daughter, they come to my daddy’s house and before I know it they say I’m perfect for a particular role.  My daddy also convinced people because my first major acting role was in his own movie, Olori ire, that was the movie that shot me to limelight. It was shot in 2001, when it was released people were more than convinced and those that knew him, Mama Rainbow, Ogogo who are like family, they started calling on me for more roles. If I wasn’t his daughter, they might not have given me a second though.  And I am really grateful for the opportunity being in this profession has given me, the exposure and the people I have met.

Has marriage affected your acting activities?

Not really.  Before I got married I do any acting job that comes my way.  But now, I think I can dictate especially when I have back to back productions. I tell the producers to give me a day off to rest and take care of my husband.  Aside that, it hasn’t really affected my career.

Has marriage changed anything about you?

I wouldn’t say that, this has always been me because of the fact that before I got married I was and still I am a very moderate person. I don’t overdo things, humans would always be humans, I’m not saying I’m not prone to mistakes, but then I am someone who thinks deeply before doing anything.  I’m not a party freak.  My lifestyle before marriage wasn’t extravagant, so it’s been easy for me. I don’t think I have even adjusted to anything. It’s almost like my normal spinster lifestyle.  I have been with my husband for a very long time, we are just like friends.  He knows everything about me.

Is it possible for your husband to ask you to quit acting?

It can never happen, even when I say I don’t want to go to location, he would ask me to go and work. He is very, very supportive of my career, that’s how it has been before we got married and nothing can change it.

Your younger sister is also an actress, how does this make you feel?

I feel very good about it. In fact, she is going to be in my new production. It’s a thing of joy because I also took after my dad, I was the first to start acting in my family and she is following in my footsteps. It means it’s a family trade, my elder brother is a script writer, that’s how we make our living, it runs in the family.

You played the role of a tout in the movie, Jemila, it was quite unusual of you.  What influenced you to take up the character?

Yes, one thing that my fans out there would decide is if I played it well. If they think I did that means I played the role convincingly.  Every actor must be versatile, there shouldn’t be any role you can’t play except playing nude.  If it’s not nudity, then I should be able to interpret any role.  It’s not my lifestyle but another person’s character they are giving me and it’s my job to do it well.

You mostly play the role of a nice girl in movies, what do you think the director see in your?

I think it’s because he knew I could do it.  Truly, people prefer to see me play the role of a good girl in movies.  But I should be able play all roles. I shouldn’t always be predictable, it’s not every time I act what the audience expects to see. The audience sometimes just assumes the roles you play is the kind of person you are.  For instance, in those days those women that play the role of witches used to be stoned.  What I’m saying is as an actor you should be able to act any role to the director and the audience satisfaction, being stereotyped is not good at all.

You have been a part of the industry even before you became an actress, what would you say has changed about the industry?

The industry has really changed. I remember when I was younger, my daddy’s house is always full.  Then, there was nothing like hotel. If anyone’s house is far from the location, they will sleep over, but now actors are more comfortable. Then, it was more or less like a family thing, there were no phones, they write each other or go to the National Theatre where most of them stay. It was quite difficult then, sometimes my dad would have to travel or send someone out of Lagos to get a particular cast member, things have really changed.  Unfortunately, some of those actors who suffered when the industry was nothing could not live to see the development.

What are those things that the industry is still lacking?

Funds basically.  We need government to invest as much as they can into the industry.  Sometimes because of funds we need to cut back on aspirations we have for scripts.

You haven’t participated in any English movie, why is that?

I haven’t done any movie but I have done soaps. I just got back from one, Valley Between by Tunji Bamishigbin.  I’ve done Roses and Thorns, then Super Story.  My dad is a crossover actor and he’s a force to reckon with. In the nearest future, it’s something that will happen, it’s even possible I produce an English movie myself.

Is there any pressure on you to achieve the kind of success your father has achieved?

There’s no pressure, except from myself. I want to achieve what he has and even go beyond that. It’s not in the saying but working hard because that’s what it took him to get to the level he is.


This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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