ON Sunday, April 21, 2012, news started flying around that the two top actresses, Iyabo Ojo and Lizzy Anjorin who have been on a war path since 2008 have embraced peace at last. The development left their critics in shock but when ENCOMIUM Weekly contacted the two pretty thespians, they confirmed that all is now well with them. To further authenticate their claims, ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with Iyabo and Lizzy on Thursday, April 26, 2012, on how the reconciliation was achieved and much more.
‘It feels good to make peace’
- Iyabo Ojo
How does it feel finally ending your rift with Liz Anjorin?
I have said I don’t really want to say anything on this issue. But just to clear the air, I would say it feels good. When you make peace, I am sure it’s always very good. A good feeling that we are at last on talking terms, and we relate with one another better. It’s good.
Who initiated the peace move?
I actually saw on the internet that we were attacking each other spiritually and I was like, I don’t think the situation has degenerated to that level. So, I called her and I made peace with her, just to let her know that I don’t have anything against her anymore, that peace should reign and she should know that I don’t hate or think bad about her. She responded well and we ended the so-called fight like the press called it (laughs). Even though we never really had any physical confrontation.
What’s the issue with you and Liz da Silva?
I read in an interview that we are not on good terms and I called her and she said she was probably misinterpreted. We aren’t quarreling, even though we are not as close as before. It’s a big industry and we are all very busy people. Sometimes we don’t talk for a very long time, we might lose touch because everyone is doing one thing or the other. We don’t necessarily have to have issues or feud as such.
Is that the case with Fathia Balogun?
Truly, we actually weren’t on speaking terms for sometime. But right now, we have settled our differences. She’s a very dear person to me and we are cool now.
People have a lot of misconceptions about the Sexy Pink Ladies, can you clear the air?
It’s no more Sexy Pink Ladies, it’s now the Pinkies Foundation, though it started as a social group from Blackberry. But we have a bigger dream, a higher goal, we want to reach out to as many kids living with disabilities and the needy. So, we decided to concentrate more on the NGO programme and we chose to keep the Pinkies Foundation and do away with the Sexy Pink Ladies.
Was it what people were saying that made you change it?
No, not at all. It’s now different and the goals are different. The Sexy Pink Ladies and the Pinkies Foundation and we found that the same friends I have in the group are the same ones supporting me with the Pinkies Foundation. The NGO programme is what we have more passion for. So, we decided to face it squarely so that people can understand our area of concentration.
What is your opinion about the seniority issue in the Yoruba industry?
We are Yoruba and it’s in our culture, you are not expected to call somebody who is older than you by name, even at the home front. You can’t suddenly wake up and decide to call your father by name. It’s in the ANTP code as well, ‘respect’. But if you decide to call me by name it’s your choice.
If you were having issues with a colleague, would it stop you from filming with him or her?
No, not at all. It wouldn’t stop me and it has never stopped me. I am a professional actress.
A lot of people are anticipating Arinzo, what’s causing the delay?
We are putting finishing touches. It will soon be out in the cinemas before the VCD release. We will send it to the cinemas, when they censor they will give us a release date.
If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?
I probably would be into properties. I studied Estate Management and I would have gone further (laughs). Growing up I wanted to do a lot of things. I wanted to be a model, I did calendar modelling at a point, I wanted to be a musician, if I wasn’t short (laughs). My modelling dream have come true. Next month I would be opening my office, I want to have ushers and models. People who need ushers for events and models will consult us.
Would you quit acting anytime soon?
No, I don’t intend to ever quit acting. Though if you noticed this past few years, I have reduced the number of movies I feature in, it’s not about appearing in so many flicks but about few but good movies. I want to cut across to as many people and countries as possible. I shot Arinzo which brings Nollywood and Ghollywood together. Soon, I’ll be doing a Yoruba comedy, then shooting an English movie later in the year, to just bring everybody together.
If you have to change anything about yourself, what would it be?
My height. People always see me and say oh, I didn’t know she was this short (laughs). Like I said, it got in the way of my modelling dream. I try to watch my weight, once I gain too much, I try to hold back because I don’t like being heavy. I believe being heavy isn’t healthy.
‘Our enemies have been shamed’
- Lizzy Anjorin
You have been at war with Iyabo Ojo for about three years but now both of you have buried the hatchet, how was the reconciliation achieved?
Actually, I will say it’s God’s doing. Before now, a couple had called me on the issue but I said no. And I believe the same thing might have happened to her as well. I believe it’s time for us to be reconciled, that’s why the whole thing came naturally.
To be honest, I am happy about it, because people won’t be saying all sorts of rubbish about us again. Some people can just cook up a story simply because they know we don’t talk. I could remember a story they wrote about us then, they said that we met each other at a movie location and we fought, beat each other silly. We have never gone to that extent. It’s true we met at a movie location, and that’s late Alasari’s location, and we didn’t talk to each other, let alone beating each other. We thank God, the story has changed now. No more Iyabo Ojo abuses Lizzy today, Lizzy retaliates tomorrow. People should just pray for us, not Iyabo and I alone but all the youths. When two people are fighting and they are trying to come together, people should not fuel the crisis again. They should just see what they can also contribute in making sure that the dispute is settled permanently. They should be happy that we have settled, they should just appreciate the kind of maturity we applied in resolving our differences. Our reconciliation happened naturally just like I told, and I think that’s the best thing to happen in the industry in recent times. If I personally want to bank on a lot of things I have heard just few days of the reconciliation, it would have been something else. A lot of people are trying to discourage me, telling me that Iyabo wanted me to join this and that, that’s why she wants my hand in friendship, that’s why she wants us to come together. But I keep telling them, thank you. They are looking for a way of setting us against each other again and I am not for that. I really appreciate Iyabo, I appreciate her courage and people should also appreciate us instead of looking for a way to tear us apart again. I believe some people who don’t want our closeness are the ones trying to fuel the crisis. They will go to Iyabo and tell her something bad about me and such people will also come to me and tell me something bad about her. There is nothing to gain in that. But now, we thank God, everything has become history. We talk now and we’re happy about the development.
So, the reconciliation came naturally?
Yes, it’s natural. The situation has brought happiness now. No side talking. There is nothing like have you read what Iyabo Ojo said about you or what Lizzy said about Iyabo. Everything has died down.
How does it feel now reconciling with Iyabo?
It’s okay. It’s a good thing. There is nothing to gain fighting each other. We are still very young, we have a long way to go.
What would you say you missed about picking a quarrel with her for that long?
I didn’t miss anything because we have not been friends before, not that we’re enemies. It was just a kind of hi, hi from afar. If she happened to be a close friend before, I would have said I missed a lot. But to be honest, I just appreciate Iyabo and I am okay by the reconciliation.
What are the things your fans should be expecting from the two of you, now that you have sheath your swords?
They should just be expecting something good. They will be seeing us together in movies, at events and other good places.
You told us the settlement was natural but we learnt one socialite brokered the peace, how true is it?
Let’s say many socialites not just one because a lot of people called me on the issue and I believe that’s exactly how it was on her own side also. Some people want to listen to you, they didn’t want to know whether you’re right or wrong, immediately they see you, the first thing they ask you is, ‘Why are you people fighting?’ Some will not even say how are you, how is your business before they start querying why you’re fighting? There was a time somebody among our fans saw me and said, ‘Why are you fighting Iyabo Ojo?’ I just told the person, we are not fighting, we are only acting because we have not beaten each other.
We learnt there was a reconciliation picture of both of you and you said no one sat the two of you down and settled the quarrel?
(Cuts in) Nothing like that (laughs). I wish I could have one so that I can see where we had a handshake. What I think is important now is that we have made up, we are not fighting again. People should just appreciate that fact.
If you’re to shoot a movie now, will you invite her?
Since the reconciliation, was there any occasion where both of you met and how did you interact?
There wasn’t any occasion where we met since we reconciled. We would have met at AMAA which held at Eko Hotel, but I think she got there before me and the crowd was too huge and it was difficult locating her when I got there. She actually told me she would be going and I said I would be there but we got there at different times.
Now, we should believe there is no hard feeling again between the two of you?
No more war, we need progress, we need money. We need to send our kids to good schools, live comfortably.
Don’t you think some people may be behind the crisis and they may not be happy that you’re back as friends?
You’re right but I believe such people have been shamed now. They only succeeded as fools. Iyabo and I are now at peace, no quarrel any more.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, May 1, 2012