Classics, Interviews

Top actress Abiola Adebayo highlights why she doesn’t want to be called Eyin Oka

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– Plans to relocate to UK


Popular Yoruba actress, Abiola Adebayo widely known as Abiola Eyin Oka explained why she does not like the name, Eyin Oka. She also took out time to chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly on her marriage, career and plans to relocate to the United Kingdom.

The encounter was in her house at Asiroba, Isolo, Lagos, on Thursday, August 22, 2013.


What is happening to your career at the moment?

Nothing really, I work when I am around. When I am in the country, I do the little I can. Then I work a little bit especially when I am in the UK. I do some minor jobs there not like I would do when I am in Nigeria. Even when I am in Nigeria, I no longer work like I used to but I am still working.

You have a passion for acting but you’ve not been active for a while now, why?

I have been on and off so, I only do the little I can when I am around. That is the major reason.

You were once a presenter of identical TV show…

(Cuts) I am still a presenter, they still run the show. It’s still on air but I think they had issues with one of the major TV stations but I think it’s back now. So, I am still a presenter.

Are you still operating your beauty outlet?

Not really because of my going and coming. So, I don’t really own that outlet now. With Nigerians, if you’re not there to manage your business, it’s really difficult. So, I have tried it a couple of times and it never worked. So, I have to let it go for now.

You’re more of an introvert and you’re hardly seen with friends, why?

That has always been me. It’s so difficult to change your person. Sometimes, I try to mingle but I don’t feel too comfortable. I just love my home, I love being my own world. I enjoy it better because I have time to reflect and think about my life. I have time to do things and stay with my family. But I just realized I still have friends but the only thing is that, I don’t want to say I am not good at keeping friends. Every of my close friends try to be with me. I am not good at calling, visiting friends.

But anytime I see my friends, I like to talk to them, share their problems and all. That is what I do to meet up with my friends. I don’t go asking for them all the time, they come asking for me and I really appreciate it. Most times, things that I cannot do when I find people doing it, I tend to appreciate them better. I am not the type that make friends here and there because I am not everywhere at every time.

So, what have you been up to?

I don’t really work in the UK, I only work here when I am around. So, I do my TV programme, also act. Basically I am working on relocating to the UK. I have to be there because that is my home and where my husband lives permanently.

Do you have anybody you look up to in the industry?

I have so many. I don’t really have someone I look up to like ‘I really want to be like this person’ because we are all not perfect. When you look at someone and say you like the person, you look again  you may realize there are things you don’t like about the person too.

Personally, I have people that I look up to and respect. What I have realized is that when you are trying to be like somebody, sometimes you tend to bring limitation into your own life too. So, I just want to be who God wants me to be.

In the whole industry I respect all my senior colleagues and everybody I met in the industry. I have always liked Genevieve, any day, anytime, but it’s not like my life has to be like hers.

Which movie would you say brought you to limelight?

It has always been Eyin Oka.

Your nickname?

Yes, the name I don’t like. It is not a good name. it’s the name of the movie. But it’s a name that brought fame to me, opened doors for me. But really when people call me that name, I feel bad. I prefer people calling me Abiola Bashorun or Abiola Adebayo.

Call me by my real name because I don’t like that name. sometimes I just realize that some people want to call my real name but they don’t know it. Some people just want to make fun of me. If you know me and you call me by that name, I would think you’re being wicked. It’s not a beautiful name, my names are more beautiful.

You’re in your early 30s and you still look like you’re 20. What is the secret?

Nothing really. It’s just that I appreciate God’s blessings. He has blessed me with a good stature. Personally, I watch what I eat. I don’t eat junk food. When I am hungry, I go for food. I don’t take soft drinks. I try not to eat late and I don’t really eat out. But the major thing is God. I am not better than those people that don’t like what they look like.

Would you still be acting when you relocate?

I will when I have time because when I relocate permanently, I will have a working permit. But when I am around in Nigeria, I will work. It’s not like I am going out of the industry but I have to do first things first. My career is one side and my marriage is another side. So, its left to me to strike a balance. I pray God helps me.

Is presenting more lucrative than acting?

It depends. When you have your personal programme, I think presenting can be more lucrative. I present for companies and get paid. Acting is up and down, sometimes you get better pay, another time you don’t.

What are the challenges when acting?

The major problem we have in the Yoruba sector is the issue of payment. I think the outside would rates us more than we earn. You’re going out and area boy is asking you for money, you even give him N1,000 and he rejects it, he wants more because he believes you have all the millions and they don’t know we are all managing ourselves.

It’s not as if we don’t have money but it’s not as much as we are being rated. Especially, now that we have too many people in the industry. Everybody wants to act. You have problems with marketers because of piracy. Piracy is really affecting the market and everybody

Another challenge is the fact that acting takes the whole of you. If you really want to do it, it doesn’t give you room for other things because it takes the whole of you and such jobs can be challenging because it doesn’t give you time for other things.

So, what do you have to say to people out there that have been waiting to see you acting again?

I really appreciate them. Sometimes they want to sit side by side with you, talk, ask questions but they don’t have the opportunity. But I am just using this medium to tell them how much I love and appreciate them. They’ve stayed with me all through the years. I am also making a request that they keep praying for me, asking God to direct and strengthen me.

How do you feel now that you’re a married woman?

It’s great. It’s something that at one point in your life, you have to do. It’s not as if its special or you’re the only one in it. At some point in your life, it’s demanded of you. There is time for everything.

Tell us more about your marriage?

There’s nothing too special about my marriage. I am married to the most wonderful man in the world, a man that understands me, a man that cares for me, a man that I knows he loves me. He‘s an IT person. He lives in the UK.

Any plan for children yet?

Yes, as soon as I settle down by God’s grace, they should start coming in.



This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, September 3, 2013

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