Celebrity, Interviews, People

‘Why I took a marital leave from acting’ – MOSUN FILANI

Ekiti born Mrs. Mosun Filani-Oduoye is known for her lead roles in Yoruba movies. She is pretty, young and quite brilliant.  The light-skinned mother of two is married to a legal practitioner cum politician, Barrister Kayode Emmanuel Oduoye.

Mosunmola had for two years now not taken roles in movies because she took what she termed a ‘marital leave’.

The good news is that the leading actress is bouncing back in a big way. Mosun had an interview with select journalists few days back where she spoke on her new project, why she took a ‘marital leave’ and other issues. Tade Asifat was there for ENCOMIUM Weekly…


Kayode, Mosun and Daughter

Kayode, Mosun and Daughter

You are from Ekiti State. What do you think is unique about the Ekiti people?

When we were growing up it was then a common saying that Ekiti is a land of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. I’m happy that the Ekiti speaking people still retain the attributes synonymous with them. People from Ekiti state are naturally endowed with knowledge and they are well learned.

Father’s Day was marked few days back but you unfortunately lost your dad early this year. What do you really miss about him?

Without mincing words, I really miss everything about him. The way he talked, the pet name he gave me and usually called me, what he used to do for me and other things. He was indeed a father in a million. I would forever be grateful to my parents for their support, starting from the time I was a baby.

How then did you feel about the Father’s Day celebration?

Naturally, I felt very bad but I got consoled with the fact and the reality that we are all mortals and he already left us to join the triumphant saints. Yes, we love him but God loves him more. May his soul continue to rest in peace.

Could you recall how you got inspired and encouraged to venture into acting?

I developed interest in acting in my teens and principally it was neither for stardom nor for fame.

I just loved acting, it was a natural interest and it was indeed a burning passion. So, when I finished from the college of education, I ventured into it. Though I started acting while in school it was after school that I felt I should take a step further by standing in front of a camera as an actress and that was how it all started.

 Were you a member of the drama group in school?

In my secondary school days, I was in the group. When I was  in the college of education, I was also a member of the school drama group and it was basically stage dramas.

That means you are a good dancer?

Yes, of course.

Do you still dance?

Of course I do.

You are married to a politician and you are an actress. How have you been coping?

I have been coping very well, it is just a matter of understanding and getting your schedules well-planned. When I need to get busy with his political career, I leave acting. And when I notice he is less busy with political activities, I easily pick up my acting job. So, it is just a matter of planning and getting programmes and schedules properly organized.

Many assumed that your marriage to a politician would naturally signal your sent forth from the acting world?

Haba ! No, not at all.

Are you back?

Yes, of course. I never left, I just took time off, a sort of a leave or better still a ‘marital leave’ because that is what most of our actresses don’t understand. Once you are married, you need to create time for your family because that is the time you get to know the family you are married into. So you must create time for them. I call it a ‘marital leave’. I think it is also appropriate to mention here that I am currently working on a  new film from the stable of  the  Beauty and Brain Concept which is my outfit. So, I never left the movie industry.

What specific lessons would be learnt from the movie?

It is a movie about marital life, the lives of married people and single ladies. It is titled Different Strokes for Different Folks.

One of the lessons to be learnt from the movie is the reality that what goes down well with you might not go down well with me. Therefore, I can’t start comparing my marriage with yours. It doesn’t work that way.

It is different strokes for different folks. Basically, the movie is all about marital life.

People will learn a lot from the movie. It will teach them how to manage marriages at individual level and not erroneously given the collective status as one involving your friends or other people outside the fold of the union.

It would also be wrong to start comparing your marriage with that of a friend, your brother or your neighbour. You have to manage your home and consider it an ‘individual’ thing. What is applicable somewhere and considered appropriate might be detrimental to the couple in another home.

So, it all depends on the participating individuals in different homes. There is no basis for comparison or using one to serve as parameter to judge the other.

Are you playing any role in the movie?

Of course, I am playing the role of a very funny character, Eriifeoluwa. She is always running after the marriage of another friend of hers and she expects her marriage to be like that of her friend which was not possible because she wasn’t married to that person’s husband but another man entirely who comes from a different background and has different character. She was always comparing her marriage to that of her friend and it almost ruined her.

You were on ‘marital leave’ for more than two years, and now that you are back how easy do you think it will be for the skills to flow?

It is as easy as drinking my coffee.

You will still get the rhythm?

Of course, it is an in-built quality, it is an ability that is always there. All I need is to tap it and naturally it would flow.

Let us talk about your husband, Barrister Kayode Oduoye. What do you appreciate in him?

Oh! My oga at the top (laughs). What I appreciate in him is his humility and the fact that he has the fear of God.

How supportive has he been?

He has always been there for me and the naked truth is that you can only record success in your endeavours when you are blessed with a stable and peaceful home front and there is no domestic upheaval. So I give Glory to Almighty God and thank Him for His Mercies.

Recently, he gave me a location bus, which was branded in the name of my outfit. He has been quite supportive. Even while we were planning the movie and writing the script, he was always there making contributions. He is always there for me.

Who is Mrs. Mosun Filani Oduoye?

Mrs. Mosun Filani Oduoye is a very funny person. Basically, I am an in-door person. If I do not have anything doing outside, I don’t like going out.

You have a look-alike daughter who is very smart. Would you mind if she ventures into acting?

That depends on her because we are now in a century and an era where the shouts of ‘freedom’ reigns supreme.  We can’t decide for our children as parents. If they make up their mind and choose a career, all you have to do is to support them.

What you can do is to offer advice and provide guidance. She is outspoken and also very intelligent. She is just two and half years old. I can’t really say she might want to act or not but if she becomes an adult and decides to act, I will support her like my mother did to me. She supported me and gave me basic moral lessons; my mother told me when I wanted to go into acting that there is no problem becoming an actress but that as ‘Omoluabi’, she would not want me to do things that she won’t like.

What was the movie that shot you into limelight?

Oh! Good memories. I think I got shot into limelight via the role I played in a film and the title was Ami Ayo.

If you hadn’t been an actress what would you have been?

I would have been a professional dancer; you could see it is still not out of the precinct of the entertainment world.

So, I am naturally an entertainer (laughs)

Your spoken English is okay, why have you then not featured in English movies?

I have not been invited for a role in English movies. If they do I would definitely play any role assigned to me.

The movie I am currently working on is more of English than Yoruba, that is why the title is Different Strokes for Different folks.

Do we then expect seeing faces of people from the English section in the movie?

No, not at all. I am using my people who can also speak good English. Most of us are graduates so we can speak good English. I don’t have to invite people from the English section.

Could you tell us some of the faces that we expect to see in the movie?

I have Femi Adebayo, Ibrahim Chatta, Ronke Odusanya, Ninalowo Bolanle, Mercy Ebosere, Allwell Ademola, Mosun Filani-Oduoye and others on set.

When would the movie hit the market?

I am very sure by middle of July you will start seeing the clips.

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