Olayinka Garfus Olukunga is her real name but she is better known and addressed as Nnenna, a character she interpreted in of Wale Adenuga’s work entitled Nnenna and Friends. In this interview with Nollywood Notes, she delved into her private life, admitting dating Atewo of Skuki fame and denying being an item of Olu Maintain.
How would you describe your career at the moment?
I am taking it to the next level. Glory be to God on that.
What are you doing right now to take it the next level?
We are launching the Nnenna and Fans Club and that takes place very soon.
Can you shed more light on Nnenna and Fans Club, what us it all about?
Before the fans club thing, we have the Nnenna and Friends show we do regularly. It is just an avenue to bring the kids together, have fun with them. Basically, the show is designed to entertain periodically, creating an atmosphere for great actors, comedians, musician, dancers and other players in the entertainment industry.
Nnenna and friends show, apart from being a fertile ground for discovering talents in children, creates the right avenue for producers to have direct contact with children and enjoy their products and services. We normally target festive periods, including Valentine’s Day, Easter, Children’s Day, Independence Day and end of the year parties.
When and how did you start out as an actress?
Just about two years ago. I came for an audition at Wale Adenuga Productions and I was short-listed to play a role. My performance was okay and I received a lot of applause. That was all. Since then till date, I have not regretted being in the
industry. I have always been in love with acting and I thank God my dream has been realized.
What actually informed acting?
I see it as an in born thing. Just like I said, acting is something I loved to do right from my childhood. I have always loved doing something funny or anything that will arrest people’s attention. I could remember vividly, I liked standing in from of the mirror as a child and I will start dancing, walking and doing some other funny things. So, I think anything entertainment has been deposited in me since I was born.
Your rise to stardom was swift. What would you say worked for you?
First, it is God. It is all God’s grace that is what I sometimes refer to as extravagant grace. It is not that common, but it happens. You know everything in this life is to the best knowledge of God. Whenever He says something should happen, it will definitely be. If He says this is what I want, it will just happen without you knowing and nobody can change it.
Then, secondly, the acceptance of Nnenna by the fans was miraculous. It all boils down to the fact that God is in control because if not for my fans and God Almighty who is above all things, who am I?
What are the challenges you’re facing right now as a famous actress?
I would say fame is the greatest challenge I am facing right now, because when fame comes, your privacy will definitely be interrupted.
I don’t enjoy my privacy like before, but I still thank God for everything. I have no cause to regret being an actress, especially when you are with Wale Adenuga Productions.
But apart from Nnenna and Friends and Super Story episodes, you have not featured in any main stream movie or you’re not invited?
Funny enough, apart from Nnenna and the present Super Story, as you said, I haven’t featured in any home movie, be it English or Yoruba. I have not gone outside Wale Adenuga Productions.
Are you being restricted by WAP?
I am being restricted by Wale Adenuga Productions, but at times when some scripts come, I might have been on location with the Wale Adenuga Productions crew. The bottom line is that I am not so much in a hurry to go outside Wale Adenuga Productions. I am comfortable there. At times when the scripts come, I may be in school.
I have received some invitations, but I couldn’t honour them.
Funny enough, I got another invitation from the Yoruba movie genre today, but they will be shooting at the end of the month and I will also be writing my exams then. It is not possible I sacrifice my exams for any job at the moment. But when I am through with my education, things will be easier for me.
That means combining your education with acting has not been easy?
Definitely yes. Doing two things at a time is not easy at all, but God has been my strength.
We understand you’re in Lagos State University currently, what course are you studying?
I am studying Marketing, I am currently in 300 level.
Oh! Fantastic. He is just like a father. Honestly, it has been wonderful working with him and not only him, but all the cast and crew of Wale Adenuga Productions are wonderful.
Is it right to say Wale Adenuga made you?
I would say God and Wale Adenuga and also my fans.
Recently, it was published in a magazine that you were allegedly involved in sex romp with two friends. What is your reaction to this?
Oh my goodness! When I saw it, I felt like this is terrible, they actually did this about me. The truth is that it is a blatant lie. They fabricated it for reasons best known to them. I believe they just want to write something about Nnenna at all cost and this is not good. But just like I told you earlier, no matter what the people may say or write about me, I shouldn’t see it as enough reason for me to look back. The story is farfetched. I don’t even know where such story originated from.
Are you into any relationship?
Yes, his name is Atewo and that is all.
So, you admit dating him?
Why not, he is my guy and we are both serious about our relationship. The other guy mentioned in the story made me laugh profusely because I don’t have anything to do with him.
There is another tale that you and Olu Maintain are also dating, what is the truth about it?
I just laughed when I read it. There is no iota of truth in it as well. All because you are popular, some people are out there with the aim of pulling you down. It is unfair. They ought to have found out the truth before going ahead to start writing rubbish about me.
The truth is that Olu Maintain’s younger sister was my manager for years, when I started modeling for Visafone, I am on their billboard and on N1000 card. So, she was my manager for years. I know the family very well. She is my friend and up till now, she is still with her brother, Olu Maintain. I do address Olu Maintain as Ucle Olu. I believe they just wanted to write something and that is all. You’re free to do your investigation about it, you will discover it is all nothing but a lies.
Can you tell us a little about your background because you have an Indian look, but bear a Yoruba name, why?
I am a Lagosian, a full blown Yoruba, but I have this Asian look because of my granny. I believe I took after her. I am from a family of six, four children, I am the first. I attended Carol Nursery and Primary School. My secondary school education was at High Esteem College, Omole. Right now, I am a student of Lagos State University, studying Marketing.
– TADE ASIFAT
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, June 22, 2010