Nollywood actress, Jaiye Oluwakemi Kuti is sure a known face in the movie industry having paid her dues over time. Not affiliated with the popular Kutis, Jaiye is sure a delight to watch at all times. In this interview with OMONIYI ALLI, the Ogun born actress opened up on her sojourn into acting, her opinion about the movie industry, and attraction to the opposite sex amongst others.
Acting for you, how did it all start?
You know, when I left my paid employment work, I started acting gradually, and even before I left the job I always go on part-time stuff. I started with Laff patterns and everyday people. So when I left my paid job, it was very easy for me because I started it as a career. Coming into the industry is like coming into familiar terrain, because I know I have the talent for acting in me.
So that is how I started gradually and to God be the glory I started growing in the industry from soap opera now I have done home videos. At a time, I was the assistant coordinator for the Actors Guild’s of Nigeria (AGN) in Ogun State, and then later I joined the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP). I started with Oga Bello, and then with Jide Kosoko, you know I started studying under so many people.
After studying under these people I came out with my own film which is “Eewon Lafin-Itan Kokoro ede” shortly then it was taken to Italy, it was a big one, I was happy for that. I have done other jobs and equally lost counts on those I have featured in and the rest we say is history.
How has the journey been so far?
The journey has been up and down. Not quite rough, and I would not say it has been so smooth, but gradually if you are ready to grow in it, you have to trick it gradually which is what I did, and which I am still doing, am still working on it, am still working gradually and taking it easy. But the journey so far has been wonderful and great; at least I have a good story to tell about it and am enjoying it and I thank God.
As an actress what makes you unique?
I think God make me special, everything about me starts from God. Because every day I asked God for wisdom, knowledge and understanding, with that you can stand with any other person, so I think God created in me that uniqueness, and I also try to be unique in my own little way, to try to create things better than what I see. So creating what is better than the best of course will stand you out.
As someone who has been in the industry for a long time, what is your opinion generally about the Nigerian movie industry?
The Nigerian movie industry now I can say is growing very fast and can compete to some extent with other movie making countries of the world. Apart from the piracy issue that we are all faced with, which is affecting us terribly, I can say we are growing fast. You see that these days our people are producing good movies because gone are the days when we produce low standard film and it will be accepted by the people, even the cinemas will not take it.
So at the moment, filmmakers are beginning to be creative with their storylines and entire production outlook so that they can fit into any market. For me at the moment, I won’t feature in a movie that cannot leave the shores of Nigeria to other parts of the world.
It is often time believed that sex for role is very much rampant in the industry, especially for females who want to become superstars overnight; how true is this?
Well, let me just put it as 50-50. From my own experience in the industry, I have never been asked out by any producer or director, or even co- artiste. Though, my co-artiste may just admire us. I have never been told specifically that because of this role I have to go out with you, and I don t think anybody has reported it to me, even though I know that once in a while it happens. But you see as you lay your bed so you lie on it.
When you are focused and you know what you want to do in the industry, you have come to the industry for a purpose, if you know the purpose of your coming to the industry and why you are there, nobody will say look if I don t sleep with you, you won’t be a superstar. The truth is if you are good in your act; producers would be the ones chasing you for appearance in their movies. I know a lot of actresses that if they come for an audition you would not just let them go because they are good.
You really have to ask yourself, are you really an actress? Because some people just see the industry and feel that haa! Money is there oo, I am a beautiful girl, I want to be there, no! It doesn’t work like that. While others who know they don’t have the acting qualities; they force their self and by so doing they are inviting trouble at the end of the day the producer will want to sleep because they know that at the end of the day you are still useless and the scene you feel you have featured in won’t make the final cut of the movie.
Any regrets so far?
No regret. Every day I am happy being an actress. In fact, do you know every day I thank God that I am in this industry? Because I couldn’t have done anything better. This is an industry that has taken me to Paris, Italy, and London to mention but few.
What do you think gets you attracted to the opposite sex?
I have this physique of an African woman, and when you have this physique of an African woman, believe me, it is the hottest in the world. We call it figure 8. when the woman is having a pretty face, then you have got everything in place, in the right places, the front, you have got the future, the back you know what I mean and above all you are friendly, that makes you a hot figure and irresistible for the opposite sex, and I think I have got all these.
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