For Sola Sobowale, No Cud­dling, Kiss­ing in Movies

Nol­ly­wood vet­eran, Sola Sobowale, is one su­per­star ac­tress whose pedi­gree and stance re­mains de­fined by her kind of roles, writes Fer­di­nand Ekechukwu

THISDAY - - SUPER SATURDAY -

Def­i­nitely one of Nige­ria’s movie icons, Sola Sobowale’s pedi­gree as a rep­utable ac­tor was long es­tab­lished when she first starred in the fa­mous soap opera, Vil­lage Head­mas­ter. That de­but set the path for her act­ing ca­reer in the movie in­dus­try. Her foray into act­ing ac­tu­ally be­gan when she was en­rolled at the Univer­sity of Ibadan to study mu­sic with the aid of her in-law, Tunji Oye­lana.

She how­ever switched to Theatre Arts be­cause of her pas­sion for act­ing. From the rested ‘Vil­lage Head­mas­ter’ to Lola Fani-Kay­ode’s ‘Mirror in the Sun’ to Femi Osofisan’s stage play, ‘Our Hus­band Has Gone Mad Again,’ it was a steady rise for her.

The ‘King of Boys’ star how­ever said she won’t bring her­self so low to kiss and cud­dle amorously in any movie scene just be­cause she needed to in­ter­pret her role per­fectly. In a re­cent in­ter­view, she said, “Yes ooh, they are so many. I am not go­ing to go naked, def­i­nitely and no smooching. No­body is com­ing to smooch me, no smooching. I am a typ­i­cal African woman; let’s stay like that, don’t let us take it to the for­eign land...”

Prior to the in­ter­view, Sola had once af­firmed, “An­other thing is that my col­leagues know what to give me. There was a script in which I was asked to play a Su­gar Mummy and I asked how they want me to play the role, be­cause I have my own way. But then they told me the lit­tle boy will be cud­dling me. I re­jected the script.”

Sola who played ‘Eniola Salami,’ the main char­ac­ter of Kemi Adetiba’s block­buster movie, ‘King of Boys’, has also been speak­ing about her ex­pe­ri­ence while on set. The movie star re­vealed that she was touched be­yond words when she got the script be­cause she knew it was a defin­ing mo­ment for her ca­reer.

The ac­tress also said Kemi Adetiba had a unique way of bring­ing out the best in ev­ery ac­tor. Sola fur­ther said be­cause Kemi Adetiba be­lieved in her abil­i­ties to take on the role of Eniola Salami in ‘King of Boys’ and de­liver it to the de­light of the au­di­ence, she was will­ing to give her all.

Though she had scored more cred­its fea­tur­ing in a long list of Yoruba movies, in­clud­ing ‘Asewo to Re Mecca’, it how­ever did not un­der­mine her stance on her kind of roles. “It was a pace­set­ting movie but did you see us tak­ing off clothes? Even in the swim­ming pool scene, I had my swim­suit with a robe. I love Asewo to Re Mecca. I would do it over and over again.”

Sola’s pop­u­lar­ity soared in 2001 when she starred in the TV drama se­ries, Su­per Story ti­tled ‘Oh Fa­ther Oh Daugh­ter’, where she played the role of Toyin Tomato, which be­came her so­bri­quet be­cause of her flaw­less in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the role. “I thank God for Su­per Story. A lady walked up to me in Abuja and said ‘Thank you very much Toyin Tomato, you saved my mar­riage’. I said ‘what do you mean by that?’

“She said that her hus­band was like Suara (lead char­ac­ter) and there was some­one out there like proper Toyin Tomato that was tak­ing him away. She then called her hus­band to watch Su­per Story and he set­tled down, watched, lis­tened and saw the whole thing and he came back home. I’m very happy that I could touch that woman’s life. I give ku­dos to Un­cle Wale and I thank him so much for be­liev­ing in me and bring­ing me on board for Su­per Story.

“I would say Su­per Story shot me to lime­light be­cause I had been work­ing and no one had in­vited me out of Nige­ria but with Su­per Story, I got an in­vi­ta­tion to go to South Africa and Zim­babwe. It threw me ev­ery­where; even Ja­maicans saw me and said ‘Did you watch that show? This is Toyin Tomato’”.

She would there­after, take on an­other lead role in Dan­ger­ous Twins, a 2004 top-chat­ting Nol­ly­wood drama pro­duced by Tade Ogi­dan. She also fea­tured in Fam­ily on Fire also pro­duced and di­rected by Tade Ogi­dan. In 2016, Sola starred in the Wed­ding Party movie which was an­other proof of her su­pe­ri­or­ity in the Nol­ly­wood in­dus­try.

Over the years, she has scripted, co-scripted, di­rected and pro­duced sev­eral Nige­rian films. She scripted, pro­duced and di­rected, Ohun Oko So­mida, a 2010 Nige­rian movie. She joined act­ing as a mem­ber of the Awada Kerik­eri Group. One thing about the thes­pian that not too many peo­ple know and not much of it is in the pub­lic glare is her fam­ily.

Sola is mar­ried to Do­tun Sobowale and they are blessed with four chil­dren in­clud­ing a set of twins all grown up and ed­u­cated in the United King­dom. Dra­matic, vi­brant, cap­ti­vat­ing… she ap­pears ev­ery­thing one could wish for in a movie char­ac­ter.

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