Fast rising Yoruba actress Bimbo Thomas believes she has all the requirements to reach a lofty height in her chosen career. And in this interview with Wola Adepoju, she talked about several issues including her private life.
What is happening to Bimbo Thomas?
I have been myself and I have been working. I’m going to have a break in some days’ time because I’m going to the Unites States, I’m going to work because I have film to shoot at Los Angelis. I should be away for about six weeks.
Is the trip not going to involve pleasure at all?
I wouldn’t say it is basically to work because I will also be chilling. It has been about three months since I got back from the States and it has been work. So I will be finding time for holiday in between. It is going to be a mix of pleasure and work.
Some actresses shoot movies just to exhibit their cleavages and curves without any message. What should we expect from your own movie?
It is different strokes for different folks. I am a theatre practitioner to the core. I read theatre art, I know about it, all the nooks and cranny of it. I have been gathering experience for some years now. So, I’m not going to do just anything, and that is why I took my time and if I’m doing something now, it has to be something reasonable and meaningful. The movie is going to be a tragedy and its going to be society related…I think you should keep your fingers crossed.
Many feel you have not been able to detach your self from the character you played in Omo Ghetto, that you have not interpret other roles well enough. What can you say?
I don’t know why people keep saying this. I have said it that for an artiste to interpret a particular role very well, it does not mean he cannot handle others in the same manner, after all, I’m an artiste, I’m suppose to be versatile . Omo Ghetto was a success, we thank God but I just did what I was asked to do. It was like an everyday thing…I did not know it was going to be what it was. In your own opinion like you said….but I have done several other roles, I have acted a wife, doctor, girly roles that are not in line with violence and such. Although, I hope to be better because we are learning everyday but to the best of my knowledge I feel I have done better roles, roles that knocked Omo Ghetto, it is just that people happen to love it, and I think it is still hard for people to detach Bimbo from her role in Omo Ghetto but I hope that with time and better roles, they will get out of being stuck with Bimbo in Omo Ghetto. But it is fine…I love it.
A few of you girls that made wave through Omo ghetto still walk in the shadow of the producer, Funke Akindele. What can you say?
(laughs) I have said it and I will say it again. Funke has always been my friend, even before Omo ghetto. People have right to their opinion because if you are not close to us you can’t really say what is going on between us, you just can’t judge a book by its cover. I do whatever I like to do, I take whatever decision I like to take…I’m an adult and nobody is a boss to anybody. Fine, I met her in the industry but we happen to like each other, and we became friends. We can only advice and suggest to each other like Bimbo, why don’t you do it this way, and I can equally say Funke, why don’t you try it like this but she cannot impose, not in any way. I don’t know why people talk like that, we are friends and we are cool. I do whatever I like to do, she does not stop me and she can’t even stop me….like I said I don’t know why they say that.
Let me take you down the memory lane. What actually attracted you to acting?
I had always loved entertainment even before I went to school but I never knew the part of entertainment I was going to find myself is acting. Actually, I put in for Mass Communication but unfortunately, my cut off mark was not enough so I had to do a change of course which had to be within Yoruba, History and Creative Art. Creative sounded like something I could do and when I went through what it entails it was theater, music and visuals and I was like okay I love graphics, I know how to draw. Music? Not my line, I don’t like it. Theater? Okay let’s see how it goes. In my first year it was a big task because we had to dance round the school, go to the theater and all that but I started developing interest before I rounded off my year one because I saw a lot of actors who are were undergraduates like Femi Brainard, Tayo Sindodo was in my class…that encouraged me and Tayo Odueke, Sindodo really helped me because most of the time we had class project that we were going to have like a four man cast, she used to cast me, and because I knew I was doing it for marks I used to put in my best…. I remember one of such class projects we did was for Hamed Yerima and while I was performing on stage, I saw in the audience my lecturer, Dr Hamed Yerima giving me applaud and I was surprised he did because he’s a critic. Later, Tayo was like Bimbo you can do it and she started taking me around but because I did not want to be a freelance and did not want to be going around so I met with Abbey Lanre of Odunfa Caucus. So I had to join Odunfa Caucus and trained there, that was how I started my career.
Are you intentionally restricting yourself to the Yoruba movies?
Not at all. I have done several soap opera, T.V series. I must also say here that I intend to shoot more across this year. I have certain projects I will be working on when I return from the States.
Do you believe the English movie actors are discriminating against the Yoruba ones?
I think it is about individual thinking. In my own case, if I want to act in English movie, I will walk up to a director or if there is an audition, I go for it. I don’t think there is any segregation or discrimination…I think it is low self esteem so to speak, with some of our Yoruba actors. Some of us feel they feel too big, and so they create barricade, I don’t see it like that. I talk to whoever I want whenever I feel.
What was the reaction of your parents when you decided to take acting as a profession because of reservations some have about actresses?
I will say I have the best mum ever and I’m kind of mummy’s girl because I’m closer to her than my dad. When I told my mum I wanted to act, what she said was that you that you are shy, do you think you can make a career out of it and I said watch me now, and she supported me. I remember when I was training that I would be called for, waka pass, role, I would taker her wrapper and buba…she would even ask when the movies I acted in would come out. So she gave her support and she is thanking God now.
What would you say is that thing that is getting you attracted to your fans?
How fulfilled would you say you are so far?
I have not even gotten to anywhere close to where I aimed for. I’m not close to it all. I’m only working towards that height.
As a beautiful lady, how do you handle male attention?
(laughs) I know how to handle that now…it is not a problem. For instance, my blackberry is not meant for any fan, outside of my people, there is no way because some will be bent on having it. I also watch my interaction. You would see someone call you and tell you he got your number somewhere…I mean male, I don’t shun them because you can never tell…they will say I’m just returning from, Yanke, (America) and how can we meet, and I tell them we can discuss whatever on any of the social network. So I handle them with care, and I make sure I don’t misbehave.
You are ripe for marriage. What is keeping you?
You will ask God that question o…It will happen. I won’t say I should have been married or whatever….I will get married, I will marry very soon.
It is like your parents are not bothering you?
No, like every other parent, my mum would say Bimbo, Ojo n lo o (meaning time is going) but I let her know it will happen. They don’t bother me because they know I’m focused and busy, if was a lay about or something then they might be worried but they know I’m focused.
Could it be that you are confused as regards who to choose among those at your disposal?
No……the thing is I’m single but I’m not available.
Some ladies fancy their boobs more, some others fancy their hips and the rest. What do you appreciate most among your physical attributes?
(laughs) I think my face….I have got a pretty face, I love my face…. I have got pretty face.
It’s a common practice for actresses to marry to someone overseas and eventually they disengage. What is your take on such?
That is an individual thing; it is about what you like. For me, I do my thing, whether you are abroad or Nigeria, I go along with whoever I conclude to go out with. When I conclude you are okay for me then I don’t have a problem with where you reside. My boyfriend is based abroad, yes, but he just relocated and we are together. I would say it is an individual thing like I said earlier because we have all got freedom to do whatever we like.
Marriages break every now and then in the industry. In your opinion, what do you think is the cause?
Marriages break everywhere but in the case of the industry, even overseas, I think the man need to love his wife real good to be able to cope because the days we spend on location, friends we keep….and we are so dedicated to our job. Some men are also the cause because they might demand you quit the job because you are taking so much time on the location, you are keeping some particular kind of friends, papers…soft sell has written this about you, meanwhile, these are things he’s been living with before they got married, and now he starts making all kind of demands because he knows he has gotten you by being in his house. I think with a better understanding of your spouse and less interference from third party, marriages will work.
What is your comment on the fact that the industry is becoming an all comers affair?
Thank you. I think that is a serious issue that the leadership needs to work on and eradicate because that is going to dent the image of the professional practitioners. You see a girl or somebody who has some money and the next thing she does is to bring in two or three actors, hire camera and shoot a movie and sell at Idumota. It is annoying and it is killing the job because these are people who never had any form of training and stuff like that. It is obvious they will end up producing junks and it is not good for the industry. I think the earlier we eradicate such the better.
What is the most embarrassing thing a fan has done to you?
That was a Danfo driver and his conductor, it happened on IKorodu road. I was just hitting IKorodu road and this driver just crossed and started shouting that she’s the one …Omo ghetto and before I knew it all the passengers had come down and they were like do this, do that and all that . I was so embarrassed that I wanted to flare but because of the environment, I could not. It was really something else.
Are you actually trimming down because you look slimmer?
Yes, I’m really working on myself because I am imagining myself in size 12 (laughs)
How did your first kiss happen?
My first kiss ever, haaa…it was stolen, and it was my first love. We were talking and I was already angry trying to report something to him and he was like don’t be angry…and before I could say Jack Robinson, he had planted a kiss. And I was like what did you just do…that was how I had it.