Our country is littered with success stories that have shaped us into who we are. We have icons that have, through their consistency, paved the way for many of us to walk right through. Many have done it unwittingly by just focusing on achieving their personal goals and in their resolve to break through the stereotypes, disenfranchisement and stigmas they have shown the rest of us the endless possibilities in their chosen fields. Others have done it with a plan to leave a trail for others to follow.
I will continue to celebrate these icons that I consider to be the true role models for our youth to emulate in our nation. One such icon is our very own Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde. The original Omosexy who has been tagged the African Magic.
Omotola waltzed into the movie industry before it was nicknamed Nollywood and took her place at the top of the industry as a leading lady like she actually owned the place. She fits into it easily like one who knew that she was born to do this. Her consistency at the top is evidence of her prowess at delivering every role consistently from when she stole our hearts in the movie Mortal Inheritance.
The ever-growing fans of Nollywood have been held spellbound by her believability in all her varied roles. At such a young age when many didn’t know their left from right she understood the responsibility that came with being the leading lady. We saw her cry, laugh, rejoice, explore and display other emotions and adventures that Nollywood has been consistently propelling us actors through in the last 21 years of its existence so that we have come to believe that we know her personally.
With her own style and wits, Omotola has somehow shown us her life and yet kept the personal bit intact, even though she got into marriage at an age many consider to be too young. She has stayed in the marriage when many casualties of failed marriages litter our nation and our industry. She simply defied the odds! Even though pilots are reputed to be philanderers, she has been successfully married to one for many years. Actors have a global reputation of divorces, citing the flimsiest excuses for their actions, but she has been steadfast in her marriage.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting down actors for their divorces because many other industries surpass them in divorce rates. I’m just showing that these are perceived notions the world over. Many of them, especially the actresses, have had to endure strenuous relationships due to their celebrity status in the hands of their spouses,. Through it all, our Omosexy remains a pillar of virtue as an example to many that it is possible to stay focused, achieve success in any field of endeavour and still maintain a good family.
She continues to break grounds globally, being celebrated for what we already knew she is, one of the most influential figures of our time! This is due to the impact of our film industry, Nollywood. This industry that many do not yet see its direct and indirect impact on our society, but has broken grounds the world over. This Nollywood that gave the opportunity to many of us to find our voice globally. Where we would have been big fishes in our small pond, we find that the world hangs on our every word and action. This is such a huge responsibility for us to bear, and Omotola has held her place there such that she has been commended for it consistently.
I don’t need to talk about all the awards she has acquired over the years, and I don’t know if she can count how many awards she has received till date, but we know that she has not failed to deliver on most of her performances. The Bible says that a man’s gifts makes room for him and brings him before great men, kings or captains of industries, and it certainly has in her case. She has been honoured for her performance on screen and for her activities off screen. She has lent her voice to many worthwhile causes and championed many of her own.
She is the mother of four children and has managed to stay in shape, not only for the screen, but for her husband. She is truly an icon in the movie industry and in Nigeria as a whole. She has shown that with hard work, consistency, diligence, focus and a desire to achieve, there is nothing that can stop your rise to the top of your game.
I try to celebrate the icons in our nation that are worthy of emulating so that our youth and our people can begin to heal from the damage of inconsistent, morally decadent and corrupt role models that we have followed in the past and start chatting a new course for ourselves by looking to people whose lives have paved a walkway to greatness.
Remember to go out there and start or continue buying and watching our movies, like Anchor Baby, Last Flight to Abuja, Doctor Bello and many other titles out there that are good quality products. My movie, Render to Caesar, will be in the cinemas sometime in November. It promises to be a must watch for everyone. I’m starring alongside Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire, Lottery Ticket), Wale Ojo (Phone Swap, Johnny English), Lucky Ejim (The Tenant), Kalu Ikeagwu, Dede Mabiaku, Bimbo Manuel and many others.