Acclaimed Actress, Omoni Oboli, started her career in the early years of Nollywood, but when her grades in the University became affected by her work in the Industry, she decided to take a break. During that break she got married and had children. She’s been back on the spotlight since she’s been back on the spotlight since 2006. Here’s how our chat went down with her.
What was it like having to stay away from a career you are so passionate about?
I always say that you’ve got to do what you’ve got to, and even though my whole being cried to get back into acting, my family comes first and my life at home always takes priority over my acting or anything I find myself to do. The passion is there but I try not to let that get me out of focus on what matters the most. As I said to myself when I decided to leave the scene to complete my studies, “The movie industry will always be there, but education for me may not be easy to pick up later”. It was a tough decision, nonetheless, but one that had to be made so I wouldn’t lose focus or disappoint those I love or live with the regret later in life. Some do not have the opportunity to have an education, and I didn’t want to squander my opportunities.
Did venturing into writing, producing and directing spring from trying to find your feet?
Acting is my first love. But all my life i have always written, produced and directed plays in primary and secondary schools. However, you could also say my plunging into these other areas was predicated on trying to find my feet. While I was waiting for roles to come, I started writing scripts. I finished one of the scripts and showed it to Emem Isong, who loved it and showed it to a marketer, Remmy Jes. They decided to shoot the movie, but the marketer insisted that I was a new face and I could not play the lead role. In fact, he didn’t even want me in the movie, ‘Fatal Imagination’. Eventually, I got my first big role alongside Genevieve Nnaji in the movie, ‘Unfinished Business’, produced by Emem Isong and Remmy Jes.
Writing the script for ‘Fatal imagination’ and seeing the execution of the storyline made me think, “Why don’t I produce my own movies so that I can have full control from script to screen”? That’s how I started nursing the idea of producing. When I write, I write in pictures in my head, and i decided that if I must produce then I had to direct the movie so that I can see the product the way i imagined it while writing. So I went to America to study digital filmmaking at the New York Film Academy (NYFA). When I got back, I started work on a script I had written earlier, which became my directorial debut, ‘Being Mrs. Elliot’. I have written and produced and directed two other movies since then, ‘Wives on Strike’ and ‘The First Lady’.
Several stories have it that you met your husband four years after a previous brief meeting and a love relationship started and he proposed two weeks after that.
Absolutely! He had been trailing me, but he couldn’t find me until a friend of his found me and told me he was looking for me. I found out later that he had given up the search a long time earlier because he thought that I had deliberately given him wrong information, but it wasn’t the case. We had both been given the wrong information. The accommodation I had at first outside the campus turned to be a male hostel and I had to move out. When he came calling, i had moved out! If it were you, what would you think? The girl has ‘posted’ you right? Anyway, he found me and came immediately to see me. He then disappeared for some months, and when he appeared again, we started dating, and two weeks later he proposed!
What did you think of accepting a marriage proposal after only two weeks of dating?
As my husband said, most men know what they want in a shorter time than they try to make out. My husband was never the kind of man to wait for what he wants; if he wants something, he goes for it. And his confidence and likability made it easy for me to love him right back and commit so quickly. He basically ran me over with his love.