ON FINDING BALANCE, PUSHING THE NARRATIVE OF EXCELLENCE AND MORE
With the range of talent that she’s showcased through our screens over the years, it’s no surprise that Osas Ighodaro has achieved an impressive run as one of the brightest, most in demand stars in Nollywood. And she’s definitely not letting up anytime soon, as she’s set to star in a few highly anticipated projects, The Smart Money Woman and RattleSnake, included. We caught up with the actor to talk about the power of sisterhood, her tips for living a better life, financially and her most recent on-screen roles.
Interview by Sonia Irabor
In this current state of affairs, it’s really important to ask: How are you?
I’m alright. I usually do a scan of how I’m feeling mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally and yeah, I’m alright. One day at a time.
What has been the biggest learning curve for you during this time?
The biggest for me [has been] re-evaluating my time and coming to better terms on how precious my time is. I’ve learnt that taking and giving my time to the things that matter most to me and mine are of the utmost importance.
As the lockdown order eases and people attempt to return to a fuller life, do you have a new outlook on the concept of a work-life balance?
Absolutely! That was one of the biggest revelations for me during this lockdown. [I’ve learnt] that I need to be firmer [about] what and who I give my energy and time to. There needs to be a balance where I’m fully happy and not just doing things to be content or to make others happy with a disregard for myself. No time for that anymore.
You’re really hitting the ground running, with The Smart Money Woman coming out, Rattlesnake in the works and more! Did your time in a full lockdown influence the type of roles you hope to play going forward?
From the start, my goal was to always be a part of projects that were inspiring and pushed the narrative of excellence. I’m glad I’m on the right course and pray it continues.
You’re the star of the upcoming TV series, The Smart Money Woman, in which you play Zuri. What did you enjoy the most about playing her?
I love Zuri! I connected to the character well before playing her. I enjoyed how relatable she was, learned from the obstacles she experienced, the solutions she discovered and the relationship amongst her family and friends. I connected so much with Zuri that playing her as a whole was enjoyable for me.
Zuri hits a financial snag, finding herself broke and in debt, but still feeling the pressure to keep up appearances. How much of that story do you identify with? Especially when you were younger and less financially stable.
I think we have all experienced what Zuri has gone through financially at one point or another. Personally, the word that helped and saved me was BALANCE. It’s not always easy but finding a balance is what is important in finance, in everything.
A lot of young people can identify with wanting to keep up with the Joneses, particularly in this intensely performative era of social media. How did you navigate that at the start of your career and how do you navigate it now?
I think my upbringing helped me in that area. I can’t come and stress myself. I think being comfortable with what I have or [what I don’t] have is what helped me with not [having to] deal too much with the “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. They aren’t helping me pay my bills or put food on my table, so why stress myself to keep up with them?
I love that The Smart Money Woman story is not only geared towards helping women attain financial freedom, but that it also shows the journeys of young women building a strong sisterhood while encouraging one another to blossom into the best versions of themselves. In your personal life, how important were these bonds in getting through the more severe lockdown, and even in navigating this new phase?
First, the lockdown was a roller-coaster of emotions for me and I wasn’t quite sure how we as a city, a nation and the world was going to get through it. My family and circle of friends really allowed me to savour and appreciate the blessings of friendship, family and sisterhood. Honestly, work life makes it very difficult to keep up at times, so experiencing the lockdown with that connection and bond via phone calls & Zoom sessions made things so much easier. The encouragement and push from them meant a lot and helped with my outlook on what and who was most important to me. This lockdown allowed me to re-evaluate so much on so many levels.
This project was almost entirely driven by women. What stood out to you as important highlights of working with predominantly women in front of, and behind the scenes?
The experience was like no other. There is a sad stereotype that women can’t work with one another. Well on this series, that idea was thrown out the window. It was remarkable and inspiring to see how women came together to create this beautiful labour of love. Every woman not only brought their A game, we encouraged and inspired each other along the way, it was so beautiful. You will see that [reflected] on your TV screens. Amazing things happen when women support [one another] and come together.
There’s nothing scarier, financially speaking, than being in debt. What are your personal tips for becoming more financially responsible, and what tips did you take away from Zuri and the show as a whole?
My tip: Cut your coat according to your cloth! I can’t stress that enough. The Smart Money Woman book and series are guides to living a better life financially. I learned and re-learned the importance of balance and documenting it to keep myself accountable. It helped so much.
We’re really excited for RattleSnake. Can you tell us anything about the character you play and more about the new take on this 90s classic?
I’m excited about it too. It’s truly exciting times for me being a part of amazing projects. It’s what I’ve dreamed and prayed for. RattleSnake will come out soon and The Smart Money Woman will bless our TV screens on September 23rd, 2020 on Africa Magic Showcase!! Yay!
As we all adapt to a new kind of normalcy, what’s one motto you’re living by these days?
I have two mottos that help me get through [life]: One day at a time, and if you can believe it, and your heart conceives it, then you can surely achieve it.