Financial problems promote sexual harassment in Nollywood –Yinka Adewale September 3, 2016

Fast rising actress, Yetunde Adewale, tells Saturday Beats about her career and love life

How did you become an actress?

I am actually studying Theatre Arts at the University of Lagos. I have always had a passion for movies ever since I was a kid and that was what influenced my decision to become an actress.

How do you combine both your work and school activities?

It has not been easy to juggle both of them because they are both time demanding. Sometimes, my school work is affected by my career; I miss classes and deadlines for assignments because I have to be present at a location. It affects my studies but I am finding a way to balance both now. There are times I even miss some tests but I think if I learn to organise myself properly, I would not face such anymore.

Don’t you think it would have been better for you to complete your studies before delving into the movie industry?

I think it is always better to start your career early in life; start building your brand at a time you believe is best for you. I am not a newbie in the entertainment industry, I have modelled, and now I am also into interior decoration; so this is not my first stint in the entertainment industry. I believe this is the best time for me to kick-start my career instead of waiting to finish school. There is no time.

Why is it that you focus more on movie production instead of acting?

I am actually an actress but I focus more on the business side of our craft. I would love to know everything about the business side of showbiz because I want to really invest a lot in movie making.

Which is more lucrative between being a movie producer and an actress?

Being a movie producer is more lucrative than being a mere actress.

What are some of the challenges you have faced while building your brand?

Financing most of my projects was the major challenge I faced. Initially, a lot of people did not want to support me because they did not believe in my dream and they felt I was new in the industry. Because nobody really knew me, those investors did not believe I was good enough for their money. That was the major challenge, the rest were surmountable.

Have you ever faced sexual harassment?

No, I have never been sexually harassed but harassment is a product of financial challenges. If you do not have any financial constraint, you will not need to go and beg anybody except you are soliciting for a role because they do not know you yet. That is why it is advisable to start your own movie, get other brilliant actors to feature in it and it would boost your profile as an actor.

Are you saying that financial constraint could cause an actress to face sexual harassment in the movie industry?

Yes, lack of financial support could lead to an actress facing sexual harassment. When you need a sponsor for your project and you approach some men, they would not support you except they are getting something in return.

Are your parents okay with the fact that you are in school and also acting?

I would say they are proud of me because they know I am trying my best to do what I can to survive. I know the importance of education and that is why I have not left school. Maybe in the beginning, they were not too sure of my direction in life and they were not too supportive. But right now, I have their full support.

When they weren’t supportive of your career decision, what were some of the things they did to show their disdain towards your life choices?

During that period, I was in the secondary school and I informed my parents that I wanted to attend an acting school but they refused. They told me that I could not act when I was still in secondary school. They told me that the only roles I would be given would be ‘house girl roles’. That was the statement they made. They had to call a family meeting because of me so I had to take my mind away from acting. Today, I am here and my parents are in support of my career.

You mentioned that you once modelled…

I actually started out as a model and it all began in 2009. I have done a lot of fashion shows and I have also won a beauty contest. I was Sisi Eko 2011.

If you had a budding career as a model, why did you switch to acting?

I was doing very well as a model but I had to put it on hold because I was still in school and it was really affecting my grades. Also, modelling in Nigeria does not pay well unless you are lucky to get a very good opportunity or you are an international model.

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