It has been weeks since Nollywood entrepreneur and star Eniola Badmus was rumoured to have been killed in the Lekki Toll Gate shooting. The actress who has been active in the movie industry for two decades is not showing any sign of quitting the big stage yet. She speaks about her death rumour, life and future plans in this interview by SEGUN ADEBAYO. Excerpt.
You’re an actor, filmmaker, media investor and entrepreneur. Was that always the plan or were you simply going with the flow?
I have always known that one way or the other, I would grow bigger in whatever I am doing. That is the only way you’ll know you are succeeding or you’re doing something major. You can’t just continue to be in one place for so long. I have always wanted to be a filmmaker, even though it took a while before I started producing my own films. But I think I enjoy every bit of it. No one can determine exactly how things would be, but I cannot say I am actually going with the flow totally because I have always known that I will broaden my space and do much more than just acting. I have a dream and some of my dreams are already coming true.
Two decades down the line and knowing what you know, would you change anything about your journey so far?
The Yoruba say that whatever we are destined to be is what we will be. I don’t even have the power to change anything because I know God would always guard me at all times. So far so good, I have done so well for myself. This is my 20th year in the industry and we are still holding it down, glory be to God. I wouldn’t change anything. Everything worked so well for me. We all had to pay our dues before getting to a certain level and other levels after. Everything has actually just worked well in my favour.
A lot people see the glitz and glamour and think the life of a celebrity is all rosy. Knowing what you do today, what would you say are the downsides of fame?
First, sleepless nights. It is the number one downside of fame. There are lots of sleepless nights. It’s not all rosy. It is rosy sometimes, but the back end is not. It entails a lot of hard work, determination, being focused, stability and money. It may look rosy on the outside, but the back end is so rough. It’s a lot of sacrifices and things you cannot explain. But we keep pushing and before we know it, we will be at the top of the game.
Death rumours seem to come with the turf for celebrities these days. What would you say is the reason or contributing factor to this trend?
I really don’t know. The one they said about me, I think they said the person looked like me, but it wasn’t me. I really don’t know what the cause is. Maybe some people want to see some people dead. But I know that they mistook me for someone else and that was why the rumour circulated like a wildfire in less than an hour.
You were at the receiving end of this kind of rumour some weeks ago. How did that make you feel?
It didn’t go down well with me. But another thing I was able to do at that time was see things the way they were. Many people didn’t confirm, they just uploaded my picture and posted ‘RIP’. For some reason, I had a rethink. Imagine that really happened, is this how this person will be bothered and calling repeatedly. It was like I was watching a movie and seeing the different reactions to the news. It wasn’t easy. Everyone kept calling; my family, friends, people outside the country… I must say, people love me. Thank you, good people.
How did you handle the moment?
But I must say that I had never received the kind of phone calls I got that day before. That day, I went for a workout in my estate and I left my phone on the dining table so I could stay focused. By the time I got back, I didn’t even check my phone, I just went straight into the shower. When I finished in the bathroom, I picked my phone and there the calls and messages were. One of my sisters had come upstairs earlier to tell me that my phone had been ringing ever since I stepped out. When I picked it up, it was too hot to be touched and I had over 300 missed calls and text messages. The first person I spoke with was Funke Akindele, and she asked me if had seen what was going on online. She told me to check the video, but I thought Funke was just playing so I didn’t take her seriously. Not until another call came in and the calls continued to come. I kept telling people it wasn’t me and that I was at home. I had to do a video to clear the air. We hear about things like this but it’s really not nice if people actually do it deliberately to celebrities. But mine, I believe, was because I was mistaken for someone who looked like me. To God be the glory, I am hale and hearty and doing well.
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