Toyin Abraham is indeed one actress that took Nollywood by storm upon her arrival. Ever since her advent into the movie industry, she has been making waves and winning the hearts of many Nigerians. In a recent interview, the beautiful lady made some groundbreaking revelations.
The interview which was held by Abiola Alaba Peters revealed how Toyin moved from being an unrecognised actress to being not just a very renowned screen diva, but also a reputable movie producer.
Toyin who was quite open about her background told of how she rose from grass to grace. She also mirrored the contribution of other actresses in her success.
The lady who has acted over 100 movies also took the time to clear the air about some misconceptions, one of which was about the movie ‘Seven and a Half Dates’.
While many assumed that she produced the movie, Toyin has made it clear that she was only a participant in the entire production while she also narrowed in on her own personal endeavors and plans. Read her words below:
“Seven and Half Date’ wasn’t my production. I was only asked to participate and it is doing very fine. For me, I just finished auditioning for another movie. After that, I will travel to Benin Republic to appear in another movie produced by a friend. I am presently making plans to commence my soap opera. As for movies, I really want to slow down a little bit. I want to build my home to an accepted level and also concentrate on my Soaps. I’m planning to raise lots of up-and-coming actors and actresses.”
But this is just a tidbit of her revelations. The beautiful actress was very much open about her beginning, how she found herself in the acting career and decided to build on it.
“My late brother’s friend had an uncle who is a marketer; High Waves. They said Bukky Wright was coming to town to shoot ‘Dugbedugbe Nbo’ and that she needed someone. I was called; so I went to meet her. When I got there, it happened that they needed help for a particular role. The person listed to play the role was not available. I was asked to take over the role and I just did my thing. At the end, everybody started clapping.
It wasn’t as if I was trained to be an actress from the onset, but immediately after that experience, I saw it as an opportunity to explore acting. So, I went for further training under Aunty Bukky.”
Toyin also narrowed in on the many challenges she faced while trying to build her career. One of the major problems she had was that of accommodation. Because she had had to move from Ibadan to Lagos to continue acting, she faced the issue of finding where to stay.
Other actresses helped her in this regard. People like Bukky Wright and Opeyemi Ayeola allowed her to stay with them till she got a place of her own. But even after that, she still encountered a lot of problems with finance and upkeep. Read her words below:
“At some point, I felt it would be ideal for me to relocate to Lagos because that was the only option. Lagos is where the money is, especially with the fact that I was coming from a poor background; I realised that I had to leave for Lagos. That was, and still is, the mainstream of acting. Being an upcoming act, you won’t have the opportunity to partake in movies if you are not available. Most of the time, the invitation is impromptu. If you are not available when called, another would take that chance. Sometimes you will only be called upon when a film production is going to come and pick up two or three scenes.
It was not easy for me. I was with Aunty Bukky and later, with Aunty Opeyemi Ayeola. I stayed with my family friend at Fola Agoro, until I was able to pay for an apartment of my own. lived at Agoro for almost four years. The first apartment I was able to afford then was a room and parlour at Omole. Honestly, it was not easy getting the apartment, but I had to cut my cloth according to my size before I was able to save enough to do that. In fact, my elder siblings had to support me. That was when a very close friend, who is a journalist provided me support beyond my expectations. He was always bailing me out of financial mess. That is why we are so close. People don’t know this.
After living in my apartment for about two years, I moved to another apartment in the same location. From this other apartment, things began to change for me. The roles started coming in. I always thank God for His divine intervention. It was not easy, but He made things easy for me at the end.”
Evidently, coming to Lagos was not all rosy for Toyin, when asked whether she thought she would have made it, had she stayed back in Ibadan, the actress had this to say:
“I was born and raised in Ibadan and I knew I was still going to return home. As I said earlier, I came from a poor background. But, we never even let that bother us because we believe God would move. We were content with what we had. Though, we were financially poor, we were not spiritually and mentally lacking.
Then, I didn’t know we were poor because we still had something to eat. I remember we usually ate particular beans called feregede (African yam bean). Anybody that is familiar with this kind of food will have an idea of the stress one goes through before it is cooked.
My parents will ask us to fast when there was nothing to eat at home. At that point, I had to move to Lagos, where there were better opportunities in the entertainment industry.”
Moving away from her background and the hardship that came with her beginning as an actress, Toyin Abraham took her fans through how she has been able to build her brand and how successful she has become.
She particularly revealed that 2017 was when she began to really make it. Although the money had been coming in earlier, the previous year was when acting began to really pay her bills. Read her words below:
“Initially I was doing my thing the usual way; I didn’t have a management team or any team for that matter. You know, sometimes you make mistakes, especially when you feel you are on top of your game. Being popular doesn’t mean you are successful. I made my mistakes, especially the mistake of believing that I could do all things by myself because I was popular. It doesn’t work like that.
We need to delegate power and form strategic alliances with some experts. I can confidently tell you that it has been a different ball game since I had a team. Their experiences have been awesome.That definitely was last year. I am not saying that I have not been making money, but I made more money beyond my imagination last year. A large part of that fortune is from Lagos, though Ibadan is always my home.
I feel at home whenever I am in Ibadan. It is my country home that I love to visit a lot. This is why I love to do anything that will be beneficial for the people of Ibadan. God is the pillar of my career, but Ibadan people have been my largest fans. They have been extremely supportive.”
Finally, Toyin took to revealing her secret talent and what has always kept her going in life despite the obstacles. She said: “I am a good drummer. I’m especially good on Akuba and Konga. I still play them till now, but only in my mother’s church. As a Christian, I was conscious of what I was doing. My mum always advised us (her daughters) that our body is the temple of God and that we must not be involved in any act of sin.”