Nollywood actress Opeyemi Aiyeola in a new interview with Punch has opened up on why she left the country at the peak of her career.
Speaking with Saturday Beats, the stunning actress revealed that marriage did have an effect on her career.
“There are times I want to go out without makeup or wig, but these days, it is crazy. There was one morning that I was with a colleague and we met this wonderful male fan; he wanted to take pictures with us. My colleague declined because she didn’t have any makeup on, she stressed that the man might tag her on the picture and she didn’t want to be seen like that. I took a picture with him the way I was.
“Interestingly, when he posted the picture on social media, I received a lot of negative comments because of the way I looked in the picture; it can be extremely frustrating. Social media is a world I don’t understand; that is why I am always quiet there. I have the power to delete and block any negative comments; it is that simple. I make conscious efforts not to expose myself to negative news; the good thing is that it will go away with time. I left in 2007; I came back fully in 2017. I did bits of work once in a while before then”.
On the quality of the industry now compared to when she left, she said, “Nollywood used to be an industry of talents; unfortunately when I came back, I realised it was no longer a career path of talented people. It is now about social media. It is more about how much money an individual has to spend on publicity and the likes.
“So many people even get undeserved awards these days. Outside the movie set, the industry has become a world of make-believe. For example, everybody expects me to do photo shoots for birthdays and Valentine’s Day and I always wonder what could be the reason behind that. And me, I have responsibilities and children to cater for, so I can’t be doing all that.
“I have family members I am responsible for. It is crazily exciting and frustrating sometimes. It depends on how I handle it, sincerely, if I decide to roll the way they roll, it will be frustrating for me”.
On her marriage and the sacrifices she has had to make, Aiyeola said, “I relocated for marital reasons. When I left for the UK; building a family together with my husband was my priority. I feel there is always time for everything; nothing else was more important to me than my family. After raising my children, I thought the time was right for me to come back, so I came back to Nigeria to do more movies. I discussed it with my husband and he was in support; I tried to pick up from where I left.
Marriage had a great effect on my career because I left at a time when things were getting better in the industry, in terms of endorsements, and the likes. In my book, there is always a price to pay for everything. It costs some people money and some their career; it is all about sacrifice. Considering my age, when I got married, doing that and having children was more important to me at the time. I won’t crucify or judge anybody for their choices, it is an individual race”.