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Ibironke Ojo-Anthony, popular as Ronke Oshodi Oke, is a Nigerian film actress, director, producer and musician. She began her acting career with the drama group ‘Star Parade’, and became well-known for her role in the 2000 movie Oshodi Oke, which gave her the stage name Oshodi Oke. An award-winning personality, she speaks on her career and navigating motherhood in Nollywood,among other issues. ROTIMI IGE brings excerpts from that interaction.

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Tell us how you have been able to juggle life as a mother, actress and a celebrity.

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I keep telling people that I am not a celebrity. I am a known face. If you see yourself as a celebrity, there are so many things that you would not be able to do, and I want to do everything. I want to live my life according to me, not according to any other person.

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On doing every other thing together, it has been God. Thanks to my mother and my sister, they have been with me for a long time, helping me. One thing about me is that if I am not on location, I am at home. I do not party that much except when absolutely necessary.

Would you say that being a mother affected your career in any way, particularly in terms of role selection, acceptance, and consideration of your children?

Many times. Initially, I didn’t use to mind, but now I am a mother. If there is a role that I feel does not suit me, I won’t take it. That is because if my children see it, they may question me. I don’t refuse scripts, I simply refuse the part I am not comfortable with.

In most cases, I don’t even have to change it, scriptwriters would write for you according to your age and everything. The scripts I did when I was younger are different from the ones I do now.

Has being an actress in any way affected your children in school?

Absolutely not. This is the truth.

When BBC came out with the documentary on T.B. Joshua, you were one of the people who came out to say that when your daughter was ill with asthma, it was T.B. Joshua who prayed for her, and she was healed. Many came after you that you were paid to do it. Was it true?

I wasn’t paid anything. May his soul rest in peace. There is a Yoruba adage that says, ‘if you eat someone’s pepper and oil, and speak ill of the person, both the pepper and oil will come back to question you.’ He is dead now, but he was a very nice man to me. You may not understand, but he was nice to a fault. Even when he left this world, his wife continued. It was because of the distance and the many things that I do at the same time that I reduced my visits to the church. It is a place that I want to go over and over again. No one paid me anything. Ever since then, Mummy Joshua has not called me.

There was a time you revealed on social media that your daughter was poisoned. Why did you allow her to return to the school she was attending at the time?

First, I am not a millionaire. The school has also been very nice to my daughter and me. My daughter has become like a bone hung on a dog’s neck; it can’t eat it and it can’t throw it away.

But many celebrities would have shied away from speaking out on social media.

That is why I said that I am not a celebrity, I am a known face. God is the celebrity whom we should celebrate. For example, I use Uber, I have been using it for almost two months because my car is at the mechanic’s. The money they are asking for repair is too much. A celebrity wouldn’t do that. Using Uber doesn’t take anything away from me, I just want to live my life.

What inspired your weight loss journey?

Nothing. I was sick. My weight was 110 kilogrammes and I really wanted to shed some. I didn’t know there was something else lurking in my body, and the weight pill I was taking was something I shouldn’t have been doing because I was sick and I didn’t know.

In a recent interview, you said you regret supporting any political party. Were you misconstrued?

I mean what I said. I am a woman, and when it comes to children, women dont play. The people who suffered at the EndSARS incident are children to another woman, so I put myself in their place. I have a 21-year-old girl and she could have been there too even without telling me. What if my daughter was there? It could have been anyone’s child, that is why I feel that way. I didn’t like what happened and it got to me.

If an offer to campaign for any other party comes, will you still do it?

I’ll campaign for a person now, not a party. The person has to convince me. It is not a question of money, the money has been coming in ever since, nothing is changing and we will spend it. If I had collected N10 Million at that time, I would have spent it. But if Nigeria is settled, we will all campaign.

You are one of those who when you decided to opt out of marriage, you did so quietly and without drama. Are you still friends with your ex, and why did you make the decision to leave?

When it is not working, it is not working, you do not have to force it. I do not force love.

I see many of your colleagues around your age who had opted out of marriage are gradually remarrying now or getting partners. Are you open to dating and marriage again?

I leave that to God. It depends on God.

Your role in the recent Kayode Kasum film, ‘Ajosepo’ was fantastic. How have you been able to move from being regarded as a Yoruba actress to someone who is now doing top-rated English movies.

It has been God. I cannot say that this is how I do this, but it is God all the while.

Would you allow your daughter become an actress?

If she wants to, but she must go to school first. She is studying Mass Communication at Babcock University. When Baba Wande, Uncle Jide Kosoko and the other veterans were acting, I was still a child. Today, we sit together and chat. TV would be there forever.

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