Foluke Daramola Salako is not just an award winning veteran actress, or an excellent movie producers but also a founder and president of an NGO named (PARA) Passion Against Rape Of Abuse in Africa, a loving wife and a wonderful mother.
Not many know she is 40 already because she is looking younger and prettier than her age.
In an exclusive interview with City People’s Assistant Editor SUNDAY ADIGUN and Society Reporter TITILOPE OGUNLEYE, she shares her experiences in her marriage of five years, her career and her life at 40.
You look younger and prettier than your age, what is the secret of this amazing look?
Smiles…. It is the grace of God and peace of mind. I don’t let anything trouble me. If I have anything troubling me, I let it out and move on and also contentment. I don’t live beyond my means and I don’t clamour for what I can’t have and that has been the secret.
You have been able to carve a niche for yourself as a celebrity in the movie industry. How have you been able to manage that standard?
Yea! life I said contentment and been principled. It is a thing to see yourself as a celebrity, it is another to cut your coat according to your cloth us that celebrity that is the only way you can maintain a status quo that you can manage.
If you start living a lie or start aiming for what you can not sustain, the tendency that you will crack in a short while is sure, so I go with the flow, I take each step as I can. And work hard to achieve higher but I don’t get desperate to get what I have not been able to achieve but I struggle and strive towards it. And at each point in time. I diversify, I try to be different in what I do in showbiz so that I am not bit of spice to what I do and apart from acting I do a bit of humanitarian work. So the chances that if you give back, you can never be forgotten because the hand that give is always up and the one that get is always down.
You are forty, when did the journey into entertainment industry started?
I was born in 1978 15th February and I started showbiz at age 13/14 precisely, I started with a talk show an DBN with Chichi Okaro myself and Akin Sugar. I was in Secondary School then, I will go after school and later. I finished school and we were invited for an audition on AIT Our Time with Henry and Ojuolape it was during Our Time that I met my mentors Tunde Banishigbin, Aruafunwa Dike if you span back it over twenty five years, but the truth of the matter is over the time I have been able to climb the ground at my own pace. I have gone through audition and I was not given any role, I have paid my dues, I was not just paying my dues alone, I was also combining it with education. So I always had a choice outside acting. If I was not acting. I would be doing some other things I always had my hands full at each point in time and I took acting as a career not as a lifestyle. A lot of celebrities do not understand been an actor or actress is a career and not a lifestyle and as a career, you shouldn’t start infusing that into your life because it is not easy to sustain that kind of life. If you are a struggling and you start seeing yourself as a celebrity and living that life, you cannot sustain it. So I saw acting as a career Beyond what people see on the screen, as far as I was concerned I did not see myself higher or better than the girl next door and I have been able to sustain my life.
Being a celebrity, what are the advantages and disadvantages.
It has open a lot of doors for me, a lot of time when my mate are still clamouring to do things, I get it done easily. I easily get attention and it has exposed my life to everything. You don’t have any from privacy or secret and that has helped me caution my way of life, it has modeled my life to know that I am a role model and there are some things people can not see me do, but it is a more of a disadvantage because, am a private person. I am a type that likes to buy groundnut on the road, pick a bike when I want to, take a stroll, run around with my husband, put water on my children but you know the moment I start doing all that, people will start saying different things. It has restricted me and it has also helped me to channel the way, live my life and the way I do things.
You husband replicated what you did for him on your birthday, what can you say about your husband?
My husband is my best friend and my greatest fighter if I was to come to another world, I will pick him as my husband over and over again. He is my confidant, we play and fight a lot, but in all I will choose him again because it is a thing to have a husband and another thing to have a friend in an husband. Beyond the sex, Kayode is my friend, if anything comes up and my husband ask me and I explain, he does not query anything and he trust me completely. When we first got married I was the one always asking where he was going to and all that, my husband has never done that to me. Some time I used to ask if he really loves me but in all sincerity it is just that he is more mature than I am, and he always tell me that he understand that I am a celebrity and as a celebrity. I am sold out to the public and by the time he start gagging me I will not enjoy the marriage and that is the truth. We joke about any everything, it is as bad as I can tell him that man is toasting me o, and he is a fine boy and he has money and we will joke about, it is a brand new experience for me to have an husband like that because I have had a marriage in the past, I would say it doesn’t have its own advantages but that side of friendship that I see in Kayode is a brand new experience that I am enjoying and would not compromise for any money. Because peace of mind to us celebrities is very key the moment Peace is missing in a marriage the person’s career will halt.
At forty what is going to change about your?
I will spend more time on my foundation and humanitarian work my birthday was February 15th and I marked it with the home of down syndrome in Surulere, but my foundation will be 10 in May and I will do it together coupled with skill acquisition for a hundred youth and single mothers so that when we do that we would also give them something to continue with the skill they have acquired. Those are my line-up for my 40th birthday. So what I want to do more is impact in humanity because I believe that would be what I would be remembered for and that is part of the memories of what I want to do in remembrance of my friend Moji Olaiya. I told myself I would impact more on girls and women generally.
What is your foundation into?
The name of my foundation is PARA Passion Against Rape and Abuse In Africa. A lot of women when emotionally downcast cannot achieve any thing. A lot of lives are lost in the process of abuse. At times it is just for you to find somebody to talk with and share you issues with an your heart will be lighter. I was deflowered by a rapist and I have had physical abuse in marriage one way or another and I believe that if I try to spill it out, talk to people about it, I was about the first person that spoke about rape 11 years ago before I started my foundation and people were like Foluke what are doing? And I had a documentary on it from France and the guy asked if I had a foundation and I said no and the guy said I have to have a foundation that there are so many people that want to learn from my experience and that was how I started. And when we say abuse a lot of us don’t’ understand what we mean by abuse the fact that our politicians are spraying money on our faces is a form of abuse. A poor man is not asking for two much just food, cloth and where to rest his head and the fact that politician is showing him 10 billion would make him think of stealing and if he succeeds fine and that’s a form of psychological abuse, Nigerians in itself are psychologically damaged in a lot of ways because the gap between the rich and poor is so wide. So what PARA is doing is a psychological restructure for the youth, apart from that we are having training, skill acquisition, impartation. I told myself that now that I am forty, want to be a problem solver for my generation especially women.
What is that thing that people don’t know about you?
I am a domesticated person, if I had my way, I will be a full house wife and not a showbiz person that is why I get tired of red carpets at times. A lot of times I get a lot of attention and I get timed at times.
I am an extremely strict and disciplined person and a no nonsense person. I’m extremely impatient with unreal people, I mean liars and artificial people. I snore sometimes.
So many youth see Foluke Daramola Salako there and they don’t know where you are coming from. What advice do you have for youth looking up to you?
An average girl child has this daunted mindset that I have to take beautiful so that a guy would come and chaise me… No it’s not supposed to be. We should place less emphasis on the physical but mental. Youth have a twisted mentality which ought not to be. Believe in yourself place more emphasis on internal things and not physical beauty. And I am sorry to say with all due respect governor Ambode is doing less on education and we are heading for rot if emphasise is not place on education because an average Nigerian youth is clueless all they do is criticize on internet and when you ask for solution they can not tell. My advice for the youth is for them to re-channel their thought and be problem solvers and solution provident.