Call her the most talked about actress in the Yoruba movie industry and you won’t be wrong. Describe her as controversial and you will be correct to say so. This is because Sotayo is one of the popular actresses in the Yoruba movie industry.
Many people see her as controversial, but she does not see herself as such. She feels its because many people just can’t understand how she keeps being in the limelight all the time. For those who still don’t catch the drift lets quickly tell you that Sotayo is that sexy Yoruba actress who stormed the industry a few years back and got her breakthrough. Unlike most of her colleagues, it didn’t take her time to hit it big. In quick succession, she did a lot of her own movies and has acted in many others. She lives well. She drives very expensive cars and one of it is the latest Range Rover. She lives in Magodo, an upscale area in Lagos. And she runs a fashion label from there. And she regularly takes off abroad to rest and chill. And this highbrow lifestyle of hers stirred a lot of controversy as to how she funds it. She does not mind the controversy because it has helped her brand. She herself helps to nurture the rumour mill by posting all sorts of controversial things on her Instagram page. Its either she posts pictures of her looking pregnant or posts photos of her wearing a wedding ring. And she is constantly posting any stuff that pleases her thereby fuelling more gists about her.
She ranks among the top actresses in the industry today. She is hot and single. And she has been romantically linked to many rich and famous men in society. But Sotayo will never reveal who she is dating, leaving people to keep guessing at different times. Why is this so? What sort of a person is she? These and many more were the questions City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE asked her recently when he interviewed her and she said a lot. Below are excerpts of the interview.
When did your romance with acting start?
It started far back as 2002/2003. I used to dance. I had danced before and I used to be a video vixen. There is this group called Amicables Group. I used to sing too. Tee A, the comedian was the one teaching the group then, 3 guys and myself. We do a lot of performances. I was also doing modelling. I was dancing, along with the line I started acting. I was a TV Presenter at a point. I used to do Red Carpet hosting. I was into so many things. And I didn’t start acting Yoruba movies too. I started with English movies. I got a role as a Yoruba actress and I took it up. That way I became more famous for doing Yoruba movies.
How does that make you feel?
Good. I am happy I have done so many things. I have touched so many areas.
Which was your 1st movie role?
Jackie Phillips. I remember. The movie was directed by Theodore Anyanchi. I was in LASU at that point, I was doing a diploma in Law. Emeka Okoro was the one that brought me to the movie industry. He was even the one that paid for my actors’ guild of Nigeria fee then. In the movie, we have Ibinabo Fiberesima. I played the role of a model.
I liked it and I wanted to be an actress. Emeka made me try it. I tried it and I started acting. I did like 2 to 3 movies with a guy called Tokunbo. The major Yoruba movie I did was Ewu lo ko longe. Mr. Yinka Sam Aina produced the movie. That was my 1st major Yoruba movie that I did. Femi Ogedengbe was the one that introduced me to him after he said he needed a new face for the movie. After that, I produced my own movie in 2009/2010, that is Arewa Onijogbon. That is my first production ever. After that, I did Corper Jide. It was directed by Muyideen Sasiliu. He directed the first one too. After that, I did Bella, the tribal mark movie. Then I did a whole lot more. It’s plenty. I have done too many.
What keeps you going despite the fact that people complain that there is no money in the movie industry?
Whatever you are doing that you are not making money from is not a job. At the same time, different people are doing movies for different reasons. Some, its because they have a passion for it. They just like it but if you call it a job, you should be able to earn something from it, no matter how little or how small. I am acting because I have a passion for it and I like it. But you can make your money from different ways in movies, you have to do your calculation well. There is money in it. Some people make money from it and they don’t work much. So it depends on how you go about it. I try to make money from it.
How easy was it to break into the Yoruba movie industry?
I really don’t know. I can’t say. I have just been keeping at it. All I do is I just try to respect myself and not to cross boundaries. I sit where I am supposed to sit, I don’t involve myself in what I am not supposed to involve myself in. I try to respect myself. I just keep to myself and do what I think I need to do. I am just me.
How did your growing up prepare you for your role today?
My growing up years really prepared me ooo. This is because I grew up not having friends. My mum used to be a very strict type. Don’t go out. You cannot visit any family and nobody comes to the house. It’s from school back to the house. I could be in my room for weeks and nobody will know. That’s why I think I am like this now. That’s why some people think oh, she’s a snob. She doesn’t visit. She doesn’t say hi. She doesn’t mix, bla, bla, bla. She doesn’t mingle. But it’s not me. Its how I was brought up. I am used to it. So, I can say I have really been that same person I was when I was small. Its just a reflection of my childhood that is reflecting on me right now. Not like I am trying to sideline anyone.
Where was growing up?
I grew up in Apapa. (Ajegunle Apapa). That is where my mum stays.
How about schooling?
Hope Children School, around Ojo road, Alaba area. Hope Day College back to LASU, then to OSU. I left in 2008. I studied Public Admin in OSU. I never wanted to serve but my mum forced me to serve. So I finished in 2008 and served in 2010. I served in Sokoto. After that, I went into Entertainment business until I opened my own outfit SOTEE Entertainment. I decided to launch it 2 years ago.
I know you have a long list of projects you are working on. Tell us about it.
Yes, I have many movie projects I am working on. I have plans of redoing my Bella, tribal mark movie. I am redoing it to Cinema standard. I want to dig deep into the story I did before. I am bringing in more people into it. I also have my annual event. People are already used to me doing something every December. That is my birthday.
Why do people talk about Sotayo all the time? Why is she controversial?
I don’t know. I don’t know why people talk about me every time. This is just me. As for my Instagram page, I just post what I want to post there. And people pick whatever they want to pick there. I see my postings as a regular thing.
So what sort of a person is Sotayo?
I don’t know. I am different things to different people. Some people see me as proud and arrogant. I am not. Too many people say a whole about me and they’ve never met me before. I don’t usually argue with them anyway. People misunderstand my look and my person. They just see me and they tag me to be something else. Oh, she looks rude. She looks arrogant. That is what they say. They look at me as someone who is not easily accessible, which is true. I am not easily accessible. I am just a down to earth person. I play with people but I try not to go past my boundaries. I am just me.