•Tells City People Her Success Story
+The Story Of Her Life
At the recent City People Movie Awards, Beautiful actress, Tana Adelana emerged the Best Actress in the English category. Right now she is one of the hottest actresses in Nollywood. She joined the showbiz industry in 1999 as a model. She bagged a degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Lagos. She is happily married to Femi Adelana for 15 years and their union is blessed with children.
Tana came into limelight as an OAP after auditioning for MTN Yhello TV show in 2002, she made her debut in acting in TV series titled “Disclosure”. She also began her productions firm in July 2013, and her television show “Uncensored With Tana” in 2015.
She has worked with big brands like Channel O, MTN, Mnet, Coca-Cola, Big Brother Africa among others. She has featured in over 150 movies and still counting. In this interview with City People’s Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE and Showbiz Reporter, BIODUN ALAO, she talked about why she kept her marriage and family from social media, how she came about her name Tana, and how she has been able to keep her 15 years marriage without scandal and unnecessary drama.
Congratulations, on emerging the City People’s best actress in the English category. How does it make you feel?
I feel happy. I feel fulfilled.
How have you been able to keep the Tana Adelana brand going for so long?
It’s God o, nothing more, then also I believe in myself, I believe in what God has blessed me with. I also realised that all I need is consistency, hard work, prayers and stay true to my crafts. That alone can keep your brand going.
How have you been able to keep your private life away from social media?
I don’t know, probably I would say, it’s the way, my parents brought me up. To keep my life private. People don’t necessarily need to know much about you. But keep it real and simple. I had to keep my family away from social media because they are not in this, and it is not their fault, I am doing it. The work comes with a lot of stress. Honestly, there is lots of stress involved in the entertainment industry and you would not want to get your family involved in it. As an actress, you want your kids to go to school and live a normal life. I don’t want them to go to school and people will be like oh that is Tana’s daughter or son. I want them to live their private or individual lives without my fame getting involved.
At least, until when they are, they are 15 and above, and they can make decisions for themselves. By then if they decide to trail my line, then so be it. Right now, I just want them to be normal.
What is the different between Tana the actress, and Tana on screen?
Tana the actress is a complete actress, a professional, I love my craft and I am true to it. I believe in my job and in the industry, so Tana the actress is completely and totally into her job. She is a completely different person when she is at home. The Tana at home is very calm, calculated, she is homely, she is a typical Igbo girl. She doesn’t like troubles, she just like to live her life very simple.
Is Tana an English or Igbo name?
I have kept that for years when I was very little, I couldn’t pronounce my name properly. I am a Christiana so I could not pronounce it properly. So I came about Tana from Christiana and that became official for me. So I literarily changed my name.
How have you been able to maintain and keep the fact that you are Igbo but married to a Yoruba man?
Well, the thing is that no matter what tribe your partner is, as long as the person is your soulmate, things will work out, no matter the tribe or colour, religion or anything. As long as he or she is the person you are destined to be with. Things will surely workout. I really don’t see any barrier to my marriage. I only see a wonderful man, who allows me to follow my dream and he has been so supportive of my dreams in life.
How have you been able to keep your marriage for 15 years without drama?
Yes, I have known my husband for 15 years, but we have been married for 14 years. I can’t tell you it is been smooth all the way, there is no marriage without personal drama and all that, but how you have been able to manage it and bounce back is the real thing. When you came together, you were two people from two different backgrounds and all sorts, so there is cause for drama once in a while. You will definitely share ideas, but at times your ideas might clash, so you are able to make sacrifices and compromises when you are married, so that is how I see it. Of course, there is drama how you were able to manage it is an important aspect of it.
So how do you cope with attraction from the opposite sex, fans considering your looks?
How do I look? Don’t I look my age.
You look 16
Oh, thank you very much. Anyways, attractions from the opposite sex, I just ignore, because come to think of it, how many people are you going to date. There are too many of them, and they come every day. You have to realize that the beauty God has given you is a blessing is a plus, that you can always turn it around, so I ignore lots, and make some friends because you can predict things, sometimes, they help you in situations where you need help, but nothing serious.
So it’s always platonic friendship, nothing too deep others. I just completely ignore because you can’t pay attention to everyone. I get messages on my DM almost on a daily basis.
Why the decision not to be very active on social media?
I have a life, that is not on social media from here, I have to go to my son’s PTA meeting. I have a life. It’s not everything I need to take to social media. When I started my life in the entertainment industry, which is 1999 as a model. Our fame was City People, Encomium, Hints, and all the soft sell magazines and Newspapers. We never had social media, so a lot of us who joined the entertainment industry then didn’t depend on social media. Social media is a chore for most of us now.
People who know you already know lots about you. I know it is important at times, but it doesn’t really define me. Because I don’t really know everyone there. I only know a few of them that I am following, so why do I need to put my entire life on over 3000 people following me. I don’t know them.
So how you cope and combine being an actress, wife and mother?
If I tell you it is easy, then I am a lier. Each time I asked this question. I keep saying it’s God because I honestly don’t know how to explain it. Some people who are married have either told their spouse to either quit this job or the marriage, so I think it is very difficult. My husband met me as an entertainer, at the beginning he was finding it difficult, but now I feel, he has gotten used to it and he gets along with every single thing I do he knows my job, he knows who is directing any job am featuring in, and the producer as well, he basically knows everything.
He is always involved in everything I do and I would say, that has in a way help a lot. So it is always better to carry our spouses along, so they can understand what we do, that might help lots of Nollywood is a serious industry, we are not different from people who wake up and go to the bank to work or hospital to work as well. So for me, I will just say, God has really been good to me. I also carry my kids along in the job, they are equally very important too.
Do you turn down roles because of your status?
If I turn down roles, it is not just because of the character in question. Yes, I turn down some roles if I don’t find it appealing. I won’t turn it down because I am married, because when I am acting, I am a different person.
And that is what makes me professional when I am acting, I am a different Tana, I take up the character I am playing. So I always do what I have to do.
What has been the most challenging role you have ever played?
Oh, that will be the movie “Body Language”
Because I played a stripper, I had three personalities in a movie, I was an advertising agent, a stripper at night then an assassin. I had three characters in a movie, and most times I had to quickly switch to different roles.
It was really challenging for me.
Do you have a beauty routine, considering how you look?
Yes, but you will pay for it. Laughs!!! Yeah, it is not easy. I am a social drinker, so I don’t really drink, I don’t smoke, I drink lots of water, I detox every three weeks. I love everything natural. I am not a strong cream user. I try to keep everything natural and organic. I don’t do chemicals.
What else? Diet? oh I love pounded yam and okro soup, and I eat that a lot. Being slim is in my gene because my mum is also like this. All the same, I watch what I eat, I don’t eat, everything I see. I am mindful of what I eat.
What about your style?
My style is completely comfortable, I don’t follow trends. I don’t have the money to follow trends, if you follow trends, you will go bankrupt. I only wear what I am comfortable in. I wear more of jeans and top, and when I need to wear a dress. I do too.