London based Bukky ‘Arewa’ Amos, is one of the top-rated Nollywood actresses around. The former international model and CEO of Bukky Amos Production, in this chat during her brief call to Nigeria last week, shared with the Editor, FOLORUNSHO HAMSAT, her life story, journey in Nollywood, family and passion for the best. Excerpts…
You are a notable actress and movie producer. How do you sustain both conveniently without having to go begging for support?
All glory belongs to God. I am self-sufficient by God’s grace. My heavenly father promised me that I shall not beg, and He has always been a faithful God. Acting or producing movies does not pay my bills.
In the movie industry, who is your role model; in the other business that you do, who is also your role model?
In Nollywood, Auntie Joke Silva is my role model, and in Hollywood, Julia Robert and Tyler Perry are. In my other businesses and all that I do, my parents are my role models. I learnt hard work, independence, how to save, property investment, how to combine motherhood with hardwork, and more from my parents.
As secretary general of TAMPPAN USA, what is the body doing to stem the menace of piracy and what else is it doing to ensure that the distribution of movies is spread widely?
I am sorry, I have to take permission from my Governor, Abiodun Majekodunmi, before commenting. It is a rule. However, personally, I had written to U-Tube on piracy because online piracy is now growing fast and growing worse. My movie, Ajitannawo, was given another title, ‘Atupa Meje’ or so and was being downloaded on U-Tube. I am fighting piracy with all that is in me since some idiots won’t stop reaping where they have not sown. It’s very annoying.
Tell us about your style taste.
I used to be very flashy. I was a model. Now, age is taking on me, so, I’m now gentle. (laughter).
What fond memories of your childhood can you share with us?
Where do I start from? Well, I used to hawk Ogi (pap) in the morning starting from 5 am and then I would come back home and take my bread tray. I did all these before going to school. Coming back from school, after eating, then off I went hawking soft drinks and iced water. I had the best childhood ever. Glory to God for who I am today but my childhood played the best part; it made me. I will not be Arewa Bukky Amos if not for God and my lovely parents who taught me to be hard working. I started my first business at the age of ten with a 10 naira loan I got from my father selling egg.
Ajitannawo, no doubt, gained you popularity in Nollywood; what encouraged you to shoot the film, and then tell us about your other previous films and the success derived from releasing Ajitannawo.
‘Arewa’ actually gave me the popularity. Many people do not know my real name but refer to me as Arewa because of Arewa movie, my first production which was shot in year 2000. Ajitannawo added to the popularity. The movie was dedicated to my role models, my lovely parents. Ajitannawo is a true story of my life. I really wanted to say a big thank you to my parents and I believed then that Ajitannawo was the best way to do this. My parents were so happy that I appreciate their hard labour on me. Unfortunately, my mother passed away six months ago at the age of 89.
What are the challenges and benefits of staying permanently abroad while still being very active as a Nollywood member?
Living abroad is a challenge on its own and combining movie career is not easy. I have a lot of responsibilities both home and abroad but I believe that the challenges are being handled and conquered by almighty God. It is not easy.
Would you like to tell us about your family and what supportive roles are they playing in your career?
My family is my backbone. My husband is the best husband in the whole wide world. He gives me his full support. My children are blessings from God. I owe all to God almighty, my parents and my family. To ‘olowo ori mi, ade ori mi’, my husband, I say, thank you for being the best, to me and my children. Thank you for always being there and tolerating my extremely busy schedule.
Despite being married, how do you manage to keep at arms length men who admire your beauty and want relationship?
Thanks to my wedding band. (general laughter).
When do we expect your next movie?
To be honest, I have invested a lot of money on my movies, but piracy has to be controlled. I have more than ten scripts on my office desk but I am not ready to go on set yet.