Funmi Awelewa Babalola is a fast rising Nollywood actress, model and movie producer. She hails from Osun State. A University of Ibadan graduate of Library Archival and Information Studies, Funmi came into movie limelight in 2013 and ever since, she has kept rising in fame and name. The stunning actress who has starred in more than 25 different movies is also into fashion designing. She shares her style routine and more in this brief chat with the Editor, FOLORUSNHO HAMSAT. Excerpts…
How do you balance your career and having a personal life?
I create a clear plan for each day; I don’t try to be a wonder woman. One has to be proactive and take steps to manage the challenges. I set a proper plan for myself and I don’t overwork or work too little.
What are the qualities that best describe you as an actress?
Intelligence and I’m highly imaginative. It’s beneficial if they’re naturally energetic people as actors. Best actors are exceptional at dispensing and controlling their energy. So I know when to release bursts of energy, as well as when to bottle my energy up because my character is holding something back on the surface but on the inside it’s exploding. At the same time, you have to be very smart to be a good actress.
What are your physical attributes?
Looks do matter but to me it isn’t everything. There are other things that matter. I choose confidence over good looks. No matter what a woman looks like, she should be confident and sexy.
Are there things that get you worried in your everyday life?
I don’t allow anything to knock me down. I don’t allow negativity to affect my vision. I am always happy. Happiness makes life interesting and stress free.
What was the most challenging role you have had to play in a movie?
That’s the role of a typical Ibadan girl (Morili) in a movie.
Are there old fashion trends that you wish should still stay in vogue?
Yes. Short-sleeved Buba atop Bonfo Iro complete with a coiffed afro.
What has really changed about Nollywood of the 2000s if compared with the movie industry of the 1990s?
Nollywood has really changed and Nigerian cinema grew more quickly in 2000s. It is now the second largest film industry in the world in terms of number of films produced each year. And of course the cinema culture is coming back with many Nigerian movies outdoing foreign movies at the Box Office.
How would someone get your special attention?
I like guys who are polite and courteous. If you act like a gentleman, demonstrating you have respect for women and other people in general, I will be more likely to welcome you.
Is there an interesting secret about you that you would like to share with your fans?
I am so prayerful; I take huge delight in having quiet time with my God. Many people don’t really know I’m a big prayer warrior. I pray and fast because like they say, prayer is the master key to success.
Share with us things about your regular holiday and other special moments?
There’s not much difference about my regular holiday and special moment because I treat myself right and in special always. I enjoy every moment. Holiday periods are always time to take some time away from work and it also affords me the moments to take stock of all the things I have done and planned myself for other upcoming projects.
What lessons have you learnt in relationship that younger females can tap into?
Patience and perseverance. These are what make relationship to last but unfortunately, many young people out there lack these.
What else gives you income outside acting and how much satisfaction do you enjoy from that too?
I have a business I am into apart from acting, I earn good money and I am happy because I enjoy doing it.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I read books and I hang out with friends.
Do you have a habit that you think is annoying or funny?
Yes, I have a funny habit. I don’t take life too serious and I play a lot.
Growing to become a household name in Nollywood, how was it like?
Great. It has been a wonderful journey so far, I am extremely happy knowing my face is now becoming something that is introducing my name. A lot of people tagged me as Morili and I am happy about it. I am aiming towards building a brand for myself.
Please, tell us your beauty routine.
In the morning I use cleanser, toner and fade milk moisturizer, while at night I use purifying face wash, cleanser and hydrating moisturizer.
What’s the new thing coming from you?
My fans should watch out for the next big thing coming from me. I would have loved to announce it here but I’m a private person. You all should wait for it.
What has changed about your lifestyle since you hit the limelight?
Nothing has really changed about my lifestyle. I still associate with the same people I used to. The only change is, knowing how to manage my time because there are more demands now. I’m still majorly the same old me.
When is the wedding bell ringing?
Very soon, by God’s grace, wedding bell would ring. It’s all on God’s appointed time.
Tell us about your past works and charity projects.
My past work was excellent; people didn’t expect me to have come this far within my short entrance into the industry because I have never for once be in a hurry to do things or desperate to be movie star. The movies I have produced so far have been one of the best. I am happy that a lot of people accepted it.
My charity project is something I will love to put more effort into. If I could change the world, I would do it by putting an end to child abuse and human trafficking. I love children and I will not like to see them suffering.