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Perseverance, major key to success — Oke

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Tolulope Oke is a Nollywood Nollywood actress. She read Sociology at the University of Lagos and Dramatic Arts at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Osun State. She has featured in several film productions and has just produced a new film, Cookie Pot. In this interview with ENO BASSEY, she spoke on her new movie, its focus and importance to the audience as well as the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. She also had words of encouragement for women and youths.

Can you tell us more about the new movie, Cookie Pot?
COOKIE Pot is a reflection about life. I believe in hope and I try to project life and its possibilities. It is a story of survival, wherever one finds himself/ herself. There is always a means of survival. The inspiration of Cookie Pot came from a carwash that could transform into a lucrative business. The lady got help from a woman, where she was working to establish her own business. She wanted a good life for her mother and herself, which the mother rejected, due to untold story she didn’t reveal to her daughter about her father.

Some notable Nollywood actors, who featured in Cookie Spot are Adejumo Lewis, Funso Adeolu, Sola Sobowale, Ayo Adesanya, Bolanle Nialowo, Omowunmi Dada and others.

What medium are you using to portray the values of film?
It has become imperative to project the values of Cookie Pot. The movie will be showing on television, online, cables and cinema. To reach all and sundry, there is a strategic focus to adopt the cinema, as there is a cinema culture in Nigeria. This will facilitate making the movie a must watch by all.

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What is your strategic essence for the movie?
I want to showcase myself, as a very detailed producer and actor. I also want to let the audience, especially the younger ones, know that there are opportunities around them. They need to identify such opportunities and deploy creativity to promote themselves. It is also to promote entrepreneurship. It is to tell the youths that success takes perseverance. Perseverance is a major key to success. It also teaches hope. I want the younger generations to believe in their potentials. Success is a destination not a journey. I want to add value to the society and at the end of the day, it is win-win situation for all. Cookie Pot is also a story that promotes family values.

It also focuses on women helping one another. Women should identify potentials in others and help them. Women should see themselves as pillars of support for one another. A support for a woman is a support other generations.

What is your advice for women?
Women should not be overwhelmed with challenges. They should believe they can make it, despite all odds. I believe every woman has a staying power that should confront every challenge. I want every woman to have positive spirits, which would definitely make them overcome in life.

There is the need for women to support one another. Young women should see the bigger picture of whatever they are doing. Possibilities are endless in life. Whatever you are doing, you should not give up. You can always be a better person, wherever you are. You should learn to survive in a way that could add value to others. Cookie Pot will challenge every young lady out there. Women generally should have the strong will to succeed against all the odds in life.

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How has COVID-19 affected the entertainment industry?
COVID-19 has slowed everything down. Life, I believe, has been altered by the pandemic. People have been looking for how to cope with the post-COVID-19. Digital channels have come to stay, to promote products and services. For movies, people are health-conscious these days.

Now, you see doctors on standby at film sets to ensure the environment is safe for everyone. The benefit of this is that everyone focuses on their health statuses. It is a good development for the industry, which shows we are more conscious of our environment. It means anyone who is not physically fit should not participate in movie production. It shows the producer will take responsibility. It means we pay attention to everything that matters. It puts Nollywood in good light.

There is more to bringing people on set. We should be conscious of our health. We should be concerned about the health status of the crew. COVID-19 has made it mandatory to focus on basic things that are often overlooked.

What is the focus of the industry?
The focus of the industry is to release good and quality contents. There are digital channels for readymade market. When quality movies are provided, it showcases our professional expertise and projects the nation’s image. It is important to focus on professional expertise and develop techniques in movie production. The technical part of our movie is also getting better, in terms of sub-editing, music background and post-production.

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In this article:
Cookie PotTolulope Oke
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