OMOWUMI DADA: Art is a ministry for human emancipation
Omowunmi Dada is award-winning actress, voice-over artist, presenter, and model. Born in Lagos State, she attended Ifako International Nursery and Primary School, during that time she became a member of the Yoruba Cultural Troupe; she went on to attend Command Day Secondary School, Oshodi, for her secondary education and studied Creative Arts at the University of Lagos. Best known for her role as Folake in the M-Net television series Jemeji. She was also cast in the 2017 Yoruba language film Somewhere in the Dark, which won the award for Best Indigenous Film at the 2017 AMVCA Awards and for which she received a nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Yoruba) at the Best of Nollywood Awards in 2017.
Dada who aspires to be a movie director and producer someday, began her acting career, taking small parts in stage plays while at the university. In 2013, she began her movie career with a role in the film Oya and has featured in other notable films including the Kunle Afolayan directed Omugwo. She has featured in several Television series, including the EbonylifeTv series Married to the Game, Best Friends and Dere which is an African Adaptation of Disney’s ‘Cinderella’. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, Dada shares about her passion for the arts.
You have been a lover of traditional movies, how much of our Nigerian image do we project, knowing that globally, our image is not properly represented?
It is okay, one day at a time; every step is important, in renewing the image of the Nigerian people and we have our art to do this thing. I feel like arts and culture or film or music is a ministry, for human emancipation, for telling stories and for changing the narratives. So yes, we are doing it, one day at a time and we’ll get better. But I just feel like most importantly, it should start with you and I; being intentional about the things that we do daily. Also, I get really excited when we portray our culture and our tradition to the world and we let the world see the beauty of our stories, heritage, history, people, clothes, poetry, music, dance and our world. I look forward to seeing more movies in that light and be a part of it.
How did you develop this passion for the arts most especially the way to play out your roles?
I’ve always been passionate about the arts, I say that its not just talent for me, it’s a ministry, I’m very intentional about the scripts that I take on, I’m very intentional about the type of stories that I am, that I’m part of telling. Yes, I turn down some scripts; I turn down a lot of scripts. I’m not even going to lie but the truth is, when you don’t know where you’re going to, every way will look like a way. But when you know where you’re going to, from the beginning of your career, you channel the path and you’re very intentional about it. Sometimes it looks like, what are you doing, but when you have the bigger picture in mind, you’ll definitely get there. But then again, nothing good comes easy.
What would make an Omowunmi reject a script?
If I don’t believe in the story, the script itself, if I don’t like it, if I cannot follow what it is preaching, I will turn it down. And this is not a shade to any producer or director, but then I know that day-by-day we are getting better with our stories.
What of financial wise, is it also a factor to choosing scripts?
(Laughs) Well, the truth is that its about your talent, career, passion, its also a profession, so you also have to make money so yes. If the money is not good, but I believe in the story, I will take it because sometimes, money is not everything. Leaving your name in good sands of time is more important.
Every actor has a dream role, what other dream role are you looking forward to playing?
I look forward to an action role in Nollywood.
How would you define your style?
I would say comfortable, classy and edgy
What’s your favourite fashion piece?
What are your hobbies?
I like to listen to music, I like to sleep