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Kudi Ogunro: I can’t stop selling Agbo

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
14 January 2023   |   4:11 am
Kudirat Ogunro is one of the fast-rising actresses in the Yoruba movie industry. Although she is also a producer, she sells herbal medicines hence she got the name, ‘Kudi Alagbo’. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, Kudi, who has featured in over 50 movies, spoke about her journey in the industry, which she said was…

Local remedies

Kudirat Ogunro is one of the fast-rising actresses in the Yoruba movie industry. Although she is also a producer, she sells herbal medicines hence she got the name, ‘Kudi Alagbo’. In this interview with IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA, Kudi, who has featured in over 50 movies, spoke about her journey in the industry, which she said was rough in the beginning. She also spoke about her book, Kudi Alagbo: An Egba Warrior With Herbal Powers

How did acting begin for you?

It’s been over 12 years. First off, Iyabo Ojo is my boss. I started from hairdressing to acting. I love acting so I learnt from Iyabo Ojo. She had a salon at Ilupeju and I was one of her hairstylists back then. I love her movies a lot, so I walked up to her one day and told her I have an interest in acting and she advised me and put me through what it entails. From there I started following her to locations and assisting her with things. One day she called me up and said I will get some scripts, and it was a sub-lead in the movie. I was more than surprised. I did it so well and that was how my journey started. I acted alongside Liz Da Silva, which was in 2009. I made it look so real and they were impressed. I still do my hairstylist work and sells herbs alongside acting.

How have you been joggling business, acting and motherhood?

It has not been easy because acting takes time a lot. I love money a lot and that is why I work so hard to make my money. So far, I have produced three movies, She Boy, Okan Dudu and Abomination.

Let’s talk about your venturing into herbs…

(Cuts in) I was born and brought up in an Agbo lineage. It is a family heritage; we all know a lot about herbs and roots. My maternal grandparents all sell herbs. All my sisters also sell herbs and my mother too. I have been selling herbs since I was little, but my love for acting took me away from the business for a while, but I went back during the pandemic.

Besides being a family thing, did you go to learn more about herbs elsewhere before you started the business fully?

I was born into it. When I was little, I followed my mum everywhere. So, I already have vast knowledge about roots and herbs. Also at times when I come across cases that are a bit tough, my mum is with me, I consult her because she still sells herbs and roots. So, I am covered everywhere; I am grounded in what I am doing.

You had a child at a very tender age. Do you have plans of settling down anytime soon?

There is no man outside (laughs). I just pray for a good man to come my way. I am patiently waiting. God’s time is the best.

How have you been coping as a single mum and what advice do you have for single mothers out there?

It has not been easy. If I say it’s been easy, I am a big liar. If I begin to reflect on my life journey right now, I will be so teary. Is it when my baby was just a few weeks old and I would back her and hawk ewedu (vegetables) or when I was a dish washer in an amala joint in Yaba, in order to have two meals per day? Or is it when my mother sent me out of the house, and my daughter and I had to put up with my friends, who were seven already in a small room? But I thank God for his strength and how I have been able to pull through with hard work and determination.

Which has been your most challenging movie so far?

It is titled, ‘Tembilli’. It is an old school comedy not my personal movie though. I played a sub-lead role in the movie and the role was very challenging for me; transitioning from one character to another wasn’t easy at all.
You recently launched your book, Kudi Alagbo: An Egba Warrior With Herbal Powers.

Are you switching from being a movie producer to an author?  

I will say it’s a mandate! I have always had it in mind that one day I will share my life story for the world to read. I know the best channel is to put it into writing so I can make it available to the young ones in both primary and secondary schools to shape their ways of life. 

How did you come about the title of the book?

It’s all about my beginning, my race and my journey. I was born into a family where all they do is herbs. As a child, when others were taking tea in the morning, we were taking hot, bitter herbs and that made it a part of me since childhood.