Omotola Jalade Ekeinde simply needs no introduction. However, in case you have been hiding under a rock for the past decade, briefly, she is one of Africa/Nollywood’s leading actresses whose work has earned her attention and awards globally.
LadybrilleNigeria.com caught up with the highly sought after celebrity for an exclusive all access granted into her fashion and beauty closet. Consistent with our down to earth Style Star signature features, we chat about everything: her music, film, charity work, hair, makeup, clothes and so much more! Dive in.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: ‘Omosexy, Omo Tee’ (Lol!) You know say me sef if I dey do dis interview, I must to cover everything or else e go be serious wahala for me from our readers and your fans! (Lol!)
Omotola: (Lol). . . There’s one nick name none of you know yet and I ain’t telling . . . (Lol!)
LADYBRILLENigeria: (Lol!) It’s only a matter of time. . .
LADYBRILLENigeria: From Oprah to Tyra to Wendy Williams and many Oyinbo celebs in between, everyone is keeping it very real on how they stay fly; and after Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair’ we are all just having a good laugh on everything black women go through to stay beautiful. (Lol!). So, we intend to have a true girlfriend chat about your hair, makeup, skin, shoes, bags, clothes your music “ati gbo gbo.” (Lol!)
Omotola: I know right? With a (hectic) schedule, it’s quite hard but its an unforgivable necessity: 1. I have the most stubborn hair ever. It won’t relax. . . (Lol!) So I fix weaves often. However, I use Ellin Lavar and Motion products.
2. Make up: I love to keep it simple, but I’m a rocker and love edgy makeup i.e. smoky eyes. I use Maybelline and Mac eyeshadows,
Super cover/mac studio fix concealers and Victoria Secret Beauty Rush lip gloss.
3. Shoes, bags, clothes and all depends on what I need. . . they could come from anywhere.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Abeg consider dat one as teaser. We will dissect all that. Right now, make yourself comfortable, kick off your cyber shoes and let’s get into it! (Lol!)
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: First how are you and your family, your kids?
Omotola:Oh we are all great. Thanks.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: I know you’ve been actively promoting several of your upcoming films but let’s talk specifically about the roles we are not used to seeing you and most Nollywood celebrities in. You are fast becoming the poster face for a Nollywood celebrity that is quite involved with numerous charities. Tell us a bit about your charity work?
Omotola: It’s been a wonderful journey since 2005. I started to work on my NGO called YEP now OYEP(Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme). I also work with the UNWFP (World Food Programme) and have been a UN Ambassador since 2007. I work with children and women on food and relief.
Sometime in 2007/2008 as well, I worked with ‘Save the Children’ in a campaign called ‘Re-write the Future’ in London. This year(2009) saw me working with Amnesty International on a campaign against ‘Maternal Mortality,’ (bringing an end to women dying during the process of childbearing). Sierra-Leone was chosen because it has one of the highest rates! The Campaign continues so we need as much support as possible. Please go to www.amnestyinternational.org. On World Aids day, I was at the UN New York Headquarters to contribute as a UN ambassador and spokesperson also for SACAIDS.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Impressive and highly critical work that affects our women and children. Another role most are not accustomed to seeing you in is, Omotola the musician. When an actor crosses over to do music or vice versa, whether in Hollywood or Nollywood, there is a healthy dose of skepticism. Why music for you? Why now?
Omotola: Music I love. . . (Lol) . . . REALLY. . . and it’s here to stay! Now, is the appointed time. . . (Lol)
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: (Lol) You sound like a preacher with “Now is the appointed time.” (LoI!) On a more serious note, personally, I feel you can actually hold your own when it comes to music. I liked ‘Feel Alright’ as a song BUT girlfriend kiloshele (what happened) with the video? It took your upgraded style and personal brand to . . . I don’t even know what to call it!! (LOL!) What were you trying to achieve conceptually with the video?
Omotola: Okay, THAT IS NOT THE OFFICIAL VIDEO. . . that was a test from a video director in Hollywood who fell in love with the song, like everyone else. His name is Ron and as we all know now, it didn’t come out well. Problem is? HOW DID IT LEAK?
If you recall my first album, a video was shot for one of my songs called “Dance.” Despite all these setbacks am moving on. . . THE VIDEO FOR FEEL ALRIGHT IS NOT OUT YET.”
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: (Good to know because that was a no no). So, tell us a bit about what to expect with your future music projects, including your music videos?
Omotola: I’m working on bringing out befitting videos that should make myself and fans proud. The future of my Music is very bright.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Ami (amen). Do you have a current album out in the marketplace? Where can we listen and/or purchase?
Omotola: The next album is ready. However, the release date has been moved to 2010. Ladybrille, you will definitely be informed about proceedings as they unfold. . .
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Cool we will wait. Let’s make a brief stop to your work in Nollywood. First, how have you managed to stay relevant in an industry where fresh faces and strong talent emerge everyday?
Omotola: (Lol!) . . . God is Good.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: The current sentiments are that Nollywood is losing its place in African film production and Gollywood is “taking over.” I am not sure I understand these sentiments . . .
Omotola: Nollywood is definitely the leader in African movies however, the Ghanaians are fast learners. They know our weaknesses and are trying to come through with that. Smart move, Nollywood hopefully is seeing this and would keep inspiring. Kudos to them for being good students but we remain the Masters. (LOL!)
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Okedoke! Alright are you ready to pull the make up bag and open your fashion closet so we can raid it? (Lol!)
Omotola: Please with all pleasure. Leave your check book behind though.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Lol! Check kini? Ahn ahn sista which one you dey? Lol!
Okay. So, I remember searching quite hard for Nollywood fashion films, films with strong story lines, acting and costumes. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t find any until I saw Queen of Aso Rock. It was an answer to my Nollywood fashion craving at the time. The fashions you wore in that film were brilliant. Who was responsible for all the styles you rocked in Queen of Aso
Omotola: Waoh, thanks…will you believe this? Till date, that has been the only movie the financier bought the idea of me costuming my character. I costumed myself with the help of my designer winner’s couture.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: One of the things I have watched you do, especially in the past three years, is literally grab the bull by the horns and take charge of your personal brand (your style and public image). You really have put the “SEXY” in ‘Omosexy.’ (Lol!) You have also CONSISTENTLY maintained it in a very chic, regal way. When did you get your ‘aha’ moment like Oprah would say to take charge of your image and style?
Omotola: (LOL!) . . .Since I started having kids, 1997, the votes were not on my side as I was the new darling of everyone after winning my awards for ‘Mortal Inheritance’ and everyone wanted to meet the new girl on the block (esp. the dudes) only to find out I just got married and just had a kid. Prior to this time being married was bad enough ,being a mum? End of career! You’d be relegated to motherly roles. I was told I’d loose all my fans. Even though it’s been a challenge, I was not going to give up on me. I needed to make it known it’s possible to be a mum and still be hot!
LADYBRILLENigeria: The verdict is in. You have made it known indeed and that is why we are here with this Style feature of you! Let’s talk about your skin. That is also part of the change I have noticed. Your skin just dey glow like say you discover the fountain of youthful smooth silky skin. (Lol!) Share with us the steps you took to your healthy glowing skin?
Omotola: Thanks. I’m happier and more relaxed. I have body scrubs every 3 to 4 weeks. I moisturize, pray and drink lots of water.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Speaking of moisturizing, what are some of the current facial products you use?
Omotola: ‘Clean and Clear’ everything for my face. . . (Lol!) Deep clean Neutrogena wipes, and Timeless Secret Night and Pure
Radiance Day spf20 uva/uvb.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Hmmmmm . . . .do you exfoliate often?
Omotola: Yes. Once a week to prevent over drying although I have very oily skin. I use Dermalogica products.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: What’s your typical beauty regime?
Omotola: (Lol!) . . . I go to the spa once a month and get a body scrub and deep tissue massage. On my own, I wash off makeup every night, apply a clean and clear Persa-Gel 10 to take care of spots, Timeless Secret Night treatment to sort out all day’s abuses. . .(Lol!)
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: (Lol!) Abuse ke? How many cups of water do you drink in a day?
Omotola: Recommended is 8 glasses sometimes I fall short of a glass or two but I’m working towards consistency.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: (Lol!) I am just trying to find the beauty tips for our readers and of course your fans o! So more questions. (Lol!)
Omotola: My pleasure. . .
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: What foundation do you use?
Omotola: Dermablend or Supercover Foundations and Mac studio fix concealer.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: What about makeup (lipsticks, eye shadow etc)?
Omotola: Not a lipstick fan but if I must, MK Sinature in Red Salsa or Mono in Musty Muave.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Another major upgrade has been your hair mama! (Lol!) We are all loving every look you are rocking. Your current seemingly luscious long curly locks are to die for! Is that Indian hair you are using?
Omotola: (Lol!) . . . You are so funny. It’s Brazilian, regrettably. . . .(Lol!)
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: (Lol!) What’s your favorite weave to rock. Brazilian or Indian weaves?
Omotola: I have both, but my stylists thinks the Brazilian suits me more. . .
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: I see a lot of stars doing the invisible hair line weaves the way Beyonce does it and it is so obvious. Have you ever had that done?
Omotola: You mean like Omotola does it? (Lol!)
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Lol! I guess so Madam. (Lol!) Is Bobby’s Signature also responsible for making your hair look as fly as it has been
Omotola: I worked with him in the past but not now, its UGO CEO of MAKE ME and on the road I work with Tonnie.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: How do you keep your locks looking fresh and shimmering?
Omotola: I use Ellin Lavar instant shine enhancing & frizz fighting mist with moisturizing Cupuacu, it helps the scalp too.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Lol! I can’t even say “Cupuacu.” Pele (sorry) sister. I told you we would take your style apart. (Lol!) Everyone wants to know so this is where I am really just doing my job. (Lol!)
Omotola: Your doing a good one too . . . your bill’s mounting.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: (Lol!) Send the invoice to my accountant. (Lol!) Let’s transition to your clothes. Your selections on the red carpet have been really impressive lately. Your selection to the ‘Mind Game’ Premiere was just dazzling, the jersey gray dress that just draped so well and seemed to move so fluidly on you. Who designed that?
Omotola: It was desined by an Itallian designer, Robert Rodriguez, thanks.The one worn to IJE’s premiere was by Zizi cardow(Nigeria).
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Given you have curves, what are your three rules for ladies with curves when it comes to shopping for clothes that will flatter their curves?
Omotola: For women with shapes like Beyonce, Jennifer lopez, Omotola and Kim Kardashian, they should:
1. Pick clothes that define the waist i.e wraps, belts e.t.c
2.Depending on if you are busty or not, pick clothes that give a good support, cleavage or broad shoulders.
3. Dont forget to check out the rear in the dressing room, that’s the highlight isn’t it?
What I’ve learnt? Concentrate on a part at a time it’s less fuzzy, above the waist or below the waist…Most of all,
walk tall, beautiful woman!
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Well said. Accessories! Where do you shop for them and what are your rules on accessories?
Omotola: Anywhere and everywhere. . . (Lol!)
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: I have noticed you are striking some fierce poses on the red carpet o! No be small ting. (Lol!) Tell us your favorite ‘Omo Sexy, Omo Tee’ red carpet pose.
Omotola: Some into the camera fierce look, to be sincere, I’m trying to change that . . . Lol! . . . it’s so 2008.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Lol! on “It’s so 2008” (Lol!) Four kids later and you are setting the example of how not to give up on self to millions of women who juggle wife, mommmyhood and a demanding career. Beyond your job, what pushes you to take care of self?
Omotola: My God told me I can be whoever I want to be. I believed and I have seen. . . it’s real, he’s real.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: When history is written about Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, what is the one thing you hope history writes about you?
Omotola: THE UNBEATABLE.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: If you weren’t singing and acting or you are doing these and have the chance to open a fashion business, what kind of fashion business would you open?
Omotola: (LOL)…KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED…
LADYBRILENigeria.com: Okay they are crossed! What is your favorite and highly recommended restaurant in Nigeria to eat, especially for ‘Nigericans and Jand’ folks who will be visiting this December?
Omotola: Jade’s palace, Issac john, G.R.A , if you love Chinese and Sweet Sensation for all African and Contemporary.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Where do you shop for your shoes within Naija?
Omotola: Mostly exquisite, Awolowo, Ikoyi.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Tell us your favorite perfume?
Omotola: Flower by keno, Burberry Red or Mauboussin. . .depending on my mood.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Where in Naija is a good place to get your nails
Omotola: My house with my Nail attendant, PAT.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: PAT, watch the line form for your services at Omotola’s place. (Lol!) Do you have a favorite
Omotola: Depending on their work per season. I’m very choosy because of my body shape and image. Very few designers are adventurous. Used to love MAYA she made most of my gowns (since she’s left the country), so far, I’m loving me some ZIZI CARDOW.
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Zizi is definitely adventurous. Our last question for you, for anyone that ever finds themselves in the limelight (giving a speech, performing, etc.), what is your number one tip on how to make sure they look well put together i.e. stylish?
Omotola: HIRE A STYLIST, trust me it’s worth it eventually. .. (Lol!) I should know. After a while you get it and can navigate on your own. . . hopefully. . .
LADYBRILLENigeria: (Lol) Pele Omotola. This is basically the longest Style Star we have
done but we truly wanted to leave our audience satisfied with their numerous style questions for and about you. (Lol!)
Omotola: Oh my gosh, I’m tired oh. . . there’s nothing left for my Autobiography!
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Lol! Ya got jokes. Lol! Alright we don basically cyber raid your closet finish so it is only appropriate we say ‘Ose gan’ lol! Thanks for letting us visit. (Lol!) We applaud your contribution to Naija’s fashion industry. Because of you, even more Naija sistas will be looking fly. Ose gan!
Omotola: . . . Thanks for your love and noticing . . .(Lol!) . . . now get out of my closet, will ya, while I recuperate . . . I need my
beauty sleep. . . (Lol!)
LADYBRILLENigeria.com: Lol! Ouch!
~Interview by Uduak Oduok
~Photos courtesy Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
Mind Game Trailer