Lizzy Anjorin has remained a house hold name in Nollywood especially in the Yoruba genre. The actress has also recorded music tracks and has had collaboration with other music stars. In this chat with PublicFaces Magazine, the Badagry born actress reveals her background, how she got into the movie industry and reacted to other issues…….. Enjoy
For the sake of our readers who want to know more about you, can you kindly share with us full names and your background?
My names are Elizabeth Ibukunoluwa Ebunmidojo Oluwadamilare Omojuasolo Iyenukume Anjorin. I was born in Lagos and I attended Ebenezer African Primary School, Ijaiye Ojokoro. I later proceeded to Girls High School, Iyana Ipaja, Federal polytechnic Ilaro to study Banking & Finance and I had my BSc in Transport Planning and Management at Olabisi Onabanjo University.
We are aware that you speak Hausa language, did you grow up there?
I had my baby there because the father of my daughter was born and brought up in the Northern Region of Nigeria, so his family were in the North and our families were very close then because I was in my 20’s. I spent a year and six months in the North, so I was able to catch up with their language.
Can you share with us what growing up was for you?
It was very tough because being the only child, my mother was very strict. If she wasn’t strict, I won’t be what I am today and I won’t be as tough as this. And I miss her a lot because she’s no more.
At what point did you decide that acting was the way for you?
It was something I didn’t really plan for, everything just happened. I met a lady, Seyi Ariyo while I was in school, she introduced me to my Boss and that was all. The whole aim of coming into the film industry was to acquire more knowledge not to become a super star and all of a sudden, it turned out to be like this.
Would that your boss be Late Ahmed Alasari?
No, my boss name is Segun Samar.
But reports had it that Late Ahmed Alasari is your boss and he gave you the leading role that brought you to limelight?
No, the film industry is like, one mother would bear the child but many mothers would train the child. In a nutshell, Late Ahmed Alasari was one of the people that looked at me and saw in me that I am a star and I would go places. He was one of the very few people that believed in me, he had inner eyes to see the future.
So which was the first movie you featured in?
I featured in a Soap Opera, entitled Ilera Loro sponsored by Senator Mrs Iyabo Obasanjo, thereafter I featured in Yemi Olagunju’s movie, entitled “Abike Salaro”, after that, I featured in Daddy Abbey’s movie popularly called Egun, it was during the editing of that movie Alasari saw me because he was using the same editor, he was marveled at my delivery. The thing is, you would know a good actor or actress during editing, and you can’t see the full qualities of a good actor while seeing the movie because it has been edited. So I was in school one day and I received a call from Alasari saying he needed some of my
nice pictures, he used to call me Lucy then. I travelled down to Abeokuta to visit a Studio, took different pictures with different costume and I gave him the pictures and he was rolling them for a year before he released the movie.
What was the experience like when you were on set for the first time?
I have always been a drama queen because I used to be an activist before acting. So it was easy when I got on set, next thing I saw, they started clapping and I was like, I’ve got more in store.
As an activist back in school. What was the experience like?
It was tough. Then I was in Transport Planning and Management, none of my course mates used to run for an elective post because the course was very tough. The person in charge of Transport in the SUG then was from Political Science and I stood up to challenge them and said that how can someone from
Political Science be in charge of Transportation, then couple of people said that if I want change, I should join them. I joined them and I became the first female in my Department to join Departmental Excos and at SUG level in the history of the school.
Does that mean politics is part of your future plans?
Yes and No. Because at times, the best candidate for the job doesn’t emerge as winner. Even if you have the dream and Heaven knows you want to do it, if the people insist that they don’t want you, what will you do? Instead of me wasting my time and money, at the same time exposing my life and that of my family to risk, I will rather not do it. Although if my Local Government, Badagry and my mother’s side, Isaga Orile, Yewa North Local Government want me, I will, but it’s not something that I want to put as top priority because I’m a business woman, I love money.
Why did you venture into music?
Because I just want to touch everywhere. People’s belief is that being a female child, when you grow up, you just go to your husband’s house especially in my home town, Badagry. I want to prove them wrong and make my mother proud of me.
Would you allow your daughter to go into acting as well?
For now, I won’t allow that but if she grows up and decides that she wants to go into acting, fine but I won’t allow her delve into movies right now because she’s young. If I didn’t go to school at all, I might not be where I am today and maybe I might be more than what I am today but I believe that education has helped me so far, so good. Education has not been giving me money but education has been giving me something that is more valuable than money. It has given me opportunities.
Is it true that you are married to rapper, Jhybo?
Jhybo is my younger brother, getting married to him was just media people coming up with stories. I featured him on my single and when we shot the video, it was a wedding setting we used, so I think that was what alerted the media. I am still very much single and I’m not searching.
Did you get your business traits from your mum?
Yes, my mum and any true Badagry born would dabble into business because we are very strong. People believe because we are very close to the border, so it’s a must and it has become a trend in the blood of any Badagry born.
Is it true that you dump Christianity for Islam?
It’s not true. I’ve been a Muslim for long, my daughter’s name is Rufidat. My daughter’s father was a Muslim when he was alive. But I travelled to Hajj because of my mum, she was a Muslim before she
converted. Islam is just something that I adore since childhood, I used to follow my friends to Quranic school to read Quran. It’s just something that I adore, not that if you invite me to your church, I
won’t go as long as you worship God.
So, talking about marriage since you are single, would you marry a Christian or a Muslim?
I can marry anybody, either you go to church, mosque or you don’t go. If I see potentials that I like in someone, I can marry anybody.
Did you take part in fasting during the month of Ramadan?
I did the little I could.
Has there been a time where your belief contradicts what you have to do on set?
Not at all but the only thing I won’t do on set is having sex. Kissing, if I see that you are a neat person, I will but not deeply because it’s my profession and also I want to make money, so I do what I have to do to make money. And I won’t wear pants and bra for the sake of respecting our culture.
Why don’t you have close relationship with any of your colleague in the industry?
I roll with everybody and everybody is my friend but I don’t allow very close relationship with anybody. I’ve always been like that since childhood because I realized that when you have misunderstanding with them, the little secret they know about you, they will start pouring out. So I believe when you don’t move closer to people, you won’t be able to tell them what is bothering you, so less people, less friends, less secrets, no fights and no pains.
But it was reported that you had a rift with Iyabo Ojo?
No, I didn’t have any rift with Iyabo Ojo, it was a misunderstanding. It was the media that made it something big, it happens everywhere. She’s a grown-up woman, I’m a grown up woman too.
Does that mean you both are on good terms?
Yes. When we see, we greet each other but she’s not my friend and she’s my senior colleague. And we’ve done a movie together entitled, Kofo the FirstLady, she was the Deputy Governor, I was the FirstLady.
Tell us the most unbelievable news you heard about yourself?
A lot. At times you won’t grant any interviews and media will go online and come up with different stories. And when you fight them, they’ll tell me to sit down, that my people want to hear about me, and read about my scandals. Now when I see them, I believe they are adding to the fame, because people that are closer to me believe that this is not the Lizzy they know.
Do you get bothered when you read you about these things?
Before, I used to, but now I don’t, because they don’t know anything about me. If I am the kind of person that puts her whole life on social media, they would be able to tap something but I am a kind of person that people don’t even know where I stay, a lot of people don’t know the friends of mine they can call to collect facts about me from, so of course they would come up with a story to make news.
Tell us five interesting things that people don’t know about you?
I am a very good cook, people around me would testify. I have a pet despite the fact that I’m Alhaja, her name is Fretty. It’s a dog, American Eskimo breed. I’m in love with special people. I am a very playful person irrespective of the level, I relate and finally I love business. I can’t do without business, I’ll fall sick.
What inspired your forthcoming movie, ‘Owo Naira Bet’?
When it comes to movies and titles, I am a very conservative person. I want to do things that happen in the society that people don’t really focus on. When I wanted to chose the title, I chose Nairabet because I was running away from other bet companies and someone told me that there is a company called NairaBet. I don’t know whether they will sue me or not. But what I am trying to tell people is that everything in life is a risk. A story of a young ghetto lady who hawks herbs for a living and at the same time she is in love with something people don’t know.
As an Entrepreneur, what do you think the government can do to make things easier for you?
I think everybody wants to go to school, the younger ones don’t believe in vocational skills, I think Government should include that in their curriculum. Government should provide a means of providing
funds for small businesses in the society. It will reduce number of people on the street. Government should go into Agriculture and provide funds for people that are interested in Agriculture.
Would you also consider releasing your movies on the internet like everyone is doing now?
Yes I am working on it currently. But this coming one, I will release this one into the market and several other movies I have. Selling movies on the internet will open producers’ eyes and the world is moving into a digital world now and the rate of piracy would reduce.
A word for your fans, the youths and your social media handles?
I love them so much and they should keep praying for me because their prayers are very important as they all know that I am an orphan, so I’ve been looking up to them as my fathers and mothers despite the fact that they hear bad things that are not true about me, they still buy my movies.
To the youths, they should be careful on the way they use social media and spend less time with something that does not yield money. The upcoming ones should not expect something beyond their age and capacity. They should believe in themselves. And to the females, they should realize that nobody helps but people want to associate themselves with successful people. If they have one thousand naira, they should try and multiply it. They should not allow their relationship and family to pull them down and break every chain holding them down because women are taking over very soon.
My handle is @lizanjorin